BMS 7th Grade Newsletter


Beginning of the School Year

Welcome to the start of the school year!

We hope you and your students had a fun, restful, and entertaining summer. Now it’s time to get back to school! Time to get back into old routines and start new ones. To support that expectation, we spent the first few days this year in our homeroom clusters doing group building exercises and bonding. In the following initial weeks, we worked to establish routines and develop good habits. We have been strict on some “basic” things, such as charging Chromebooks and bringing agenda books to class, because we want students to get the basics down. With a strong foundation, students can build flexible branches toward their individual goals. Please support your students in establishing a regular sleeping schedule, eating well, and arriving to school on time and ready to learn!

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Core Subject Updates

ELA: Mr. Corcoran & Ms. Coutant

Hello Butler Middle School families! It’s been an amazing month in our ELA rooms, and we are so happy to have had your children as our students. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been working on over the past month:

To start the year, we started with reviewing literary dispositions and writing poetry. For literary dispositions, we went over basics such as how to pick a book which is “just right”, talking and writing about books, and revising our academic writing. For poetry, we discussed how to look inwards and outside ourselves for topics, and practiced revising and giving feedback. For the last two weeks, we have been working on a Unit entitled “Investigating Characterization”. In this unit, we have not only been doing character study, but have begun to shift focus into authorial techniques, and WHY authors write the story and characters the way that they do. A highlight from Mr. Corcoran’s class was when we did a lesson on epiphanies, wherein we watched a video which the whole class enjoyed. This lesson brought the class together wholly in discussing epiphanies, why our first assumptions about people aren’t always right, and how to check our own perspectives.

In the next few weeks, we will have a quiz on the first section of our Investigating Characterization unit. After this, we will move into our Book Club section of the unit. This involves students getting into small groups and choosing a novel to read together.

Parents/Guardians, please remind your students to bring their agenda books, chromebooks and chargers, pencils/pens, and their ELA notebooks every day, along with anything else they need. The first step to success in middle school for students is making sure they have all necessary materials to achieve success.

Math: Mr. Aparo & Mr. Denoncourt

In math class, we have been exploring the concept of scale using maps, diagrams, and models. This unit serves as a jumping-off point for a number of future units, including our next unit: proportional relationships. Our students can look forward to taking the concept of scale factor learned in Unit 1 and reinterpreting it as rate of change in order to solve different types of problems involving ratios and proportional growth. We’ve greatly enjoyed our time working with the 7th graders so far this year; a highlight from Mr.Aparo’s class was introducing the scale unit with a virtual tour of Miniatur Wunderland (a museum in Germany containing elaborate miniature cityscapes). The students were mesmerized by the realism of the scaled copies of various real-world features.

In Skills class, students have been practicing multiplication, division and manipulation of fractions. Students should be better able to convert fractions from mixed numbers to improper fractions and vice versa. This skill is essential for students' ability to multiply and divide fractions. Students also practiced simplifying fractions during this work. An ability to work with fractions is a critical skill for our current and future math units this year.

Reminder: check your students’ progress! Progress reports went out recently to give you a general idea of how your student is progressing, and more detailed information on grades and assignments can be found on your child’s google classroom (we taught them how to find it, they should know).

Science: Ms. Kothari & Ms. Howard-Smith

In 7th grade science, we explored three different types of bridges. We learned how bridges were made and the importance of a strong foundation. Students were excited about making their own bridge and exploring what makes a bridge study. Each class also voted on their favorite bridge. We are happy to see the creativity of our students as well as the knowledge used to build sturdy bridges. We are currently working on electromagnetic force. The students are excited about working with magnets and learning about them. We will learn about gravity and kinetic energy in the upcoming unit.

Social Studies: Mr. Francis

In social studies, students have spent the first few weeks of class reviewing the fundamentals of geography, as well as learning about modern Southwest Asia and North Africa. Early next month, students will begin working on the Mesopotamia unit, one of the earliest human civilizations on Earth. Every Monday, I open class by asking students to write about a major world event from the past week, which has encouraged them to read and watch the news. So far, they seem to enjoy this and hearing about my own time as a newspaper reporter (many moons ago!) To better ensure student success this year, I would encourage all parents to remind their students to charge their Chromebooks overnight before coming to school, to reread the notes from class that day (posted daily to the Ancient Civ All-Stars Google Classroom), and to also join Remind so that I can keep in touch regarding updates about your students!

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General Updates

iReady Assessments

Students have recently completed their beginning-of-the-year ELA and Math iReady assessments. These scores are useful for many reasons: showcase progress from the end of last year, signal educators to placements for support groupings, and let students feel a sense of accomplishment with their skills. The iReady system has built-in breaks during the assessments, and students get to play a quick game during that time.Ask your students how the testing days went for them!

Please join us on Remind, if you haven't already!

Also please fill out this brief survey so we can learn more about you and your students!