Red Cluster News

January 2016


What's Happening in Class

Our Talk with the Kids

On Friday we had our red cluster meeting and Top Cat presentation. The teachers presented a skit about how important it is for the students to be writing down their homework each day. We have been receiving an enormous amount of emails each night from students checking on homework. All students should either be writing assignments in a paper agenda, in an assignment App on the iPad, or taking a picture of the homework boards each day. If there is a day when a student is not sure he/she should email or call a friend before emailing a teacher.

We want to be clear that there are times when students genuinely need to email us and that is fine, but it should not be "what was our assignment tonight?" All assignments are posted on the school homework page, but there are times we may forget to post. This is when it is very important that assignments were recorded.

We are hoping you can help us to teach these strategies to the kids.


The students are on the right tract (digestive, that is, ha ha) this month in 7th Grade Science! We began the month with sharpening lab writing skills, making thoughtful observations and documenting changes through drawings and words. We have emphasized carefully following safety procedures in working with chemicals and glassware. The students did a fantastic job with setting up and performing a lab on protein digestion! Next week, we will dig in to earthworm dissection! The students will begin comparative analysis between the human and worm digestive systems as well as a couple other critters I will demonstrate for them. Their curiosity and openness to trying new things is wonderful!


In English, we are in the midst of our unit on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Students are learning how to choose strong textual evidence and how to effectively incorporate evidence into their analytical writing. This week, we have been focusing on choosing strong evidence to support our inferences about characterization. Starting next week, we will begin to focus on analyzing figurative language and imagery, and discussing how and why authors make certain choices as they write. As our focus in class will be more on analysis, students will continue to complete much of the reading at home. It is very important that students stay on track of their reading so that they can participate in the class discussions and analytical work. I'm excited to delve into deeper critical thinking and analysis work with the Red Cluster students!


We are moving along nicely in our percents unit. Students are learning all about tips, taxes, interest rates, markups and discounts. Engage your child in a conversation about these real life topics when you see a sale sign or are figuring out a tip. They can help you! The grades are a little lower for many of the kids and this happens sometimes in term 2. Please be sure to ask your child how he/she is doing and encourage them to ask good questions and to do a good job on homework.


2016 is off to an exciting start in Social Studies! We are investigating the roots of classical Greece by looking at the Minoans, a mysterious civilization that thrived for hundreds of year on the island of Crete, and the Mycenaeans, a war-like civilization that inhabited mainland Greece. This unit involves learning about some famous archaeologists who founded the study of archaeology and made amazing archaeological finds that has helped us gain a better understanding of both the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations. In other news, students competed in the National Geographic Bee upon returning from winter break. It was good fun and good competition! Speaking of the Geo Bee, do you know what state all the pencils come from? Just kidding--everyone knows all the pencils come from Pennsylvania!

On a procedural note--from now on, I will post on the homework website when tests, quizzes, projects, etc. are returned. I encourage parents to be mindful of checking the homework websites for notification of when assignments are being passed back.


Since many of you have the wonderful opportunity to study a variety of World Languages, we will not give an update here, but be sure to check your WL teacher's website and updated homework on the school website's Homework Pages on a daily basis.

What's Happening Around the School?

  • Coat Drive - please send in any gently used coats or jacket
  • School Plays are in full swing!

Contact Us

Mr. Keohan, Social Studies

Mr. K with his newborn twin nieces!
Red Cluster Homework

Help your child find his/her homework!