Red Cluster News

December 2015


What's Happening in Class


December is a very egg-citing month in 7th Grade Science! The students are working on the study of Cells in Action. We have begun looking at movement across the cell membrane with a diffusion lab and an egg lab with observing how different solutions move in and out of our shell-less egg "cell" models. Students are engaged in a variety of hands-on activities supported by informational text and science vocabulary. This unit will culminate with a creative project where the students will design an Ipad cartoon, demonstrating their knowledge of active and passive transport with characters such as Captain Osmosis, a superhero with a very passive personality. In addition, we continue to reinforce graphing skills and have worked on fish respiration rates and graphing data during a controlled experiment.


In English, we just wrapped up our study of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol! Students were initially a little daunted by the complexity of the text, but they gained confidence and showed a lot of improvement throughout the unit. Next week, students will take their unit test on Monday and Tuesday. This is a 100 point test, so they should be studying over the weekend! On Wednesday, we are all looking forward to our trip to see the play! When we return from the Christmas break, we will jump into our next novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor. At this point in the year, our curriculum will begin to focus more heavily on literary analysis. Taylor's novel will allow us to explore how and why authors use different literary techniques -- particularly figurative language and imagery -- to develop characterization, mood, conflict, and theme. I'm excited to see students further develop their critical reading, writing, and thinking skills!


We are finally finished with Unit 2 and on to Unit 9 - percents. This will take us into January. In this unit, students will be learning about converting from fractions to decimals to percents, about leaving tips, percent increase and decrease, discounts and markups. These are all very relevant to their daily lives. We are working on open response questions and strategies for best answering them. The students will be completing one or two a month at home and I am requesting that you allow them to respond on their own. I am charting their progress and want them to be well prepared in May.


We have completed our study of ancient Egypt and are moving on to other civilizations, including the Hebrews and Phoenicians. We made some interesting connections between ancient and modern Egypt, discussing the recent theories that there may indeed be a 'hidden chamber' in the tomb of Tutankhamen that may contain the remains of the beautiful Queen Nefertiti. Archaeologists believe there is a good chance that the hidden tomb exists--more to come on this soon! In our examination of the ancient Hebrews, we are looking at the foundations of monotheism and the role of prophets in the Jewish tradition. Students learned about the Exodus and the ten plagues of Egypt. They're currently engrossed in making their own 'plagues of Blake' in order to get the teachers to stop giving homework. Ask the about the various plagues they are bringing down upon us!


Since many of you have the wonderful opportunity to study a variety of World Languages, we will not give an update here, but be sure to check your WL teacher's website and updated homework on the school website's Homework Pages on a daily basis.

What's Happening Around the School?

  • Coat Drive - please send in any gently used coats or jacket
  • School Plays are in full swing!

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Mr. K with his newborn twin nieces!
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