The Patriot Post

Community 7 Newsletter February 16-26th

Dear Patriot Parents,

We are so thrilled to announce that we will be wrapping up our study of "Does Culture Influence Who We Are" in the next few weeks. Learners are now working towards creating a pitch for the PRS Think Tank that will be held on March 1st from 1-2 PM in the PRS Cafeteria. We hope you can join us for this special event, and if you are willing to participate as an “investor”, we are still looking for panel members. Please email us and let us know. Of course, the money you invest will not be yours, unless you are inspired to do so!

We have so many exciting events coming up in the next few months, and really hope your learner is speaking to you more and more about what they are learning each day. Encourage them to reflect on their learning at home and apply it to daily life. Thank you again for your continued support!

Your Community 7 Lead Learners

Instructional Tools

Edmodo is our learning management system where assignments are posted. Here you will see assignments, due dates, and resource links. We utilize the folders option and communicate expectations using the post feature as well.

Parents may access this through a unique code on your student's edmodo page. Ask your learner to sign in and show you the parent code. Once you have the code, signing up is easy--just go to , sign up as a parent, enter your access code and fill in the required information.

Google Drive is where our learners can collaborate with others and receive feedback from their lead learners. Each learner has a shared folder for each Lead Learner where they upload or create their work to be assessed. Ask your learner to open this folder and share their work with you. Click HERE for a basic overview of how Google Drive works.

Each lead learner will be having students work and receive feedback in their notebook as well.

~~~~~~~~~~ Weekly Learning Goals ~~~~~~~~~~

Ms. Austin's ELA/SS Family

Learners and Parents:

This week Ms. Sellers begins teaching all of our classes. As part of her AUM course requirements, Ms. Sellers will be recording segments of lessons during second space. Learners who did not return edTPA permission slips or whose parents did not grant permission for recording will sit out of camera view but will still participate in all learning opportunities.

Our learning opportunities this week will take us around the world as learners explore cultural influences in storytelling and writing.

Learners will be assessed on narrative writing standards this week. This is a writing standard and there is not an alternative assessment method; learners must write a narrative.

In order to support your learner's ownership of his or her learning and time management, learners who do not submit evidence in class will complete a responsibility report. The responsibility report asks students to write what evidence they were asked to submit, account for what they did instead of submitting evidence, and their plan (including a timeline) to achieve mastery. Over the next few weeks, we will be assessing several writing standards. If learners do not submit evidence of these standards at the first opportunity, they may feel overwhelmed as the number of standards grows. The goal of the responsibility report is to give learners a clear plan of action.

Learners who wish to show mastery with an alternative writing topic or, when the standard allows, an alternative project, will complete an alternate assessment proposal where the learner will outline his or her plan and timeline.

It is my hope that giving learners these opportunities to create plans for learning will help them not only achieve mastery, but develop time management and organisational skills.

Ms. Crowe's Science Family

Owl pellet dissections and Symbiosis with M&Ms were a hit!! See pictures below.

We have put our investigations of photosynthesis and cellular respiration on hold in order to gather supplies. If any of our Patriots parents would like to donate, the needed materials are empty 2 liter soda bottles, small potted plants, baker's yeast, small desk lamps (to borrow), distilled water, and gallon-sized ziplock bags. Please send these materials with your learner to Ms. Crowe by Friday February 19th. Thank you!!

This week we will be investigating ecological footprints. What is that you ask? Well, your learner can answer that question for you. Please engage your learner in conversation about the human impact on our world and what can be done to conserve our fragile ecosystems. Learners have investigated their own ecological footprint as well as that of our country and compared it to those of countries around the world. Now, we will take on the role of environmental consultants and develop a plan to decrease the human impact and ecological footprint of the Town of Pike Road. Learners will be working in teams to develop this plan and a presentation. Hopefully, this will lend to some of the thoughts for our afternoon project as we think of designs that can better our lives and conserve our ecosystems at the same time.

Symbiosis Role Play with M&Ms

In order to understand competition, commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism, students participated in a role play game using M&Ms as a food source.

Mr. VanEgmond's Math Family

In the spirit of Valentines Day, February has been full of finding relationships! Whether it is a proportional relationship between “the number of basketballs from a store” vs. “total price” or the “time object flies through air” vs. “its speed”, we have been developing this skill in a variety of contexts.

Moving ahead, we will explore the Math 7 standard involving how to find area of objects and what this really means. Calculating area of real-life objects as well as our own composite shapes will make this a relevant and personal topic. Very soon we will use this skill, among others, as we begin building a paper roller coaster.

Some of us will also spend more time with the Math 8 standards focusing on writing a rule to describe more complex relationships found in linear data and how they can be represented as a graph.

Don’t forget about the Everything You Need to Know List. It includes exercises we have done to master standards as listed in Freshgrade.

Does Culture Influence Who We Are?

“Does Culture Influence Who We Are?” is the question that continues to drive our afternoon community project time. We have analyzed how advertisements are designed and the influence marketing has on culture. Melissa Wardy enlightened us on the strong relationship between culture and marketing (see Tyler’s reflection below). Kurt Lloyd will speak to our community this Thursday (2/17) about inventions, patents, and pitching a product. Mr. Lloyd is an inventor who holds several patents and was the general manager of Precision Metal Works of Montgomery. In between these presentations, we will continue to develop the prototype, budget, and pitches of our innovative products.

The PRS Think Tank will be on March 1 where the top 15 inventions will be presented by their inventors to a panel of “investors”. The winners of the PRS Think Tank will be recognized with a limousine ride and considered as candidates for the National SIBA Invention Competition.

Skype with Melissa Atkins Wardy

Community 7 learners had a chance to Skype with Melissa Atkins Wardy (photo below). She is an expert on gender roles and marketing. She has been on the Today show and wrote a book called Redefining Girly. Ms. Wardy works directly with companies like Mattel. For five years she worked with Mattel to help them create the new Barbie dolls that have many different body types and skin tones. She is trying to influence our culture and change our views through changing how toys are made and marketed to children. This is exactly what we’ve been learning in our Project Time. One of our Community 7 learners, Tyler H., wrote this reflection about this experience.

Ms. Wardy is a very nice and professional person. She seems to understand a good bit about marketing and the way things work. She talked a lot about sexism, mostly of which everyone agreed with. I agree with it too, to be honest. A lot of magazines show mostly women, almost fully naked. However, when you see men in magazines, they usually are fully clothed. Why is that? Sexism has a lot to do with marketing, commercials, ads, etc. Jackson Harrison asked, “Why doesn’t the man (Ken) have seven different body fits like the girls?” Ms. Wardy said that it was a very good question. She talked about how toys are designed with unrealistic body images. She also talked about how companies think boys won’t like girl toys and the other way around. I don’t think that a toy should have to be for a certain gender, such as Rey, in Star Wars. She talked about how Hasbro left Rey out of Star Wars Monopoly and hasn’t made a lot of the girl characters because they don’t think the boys want them. Girls like Star Wars, too. People didn’t think Rey was going to sell on the market for boys. People really need to think about this, it’s not something to joke about. We need to fix this!
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~~~~~~~~~~ ART ~~~~~~~~~~

Field Trip to VAAP & Products of Art

On February 19, 2016 the art students of Community 7 and 8 will be going on a field trip to Troy University for Trojan Art Day, the VAAP (Visual Arts Achievement Program) workshop! The field trip will help our learners explore and experience different mediums of art. The VAAP art show and workshop showcases multiple school districts artwork from their learners and gives them the opportunity to try different art techniques that they might not have heard of or tried yet. This opportunity will also help show learners how there are multiple ways to create inspirational and innovative art and help them understand the different types of jobs in the arts. We can’t wait to showcase our techniques and innovations as we move through the year.

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~~~~~~~~~~ Announcements ~~~~~~~~~~

Book Drive

We are currently searching for middle school level books to add to our classroom library! If you have any collecting dust and you want to make room for new ones, please send with your child to Ms. Austin! We love diverse fiction and non-fiction selections and would also love to have any books on building or making as well!

Absence/Makeup Work Policy

Please consult the PRS absentee policy and ensure you send excuses with your learner within the required timeframe for absences or check outs. Please check with your learner to ensure they are requesting any missed material from their lead learners and if they feel they are behind, to arrange time to work with any of us one to one. We are glad to help!

Wish List

If any of our Patriot parents wish to donate to Community 7, please refer to the below desired items. Thank you for all you do for us!!

  • washable paint of various colors
  • project clay
  • colored pencils
  • Lysol/ Clorox wipes
  • construction paper
  • copy paper of various colors, including white

~~~~~~~~~~ Upcoming Events ~~~~~~~~~~


  • 2/16 @ 5:30 pm PRS Soccer at Trinity
  • 2/17 @ 5:30 pm PRS Baseball at Lee HS
  • 2/18 @ 1-2 pm Guest Speaker (Kurt Lloyd)
  • 2/19 @ 5:30 pm PRS Softball at LAMP
  • 2/25 @ 6pm PTSA Multicultural Fair and Taste of the World
  • 2/26 @ 1:30-2:30 pm A Day at the Museum: Honoring African American History


  • 3/1@ 1-2 pm PRS Think Tank
  • 3/5 Track Team in Race to Fight Hunger
  • 3/7 after school Athletic Spring Pictures
  • 3/11 C7 & 8 Career Fair
  • 3/21-25 SPRING BREAK
  • 3/28 Professional Learning Day (No School for Learners)


  • 4/2 @ 7-10 pm C7 & 8 Spring Dance at Town Hall
  • 4/5-7 Book Fair
  • 4/13 C7 to Biscuits Game
  • 4/18-22 ASPIRE Testing
  • 4/25 Professional Learning Day (No school for Learners)


  • 5/26 Learners' Last Day
  • 5/27 Lead Learners' Last Day