# Middle School: Week of Aug 21

The Delta Class has jumped into the new school year with both feet. We have had great activities and experiences. One of our annual activities for each class is to choose a class name and create a team poster, in Harry Potter style. The 6th Graders have become Da Sprouts; the 7th Graders are now the EverShrooms; and the 8th Graders chose the name Icebergs. These will be the class names going forward in our newsletters and communications. We are so excited about their choices!!

## Math:

Da Sprouts’ first week was focused on negative numbers.They graphed, compared, and ordered positive and negative numbers, including decimals and fractions. On Thursday they began an art project where they were tasked to draw at least 5 examples of integers in the real world.

The EverShroom’s first lesson was all about classifying rational numbers into sets and subsets. The rest of the week we moved onto a refresher on how to add and subtract integers. They practiced by reading word problems and finding the matching number line example and answer. Next, just like Da Sprouts, they began an art project. They were tasked with drawing a scene and a moving object/subject to represent various integer operations in real life.

For math, the Icebergs have been split into two subgroups: the Polar Bears and the Mountain Lizards. The Polar Bear’s first lesson was a refresher on how to change fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions. They then moved onto finding squares, finding perfect square roots, and estimating non-perfect square roots. On Monday and Tuesday the Mountain Lizards had lessons over the distribution property, solving equations with variables on both sides, and solving equations with no solution and infinite solutions. They practiced these skills on Wednesday by completing a pyramid puzzle. On Thursday, both groups came together to play I Have Who Has in order to practice squares and square roots. They then both worked on mazes to practice estimating square roots. Additionally, Mountain Lizards completed their first two opportunities to earn their Calculator Merit Badge and the privilege of using a calculator during class. Half the class earned their merit badge on attempt number 1. Later in the week, 2 more students earned their badge on attempt number 2. Another attempt will be made next week.

## ELA:

In our first official ELA lesson of the year, we took a look at the differences between autobiography and memoir. Together we read a passage by Stephen King in which he explains his origins as a writer when he was six years old.

All the classes spent the rest of the week learning the elements of creation myths by reading an article and creating bubble maps to organize the information. To test our new knowledge, each class watched a video of the Judeo-Christian creation myth* and evaluated it for those elements. Now we are ready to dive into creation stories from other cultures!

*The Icebergs had a discussion and decided using the word “myth” in this situation is disrespectful to those who practice that faith. They agreed unanimously that since “myth” has a negative connotation in this context, we will use the word “story.” Way to flex that inclusivity muscle, Icebergs!

## Theme:

The Deltas were so excited to start a new school year and our first quarter theme this week. Focusing on the History of the Earth, students shared the many adventures and activities they experienced over their summer break. We documented and illustrated them into Summer Epoch charts, learning about how Geologic time is measured.

Our new Theme Thursdays allow all grade levels the chance to work as a whole class. We used our first Theme Thursday to learn about proper etiquette in our classroom by meeting Mr. Bungle, a character from a 1950’s educational film who embodies bad manners. Students produced skits dramatizing various processes and procedures in the Delta classroom, from lining up to using the bathroom. The results were informative and hilarious!

Our next Theme Thursday focused on Geologic Time Eras. Students reviewed the characteristics of the four main eras and created Era Anchor Charts for use during the quarter. Students also played Geologic Time Relay. To participate, they needed to learn “silly walks’. They took inspiration for a classic Monty Python skit, the Ministry of Silly Walks. Check out their efforts in the picture below!

During our Theme Thursday activity, students practice “silly walks’ to prepare for their Geologic Time Relay game. The walks helped slow down students from running similar to a relay race.

Returning Delta students welcome new students to the class

with a human bridge on the first day of school.

First week activities included collaborating on our new Middle School agreements, and playing Locker Lottery to find out new locker numbers

With focus on their social and emotional learning, Delta students engaged in collaborative groups throughout the week, including building team posters and writing class agreements

EverShroom students working on their integer operations art project.

Da Sprouts playing Integer Slap!

The start of the new school year provided many opportunities for students to work together to meet common goals, including preparing skits on good behaviors in the classroom (top), creating lists for rules and procedures (above left) and sharing who students are for their ELA journals (above right).