Mrs. Blankenship's News You Can Use

January 6, 2015- Students return to school Wednesday!

Information and Curriculum Update!

Happy New Year!

I hope this week’s newsletter finds you and your family doing well. As we begin a new marking period, please take a moment to review the objectives that Dr. Shaw and I will be teaching your child. Wednesday night’s homework for me will be to review the expectations that we have set as a team to ensure that your child is “middle school ready.” This is a phrase that will be used many times for the remainder of this year. Being ready not only includes academics but also work habits and conduct. To assist in preparing, the students will be writing their 3rd marking period goals in the computer lab when they return to school Wednesday. Dr. Shaw and I would be appreciative if you would post your child’s goals in a location where they can be viewed and reviewed as needed. We will also be discussing the proper use of devices in the school setting. As we closed out the 2nd marking period, some students took liberty to straggle from the expectations set forth by the school. Please remember that if a device is not used properly, we will follow the technology policy for restricting its use during the school day. Starting this marking period, we will require that all students log on to our school network using their student numbers and passwords. Additionally, please ask your child if he/she has all needed school supplies. This includes folders that may have become “well worn” during the first semester. Finally, with the cooler temperatures, please make sure that your child’s coat/jacket is labeled with the child’s name. Your support is vital and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Our curriculum focus:

Reading- This marking period will find the students relying heavily on responding to questions using text evidence. Restating the question as well as “flavor blasting” answers is now the expectation. Copying provided words correctly and beginning sentences with capital letters as well as ending with the proper punctuation show quality effort. Students on our team are fully capable of exceeding expectations on classroom assessments as well as the Georgia Milestones. There are no grades planned for the first half week back to school, but note that a cold read will be administered the following week. There will also be an author’s evidence grade administered the week of January 11th as well.

Writing- Students will be flavor blasting answers quite a bit this marking period! Responding in writing will center on the informational genre. We will focus on using non-fiction based passages so that including facts will be necessary. The inclusion of sensory language as well as document citations will be modeled and practiced prior to any assessments. There are no grades planned for the first two weeks back in school.

Grammar- A focus on the perfect tense verb will be our initial grammar skill. These lessons will come with practice as they may not initially “sound” right to the ear. Examples of perfect tense verbs include “I had walked” and “I will have walked.” The students will also be instructed on the proper use of the semicolon later in the marking period. No grades are planned for this week.

Greek/Latin Roots- All roots for this marking period have been uploaded to Quizlet. The roots for the marking period include:

· Lig/Leg/Lect (DG will be given the week of January 11th).

· Sol/Mon

· Rupt

· Duc/Duct

A spelling grade will be taken from one writing piece at the end of the marking period.

From Dr. Shaw:

So...what are we going to be learning about as we return to school?

Let's start first with math... You may recall that most of the second nine weeks in math was devoted to fractions - adding, subtracting, and multiplying. We also learned to recognize a fraction as a division problem. We have one more fraction related skill and that is dividing a unit fraction by a whole number and dividing whole number by a unit fraction. As with our previous fraction skills, we will focus on modeling these problem and explaining why our answer is reasonable.

In social studies, we will begin chapter six which covers the emergence of the United States as a world power. We will focus first on the acquisition of several territories at the turn of the century, the Spanish-American War, and the building of the Panama Canal.

In science, our first unit covers the history of magnification and the microscope. This will aid in our understanding of matter and the sum of parts later in the term. We will have a lab activity the week of the 11th involving the use of the microscope.