Weekly Update

Cluster 5

Cluster Announcements

Term 2 grades close January 25th!

Wednesday(1/19) periods 1, 3 and 7 will be having a quiz on solving equations.

English/Language Arts

Jan 18th to Jan 28th

For the next few weeks in ELA class, students will be working on their personal narrative writing skills. They will be introduced to a short text each week from an author (so far we’ve used Jason Reynolds and Stephen King) to model the types of writing and promote a specific prompt. Students are then asked to emulate the author in their own personal writing over the course of a few days- we want students to embrace that writing is a process that involves thought, planning, work, revision, and presenting.

By the end of each week, students will present their writing to their classmates. This is essential for many reasons. Students are able to experience (and celebrate) the talents of their peers, they are able to practice their presentation skills in front of an audience of their peers, and they are able to read a familiar text (their own writing) to practice their fluency skills. So far it has been a tremendous success.

Along with the personal narratives, students are using commonlit.org to strengthen their reading comprehension skills. Students are assigned short texts that loosely connect with the mini-write for the week. The program uses guided questions to track the reading understanding, along with multiple-choice questions at the end of the passage to gauge reading comprehension. The results are easily tracked and immediately presented to the student.

Finally, get out the PATS gear. It's playoff time!


As we end the term in a few days, we will be wrapping up our genetics unit with a test on Wednesday, 1/19. Students have many review materials posted on Google Classroom to use to prepare.

We will then begin a short project called "Stories of Scientists" during which students will learn about and create a magazine cover to introduce an important scientist that is new in their learning. Our evolution unit begins soon afterward and will run through all of third term.


January 14, 2022

Our Civics class has started the “Our Founding Documents” unit, and we’re learning about the early days of our country. Students are studying about the colonial era, the economies of the 13 colonies, and their geography. We also learned about colonial grievances against the English king, particularly the Intolerable Acts. Students did some historical fiction writing where they pretended to be a colonist complaining to a friend or family member about British unfairness! Students also engaged with the PBS series Liberty! by completing a webquest using PBS’ excellent, robust website on the series, which highlights the chronology of the American Revolution and the steps that paved the way to war.

Next week, we’ll be doing a “Fix It Day,” where students have the chance to assess and reflect on their current grades, and redo and revise assignments to better show their understanding of our content. We’ll also learn about the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the purposes of government laid out in the Preamble to the Constitution.


For the this week and next week, students will be learning about solving equations. We have already discussed balancing equations and making sure that whatever we do to one side of the equation must also be done to the other side. We have also started solving one-step, two-step and equations with variables on both sides. As we progress through this chapter we will also be working on equations that contain decimals and fractions. The goal is for students to feel comfortable solving all types of equations.

Students in my algebra class will be continuing in Chapter 4. So far in this chapter we have discussed slope and that it refers to the steepness of a line. We have also talked about how to find the slope of a line and the slope between two points. As we progress through this chapter the students will be learning about collinearity, point-tester equations, linear equations and we will continue graphing!

English Language Development classes

We hope you have a happy and healthy New Year!

Entering ELD

This week students did an excellent job showing their English language skills while taking ACCESS, the annual state test that assesses how much English they have learned.

Next week, we will work on vocabulary for sequencing events as we read about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Emerging ELD

This week students reviewed telling time and sequencing words, and they were rock stars on the ACCESS test, where they are assessed on their English language progress. Next week, we will learn about Martin Luther King Jr, and use our sequencing words to retell his story. We will also begin using adverbs of frequency this week, and then take a quiz on time, sequencing, and adverbs of frequency on Friday. Ask your child what they always, usually, often, sometimes, and never do at school!

Developing ELD

We have been preparing to take the annual ACCESS test - the test all English Learners take once a year. We have been practicing speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Most students are finishing the test today. We are starting a unit on informational texts and will begin by reading texts about the civil rights movement.

Expanding ELD

Students continued to read the novel Esperanza Rising and began ACCESS testing, as well as start to dive into informational texts on Civil Rights and about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Transitioning ELD

This week and next week, students are taking the annual ACCESS English test. They are also honing their English writing by debating and story-telling. This week we focused upon creating complex sentences in English and wrote short stories using them. Next week, we will employ this knowledge while writing a letter expressing students’ viewpoints on the topic of hunting.

Phonics 6th grade

We continue to work on weekly sight words and are starting to learn about vowel teams.

Phonics 7th & 8th Grade

This week we did ACCESS testing, where students put their new phonics skills, knowledge, and strategies to great use! We introduced the latest set of High Frequency Words, and started working with the long i sound, spelled as i___e and y. Next week will we continue with long i and other spelling patterns of igh, and hammering down the concept that VCe makes the vowel sound long.

Sheltered Social Studies (Grade 8 only)

Students looked closely at the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights and are creating their own personal Bill of Rights. They also started exploring informational texts on Civil Rights and about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and will continue that study through February.