WHAT'S UPdate!

SSAE Middle School Newsletter ~ September 2019

EVENTS, CLUBS, & HAPPENINGS

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

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Parent accounts for monitoring student progress.

All parents should have received their parent account information for both ALEKS and Edgenuity by now (there is no parent login for OdysseyWare at this time). If you have not received your initial invitation from ALEKS or "Family Login" information for Edgenuity yet, please contact Mrs. Danford, sdanford@d49.org.

Middle School Vision and Hearing Screenings

Monday, September 9th

8:30 AM-11:30 AM

in the SSAE Conference Room

*Regular Schedule

Star360 Benchmark Testing

Monday, September 23rd

8:00 AM-10:00 AM

During students' 1st session classes.

*Assembly Schedule - Students will arrive on time at 8 AM to test, then we will resume an assembly schedule for rotation through all classes.

School Picture Retake/Make-up Day

Wednesday, September 25th

8:00 AM-11:00 AM

in the Main Room

*Regular Schedule - This is only for students needing to retake/take their school pictures or school ID photos.

ALEKS In-Buiding Knowledge Check/Paper & Pencil Check #2 (40% overall progress benchmark)

Monday, October 7th

8:00 AM-10:00 AM

During students' 1st session classes

*Assembly Schedule - Students will arrive on time at 8 AM to test, then we will resume an assembly schedule for rotation through all classes.

CLASSROOM EXPERIENCES

English Language Arts Update

Fantastic 5th Grade

Fifth grade is currently working with Electives to discuss environmental issues. We are reading Dreambender, to help us imagine a world affected by global issues that went unanswered. We are also learning more about how characters drive a plot.

All students have also been introduced to Read Theory. Students will earn Class Dojo points for earning a 100% and for increasing their reading level. It’s a fun program for all scholars to challenge themselves and track their progress. Parents, you can have your student add your email to their account, and you will be able to track their progress as well!

Super 6th Grade

Sixth grade is currently working with Electives to discuss environmental issues. We are reading Fog Diver, to help us imagine a world affected by global issues that went unanswered. We are also learning more about character traits and how they drive plot.

All students have also been introduced to Read Theory. Students will earn Class Dojo points for earning a 100% and for increasing their reading level. It’s a fun program for all scholars to challenge themselves and track their progress. Parents, you can have your student add your email to their account, and you will be able to track their progress as well!

Stupendous 7th Grade

Seventh grade is currently working with Electives to discuss environmental issues. We are reading City of Ember, to help us imagine a world affected by global issues that went unanswered. We are also learning more about explicit and implicit characterization.

All students have also been introduced to Read Theory. Students will earn Class Dojo points for earning a 100% and for increasing their reading level. It’s a fun program for all scholars to challenge themselves and track their progress. Parents, you can have your student add your email to their account, and you will be able to track their progress as well!

Electric 8th Grade

Eighth grade is currently working with Electives to discuss environmental issues. We are reading The Neptune Project, to help us imagine a world affected by global issues that went unanswered. We are also learning more about the cause and effect of character actions and the importance to rising action.

All students have also been introduced to Read Theory. Students will earn Class Dojo points for earning a 100% and for increasing their reading level. It’s a fun program for all scholars to challenge themselves and track their progress. Parents, you can have your student add your email to their account, and you will be able to track their progress as well!

ZOOM

I will send out meeting invites throughout the week for scholars to meet with me via Zoom on Tuesday, Thursday, and some Fridays. Please have students check their email and write down scheduled Zoom times with their teachers, so they don't miss important support time.

Science Update

The 10th Annual Space Foundation International Student Art Contest is now open for submissions. Students ages 3-18 can participate by creating and submitting an original space-themed art piece based on this year's theme. Last day to submit is November 18, 2019. This year's theme is: "How Exploring Space Improves Life on Earth. Make sure to read the competition details at https://art.spacefoundation.org/. Artwork must be submitted by a teacher or a parent. Mrs. Sangiorgi will need the competed project to be ready for submission on Friday, November 15th.


Odysseyware (5th Grade) and Edgenuity (6th-8th Grades) should be up and running for all students. Students who are struggling with passing quizzes or understanding the content are encouraged to schedule a Zoom conference with Mrs. Sangiorgi on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. We've had a lot of success with students utilizing this method of support. Mondays and Wednesdays are typically hands-on days where students will engage in laboratory practices to create testable questions and test hypotheses.

Social Studies Update

5th Grade: Mental Map: School to Home

Learning about location and maps. Ostensibly, maps have several similar characteristics - an author, date, orientation, grid, key, and scale. After reviewing map basics, the fifth graders have been challenged to create a Mental Road Map based on their route from school to home. The uniqueness of this activity allows for students to learn about absolute vs. relative location and how to best translate what they see to a map.


6th Grade: Do You Know the United States?

Rather than carrying 50+ flash cards around, the sixth graders individually created Quizlet accounts and created 6 flash card sets. The “sets” are based on the regions of the United States - Mountain, Pacific, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. Next, we had in-class reviews using all of Quizlets features in order to better understand. Lastly, each student has been assessed on their matching abilities and locating/identifying map labeling abilities.


7th Grade: Autopsy of a Civilization

Working in small groups, the seventh graders have been performing an “autopsy” of a civilization/empire. This in-building project contains two parts - (1) Creating a poster with a central figure demonstrating the autopsy, where they analyze the makeup of the empire. (2) Each group will compose an obituary where they analyze the factors that contributed to the rise and fall of their civilization/empire.


8th Grade: You Be the Judge!

The eighth graders have been working in groups of three and researching/analyzing a specific Landmark Supreme Court Case. The purpose of this assignment is for the students to learn about the Amendments and how they are applied, precedent, the US Judicial system, and the significance of these court cases. Based on each groups documented research, they will transfer the information to poster form in order to inform the classes.

Math Update

ALEKS:

Progress Tracking: All students should have achieved around 27-30% mastery progress by September 1st to be on track to stay at or above 40% on their next in-building knowledge check on October 7th.


In-Building Knowledge Check (40% progress): Monday, October 7th, 8AM-10AM. Students may bring their notes from home and use their in-building notebooks to help support them with this exam.


ALEKS Parent Access: Please email Mrs. Danford, sdanford@d49.org, if you have not received your ALEKS Parent Account invitation yet.


As always, please reach out to Mrs. Danford with any questions or concerns!


Classroom Math Updates: (images below)

All students are working hard in math now! They started with group research into math symbols. Students learned that most upper-level math symbols are nothing to be afraid of, but rather symbols that support the math they are working with now! Some even found out they are already working on pre-pre-Calculus concepts!


Students are also learning about the number and decimal systems, how to classify them, and how they apply to the world outside of math class. So, if your student is taking an interest in speed limits and product pricing or asking you to talk about math with them, now you know why!


Talking Math at Home:

Parents often feel as though they cannot support their students with math at home, but they can! Simply talking about math with your student can make a big difference in their math skills by showing them that math has a place in our lives and is all around us. All you have to do is talk about it!


September's Talking Math at Home Challenge:

Talk about counting. Count everything.


  • Ingredients in a recipe
  • Miles driven between home and school
  • Stairs in the house
  • Items in your grocery cart
  • Anything you can think of, just count!
If the conversation turns to addition, multiplication, rounding, or any other math concepts, that's great, but it doesn't have to. Just allowing your student to see that math is everywhere is a wonderful start to talking math at home!

Electives- Project Based Learning

It's all about urbanization! Before we can start our Future City project we need to understand how cities evolved and what makes them unique. This video explains the process of urbanization and does an excellent job of summarizing our learning https://ed.ted.com/lessons/urbanization-and-the-future-of-cities-vance-kite . This month will we will begin the Engineering Design Process, a systematic way of solving challenges, as we launch our Future City Project. You can learn more about Future City at https://futurecity.org/
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