December/January 2015-2016

AG ELA- Mrs. Pugh

4th Grade-


After reading a variety of myths, students will begin work on writing their own myth to explain why something occurs. They will develop their stories using LEGO Story Starter kits and software which were generously funded through a NES PTA teacher grant. I look forward to reading these student-created myths!

5th Grade-

Human Rights

As part of our study, we will observe Human Rights Day on December 10 to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. As a culminating unit activity, we will assume the role of photojournalists to create a photo essay advocating to others about Human Rights. Students will select one right from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and create a page based on that right that conveys a powerful message through strong visual imagery and words. Student pages will become part of a class book on human rights.

AG Math- Ms. Matkins

4th Grade-

Real Life Math Investigations

Students will continue the Real Life Math Investigations unit by solving problems using probability and interest rates. Students will put together combinations of outcomes to determine the probability of an event occurring and investigate how multiplying fractions can make this process more efficient. To understand rates, students will choose a "large ticket" item that they would like to purchase in the future (computer, car, college tuition, braces, etc.) and calculate the interest to understand how their saved money can grow.

5th Grade-

Beyond Base 10

Students have successfully converted numbers from the Base 10 number system to the Base 5 number system and converted numbers from Base 5 back to Base 10. Next, students will explore the Base 2 system, also known as the binary system. Students will get a better understanding of how this system relates to the operation of computers and computer coding. After converting Base 10 numbers to Base 2, students will have an opportunity to practice computer coding.

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NES 2015-16 EBOB Competition Team Members

First Row l-r: Matthew Weaver, Norah El-Banna, Audrey Wrinkle, Natalie States, Allen Xu, Lucy Nida, Alexis Evatt

Second Row l-r: Jacob Pierotti, Caleb Blalock, Madison Lane, Sam Bivona, Garrett Linn, Noor Ahmidouch, Sasha Mack

Upcoming Dates!


12/03 Interims

12/04 Dad's Breakfast

12/07 EBOB

12/07 Chick-Fil-A Night

12/08 Spelling Bee

12/11 Science Fair

12/14 5th Grade Musical

12/17 Outdoor Skate Night

12/18 Holiday Parties

12/21 Winter Break Begins


01/04 Teacher Workday

01/05 Students Return

01/08 PTA Movie Night

01/11 EBOB

01/14 Dominoes Night & PTA Board Meeting

01/15 Fun Run Kick-Off

01/18 Holiday

01/20 Grading Period Ends

01/21 Teacher Workday

01/22 Teacher Workday

01/25 EBOB

01/25 2nd Semester Begins

01/29 Northern Unite Night


02/01 EBOB

02/02 Report Cards/AG Report Cards

02/05 HH #1

December Fun Facts!

  • December was once the tenth month of the year and got its name from the Latin word decem, which means ten.
  • George Washington and his troops began crossing the Delaware River on December 25, 1776.

Brown Summit Middle

BSM Center for Advanced Academics is hosting an open house from 5:00 to 6:30 pm on Tuesday, December 1st. Also, the school will have Magnet Mondays on December 7th & 14th. Program applications for the 2016-17 school year will be accepted beginning January 11th through February 5th, 2015. For more information, please click the following link:
Brown Summit Middle Center for Advanced Academics

PTA AG Parent Advocate

The GCS AG Department has made available the standards of the 3 year AIG plan along with a short survey for each so you may provide your comments and suggestions. This is your chance to let GCS schools know what you think of the AG program including what you like as well as suggested improvements. This input will be used in revising the plan for the next 3 year cycle, which will impact not only your current AG student but future students currently in grades K-2. Additionally, the feedback survey will ask if you would like to be contacted regarding public forum meetings. I also suggest that you review the governing NC Law (Article 9B) and the NCDPI Program Standards document which creates the guidelines all school districts must follow when creating their plans. Click here to access the GCS AG Department page with all the pertinent information.

Lisa Stanioch

AG Department

The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart

By: Salman Khan

My 5-year-­old son has just started reading. Every night, we lie on his bed and he reads a short book to me. Inevitably, he’ll hit a word that he has trouble with: last night the word was “gratefully.” He eventually got it after a fairly painful minute. He then said, “Dad, aren’t you glad how I struggled with that word? I think I could feel my brain growing.” I smiled: my son was now verbalizing the tell­-tale signs of a “growth­ mindset.” But this wasn’t by accident. Recently, I put into practice research I had been reading about for the past few years: I decided to praise my son not when he succeeded at things he was already good at, but when he persevered with things that he found difficult. I stressed to him that by struggling, your brain grows. Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach.

Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.

What this means is that our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.

However, not everyone realizes this. Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has been studying people’s mindsets towards learning for decades. She has found that most people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Fixed mindsets mistakenly believe that people are either smart or not, that intelligence is fixed by genes. People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure. Dweck found that those with a fixed mindset tended to focus their effort on tasks where they had a high likelihood of success and avoided tasks where they may have had to struggle, which limited their learning. People with a growth mindset, however, embraced challenges, and understood that tenacity and effort could change their learning outcomes. As you can imagine, this correlated with the latter group more actively pushing themselves and growing intellectually.

The good news is that mindsets can be taught; they’re malleable. What’s really fascinating is that Dweck and others have developed techniques that they call “growth mindset interventions,” which have shown that even small changes in communication or seemingly innocuous comments can have fairly long­-lasting implications for a person’s mindset. For instance, praising someone’s process (“I really like how you struggled with that problem”) versus praising an innate trait or talent (“You’re so clever!”) is one way to reinforce a growth ­mindset with someone. Process­ praise acknowledges the effort; talent­ praise reinforces the notion that one only succeeds (or doesn’t) based on a fixed trait. And we’ve seen this on Khan Academy as well: students are spending more time learning on Khan Academy after being exposed to messages that praise their tenacity and grit and that underscore that the brain is like a muscle.

The Internet is a dream for someone with a growth mindset. Between Khan Academy, MOOCs, and others, there is unprecedented access to endless content to help you grow your mind. However, society isn’t going to fully take advantage of this without growth mindsets being more prevalent. So what if we actively tried to change that? What if we began using whatever means are at our disposal to start performing growth mindset interventions on everyone we cared about? This is much bigger than Khan Academy or algebra – it applies to how you communicate with your children, how you manage your team at work, how you learn a new language or instrument. If society as a whole begins to embrace the struggle of learning, there is no end to what that could mean for global human potential.

And now here’s a surprise for you. By reading this article itself, you’ve just undergone the first half of a growth­-mindset intervention. The research shows that just being exposed to the research itself (­­for example, knowing that the brain grows most by getting questions wrong, not right­­) can begin to change a person’s mindset. The second half of the intervention is for you to communicate the research with others. After all, when my son, or for that matter, anyone else asks me about learning, I only want them to know one thing. As long as they embrace struggle and mistakes, they can learn anything.

AG Schedule

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