Middle School: Week of Oct 23


On Monday Da Sprouts each wrote an integer subtraction problem and created a poster to model the equation using counters. After a week of learning how to model integer addition and subtraction, they started learning the algorithm to add integers. They practiced integer addition using whichever method they wanted (counters, number lines, or the algorithm) on Wednesday.

EverShrooms practiced writing inequalities on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday we were down to only two EverShrooms, so they worked on reviewing the inequalities unit.

Thursday, Da Sprouts and EverShrooms had a Stock Market Game lesson on diversification and then applied that strategy to their team portfolios.

Polar Bears worked on review task cards on Monday, then studied slope-intercept form the rest of the week.

Mountain Lizards had lessons over graphing linear equations using x and y intercepts and graphing horizontal and vertical lines on Monday. Tuesday they played BINGO to review graphing linear equations. Wednesday they learned the 3rd form of a linear function: point-slope form. Thursday they wrote linear equations only given two points!

All Iceberg students were given Stock Market Game time at the end of class Thursday.


This week in The Odyssey…Through journal writing, story mapping, class discussions, and art projects, we explored the concepts of hubris, xenia, and immortality. We untangled the fact that Odysseus’s hubris cost him ten years in his journey home. Students also recognized that both the cyclops and Odysseus failed to practice xenia, the Greek custom of offering hospitality and protection to strangers. We grappled with the pros and cons of immortality as Odysseus used his cunning and fancy word skills to politely decline Calypso’s offer so that he could return to his own family. We discovered that Aeolus, the Lord of Winds, did practice xenia by gifting Odysseus a bag with all the harsh winds tied up inside so he could sail home safely, but that plan failed disastrously.

Last but not least, students sharpened their writing skills by reviewing what it takes to write an independent clause, the most basic sentence structure, and the key role played by helping and linking verbs.


Theme class walked between the raindrops this week to focus on the rise of Democracy in ancient Greece. Students practiced their research skills and reading comprehension to outline the development of various authorities as Greek society moved from a rule by Kings to ruling themselves. The process also gave the students the opportunity to grade the best form of government based on several criteria.

To practice and analyze the information, students conducted a simulation to demonstrate the movement between various governments. They took on the role first as Kings, then wealthy aristocrats overthrown by Tyrants, before finally settling into a democratic form of government. The simulation allowed them to play music as the rulers of the Greek city-states. Titles from Aerosmith to Madness burst down the halls, as their subject did push ups, sit ups, and kneel in adoration.

Finally, the week ended with students applying their learning by playing the classic game of Twister, but with its one twist. Students had to use characteristic clues from the four forms of Greek government to know which color to solace their hands and feet on. A few twists and turns provided a great way to reinforce the week’s learning!

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Top and bottom left: Da Sprouts create the ill-fated bag of winds. Bottom right: Da Sprouts construct a timeline of events about Odysseus’s run in with Polyphemus, the cyclops.

Evershrooms arrange details about Odysseus’s narrow escape from the cyclops into a timeline.

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Evershrooms map out Odyssues’s conflict from The Lord of the Winds chapter.

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Da Sprouts playing Adding Integers Dot Game

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Top: Mountain Lizards playing BINGO!

Bottom Left: Da Sprouts playing Adding Integers Dot Game

Bottom Right: Polar Bears writing and graphing linear functions in slope intercept form

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At top and above left, Delta students simulated the rule of various government types in ancient Greece, like oligarchies flashing their money, and Tyrants forcing the poor into labor. Above right, the rain this week presented challenges to Delta recess, as student had to minimize the mud on their shoes.

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At top, daily SEL activities, including “Mother May I” and “Musical Chairs”, provided both fun and physical exercise this week. Above, students get a little twisted while playing a game of Greek Government Twister in Theme class.