Seventh Grade AIG Update

December 2015

7th grade Comprehensive Study Group

Students in seventh grade Comprehensive Study Group have been learning about lateral thinking. Just as a lateral pass in football has a ball going sideways or backwards but not toward the ultimate goal, a lateral thinking puzzle requires students to ask all sorts of questions, many of which seem off topic, in order to come up with the final pre-determined answer. Once the puzzle is read, students can ask yes/no questions. Mrs. Landreth then answers with yes, no, irrelevant, or rephrase the question.

Here are some sample puzzles:

Puzzle One

A man is lying dead in a field. Next to him there is an unopened package. There is no other creature in the field. How did he die?

Puzzle Two

A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year, but they were not twins. How could this be so?

7th grade Enrichment Study Group

Students in 7th grade Enrichment Study Group just wrapped up a unit on fractals. Next up is a unit on World Faiths. Students will learn about Dharmic and Abrahamic faiths. As we continue to study the concept of patterns, we will look for patterns in and among the world faiths. The Festivals of Light presentation by UNCA's Center for Diversity Education was the kickoff to this unit.

Festivals of Light

Students in seventh grade Enrichment Study Group and Comprehensive Study Group welcomed a special guest this week from the UNCA Center for Diversity Education (CDE). Betts Webster, a recent UNCA graduate who works for the CDE, shared three Winter Celebrations with the students: Chanukah a it is celebrated in the United States, the Christmas season as it is celebrated in Greece, and Diwali as it is celebrated in India. Students learned about the history of these celebrations, discovered how they were celebrated, taste tested a treat from each, and looked for patterns among and between the three celebrations. Something that made this year's presentation particularly special is that Betts attended AMS and participated in the Houses of Worship field trip while she was here. Diversity education has been an important part of our seventh grade AIG program for decades, so it was touching to see one of our own all grown up and presenting to a new generation.

Interest Study Group

Students who qualify for ISG or "Interest Study Groups" have the opportunity to apply to take online courses in content areas of interest or strength, and, in most cases, acquire high school credit. Students access the courses through the North Carolina Virtual Public School and spend time each school day working in their online classes in lieu of one of their exploratories. Currently there are seventh grade students enrolled in Latin I.

On December 18, the 7th and 8th grade ISG students participated in UNCA's Education Day. They watched the Lady Bulldog's breeze past their opponents in an exciting basketball game.

Monthly Meetings and Check Ins

Mrs. Nichols strives to meet with all students who have this AIG service. Students receive a pass in the morning or at lunch, and they are asked to meet Mrs. Nichols in her room for a quick check-in and discussion about school and how it's going.

This year each student with this service has met at least twice with Mrs. Nichols. First students spent time reflecting on and discussing the relationship between effort, motivation, interest and achievement. Our second meeting was focused on academic and affective goal setting with some discussion about how these goals can be achieved.