Middle School Update

April 10, 2016

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8th Grade Trip: Reflections

Despite too little sleep, too much sun, and several kids reluctant to even attend the trip, it was again a hugely successful trip. In fact, this was the first time that ALL of the kids were will to try ALL of the activities. They pushed themselves and one another to step out of their comfort zones, and this led to a great deal of growth in a short three days.


One highlight of the trip was seeing our kids interact with kids from a local orphanage. They started out quite shyly, but most of them quickly came out of their shells and did a great job of leading games. Those who were willing to try some Bahasa were particularly well received. I was amazed at Dael's leadership, and both Ryan and Lydia were amazing popular with the kids.


Another highlight was the times of reflection, led by Dave and the facilitators from Nomad Adventure. As the students reflected on their best memories of middle school and things contributing to class unity, it was things outside of the classroom (mostly) that came to the front. The service days were mentioned over and over again, so I hope that is an encouragement to you as do so much extra work to plan those.


If you want to hear more about what happened on the trip, just ask any of those who attended. I'm sure they'll be more than happy to tell you everything. Thanks to all the rest of you who picked up the slack while we were gone last week.

This Friday

No SAT's. Students should go directly to Bible classes.

8:25-12:30: Service learning projects as arranged be Bible teachers.

Ask Claudia for help in arranging transportation.

Ask other MS teachers to help out with your trips and projects.

12:30-1:00: Lunch

1:00-3:00: MS Teachers meet in Mark's room for instructions on organizing Depot files to math Curriculum Trak

3:00; Teachers free to leave

5:00: JSB begins in the Chapel

Important Dates

April 12: Combined Staff

April 15: Service Learning Day.1/2 Day/Organize Dalat Depot/JSB

April 18: No School (Dalat holiday)

April 25-26: Accreditation Team Visit

April 26-29; MAP Testing

April 27: Q4 Progress Reports Due

Top 10 Active Learning Structures: Summarize/Alphabet Soup Summary

Are you experiencing the same thing I’m experiencing as I teach students with clear symptoms of post-spring break brain loss syndrome? It’s amazing how one week away can counter the work of 10 weeks of school! As my rusty students are slowly coming back to life, I’ve been challenged with how to engage them in ways that will reactivate what they’ve already learned so far this year. This active learning strategy is great for using at any point, but it’s particularly useful after a break. As students summarize for you the main points of what they’ve learned, they’re not just repeating back information but are having to organize and present it in a way that captures its essence.

There are many ways to do this, including the most simple which would be to ask students to summarize 3-5 main points/concepts/skills from something they’ve just learned. A more creative way, involving some note cards and 2 minutes of prep, is the alphabest soup sumamry:

· Post the topic you would like students to review.

· Provide each student with a note card with a single letter written on it or give students a paper with letters A-Z listed out.

· Ask students to brainstorm as many different key words related to the topic either beginning with the prescribed letter or using as many letters as possible from the alphabet. For example, “Using the different letters of the alphabet as the first letter of the word, write as many adjectives you can to describe God’s character.”

· When using the whole alphabet, have students work alone for a set time and then pair up to share their ideas until they have filled their paper.

Susan Allen

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