WHAT'S UPdate!

SSAE Middle School Newsletter ~ November 2019


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Pizza with the Principal

Student voice matters, and so does a great pizza for lunch. Why not combine those two?

I want to offer an opportunity for students to meet in a small group with me, Mr. Knoche, to share their experiences and help shape and refine the climate and culture of Springs Studio.

I am looking for 12 students (different each month) to meet with me and share pizza and ideas. I will provide the pizza, and you can share your ideas.

Please sign up and bring ideas about how we can improve, tweak, or address certain issues at Springs Studio. This is a solution-minded get together, so you have to bring solutions if you have concerns.

I look forward to meeting with everyone.

-Mr. Knoche

Pizza with the Principal Sign-up

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  • The yearbook club will meet after school on Wednesday, 11.6.19, and on Monday, 11.11.19.
  • The yearbook cover art competition will begin on 11.11.19. Ms. Wichman will discuss this with the students and work with them through the competition.


Important Dates for Your November Calendars

10/28-11/22: Harvest of Love Food and Fund Drive, $1 or 1 Can donations accepted all month!

11/6: Table-top Gaming Club, 3:15-4:30 PM

11/6: Anime Club, 3:15-4:30 PM

11/6: Yearbook Club, after school

11/11: Yearbook Club, after school

11/13: Table-top Gaming Club, 3:15-4:30 PM

11/13: Anime Club, 3:15-4:30 PM

11/20: Table-top Gaming Club, 3:15-4:30 PM

11/20: Anime Club, 3:15-4:30 PM

11/20: Harvest Feast Community Pot-Luck, 5:00-7:00 PM

11/25-11/29: Thanksgiving Break! School Closed

12/2: ALEKS Semester 1 Math Final, 8:00-10:00 AM, in-building, 60% minimum mastery

12/11: PSAT for 8th grade only, 8:15 AM-3:15 PM, Building closed to 5th-7th grades

12/13: ALL COURSEWORK DUE! ALEKS and Edgenuity - all topics, lessons, quizzes, and mastery assignments are due by this date.


English Language Arts Update

  • Help your scholar come up with writing prompts! I will select different prompts from student submissions. The scholar's name will be displayed along with the day's prompt. We've had some fun ideas roll in, and I look forward to even more!
  • Family Read Time - as the daylight hours grow shorter and the weather colder, we move into a perfect time for family reading time. As a family, select a book and then set aside time each evening to read together. Take turns as the reader. Chat about what's happening. Make predictions about what's to come. Help your scholars turn into avid readers!

Science Update

Welcome back from Fall Break! As we move into the second part of this semester, all grade levels will be working on applying the scientific method: qualitative vs. quantitative observations, writing a testable question, creating a testable hypothesis, designing an experiment to test variables, data collection and analysis, and interpretation of experimental results. Students will also learn how scientists describe phenomena.

Space Foundation Art Contest- See Mrs. Sangiorgi if a teacher sponsor is needed.

Social Studies

5th and 6th Grade: Region Case Study

What are Regions? How is the world divided into regions? Are the regions of the world similar or different? Working in groups of 3, the students have received a world region to research, study, and present. After identifying the countries in a given region, their mission is to create a data table with the following information for each country: Government type, Language, Religion, Literacy Rate, and Population Pyramid. Additionally, students will create political and physical maps of their regions.

7th Grade: Cultural Study; World Religions

Working in groups of 2/3 or individually, students have received an assigned world religion to research. Each group must find credible resources and fact check information in reference to the religion. Moreover, they will document resources in the Chicago style format. Lastly, each group is responsible for creating a data table and identifying the following information - name of country, religious population in country, religious laws, type of government, and list of other religions in location.

8th Grade: The US Timeline: Decade by Decade

The students will work in groups of two, select a decade in American history, and research various aspects of American culture and politics (domestic and foreign). Next, each group will collaborate with the decades that are prior to their own in order to establish a fluidity in information, as well as fact check information. In addition to analyzing primary and secondary resources, this is an opportunity for students to learn and refine skills in research, communication, collaboration, fact-checking, and presentation skills. Lastly, all of the 8th grade will create a wall-size timeline depicting America's history based on the following categories - Economics, Social/Cultural, Political, environmental.

Math Update


Students should be approaching 50-55% ahead of their Thanksgiving Break. The break is always a great time to work to catch up, work to get ahead or make up any missing work. Our next in-building benchmark test (60% mastery) will be 8-10 AM on Monday, December 2nd. Students MUST master a minimum of 60% in ALEKS before the end of the semester to be eligible to earn a semester grade.

Also, don't forget to complete your topics each week! If you know you will be absent, you can work ahead, and we will "bank" your extra topics for the future. If you get a little behind, you can always do a little extra each week to make up the missing topics. Meet with Mrs. Danford if you need help staying on track with ALEKS progress, topics, objectives, or quizzes!

Classroom Math Updates:

Students are transitioning into their math PBL assignments to collaborate with Mrs. De La Garza's Future Cities Elective course this month. They are also learning "How to ERCca to CERca in Math" and use their CERCA skills to explain their math answers.

Talking Math at Home:

Did everyone get a chance to get out over break and see all the math in nature? Mrs. Danford sure did! She went to Myrtle Beach to visit family and counted SHARKS! That's right; there were sharks in the water AT. THE. BEACH! See Mrs. Danford if you want to view some pretty neat videos of these amazing creatures. She also counted whale spouts, sea turtles, alligators, seagulls, and more than 10 miles of beach walking, but compared to sharks, none of that is as cool to talk about.

November's Talking Math at Home Challenge:

As we move into colder and shorter days, many of us turn to cooking and baking. November is an excellent month to talk about fractions and scaling. Let your students help with the Thanksgiving meal and use this opportunity to talk math with them.

- What fraction of a cup of milk is in that recipe?

- What fraction of a cup of mile do we need if we double the recipe? Half the recipe?

- How many tea/tablespoons in a stick of butter?

- How many times should we increase this recipe to make sure everyone gets a serving at dinner?

- What is the ratio of marshmallows in my hot cocoa to your hot cocoa?

*Bonus talk! Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and just listen to all the math that goes into making that parade happen.

- How much helium?

- How many people to hold a balloon?

- How many miles is the parade?

- And so much more!

Art Update

5th Grade Art- Circle of Colors Tree, Watercolor Crayon Resist

6th Grade Art- Fall Watercolor Leaves with Black Glue, Leaf Stencils

7th Grade Art- Glue and Watercolor Paintings, Tree Branch Weaving, Handmade Baskets

8th Grade Art- Henna Hands, Liquid Watercolor Collages

Project Based Learning/Electives- Future City

We are beginning to build the three-dimensional models of our Future City. We will need to source materials. Please send in recycled items such as containers, cans, cardboard, and anything else you can think of! We will also need arts and crafts supplies. If you would like to donate ANY type of craft supply to our project, please do so. The possibilities are endless, so if you and your student think it could be used in our project, please send it in! I will be purchasing the wood for the bases, so that is the one thing we won’t need. If you have any questions, please email ldelagarza@d49.org.