Friday, May 18, 2018

Weekly Update (May 18)

Greetings Team Equinox Families:

  • Looking Ahead - The Middle School will be putting on a “Power to the People” Night on Thursday, June 7.  This will be an opportunity for students to showcase their end-of-unit artwork that represents a civil rights struggle.  A letter will be sent home soon with more information.

Here’s what your child has been up to this week on Team Equinox~

Science:
In Science, we are studying the theory of plate tectonics after learning about Pangea and the Continental Drift.  Students should finish their projects on plate tectonics this weekend if they have yet to.  We will start our study of rocks and minerals next week. 
Our Trout Release Date is set for June 11th from 8am-1pm at Mills RIverside Park.  If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out this form.

Humanities:
In Social Studies, we have begun our Power to the People project by conducting research on an American changemaker who has fought for equality and rights in this country, past or present.  Students have been assigned a person they are interested in researching, and are working to find resources and information about their person and the struggle.  In the weeks to come, students will be writing a research paper about this person, which connects to their art project in ELA.

Homework - Students should complete any missing work (please check PowerSchool and Google Classroom).

In ELA, we finished looking at LGBTQ+ struggle for equality, and introduced our struggle for equality art project, in anticipation of our Power to the People celebration on June 7. Students were also given their STAR reading assessment, and I handed back most students’ scores (one class will receive theirs on Monday). If you have any questions about this assessment, please let me know. Next week, we will start planning out how to finish the art project and the artist statement in time! Students will be given a spelling test on Tuesday. All 7th graders should bring their favorite book to school on Wednesday.

Homework: Independent reading for 30 minutes each night (for 5 of 7 days per week). 

7th Grade Math: This week students continued  to explore how to interpret, draw models  and write algebraic expressions and equations to represent real world problems. Students spent time reviewing how to add, subtract multiply and divide rational numbers. Students also took their STAR math assessment.

Next week students will explore the connection between math and poetry.

Optional Homework:  Practice using all operations (+, -, /, x) for rational numbers or practice percent problems on Khan Academy.

8th Grade Math: This week students continued their exploration of  congruence and geometric transformations.  Students continued to practice rotations, reflections and translations of two dimensional figures. Students worked on giving specific directions for transforming figures, for instance including degrees of rotation and direction, clockwise or counterclockwise.  Students also took their STAR math assessment.

Next week on Tuesday students will take a test on rigid transformations.

Optional Homework: Students can continue to practice doing transformations using Khan Academy.

Make it a great week!
Team Equinox

Songs of Change


Today in class, we looked at some songs that represent different struggles for equality. Here, for your listening pleasure, is a Spotify playlist of those songs. Happy listening on this sunshine day...

Friday, May 11, 2018

Weekly Update - 5/11

Greetings Team Equinox Families:
  • Looking Ahead - The Middle School will be putting on a “Power to the People” Night on Thursday, June 7.  This will be an opportunity for students to showcase their end-of-unit artwork that represents a civil rights struggle.  A letter will be sent home soon with more information.

Here’s what your child has been up to this week on Team Equinox~


Science:
In Science, we are studying the theory of plate tectonics after learning about Pangea and the Continental Drift.  Students will start station work and their project next week! We have officially changed from physics to earth science and are excited to spend some time exploring our earth!

Humanities:
In Social Studies, we have looked at the civil rights movement in regards to Native Americans.  We learned about the history of Native Americans in terms of being removed from their land, and examples of art expressions of these struggles as well as examples of Native American activism from the 1960s and on.  We also completed our weekly map quiz and did our weekly current events discussion. Next week we will begin looking at our end-of-unit Power to the People project.

Homework - Students should complete any missing work (please check PowerSchool and Google Classroom).

In ELA, we finished our exploration of African Americans’ struggle for equality and have moved on to the LGBTQ community. We’re looking at art that represents these struggles with an eye towards deciding what art project students will create for our Power to the People celebration. We also worked on identifying independent and dependent clauses, and complex and compound sentences, as preparation for using commas more precisely!

Homework: Independent reading for 30 minutes each night (for 5 of 7 days per week).

7th Grade Math: This week students continued  to explore how to interpret, draw models  and write algebraic expressions and equations to represent real world problems. Students focused on  interpreting one another’s work and writing equivalent expressions and equations. An example of this is 4(x + 2), could be written as x + 2 + x + 2 + x + 2 + x + 2 or 4x + 8.  Students also practiced evaluating expressions by substituting in numbers, for example when x = 1 then 4(1 + 2) = 4 x 3 = 12 and solved equations. Students practiced recording information in a bank ledger using deposits and withdrawals. Students also worked on problems involving percentages, tips, tax, discounts and profit.

Optional Homework:  Practice using all operations (+, -, /, x) for rational numbers or practice percent problems on Khan Academy.


8th Grade Math: This week students began to explore congruence and geometric transformations.  Students learned about rotations, reflections and translations. Students then practiced doing these transformation with a set of directions. For example students would move a geometric shape on a coordinate grid using information like rotate triangle ABC around point A 90 degrees clockwise and then were required to redraw the image of the triangle.

Next week we will continue this exploration and begin to look at how transformation effect a geometric figure.

Optional Homework Students can continue to practice doing transformations using Khan Academy.


On the following page you will find social thinking ideas we will talk with our students about as they begin discussion circles in ELA.







Social Thinking Ideas:  


Team Equinox

Friday, April 20, 2018

Weekly Email - April Break Edition

Greetings Team Equinox Families:

We just wanted to take a moment to say:
  • Thank you for participating in our student-led portfolio conferences. They are a critical piece of our middle school model, and it's always a treat for us to see the students own their learning and present it to their parents. We see a lot of students stepping up at these conferences, and it's very moving to witness. Thank you for your important role. As always, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to email any of us.
  • Happy April Break! We hope this is a relaxing time for you and yours. We'll look forward to hearing all about it when we return, and we'll look forward to finishing the remainder of our school year strong. 
Thank you for all you do.

Make it a great break, 
Your Equinox Teachers.
Meagan, Gloria, Mickey, Tami, Nicole, James, and Catherine.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Weekly Update - 3/23

Greetings Team Equinox Families:
Next week is SBAC testing. Here is a schedule for the first week of testing. This week’s focus is on English/Language Arts. The following week will focus on Math. Please feel free to review this schedule with your child in anticipation of a smooth testing process. We encourage students to get a good night’s sleep and be ready to go on Monday!

Here’s what your child has been up to this week on Team Equinox~


Science:
This week students finished their egg drop and presentations! All students did an amazing job describing how Newton’s Third Law.  Today, we started tapping trees for our maple syrup unit. Students who did not tap trees today will start this process on Monday.  Please make sure that your student has appropriate footwear and clothing to go outside this next week.
Science Homework: Wear warm clothes all week!


Humanities:
In Social Studies, students learned about anti-semitism in Germany and Europe overall.  Students looked at German laws that discriminated against Jews, taking away their rights and opportunities.  Students also learned about some of the ghettos in Europe that the Jews were forced to live in, and the conditions within these ghettos. We also completed our weekly map quiz and learned about current events through our “Week in Rap” video.  

Homework - Students should complete any missing work. This week: Kristallnacht Reading and Response, Geography of the Ghettos, Jewish Ghetto Worksheet, WWII Timeline/Geography Worksheet

In ELA, we continue to read Prisoner B-3087 and to focus on our speaking and listening. We worked on creating in-depth questions and used those as a base for discussion circles. On Friday, we began work to prepare for our next discussion. Students should answer all eight questions on this worksheet with two pieces of evidence each. Students took their first spelling tests, which have been graded and returned back to them. If they scored 13 or higher, they will move on to the next spelling level.

Homework: Finish Discussion Questions; Independent reading for 30 minutes each night (for 5 of 7 days per week).

7th Grade Math: This week students continued their exploration of volume and surface area.  Students made cylinders and rectangular prisms from the same size piece of paper changing it from landscape to portrait; they predicted which prism or cylinder would hold more popcorn.  They tested their prediction and calculated the volume.



Students explored the surface area of rectangular prisms, triangular prisms and cylinders. Students also practiced adding, multiplying and dividing mixed numbers and decimals.  Students will continue this exploration into next week.

8th Grade Math: This week students continued to their exploration of the Pythagorean Theorem.  Students practiced finding missing side lengths of right triangles using the formula a2 + b2 = c2. Students also explored the Converse of the Pythagorean Theorem, using the formula to figure out if a triangle is a right triangle or not.  Next week they will continue this exploration and also work on volume and surface area of various three dimensional shapes.

Homework: (Optional) If students want to continue to practice and deepen their understanding of our current topics in math they can log on to Khan Academy or Tenmarks.

Social Thinking Ideas:
On the following page you will find social thinking ideas we will talk with our students about as they begin discussion circles in ELA.

 


Team Equinox

Friday, March 16, 2018

Weekly Update - 3/16

Greetings Team Equinox Families:

Here’s what your child has been up to this week on Team Equinox~


Science:

This week students worked on their egg drop (Newton’s Laws). They have drawn up a scale model, completed prototypes and changed their design based on results.  We also participated in making quilt squares for our National Trout in the Classroom quilt. Students all designed squares and letters to other schools- we will be sending them all over the country next week.  
Next week, we will be wrapping up our Egg Drop presentations and starting a unit on maple trees.  This will hopefully culminate in students making a dichotomous key and enjoying maple syrup!

Science Homework: Students interested in participating the in State Science Fair can register here.  Over vacation, they can start to write an abstract of their research (a template is on Google Classroom).

Humanities:
In Social Studies, students began to learn about some causes of World War II including the War Guilt Clause of the Treaty of Versailles (that ended World War I), Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and nationalism.  Also we began to discuss why it is that the Jewish population became scapegoats under Nazi Germany. We also completed our weekly map quiz and learned about current events through our “Week in Rap” video.

Homework - Optional: If students have not yet completed the “Treaty of Versailles” Worksheet (on Google Classroom) or the “Speeches and Promises of Adolf Hitler” Worksheet (not on Google Classroom), they should do so.


In ELA, students began to read Prisoner B-3087, a book based on the real life story of a Holocaust survivor. We used this book to track evidence of dehumanizing practices used by the Nazis during WWII. Going forward, it will provide topics for our discussion circles. We also prepared for and completed a speaking and listening pre-assessment. Our first spelling test will be on Tuesday (spelling lists are on Google Classroom).

Homework: Independent reading for 30 minutes each night (for 5 of 7 days per week), prepare for Spelling Tests.

7th Grade Math: This week students continued to explore circles.  Students found the diameter, radius, circumference, area and volume of some tasty treats like crackers, peppermint patties and cookies in honor of Pi Day.  Students also worked on a free write with Mr. Moore about Pi as a little competition in creativity. Students then explored the volume of cylinders by trying to figure out the amount of materials it would take to make cylindrical candles of different sizes that they would in turn theoretically sell.  They had to try to make a profit of $100 after all costs where extracted. Next week students will continue to explore volume and surface area of prisms.

8th Grade Math: This week we have focused on geometry.  Students found the diameter, radius, circumference, area and volume of some tasty treats like crackers, peppermint patties and cookies in honor of Pi Day.  Students also worked on a free write with Mr. Moore about Pi as a little competition in creativity. Students then moved on to an exploration of the Pythagorean Theorem. Students have spent the week working with different right triangles and looking at the relationship between the area of the squares that can be built off of each side of the triangle. Next week we will continue this exploration.

Homework: (Optional) If students want to continue to practice and deepen their understanding of our current topics in math they can log on to Khan Academy or Tenmarks.

Team Equinox

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Weekly Update (Week of 2/12)

Greetings Team Equinox Families:
  • Final Reminder: If you have a skill or trade you’d like to talk about to our PLP groups, we’d like to host a couple of career panels as students work to explore their possible careers as part of their Personalized Learning Plan. If you are interested, drop an email to jmoore@mymtsd-vt.org.

Here’s what your child has been up to this week on Team Equinox~


Science:
Students have been working on their self-assessment from the science fair- this is homework for students who still need to work on it. The assignment can be found on Google Classroom and handed in as such.   We have started our unit on healthy streams and watersheds! Students will soon start a project engineering solutions for Lake Champlain’s cyanobacteria problem.

Humanities:
In Social Studies, students began a mini unit on American presidents.  Each student selected a president and created a Facebook profile for their president to learn about their background.  Then, students created a comic strip describing one event of their president’s term.  We also continued working on our geography skills with our weekly Map Quiz.  

Homework - Students should have completed their Presidential Profile and their Presidential Comic Strip.  For directions, please refer to Google Classroom.  Check for any missing work in PowerSchool.

In ELA, we have been working on a grammar and writing intensive unit. Students learned about formatting dialogue, and then put those skills to use in our weekly Caught Ya. We also participated in Vermont Writes Day on the 15th, where students from all across the state were encouraged to write for seven minutes and share their writing anonymously on the Vermont Writes website (http://vermontwritesday.org/). Many students took up this challenge and posted their writing. We ended the week by creating a study guide for the elements of a narrative. This can be used to prepare students for their on-demand assessment, to be given after the break.

Homework: Independent reading for 30 minutes each night (for 5 of 7 days per week).



Grade 7
Math:
Students have continued to explore positive and negative numbers. Students practiced adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing positive and negative whole numbers, fractions and decimals this week. They also worked on these topics through word problems.  Students took their quiz on Friday.

Next week math and science will be joining forces to do a design challenge that will involve teamwork and an application of three dimensional geometry involving surface area and volume.

If students would like additional practice on the current topic they have assignments in Tenmarks.  Students should already have their username and password.  Students also have assignments in Khan Academy.

Grade 8
Math:
Students continued to explore systems of equations. They spent their time this week finding solutions to systems algebraically using the elimination method and reviewing for their summative assessment.  The assessment has been moved to Monday due to interruptions in our schedule this week. The assessment will include writing equations from points and graphs, solving equations, solving systems of equations and deciding if a system has one solution, no solution or infinite solutions.

Students could prepare for their assessment by practicing on Khan Academy.  Khan Academy has organized materials so that it connects to the topics in  Eureka Math which is the program the middle school is using.  They can find a direct link on the Math Google Classroom page.

For more information and parent tips for the current topic of systems of equations click on the link.

Next week math and science will be joining forces to do a design challenge that will involve teamwork and an application of three dimensional geometry involving surface area and volume.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Weekly Update - 2/9

We send this update out via email, but we'll post it here for you as well.

Greetings Team Equinox Families:
  • Our Science Fair was a success! Thank you all for attending!
  • Reminder: If you have a skill or trade you’d like to talk about to our PLP groups, we’d like to host a couple of career panels as students work to explore their possible careers as part of their Personalized Learning Plan. If you are interested, drop an email to jmoore@mymtsd-vt.org.

Here’s what your child has been up to this week on Team Equinox~


Science:
Thank you all for participating in Milton’s Fifth Annual Science Fair! The event was a success! Over 80 Equinox students (and 400 MMS students) exemplified their ability to hypothesize, observe, and collect data over the course of two months. Thank you all for your support!
We will start next week by reflecting on our science fair projects and experience. Then, we will continue our stream study. Thanks to Trout in the Classroom we are raising 97 Brook Trout from eggs to release!  Students will study the healthfulness of a trout’s stream and how our aquarium replicates that.  

Humanities:
In Social Studies, students completed their Day of the Pelican Project, wrapping up the unit on immigration.  We continued working on our geography skills with our weekly Map Quiz.  We will soon begin a mini unit on American presidents to learn about the leaders of our country throughout history; this mini unit will take up the last couple of weeks until February break.

Homework - The Day of the Pelican Project was due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, February 6th, but some projects still have not been turned in.  Directions can be accessed on Google Classroom.

In ELA, we finished our immigration narratives, celebrating our writing skills (with illustrations of similes, metaphors, and onomatopoeia). I informed students that I will only be assessing narratives that are turned in on Google Classroom. We then shifted to a mini-unit to delve deeper into grammar and writing. We launched our Caught Ya program (learning grammar by identifying and fixing errors in an ongoing story). We also began our spelling program, where students are in charge of learning a list of spelling words centered around a common spelling hurdle. Regular assessments will track progress.

Homework: Independent reading for 30 minutes each night (for 5 of 7 days per week).



Grade 7 Math:
Students have continued to explore positive and negative numbers. Students practiced adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing positive and negative whole numbers, fractions and decimals this week.  Students will continue to practice this next week and in addition students will learn how to change fractions to decimals using long division.  Students will have quiz on this at the end of next week.

Please see the attached integer parent tips for more information on what your child is and will be learning.

If students would like additional practice on the current topic they have assignments in Tenmarks.  Students should already have their username and password.  Students also have assignments in Khan Academy.

Grade 8 Math:
Students have continued to explore systems of equations. They spent their time this week finding solutions to systems algebraically using the elimination method.  Next week students will wrap up their algebra unit and take a summative assessment on writing equations from points and graphs, solving equations, solving systems of equations and deciding if a system has one solution, no solution or infinite solutions.

In addition to the review we will be doing in class, students could prepare for their assessment by practicing on either Tenmarks or Khan Academy.  Khan Academy has organized materials so that it connects to the topics in  Eureka Math which is the program the middle school is using.  
Students could take the quizzes in Khan Academy and practice those items that they find challenging.

For more information and parent tips for the current topic of systems of equations click on the link.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Progress Reports

Good afternoon, Team Equinox Parents!

Today, in our final class of the day, progress reports were handed to your children to bring home. If you have any questions after reviewing these with your child, please feel free to contact us.

Have a great day. 

​Team Equinox.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Google Classroom for Social Studies

Hello there, just wanted to let folks know that Social Studies now has a Google Classroom! Almost all of the students have joined the class. If parents/guardians have any difficulties getting on, please send me an email and we will figure it out.

Thanks!
Miss Menard
nmenard@mymtsd-vt.org