Middle School: Week of Feb 12th


Da Sprouts jumped back into their expression unit. Monday they practiced finding the exponent form, expanded form, and standard form of numbers with a cut and paste matching activity. Tuesday they had a lesson over the distribution property and Wednesday they had a lesson over changing verbal descriptions into expression and equations. Thursday the group worked at stations to review the unit.

Evershrooms continued with area this week. They learned how to find the area of parallelograms, triangles, trapezoids, and composite shapes. Thursday they started a performance task where each student has to design two rooms and make a scaled blueprint of the rooms.

Polar Bears continued working with the Pythagorean Theorem this week by solving application problems, working through the proof on why the Pythagorean Theorem works, using Cheez-Its to find Pythagorean Triples, and measuring distances on a coordinate plane.

Mountain Lizards finished their last lesson in factoring Monday by learning how to factor difference of squares. They then each worked at their own pace to create a workbook to review factoring and some were able to begin their escape room unit review.


We kicked off the week by learning about the evil and tricky villain to all sentences…THE FRAGMENT! For the rest of our time together, it was all about A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students learned the importance of enunciation when speaking in front of an audience–red leather yellow leather red leather yellow leather–and we found the sanctuary downstairs to be a fun and novel venue for performing scenes. Act Three gave us the opportunity to analyze and more deeply appreciate why Shakespeare named that one character “Bottom.” And why Puck, the mischievous fairy, gave him the head of a donkey.


Our quarter theme of physics took us back to the Middle Ages as students tackled the concepts of catapults and how potential and kinetic energy was used as early examples of combat weapons. Students were given a budget and an open canvas to design, test, and perfect their models for catapults after watching videos of the history of the devices and how they employ the principles of energy.

Working in teams, students used common household items: rubber bands, wooden sticks and dowels, plastic spoons, glue, and cups to recreate their version of the differing types of catapults. From ancient Greece and Rome to the Asian designs copied in Europe after the establishment of trade between the two continents in the Middle Ages, came a wealth of design possibilities. With some trial and some error, students created their models.

Thursday was the big Bulls-Eye Competition. Students used velcro ping pong balls to hit a large target with their catapults. They also had fun slinging Valentines Day marshmallows to try and catch them in their mouths. It was a great and spirited task for students to complete their third Physics challenge.

Students also spent time on their Research Reports. We took notes on taking notes and the purpose of the rough drafting process. Reports and live demonstrations are due on Leap Day, February 29th.

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Focusing on Social-Emotional Learning, students engage in different mental and physical exercises. At top, students use “silly walks” to expel a little energy during a mindfulness lesson. Above, students draw portraits of each other without lifting their pencils or breaking eye contact.

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Delta students work on their designs for wood stick catapults during the third Physics Challenge. Devices were tested and adjusted for distance and accuracy for competition.

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Testing both potential and kinetic energy gave students engineering opportunities with their catapults. A “BullsEye” challenge, at top, allowed students to test both the distance and accuracy of their machines.

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Top: While Queen Titania sleeps, Ms. Kandyce offers direction to the other actors.

Bottom: Actors deliver lines with emotion.

Top: Students act out a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Bottom: As students complete their scene summaries, they stand in the tree pose.

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Top and Bottom Left: Evershrooms tackling composite shapes

Bottom Right: A Mountain Lizard student working through a flowchart to determine which method to use to factor the polynomial.


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