Middle School: Week of Jan 29


Gamma shadows joined Da Sprouts this week so they skipped ahead to the beginning of the next unit for an easier transition. On Monday, Da Sprouts and 4 gammas learned the difference between expression and equations. On Tuesday, Da Sprouts and 4 new gammas studied exponents. Finally on Wednesday, Da Sprouts and the last 4 gammas completed a lesson on prime factorization.

Evershrooms had a lesson over angle relationships and triangles on Monday. We discovered some students needed a reteach on solving equations. So, on Tuesday, some students worked on solving equations and some continued to practice angle relationships. Wednesday we came back together for a story time. We read Sir Cumference and the First Round Table and Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi. Both stories taught us the definition of circumference, diameter, radius, and pi.

On Thursday Da Sprouts and Evershrooms learned about short selling as they transition their Stock Market Game strategies from long term to short term.

Polar Bears worked on a review Monday and Tuesday and took a check in on Wednesday.

Mountain Lizards took a check in Monday over exponents and exponential functions. They did very well so we continued on to the next unit. Tuesday they learned how to label polynomials and add and subtract polynomials. Wednesday they had 2 lessons. One over multiplying monomials by binomials and trinomials and the second over multiplying binomials by binomials and trinomials.

Thursday all Icebergs worked in their Stock Market Game groups.


Dearest newsletter reader, thou art a flowering, precious, honey-tongued pigeon egg.

Kindest regards, The Middle Schoolers

This week we explored the words and phrases William Shakespeare contributed to the English language by writing Shakespearean compliments to each other. We continued reading and taking plot notes about A Midsummer Night’s Dream and learned how to write “Batman and Robin” sentences, AKA complex sentences.


“I just wanna fly!” said the classic pop tune by Sugar Ray. An apt description for our week in Theme Class.

As we finished our look at Force and Motion we jumped into the four forces of flight: thrust, drag, lift, and weight. Students defined and internalized those terms, and applied them to air travel and birds in flight. We ended our deep dive by comparing the flight actions of real airplanes to paper airplanes. Then it was on to blueprinting.

Each student, alone or in pairs, designed their own airplane based on the principles of force they learned. Several different models and even some experiments were created. Testing in the chapel, the community hall and outside the building yielded some surprising results. Students were tasked with comparing their various test flights for distance, flight pattern, and accounting for the elements and barriers. Adjustments were made to plans and new models created for further testing. Ourscenario had students assisting a group of visitors from beyond the Earth to fly to Hawaii after the vehicle crashed on the planet. So the weight for this adjustment and design impact presented a challenge for the students. But Deltas always rise to the occasion.

In addition to our regular students, we were joined this week by Gamma shadows, who also participated in our flight fun. Our Da Sprouts class even taught them the forces of flight and helped with their designs, many of which yielded great results.

Our week in the air ended with a visitor who works in the air. Da Sprouts students Robert’s father, 1st Officer Brandon Witzel, a pilot for American Airlines, visited on Thursday, and chatted with the students about how flight forces apply in reality. He brought models and answered a peppering of questions about his job. We conquered the air this week!!!

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Evershoom students use our Flight Testing Center to perfect their airplane design during initial testing of their paper airplane challenge. Each student group developed several models to test over our project period.

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Da Sprouts and Gammas partner up to play math games at the end of class.

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Top: Iceberg students exchange Shakespearean insults. Bottom left: To learn about complex sentences, Da Sprouts brainstorm a list of dependent/independent relationships. Right: Icebergs create a poster to show their knowledge of complex sentences.

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Gamma students shadowed the Delta class all week. Da Sprouts helped them to build and test their own paper airplanes.

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Flight Week allowed the Deltas to engineer, test, and evaluate paper airplanes to experiment with the four forces of flight.

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Delta students had a visit from jet pilot 1st Officer Brandon Witzel on Thursday. In addition to reviewing the forces involved in flight, Officer Witzel showed students pictures from various flights.