# Middle School: Week of May 8th

## Math:

Zoomshrooms finished up their geometry unit this week. Monday they had a lesson over finding the volume of rectangular prisms. On Tuesday they extended their graphing skills to a coordinate plane with 4 quadrants. Wednesday was a review day with a scavenger hunt. Then finally, Thursday was their check in.

Shockwave students worked through things at their own pace this week. Students first had to finish their dot plot or box plot on the wall. Next, they completed a check in over their statistics unit. Then finally, they started budgeting for a dream vacation. Vacation planning will continue till the end of class Monday. Some students are having trouble staying within their \$10,000 budget, while one group is struggling with spending it all!

Algebra students took a couple days to take their check in over quadratics. It was a long one that covered the most complex concepts yet. Once students finished their check ins they started making a flipbook to practice radical operations. After that, they attempted an escape room to review rational operations.

Geometry students finished up their logo projects on Monday and began a check in over transformations. On Wednesday and Thursday we squeezed in a final unit over surface area and volume in just two days!

## ELA:

We spent a fun and messy week in the creative domain working on art projects and creative writing. Monday we wrapped up two projects we’d put on the back burner in order to work on our research papers: the triple Venn diagram about space scientists and the mixed media art project about the effects of zero gravity on the human body. The second half of class students learned about their final writing project for the year: a creative science fiction short story.

They didn’t know why yet, but Shockwave and the Redwoodz worked in small groups to list as many gadgets as they could think of in their kitchens, bathrooms, and garages in three minutes. With their brains full of inanimate objects, their writing prompt was revealed. Inspired by HAL in 2001 A Space Odysseya device in your house becomes sentient. Is it benevolent or malevolent? Write a short story telling what happens. We reviewed the elements of a short story, then students dove into the prewriting phase by planning out their stories with a graphic organizer about their characters, setting and plot map.

The Zoomshrooms prompt was equally exciting and inspired by A Wrinkle in Time: You will tesser/time travel to another planet on an important mission.Write a short story about this adventure. Describe magical creatures you encounter, the mission’s success and a lesson learned from this adventure. We also reviewed the elements of short story then began

prewriting–a graphic organizer with one column to backwards map the characters, mission, magical beings, success and lesson learned from A Wrinkle in Time, and another column to plan their story. We met as a large group to “pitch” our story ideas in the form of a one-sentence summary called a logline; hearing others’ writing helps all of us grow as writers.

For the rest of the week students finished planning and began drafting their short stories, taking breaks to build class projects about the science fiction stories we read this quarter. Shockwaves and Redwoodz created a massive 6 foot tall monolith out of paper mache, while the Zoomshrooms started constructing a tessering/time travel machine which, when finished, will include a communication system and digital control panel. This teacher is inspired and energized by all the student ingenuity, risk taking, creativity and good old-fashioned grit she saw this week!

## Theme:

The school year is winding down, and our Theme of Astronomy is coming close to an end! Students will definitely be going out with a BIG BANG! After a week of focus on stars and galaxies, students went back in time to look at how the ancients looked at the universe. Each student chose one constellation of stars and created a model of the star diagram. In addition, they documented the location, movement through the skies, and relationship to each other. Students also summarized the mythology for each constellation, to explain how the ancients used these stories as entertainment and predictors within their societies.

Models of each constellation were created using marshmallows. Important stars and objects within each constellation were also identified and positioned within the models.

It was also an important week for the last quarter as students completed and turned in their Informative Essays on their Astronomical topics. Students spent a lot of time evaluating and summarizing information on chosen topics and completed the process with both Mr. Steve and Ms. Kandyce. Turning in their essays represents the last writing assignment for the year! We celebrated with a little dance party on Thursday!!

Our last exploration into astronomy will take us back to the beginning: looking at the effects of gravity. Students will be conducting the Egg Drop Challenge. Students will be presented with a hard boiled egg. Their challenge will be to build a device that will protect the egg from as many cracks as possible through a series of impulse momentum actions. The students started their blue prints and are very excited. It’s going to be a great last week of Theme for the year!!

Top & Bottom Left: Shockwave students researching their dream vacation

Bottom Right: Shockwave student plotting his outliers on his box plot

Top: Shockwave does their part to paint the monolith. Bottom left: Zoomshrooms paint the boxes that will become their tessering/time machine. While waiting for the boxes to dry, they worked on their creative science fiction short stories. Bottom right: Shockwave students examine the framework of the monolith.

Top: Shockwave begins the massive task of paper mache-ing the monolith–a process that took two days for them and the Redwoodz to complete. In between layers they worked on their creative science fiction short stories.

Students created constellation maps and descriptions after investigating the night sky. Their models were made from marshmallows and bamboo sticks. They also documented the mythology associated with their constellations.

Redwoodz students, at top, put the finishing touches on the Theme BIG BANG project, which will be displayed for POP in two weeks. Students also designed their own planets based on a number of astronomical factors. They created salt dough designs of their planets.