TCA Times

Wayne Central Middle School Newsletter

September 2016

And just like that, September has come and gone. I must say we have had a fantastic start to the school year! All of our new 6th graders seem to be assimilating to the culture of the middle school and doing their best to add to it. Our 7th graders are looking very comfortable in their second year with us. The 8th graders have taken on the leadership role within our middle school in style. We truly are so fortunate to have such wonderful students. We were excited to see many of you at our 7th and 8th grade curriculum night. We are looking forward to seeing our newest parents at this week's 6th Grade Curriculum Night which will be held on Wednesday October 5th from 6:00-7:30 pm.

As I'm sure many of you are aware, we have transitioned to a new school management system. We have moved from PowerSchool to SchoolTool. Due to this transition and all of the associated changes, we are not quite ready to open up the parent portal. This is a district-wide move that we are very close to turning on. Once this occurs, you will receive an email with all of the associated information which will instruct you on how to access your child's grades and comments through the parent portal. If you should have questions when this occurs, please contact us and we will do our best to help you through it. We appreciate your patience in this process! I apologize in advance for any quirks that may occur once we "go live."

We are excited to highlight information from each team below so you can read about all that is going on with each team. Additionally, I want to bring your attention to a very exciting endeavor that we as a middle school will be embarking upon. Our staff has long known and I have quickly come to know what exactly makes this place so special. There are a lot of schools that try really hard to educate their students and meet their developmental needs. And then there are some that really do it. I believe that this is one of those schools that doesn’t try, but does it. There is a program that seeks to not only recognize these exceptional schools, but help them continue to improve each year. This program is known as the Schools to Watch program. Based on research of effective middle schools, this is a national program that recognizes the best of the best. In NY state, there are only 28 middle schools with this designation. This is only 2% of the middle schools in New York State. We are setting our sights on becoming one as well! This will provide our staff with the tools to examine what we do, improve where we have opportunity, and recognize this school for the exceptional work that it does each day. We are really excited for this opportunity and want all of our parents to know what things we do to ensure that their children have amazing middle school years and that we set them up for bright futures. I’m incredibly proud to work alongside this dedicated staff and feel confident that this will be a positive experience for our staff and students. Throughout this process, we will be seeking parental involvement so don’t be surprised if you hear from us in this regard throughout the year.

I apologize for the length, but wanted to provide those updates! I hope everyone has a great remainder of their weekend and a fantastic week!

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @WayneCentralMS to see some pictures and updates from around the school!


Sincerely,

Derek

Students of the Week & Class Acts

Big image

The following students have contributed positively to the climate of our middle school and have been nominated for Student of the Week:


Gianna Ryndock was nominated by the Neptune​ team. Gianna is an enthusiastic learner who comes to class with a positive attitude and is excited about what she will learn . She works well independently or with other students in groups. Gianna is a role model for other students on the team.


Elandria Brzezniak was nominated by the Pluto team. Elandria is a diligent student and an incredibly hardworker. She has a positive attitude and enjoys being in school.


Alek Reynolds was nominated by the Pluto team. ​Alek is a kind and respectful​ ​

student who consistently does all that is asked of him. Other students enjoy being around him because of his awesome attitude.


Nathan Coleman was nominated by the Jupiter team for ​b​eing a conscientious worker and being respectful to students and adults. We are so glad to have him on our team!

Madison McIntosh was nominated by the Saturn team. Madison is a class role-model and leader. She's always willing to help her teachers and peers in any way she can. Great job Madison!

Felicia Welker was nominated by the Mercury team. Felicia is helpful to others, does an excellent job with her homework, and always tries her best. Great job Felicia!

Stacie White​ w​as nominated by the Mars team. Stacie ​is engaged in learning​ and help​s other students to be successful in class​. Stacie​ always ​has a positive attitude.

We would also like to recognize our Class Act recipients for their actions which exhibit positive character and leadership traits.

Bryan Wright ​our 6th grade recipient is recognized for ​ Caring. Bryan carried sneakers for a student because he knew he had to many books to carry.​

Kira O'Neill ​our 7th grade recipient is recognized for​ Service to Others. Kira alerted her teacher to a bullying situation in her group that she would otherwise not have known about.

Priya Landrigan our 8th grade recipient is recognized for ​Positive Peer Influence, High Expectations, Achievement Motivation and School Engagement. Priyas letter had multiple revisions, excellent questions and phenomenal effort. Great job!

Principals’ recipients for this week:

Ryan DeRosa is a fine young man who has a very vivacious personality that could light up any room. He is respectful and hard working in school and on the football field. Ryan is a pleasure to have in our school and a natural leader. I expect big things from this young man. Keep up the great work Ryan!

Team News:

Neptune & Pluto

Sixth Grade Neptune & Pluto

We are off to a great start in Sixth Grade this year! Students are definitely enjoying their new feelings of “freedom” and hopefully adapting well to the responsibility and organization middle school requires. Teachers from both the Neptune and Pluto team will be providing information for the newsletter collectively, which will then be displayed in a unified format.

Our information will be structured using two headings. We begin with general information that is pertinent to all students in sixth grade, followed by a section entitled Table Talk. The idea of Table Talk is to provide parents with a snippet of what students have been working on or will be working on in each core class. We hope that the information provided will serve as a springboard for conversations with your child about his/her time at school. We encourage you to ask questions of both students and teachers to help make the transition to middle school a successful and exciting one!

For 6th grade there is an “After School Room” available to students during the week (excluding Wednesdays when teachers have meetings.) This is a quiet workroom with a core teacher who is available for help. After School Room schedules are posted in classrooms and hallways. Students may be asked by a teacher to stay after to complete work, make up a quiz/test, or get help if they are struggling with an idea or concept. The After School Room is also available for students who want to stay after school simply to do homework. Students should check with the schedule for their specific Team (Pluto or Neptune) to find out about when the homework room is available and which teacher is hosting it.

Be sure to continue checking your child’s agenda and the Homework Hotline on the Middle School Homepage for any homework your child may have. Homework is updated daily on the Hotline. Thank you for your continued support!

Table Talk —

Sixth grade Math students have been busy learning about ratio concepts and using ratio reasoning to solve problems. Students will also be learning about the concept of unit rate. This 6th grade module is a lengthy one and will continue into October. Your child’s math binder contains all class notes, if a question should ever come up during homework time. Please remember to encourage your child to practice his/her math facts regularly, as they provide a solid base for success in sixth grade math. On-line programs such as Castle Learning and IXL may be introduced to your child by his/her math teacher for assigned homework and/or extra practice for math concepts and skills.

In ELA, students have had a busy start to their year! They have visited the Media Center for a library orientation (all students must have a DEAR book selected to bring to class every day) and Book Fair. They also enjoyed exploring their creativity with an Echoes Writing Workshop. Our September student projects include “I am”, acrostic, or free verse poems, hero paragraphs and creative writing. October classes are exploring Greek mythology with the common core recommended novel, The Lightning Thief. Students are working on skills which include close reading, citing evidence, writing well organized and supported paragraphs, and making connections between texts. Be sure to ask your child about heroes and the hero’s journey!

6th grade Social Studies classes have started the year with a focus on geography. Much of the SS6 curriculum is focused on the ancient civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere. Having an early foundation of geography allows the students to have a better understanding of how the people in those civilizations were impacted by where they lived. After we wrap up geography, our librarian, Margaret Dempsey, will host our classes and guide them through research on Understanding World Religions. This is a mini unit designed to give the kids basic foundational knowledge of the five major religions of the world - Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Because religion was such a critical component of early civilizations, it's important to understand what religion really is, and why it was/is important to people.

Students are investigating ecosystems in Science. Your child has started his/her first interactive note packet, or IN, for this unit. The IN should be used to take notes, practice using information by completing “student pages” for homework, and studying from. When students are assigned an IN page to complete for homework, the page usually begins as a blank sheet. The idea is for students to show how well they understand the information from the notes on the opposite page. We ask the students to do more than copy the information, but instead show their understanding through a picture with captions and color, a paragraph, a Venn diagram, a T-chart, a cartoon, creating test questions and answers, or anything else that may show comprehension of the notes in a personal way. With a lot of new vocabulary, it will be important for parents to help/encourage their child review his/her IN and vocabulary daily. There will be several quizzes coming up, so reviewing daily will benefit your child greatly! In the next couple of weeks, students will do their first dissection lab. They will dissect an owl pellet.

Saturn

Saturn

ELA

In ELA, we are working on many activities that help define ourselves, while working with figurative language. The students began the year, working through an “unexpected adventure.” This activity allowed the students to use their critical-thinking skills, while collaborating, with other classmates.


Our “At a Glance” project, allowed the students to truly think about what character traits, make them who they are. They also created a resource of character traits, that they will refer to daily. The character traits and their synonyms are going to come in handy, as we pave our way through our writing curriculum.


Figurative language allows the students to use expression that differs from the literal interpretation. We will be focusing on metaphors, for the next few weeks, and the students might be asking you questions, about their childhood. They are going to use metaphors, as they compose their “Where I’m From” poems.


I have enjoyed each day, of working with your son or daughter; it’s going to be a fabulous year!


Math

Students are off to a great start in Math! In Mr. LaBarge’s and Mrs. Ferry’s classes we have been reviewing operations with numbers in various forms. Currently we are looking at Integers or positive and negative whole numbers. Students should not be using a calculator to complete practice problems on homework and class-work. Students also took their first quiz on Thursday 9/22 or Friday 9/23.


Science

Life Science (Wolanski)

Welcome to another year of Science! Students have been busy practicing creating hypothesis, identifying variables, making observations, and analyzing data as we explore our Experimental Design unit. An assessment of their knowledge was held today, 9/30. Parents and students can receive notifications for upcoming assessments and review sessions using Remind.com. Parents can e-mail me to sign up for this by.

Students will begin exploring cells structures and their function along with learning how to use a microscope to view them in our next unit.


Life Science (VanOrman)

Welcome to another year of Science! Students have been busy practicing creating hypothesis, identifying variables, making observations, and analyzing data as we explore our Experimental Design unit. An assessment of their knowledge was held today, 9/30. Parents and students can receive notifications for upcoming assessments and review sessions using Remind.com. Parents can sign up for this by entering (rmd.at/hge674) in the web browser and creating a log in.

Students will begin exploring cells structures and their function along with learning how to use a microscope to view them in our next unit.


Accelerated Science (VanOrman)

Welcome to another fun-filled year of Science! Students have been busy practicing their measurement skills, which are the fundamentals for our year of Physics and Chemistry. Students are encouraged to utilize their notes and check over their work to ensure quality. An assessment of their knowledge was held Thursday, September 29th. Parents and students can receive notifications for upcoming assessments and review sessions using Remind.com. Parents can sign up for this by entering (rmd.at/hge674) in the web browser and creating a log in.

Students will be utilizing their measurement skills during our next unit, Experimental Design. During this unit, students will be practicing creating hypothesis, identifying variables, making observations, and analyzing data.


Accelerated Science (Becker)

Students in Mrs. Becker’s class are off to an excellent start! Students have learned that we will be focusing on physics and chemistry this year, and we have ensured that all students understand the Safety procedures. The past two weeks we have been learning how to measure length, mass, and volume using the metric system. Now that we have a good understanding of how to gather quantitative data during experiments, we will be looking at Scientific Method and proper experimental design in more detail.


S.S.

Social studies has been moving right along in our studies. We are almost done with our first unit on Native Americans. Students will be taking their first unit test on September 28th (A-day) or September 29th (B-day). After this unit we are going to move on to exploration and colonization.


Foreign Language


Spanish 7

¡Hola! Students began the year very well and are moving along in Unit 1A, Personal Identification. They have been learning the alphabet and the correct pronunciation of the vowels and consonants. In addition, they’ve contextualized these sounds and have been practicing how to greet each other, say goodbye, ask someone’s name, and tell their own names. The students are actively participating in class which is extremely important when learning a new language.


Since there are three of us teaching Spanish 7 this year, Mr. Harris, Ms. Jackman, and Mrs.Nagel, please check your student’s agenda, the homework hotline, or, in Mr. Harris’ case, the teacher web page for specific teacher assignments and assessment dates. When completing homework assignments, students need to use their green packets to ensure accuracy. If students forget the green packets at school or misplace them, they can be accessed by going to www.wayne.k12.ny.us., TCArmstrong Middle School, Foreign Language, Spanish vocabulary lists.

Jupiter


Social Studies- We have had a great start to our year! We are finishing our first unit: Native Americans and will turn our attention to European Exploration and Colonization.


Accelerated Science (Becker)- Students in Mrs. Becker’s class are off to an excellent start! Students have learned that we will be focusing on physics and chemistry this year, and we have ensured that all students understand the Safety procedures. The past two weeks we have been learning how to measure length, mass, and volume using the metric system. Now that we have a good understanding of how to gather quantitative data during experiments, we will be looking at Scientific Method and proper experimental design in more detail.


Math-Students are off to a great start in Math! In Mr. LaBarge’s and Mrs. Ferry’s classes we have been reviewing operations with numbers in various forms. Currently we are looking at Integers or positive and negative whole numbers. Students should not be using a calculator to complete practice problems on homework and class-work. Students also took their first quiz on Thursday 9/22 or Friday 9/23.


Spanish 7- ¡Hola! Students began the year very well and are moving along in Unit 1A,

Personal Identification. They have been learning the alphabet and the correct pronunciation of the vowels and consonants. In addition, they’ve contextualized these sounds and have been practicing how to greet each other, say goodbye, ask someone’s name, and tell their own names. The students are actively participating in class which is extremely important when learning a new language.

Since there are three of us teaching Spanish 7 this year, Mr. Harris, Ms. Jackman, and Mrs. Nagel, please check your student’s agenda, the homework hotline, or, in Mr. Harris’ case, the teacher web page for specific teacher assignments and assessment dates. When completing homework assignments, students need to use their green packets to ensure accuracy. If students forget the green packets at school or misplace them, they can be accessed by going to www.wayne.k12.ny.us., TCArmstrong Middle School, Foreign Language, Spanish vocabulary lists.


Life Science (VanOrman)- Welcome to another year of Science! Students have been busy practicing creating hypothesis, identifying variables, making observations, and analyzing data as we explore our Experimental Design unit. An assessment of their knowledge was held today, 9/30. Parents and students can receive notifications for upcoming assessments and review sessions using Remind.com. Parents can sign up for this by entering (rmd.at/hge674) in the web browser and creating a log in.

Students will begin exploring cells structures and their function along with learning how to use a microscope to view them in our next unit.


Accelerated Science (VanOrman)- Welcome to another fun-filled year of Science! Students have been busy practicing their measurement skills, which are the fundamentals for our year of Physics and Chemistry. Students are encouraged to utilize their notes and check over their work to ensure quality. An assessment of their knowledge was held Thursday, September 29th. Parents and students can receive notifications for upcoming assessments and review sessions using Remind.com. Parents can sign up for this by entering (rmd.at/hge674) in the web browser and creating a log in.

Students will be utilizing their measurement skills during our next unit, Experimental Design. During this unit, students will be practicing creating hypothesis, identifying variables, making observations, and analyzing data.


Life Science (Wolanski)- Welcome to another year of Science! Students have been busy practicing creating hypothesis, identifying variables, making observations, and analyzing data as we explore our Experimental Design unit. An assessment of their knowledge was held today, 9/30. Parents and students can receive notifications for upcoming assessments and review sessions using Remind.com. Parents can e-mail me if they are interested in signing up. Students will begin exploring cells structures and their function along with learning how to use a microscope to view them in our next unit.


Mars

Biology (Mrs. Wolanski and Miss Cornnell):


Living Environment (Wolanski)- Welcome to another year of Science! Students have been busy practicing creating hypothesis, identifying variables, making observations, designing experiments, and analyzing data as we explore our Experimental Design unit. An assessment of their knowledge was held 9/29 and 9/30. Parents and students can receive notifications for upcoming assessments and review sessions using Remind.com. Parents can e-mail me if they are interested in signing up. Students will begin exploring cells structures and their function along with learning how to use a microscope to view them in our next unit.


Physical Science (Miss Cornnell and Mrs. Becker) Physical Science students got off to a great start as we organized our binders for the year, focused on the meanings of Physics and Chemistry, and enhanced understanding of the Scientific Method. We focused lessons on Safety, since students will be working with more dangerous laboratory materials in this course. Students will soon be practicing metric measurement of mass, length, and volume to ensure that they have the quantitative data collection skills required for lab work.


ELA In ELA, students are really enjoying the fantastic futuristic world of science fiction. Students have read selections by Ray Bradbury and Issac Asimov as well as current scientific articles about robotics and cloning. Students will be doing a mini-research project to conclude our unit on scientific technologies that are currently in development.


Social Studies: Students are off to a great start in social studies. Students have studied the impact of growing industries on way Americans lived and worked in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Students researched the actions of Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, John Rockefeller and George Eastman. Students used this research to write an Evidence Based Claim defending their claim that these men were Captains of Industry or Robber Barons. Students have also examined the Electoral College, Election Vocabulary and the role of 3rd parties in preparation for the election in November. Soon we will learn about the working and living conditions of the early 1900s.


Spanish

In Spanish class we have started the year off discussing what types of activities we like to do during our free time. Students have been using their Spanish to express their opinions about different pastimes and even tell someone which one is their favorite. Just a reminder to parents that all students have access to Quizlet online activities to use for studying purposes outside of class. Parents can also be involved when using Quizlet by playing the sounds for the Spanish words and verifying answers in English.


German


Please see weekly parent group emails.


Math 8

In Math 8 we are piloting a new grading system this year which will encourage students to take greater ownership of their grades. 80% of a student’s grade in math will be based on “concept quizzes”. Concept quizzes are shorter than traditional tests; there are only 4 questions on a concept quiz. The questions are both rigorous and require students to not only solve a real life word problem, but also require that students explain why the steps they took to solve the problem make sense mathematically.


Our goal is that all students master every concept that we teach. Given this goal, students will no longer be “stuck” with the grade they earned on any particular concept quiz. If a student is dissatisfied with his or her grade, the student may schedule a retake of the concept quiz after taking steps on their own or with me to learn and understand the errors made on the initial quiz. They will then be given a new concept quiz which will assess the same skills using different questions.


Students will not be limited to a single retake on any concept since our goal is mastery.

This grading system puts the ownership of grades and the ability to earn a higher grade directly on the students. As you follow your child’s progress in Math 8 throughout the year we ask that you encourage them to continually strive to reach a level where they have mastered the skills being taught in our class.


Algebra

In Algebra, students are beginning the year with a unit which covers the fundamentals of linear algebra. Early in the unit we reinforce previous learning. As the unit progresses students will be exposed to topics which will be new to them but build upon the basics that we cover at the beginning of the year.


There will be students who struggle with some of these new topics but we are available before school, during 6th period, and after school to offer assistance one-on-one or in small groups whenever it is needed. Please encourage your 8th grader to seek out the help we are offering whenever you sense frustration on their part. If they put forth the effort, we will do everything we can to ensure that they are successful.

Mercury

Mercury Newsletter


Physical Science (Miss Cornnell and Mrs. Becker) Physical Science students got off to a great start as we organized our binders for the year, focused on the meanings of Physics and Chemistry, and enhanced understanding of the Scientific Method. We focused lessons on Safety, since students will be working with more dangerous laboratory materials in this course. Students will soon be practicing metric measurement of mass, length, and volume to ensure that they have the quantitative data collection skills required for lab work.


ELA

In ELA, we are reading science fiction! We have read a number of stories by famous authors such as Ray Bradbury and Issac Asimov. We have been discussing theme and have been citing text-based evidence to support our claims. In the following weeks, we will be doing a research project on futuristic technology. What will our future hold?


Social Studies:

Students are off to a great start in social studies. Students have studied the impact of growing industries on way Americans lived and worked in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Students researched the actions of Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, John Rockefeller and George Eastman. Students used this research to write an Evidence Based Claim defending their claim that these men were Captains of Industry or Robber Barons. Students have also examined the Electoral College, Election Vocabulary and the role of 3rd parties in preparation for the election in November. Soon we will learn about the working and living conditions of the early 1900s.


Spanish

In Spanish class we have started the year off discussing what types of activities we like to do during our free time. Students have been using their Spanish to express their opinions about different pastimes and even tell someone which one is their favorite. Just a reminder to parents that all students have access to Quizlet online activities to use for studying purposes outside of class. Parents can also be involved when using Quizlet by playing the sounds for the Spanish words and verifying answers in English.


Math

In Math 8 we are piloting a new grading system this year which will encourage students to take greater ownership of their grades. 80% of a student’s grade in math will be based on “concept quizzes”. Concept quizzes are shorter than traditional tests; there are only 4 questions on a concept quiz. The questions are both rigorous and require students to not only solve a real life word problem, but also require that students explain why the steps they took to solve the problem make sense mathematically.

Our goal is that all students master every concept that we teach. Given this goal, students will no longer be “stuck” with the grade they earned on any particular concept quiz. If a student is dissatisfied with his or her grade, the student may schedule a retake of the concept quiz after taking steps on their own or with me to learn and understand the errors made on the initial quiz. They will then be given a new concept quiz which will assess the same skills using different questions. Students will not be limited to a single retake on any concept since our goal is mastery.

This grading system puts the ownership of grades and the ability to earn a higher grade directly on the students. As you follow your child’s progress in Math 8 throughout the year we ask that you encourage them to continually strive to reach a level where they have mastered the skills being taught in our class.


In Algebra, students are beginning the year with a unit which covers the fundamentals of linear algebra. Early in the unit we reinforce previous learning. As the unit progresses students will be exposed to topics which will be new to them but build upon the basics that we cover at the beginning of the year.

There will be students who struggle with some of these new topics but we are available before school, during 6th period, and after school to offer assistance one-on-one or in small groups whenever it is needed. Please encourage your 8th grader to seek out the help we are offering whenever you sense frustration on their part. If they put forth the effort, we will do everything we can to ensure that they are successful.