Below you will find the weekly class report from this week’s class reporter, Jaymison Easlick, followed by other important class news and a little slideshow from Dr. Tucker’s chemistry presentation.
Class Report by Jaymison Easlick (with assistance from assistant reporter Nevi Eagle-Clark)
On Monday, we went outside for main lesson and did a science experiment with corn starch in which we blew cornstarch through a straw and we lit the dust particles on fire. In woodworking they shaved apples, and in Outdoor Ed we talked about decomposing and played a camouflage game. On Tuesday a guest, Dr. Tucker (who is a chemistry instructor at CSU), came in and did cool chemistry experiments, and at the end she brought in a jar of liquid nitrogen and poured it on the floor, and the floor got really cold and foggy. In art we drew a landscape of an outback country road, and it was really hard. But Tuesday was amazing. On Wednesday we did chemistry and in math we played a bingo math game. On Thursday we did a chemistry experiment on marble after it was heated to 1,870 degrees for 10 hours in a potter’s kiln. We put different types of liquids on marble (which had become quicklime after being heated) and it almost disintegrated. We mixed the slaked lime with sand to make mortar. In math we worked on a bingo game with our partners choosing which decimal and percent would go where. On Friday, in math we had a quiz, in language arts we had reading buddies with the 3rd grade and we talked about The Giver. In games we played a game called space ball and that was pretty fun, and then we had handwork and we stitched stuff and we learned how to French knot.
Bike Field Trip Oct. 13: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thanks to Tom Glanville for volunteering to be a biking chaperone for our bike field trip to the library on Oct. 13. I still need three more biking parent chaperones to help make this trip possible. It should be a great excuse to spend the morning on your bike (and hanging out in our library). We will have two Safe Routes to School volunteers leading the field trip and laying out the rules of the road for us so you would likely just be helping act as “caboose” to one of our biking groups. The trip will be very well organized, safe and fun! If you can help out please sign up at this link:
Please also be sure to send in field trip forms by Monday if you have not yet. (They should be in your child’s binder.) I need to know how many bikes and helmets we need to request from Safes Routes to School as soon as possible, and this information is on the form.
This year, I will be giving block grades for each block. These come a bit after the block has ended to allow me time to both prepare for the new block and process all the main lesson book pages and block tests. On Friday, I handed back Renaissance block grades, with the Renaissance main lesson book rubric and grade attached. (You will be able to view the weekly grade report and the block test that fed into this grade at parent-teacher conferences, since I had already filed those away for now.) If you have any questions about grading ahead of conferences feel free to send me an e-mail. The 7th graders have generally responded well to this new sense of accountability; almost everyone completed all the pages of their main lesson book, and the students have been very engaged in class. This block grade only reflects work in main lesson and language arts class. Middle school students will also be receiving letter grades in math and each of their specials classes but not on a block-by-block basis.
Normally I don’t assign weekend homework but this week we have a couple simple tasks for everyone to complete:
*Have a parent sign and return the block grade half sheet in the communications section of the binder.
*Bring in a safe household liquid for pH testing on Monday. This could be something out of the refrigerator or under the sink but nothing too toxic or problematic if it happened to spill (no bleach, for example). I will have a knife for cutting open fruits whose juices can be squeezed – so that’s another alternative to something in a bottle or jar.
*Some students will also be finishing up their acids, bases and salts main lesson page if they didn’t get it done for Friday.
A reminder to just write a note in your child’s planner if your child has either spent too long on their homework or had a busy night with no time for homework and I will happily grant them an extension. I just want to build in them this ability to get organized and request the extension when needed. As always, sleep and balance are priorities at our school.
THE WEEK AHEAD
We are heading into our last week of chemistry. Our block test will be Friday, and students will need to study their vocabulary main lesson book page and then just review other pages to check their own understanding. The first portion of the test will be a vocabulary matching section (with all vocabulary taken from the “Vocabulary” page of their main lesson book, which we’ll be completing Monday). Once they’ve turned in their vocabulary section, the rest of the test will be an open-note test, so that students can reference their own learning through the block. At some point before the test, it would be wonderful to look over main lesson book pages with your 7th grader and have them explain to you some of the experiments we’ve conducted and some of the concepts we’ve learned about over the course of the block. (This is also a great opportunity to point out any editing errors so your child can go ahead and fix those as you read together.)
The final draft of all chemistry main lesson book pages won’t be due until the following Wednesday (Oct. 14) so that students can take their time in adding artistic elements to all pages and ensuring that everything is in ink pen and colored pencil. (No #2 pencil for this book).