WHAT'S UPdate!

SSAE Middle School Newsletter ~ October 2019

October Count is Here!

We cannot stress the importance of working during the October Count window enough. It is imperative that students meet these requirements in order to continue schooling with Springs Studio.

9/25-10/1: Pre-count Window

Make sure your students are submitting quizzes and assignments in Edgenuity or OdysseyWare and topics in ALEKS each day.

10/2: Count Day!

This is our most important day! Students need to submit a quiz or assignment in each class and do at least two topics in ALEKS. Parents can help support the count by checking their parent accounts or having students log in and show them the work submitted this day.

10/3-10/9: Post-count Window

Make sure your students are submitting quizzes and assignments in Edgenuity or OdysseyWare and topics in ALEKS each day.

Please reach out to teachers or administration if you have any questions or concerns about October Count.


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This year, the yearbook is a collaborative effort of students in the 5th - 6th grades. Our students are taking on roles as reporters, photographers, editors, and designers. We will meet during student lunch times. We will hold after school meetings as we near deadlines. We're so excited by the student interest and their ideas! If your scholar is interested in joining the Yearbook Club, have them see Mrs. Jackson or Mrs. De La Garza.


Important Dates for Your Calendars

10/7: ALEKS 40% Benchmark Testing, SSAE, 8:00-10:00 AM

10/9: Parent/Teacher Conferences (click link to sign up), SSAE, 3:30-6:30 PM

10/11: Parent/Teacher Conferences (click link to sign up), SSAE, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

10/12-10/27: Fall Break! A great time to relax and catch up. Just make sure to balance them both.

10/28: Return from Fall Break, Back in the building with our normal Monday/Wednesday classes

10/28: Harvest of Love Kick-off, SSAE, watch announcements for daily activities!

10/30: Pre-Halloween Party, Wear your costume, join the parade, and take part in our mini Trunk-or-Treat event in the afternoon!


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!

In English, we teamed up with the Electives PBL on future cities. We are reading dystopian novels to understand what might happen when we don't take action to improve our world. We are also working on a writing project that examines current issues on energy waste.

5th Grade - ThinkCERCA TIME

5th graders read 2 articles and are now in the process of writing about which article gives the best advice for reducing our carbon footprint. We will soon return to our reading fun!

6th - 8th Grade - ThinkCERCA

Students in the 6th through 8th grades read articles on ways we waste energy. They are now in the process of writing an argument on why we need to reduce waste and cost-effective ways to do it.

Science Update

5th Grade- Students are learning about various cycles in nature. They will explore the following cycles in-depth: Water Cycle, Carbon Cycle, Seasons, and Moon Phases.

6th Grade- Students are investigating atoms and will create a team presentation describing 2-3 different elements. (Due Friday, October 11 at 5 pm).

7th Grade- Students are exploring the fossil and rock evidence that creates our geologic timeline. They will create a presentation of the Geologic Timeline with an emphasis on the lifeforms that are prominent for each time period. (Due Friday, October 11 at 5 pm).

8th Grade- Students will research Newton's three laws of motion and create a presentation that illustrates how each law is applied in real life. (Due Friday, October 11 at 5 pm).

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 40-45% ahead of their 40% benchmark test on 10/7. Fall break is an excellent time to work to catch up, work to get ahead or make up any missing work. Makeup/retest testing will be the week of 10/28.

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 working hard in class each day. They are learning the "Big A" (Algebra) isn't so hard if you just follow the rules. We have also investigated patterns in place value, ratios and proportions, and solving equations. We even have some students using their math skills to plan Geological studies in Hawaii and Roller Coaster contests at Elitches (do I hear "field trip to Denver in May"??)

Talking Math at Home:

Hopefully, you found many opportunities from the September challenge to talk math at home and that talking math isn't always about "crunching the numbers". Sometimes just talking about how long it takes to complete a task or how many times you do that task is enough to help students see the math in the world around them!

October's Talking Math at Home Challenge:

This month, let's take the challenge to a new level! Let's look at and touch the math in the world around us. Fall is a great time to take a walk and view the falling leaves. You can look at:

- the shapes in the newly bare branches (look at that triangle, see how the branches make a trapezoid when they cross),

- compare sizes of branches (this looks twice as big as that one),

- count the leaves,

- count the notches on their edges (is there a pattern), and

- speaking of patterns - have you ever noticed the pattern on the bottom of the pinecone (take a look at the bottom of a pineapple the next time you get to the store).

Art Update

5th Grade Art- Crayon Melting, Watercolor Gardens, Rain Forest Animals

6th Grade Art- Desert Landscape, Cube Origami, Symmetry Prints, Watercolor Iguanas

7th Grade Art- Stick Weaving, Stained Glass, Basket Weaving

8th Grade Art- Realistic Graphite Drawings, Gold Leaf Pottery, Adobe Photoshop Graffiti

Project Based Learning/Electives

We are continuing to work on our Future City Projects. Students are working on scale for their models and creating blueprints. We are outlining our essay presentations. Our virtual city component is next as we build our vision for the future in Sim City.
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