Middle School Announcements
CTP-4 Testing, May 1-4
Middle school students will take the ERB’s, CTP-4 standardized tests Tuesday, May 1st - Friday, May 4th. If you have any questions about the tests or the schedule, please contact Tom Marshall at 734-9862 or email@example.com.
Calling all Electronic Devices
During the week of April 23rd, middle school students will be dissecting electronic gadgets as part of our electronics unit. If you have any old keyboards, cameras, remote controls, VCRs, printers, cell phones, iPods, radios, walkie talkies, etc. (no TVs, please) that you would not mind being torn into (irreparably), we would love to collect them for dissection. They do not need to be in working order (we are looking at and identifying the internal components and circuitry), and if they are working, they won’t be by the time the students are finished with their dissections. Please make sure that you are willing to permanently part with any gizmos that you donate to the collection. Donations can be sent to school with your child. Please contact Sarah Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
On Your Child’s Mind
What is your child studying in language arts, math, art and 8th grade Capstone classes? Read on and find out!
Language Arts: Students read Animal Farm by George Orwell to learn how authors use allegory to convey universal messages. The study of Animal Farm parallels their study of the French Revolution in social studies. In pre-reading activities students also investigated Orwell’s inspiration for the novel and the Russian Revolution to provide context for their study of the book. With these models students are learning the anatomy of a revolution. Throughout the reading students investigate a number of themes: why people rise up and rebel; the nature of power and how people use and abuse it; and the qualities of a good leader. In addition students make text to self and text to world connections, emphasizing the relevance of the text today. Students work in small groups and on their own to find examples that follow the stages of a revolution and exemplify the themes of the book. They utilize these examples and quotes to write a persuasive essay on one theme. Ask your child how the characters represent different historical figures during the Russian Revolution or why Orwell uses animals to express his story.
Math 1 is excited to be back from break and moving into the year’s final topics. In preparation for the culmination market, students have learned how to use percents in all sorts of ways. This week they will show off their ability with percents on a procedural test. Moving forward we will go forward and backward - with positive and negative numbers and graphing!
Math 2 students started a new unit on problem solving. In this algebra unit problem solving means decoding words to make equations. The students learned to assign variables to unknowns and exchange symbols for words. Students are also learning the proper steps to follow when confronted with a word problem, such as drawing diagrams and using the known data to make a table. At the end of the unit, students will take a formal assessment. Students will be able to apply the knowledge of equations and variables to dissect complex multi-step word problems.
Math 3 students embarked on an exciting new project with trigonometry this week. Students first made their own clinometers out of materials found in the classroom. After testing for accuracy it was time to use them in the field. To do this the class took a mini-journey to the Town Square to measure the unknown heights of various objects. Some of the objects the students chose to measure were: the elk antlers arch, flag pole, and the war memorial statue. Students took three different height measurements of each object to test their accuracy. Students will use trigonometric functions to find exact heights. Make sure to ask your child what they measured.
Eighth Grade Art (plus a few 7th graders!): Students are creating a stamp using the relief printmaking technique of an animal character from Animal Farm. Students brainstormed the animals’ various characteristics and selected one on which to focus. Next week, students will carve their stamps and create a “proof” or test print. The following week they will start creating their print editions and during week 4 they will create multiple prints of their animals on one page. The final project will be to get each student’s stamp onto one piece of paper, creating a class print of all the characters from Animal Farm.
Capstone students began preparations for their Rite of Passage journey (May 21-24) with an introduction to the journey. The students created a “KWL” chart that identified things that they already Know, Want to know, and Learned from the exercise. Students came away with a much better sense of how the journey will work but are also still full of many questions. They are enthusiastic and eager to have a fantastic finish to their middle school careers. The group also got their hands involved in some preparations by learning some essential knots for securing shelter on the trip. We will continue to practice these knot tying skills as well as learn many more in the coming weeks.
If your child participated in team or individual athletics, performing arts, or extra-curricular academics this year, we need an action shot! We would love to have everyone represented in our Achievement Celebration June 8th. Please email the photos to Khale Reno at email@example.com. More details about the event coming soon!
International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Consultation Visit
Heather Lourcey from Westwood School in Dallas, Texas was at Journeys School Monday, April 16 and Tuesday, April 17. Ms. Lourcey is our proposed International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP) consultant who has been helping us through the MYP authorization process. Westwood School is an independent pre-K - 12 school that includes the Montessori approach to education and IB Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. Ms. Lourcey met with all middle and high school teachers who will teach the MYP, as well as David and Nate. Meetings focused on curriculum development, assessment, and meeting IB expectations for contact hours for each course included in the MYP. We refined our action plan for completing authorization, and made a list of what must be completed as we write the application and compile documents for the application for authorization. Ms. Lourcey told us that we are currently in a good position in regard to preparing for authorization. We will submit the application for authorization no later than October 1 and can expect an IB site visit some time during next school year with the plan to begin officially implementing the MYP fall 2013.
Monday, April 30: No School - Faculty Professional Development
Tuesday, May 1-Friday, May 4: Grades 6-8 ERB exams
Friday, May 4: Journeys School Talent Show, Jackson Campus, 5:00-7:00 pm
Monday, May 21-Thursday, May 24: Grades 6-7 Journey to Salt Lake City
Tuesday, May 22-Friday, May 25: 8th Grade Rite of Passage Journey
Wednesday, June 6: Graduation (Grades 5, 8, and 12) and Alumni Reception
Friday, June 8: All School Meeting: Achievement Celebration