Middle School News – September 2022
September has been a busy month for our middle school! They went to the Deerfield Fair, have been diving right in to their novels, and our sixth graders have been getting used to transitioning for all of their classes.
Meanwhile, our fifth grade has started a new math curriculum to better align with the rest of middle school and high school which begins with the volume unit. They have been measuring the area of 3-D figures using unit cubes. As they work through this unit, they will also build on their multiplication skills working from simple to more complex problems. For humanities, fifth graders have been learning what human rights are and how real people and fictional characters respond when those rights are threatened. They are reading the novel Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, which takes place in Mexico and rural California during the early 1930s. As they study the characters and the various situations they encounter they have also been looking at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Ten Commandments and how Jesus commands us “to love one another.”
In sixth grade humanities, students have been reading Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. This fun novel introduces Greek mythology and ancient Greek civilization. They are identifying figurative language as well as point of view. One question that they have been examining is the relevance of Greek mythology today. In math, sixth grade dove right in to their area, volume, and surface area unit. They have been working on recognizing that when a figure is decomposed into new shapes it still takes up the same amount of area as it did originally. They have been using tangrams to help visualize this. When they go to the next level of finding surface area, they may reunite with or be introduced to some zoo animals from the Volume Zoo!
In seventh grade, the opening novel, A Long Walk to Water, takes place in two time periods and follows two characters as they endure hardships in the country of Sudan. Students are considering how the author uses culture, time, and place to develop the main characters’ identity. As a real world application, they will be deciding on a project that will reach into a needy community to bring water to them. Math is all about rational numbers. Seventh graders are gaining an understanding of negative numbers and how to compare and order them. Up next is operations with negatives; here comes the fun stuff!
Eighth grade students are learning all about US History this year. They are beginning with tracing the reasons for the colonies and will soon be reading Johnny Tremain. Each student will be creating a project on a particular colony where they will teach their classmates. In math, the class is split into pre-algebra and algebra. Pre-algebra has been working on their proportional relationships unit. They are remembering the difference between the Constant of Proportionality and the Scale Factor and why each is useful. Up next for them is percentages. Algebra students have jumped right into Linear Equations. They are working on how to solve for variables that appear on both sides of an equation. They are remembering necessary skills such as the Distributive Property, combining like terms, and keeping the equation balanced by performing the same operation to both sides. They are getting ready to use these skills in solving systems of equations.
New to middle school this year is stewardship, where they help with the everyday chores of our school. Students have been doing a great job showing love and responsibility for their school with excellence. Great job middle school!