JC Middle School September Newsletter 2023

September 29, 2023

Academic Engagement – What’s going on!

ELA: Currently all classes are pausing curriculum to learn about narrative writing and micro-memoir. Students have been tasked with writing a moment that centers on an emotion, but they can  NOT increding I feel statements in their writing. These emotion-driven moments are centered on our journey, where students overcame weather and physical challenges.

5 Math: 5th grade math is beginning an exploration into place value and multiplication/division revolving around the number 10. Students will be working with large numbers and building upon 4th grade math skills. They will also receive an introduction to exponents.

6 Math: 6th grade math is beginning to investigate ratios and proportions. Through a variety of methods along with a dive into unit conversions, students will be able to relate various quantities and describe these relationships through ratios. 

⅚ Science: 5th and 6th graders are starting their unit on astronomy! They are beginning by studying patterns in the sky and attempting to create models that explain their observations. They are also looking to understand how and why cultures have studied the sky to better understand patterns in their lives. 

⅚ History: 5th and 6th grade History has been diving into the creation legends of different civilizations and religions. We are also working on learning study skills like note-taking and annotating to help set us up for the rest of the school year. The students will be writing their own stories in class in the next week and are actively working on a graphic novel in Art, fostering a cross curricular approach to their project. 

⅚ Spanish:5th and 6th graders are beginning to understand and use Spanish conversationally. We are continuing to learn greetings that include different ways of saying hello and goodbye. They are also learning to answer personal questions about their names and where they are from. 

⅚: OE: 5/6 graders are finishing up various team building activities that involve outdoor education. They will soon be moving on to WFR and WFA curricula that will help them learn wilderness first aid and medicine via the nols guidelines. 

⅚ Visual Arts: 5/6 graders are working on a graphic novel project that explores how different drawing techniques and arrangements can work together to create narrative. This project is in collaboration with the work they are doing in History connected to Creation Stories.

⅚ Performing Arts: The aim of the music program at Mountain Academy is to create a love of music through physical expression and storytelling. The fifth and sixth grade years are intended to challenge the students. Students will be held to a higher standard in their individual preparedness, practice, and performance. They will be given more personal freedom to make music, dance, and rhythms in groups and on their own. Students in fifth and sixth grade will discover what stories different music motivates them to create and tell.

7 Math: 7th grade math is working with positive and negative numbers in all four operations. They are learning alternative strategies to solve problems involving positive and negative numbers. They will also be starting an investigation into representing very large and very small numbers with exponents and scientific notation.

8 Math: 8th grade math students are beginning to look at very large and very small numbers and figuring out how exponents can be used to represent these numbers. They will be able to describe these numbers using scientific notation and perform operations with numbers in scientific notation.

⅞ Science: 7th and 8th graders are exploring the world of physics through analyzing collisions. They are gathering information about why objects only sometimes get damaged in collisions and will use this to learn about forces and energy transfer.

⅞ History: 7th and 8th grade History has been exploring the fascinating topic of the decline of the Roman Empire. As we prepare for our unit in the Middle Ages it is important to know the influences of prior civilizations and make connections to the modern world. The students received their workbooks which will act as a guide for assessments and projects in the upcoming weeks. We will be completing our first stimulation to see if they would be able to stop the fall of the Roman Empire!

⅞ OE: 7/8 graders are finishing up various team building activities that involve outdoor education. They will soon be moving on to WFR and WFA curricula that will help them learn wilderness first aid and medicine via the nols guidelines.

⅞ Visual Arts: 7/8 grades are currently working on a project that moves the class from 2D design into 3d design. This project began the second week of school in a design workshop around symbols. Now the students are working to construct 3D models of the original symbols they created.

Fall Journey – And other community connections…

As many of you know, our Fall Journey presented challenges and growing opportunity for students. But beyond our journey, students have been making connections within and beyond their grades. This happens in our morning meeting, our team times, and even in our county fair of a first day. Hope you enjoy some of the photos that capture the community and culture of our middle school!

Written by: Anonymous

I stumble to a sitting position. All around me, trees rise like skyscrapers into the sky. The small meadow hangs in the air. I mentally sigh in relief that I won’t have to pick up my wet pack for at least a little while longer. The clearing is silent as my friends savor the respite. One of our teachers, Matt, starts to call us up for a  around me is blanketed in pine needles, and the fog from the recent rain hurried lunch. I am not hungry, but I know I must eat to keep what little strength I have. I don my dry sock, then proceed to blow on my hands for extra warmth. I call out to Sardine, “Monke!” an inside joke between us. She smiles and looks away, all of our classmates are either trying to warm themselves or involved in hushed side conversations. I exclaim, reciting a childhood nursery rhyme that has absolutely nothing to do with the present. Anything to show myself that someone is capable of a reaction or emotion. I hold on to hope knowing that I only have to hold on a little longer, but I can feel myself slipping into a part of me that the light has barely ever shone on. Faintly, I hear my name from across the clearing.

It is Matt, and he has tortillas and jam. I slowly rise, my feet squelching in my sodden shoes. Walking is an effort, each step slow and careless. When I return to my bag, I bite into my peanut butter and jelly. I barely taste the food, absorbed in matters inside my head. When I finish I stand, hoisting my pack to my shoulders. I begin to slop forward. I am last in line. I look back at the empty clearing that had been occupied just a second ago. It would remain empty until someone decided to fill it. I turn away, and continue on the trail.

Student Corner – Kai Parker-Choat

My name is Kia. I have just recently joined here at mountain academy. When I heard all about journeys I was not expecting to be greeted with so many positive people with just great attitudes. It was really cool to see as the new kid. Coming to a new environment like this can be very overwhelming but everyone here made me feel like I’ve been attending this school for years, and have made me feel very comfortable here. I would consider myself a digital artist and an overall creative person because I grew up with parents and teachers that love to do artistic things. I also really enjoy being outside whether that be swimming in the river, skiing, or even taking a nice night walk.

Kai Parker-Choat