Middle School News – January 2023
January was full of newness. New year, new topics, new friends joining class, a new teacher, and new events.
In fifth grade math, students started off the year reviewing multiplication with fractions and quickly moved onto dividing fractions. They discovered that dividing a fraction looks very similar to multiplying fractions after a simple trick; “Keep, Change, Flip”. They wrapped up this unit and moved on to multiplying and dividing multi-digit numbers. Sixth grade completed their unit on ratios. The students learned how to find equivalent ratios and how to apply them in real world contexts. They became quite savvy at working with ratios and have blown Mrs. Carminito away with their understanding. Along with this unit they worked on a recipe project. Each student selected a recipe and found equivalent ratios by doubling, tripling, and even quadrupling the ingredients. They got to put these ratios into practice when they worked with partners to bake their recipes and donate them to the snack window which is raising money for clean water in Sudan. Sixth graders also played the “Unfair Game” as a review of what they had learned. They had so much fun! The class moved on to learning about measurement conversions and unit rates. They used what they learned about ratios and applied them in these types of contexts. They completed different activities to see how different measurements compare to one another. Our seventh grade completed their unit on statistics. Students learned how to represent data using frequency tables, dot plots, histograms, and box plots. They also learned how to calculate measures of central tendency. They had fun surveying people and creating posters which showed the results of their surveys using all that they had learned. Their new unit is on scale drawings. In this unit the students began learning about how scale factors affect a scale copy of an image. They used this information to draw blueprints of furniture. Next month, they will actually build the furniture they drew so that they can gift it to some of the teachers in the building. This is a perfect example of doing real work for real people! In Pre-Algebra, students completed the unit on rational numbers and how to compare, add, subtract, multiply and divide with negatives. They worked on a budgeting project where they selected a home, car, job, and size of family. Then they used a check register to see how different expenses and payday affected their bank accounts. Everyone was excited when payday came! It was a great way for them to see a real life example of how people use addition and subtraction of rational numbers. Everyone ended with a positive balance! As a review of this unit the class played the “Unfair Game.” After their fun review, the began working on a unit of solving multi-step equations. They used tape diagrams to represent these equations and started to gain a sense of the reasoning behind why equations are solved the way they are. Algebra class completed their unit on functions and volume. Students learned what a function was, what a function looks like, and how to solve a function with a given input. They also learned how to create a function equation out of real life situations as well as how to graph these functions. This unit also included finding the volume or another unknown value of cylinders, cones, and spheres. It was a packed unit! As a review of the unit the students played the “Unfair Game.” It got quite competitive! It was a fun way to learn and the students all ended up with some fun prizes as well as a deeper understanding of the content! Next they worked on simplifying exponential expressions using the different exponent rules. They covered multiplying exponents with the same base and how to find powers of powers. Each day the class had fun applying their new information with story time, a scavenger hunt, and a mad lib.
Fifth grade Bible students started a new unit called “God’s Great Story”. They began exploring the major themes of the Bible by thinking of it as a play consisting of three major acts, each corresponding to the three foundational biblical themes of creation, fall, and redemption. In each class, a group of students acted out a scene from the play. It was fun to see them show off their acting skills while presenting each act of the story! Sixth graders wrapped up their unit on the Biblical view of the universe. They explored how the Bible helps us to answer three BIG questions: “If God created the universe, why did he create it?” “What is my relationship to the universe?” and “What is the destiny of the universe?”. Students worked together in small groups to investigate the answers to these questions. In seventh grade, they started learning about theology. The guiding question for this unit is “Does God exist, and, if so, what is he like?” Seventh graders looked through Scripture to discover different attributes of God. They also watched the film “The Case for Christ”. The movie sparked good discussions about the credibility of Jesus’ claims and what it means for us today that Jesus is God. Eighth grade presented their “making a difference” projects this month. For this assignment, they researched teenagers who made or are making a significant difference in the world, young people who have done what our culture would consider out of the “norm” for what is expected of teens today. In pairs, they wrote papers and created presentations about these inspiring teenagers!
In technology, students practiced typing, had opportunities to explore the computer world with activities that teach internet safety and responsibility, and used programs to create projects. This month, all middle schoolers made a slideshow about their goals for the new year. Sixth grade students also created their own Wordles; seventh and eighth graders used Google Earth to answer questions to make a second slideshow; and our eighth grade class tried a science fiction game where students solve problems within their community to make it safe and prosperous. Ms. Nadeau is looking forward to seeing what they can do together in February.
Great job starting the calendar year off strong. We are proud of you, middle school!