Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Preview: 11/28-12/2, 2011

Goodbye, November, and hello, December! Here's what's happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL: Students are starting their Mock Trial unit this week. On Monday and Wednesday, they will learn the basics of the American Judicial System. On Thursday and Friday, they'll be prepping for their first trial. Mock Trial is always a hit with GOAL students, so this should be a fun few weeks!

7th GOAL: Students are finishing their last week of literature circles. Their final discussion will be on Friday, and they'll start their cumulative projects next week.

8th GOAL: Students will have their last literature circle discussion on Monday, and the rest of the week will be spent working on their cumulative projects. There is room for a lot of creativity on these projects. Already in the works, we have a news broadcast, an iMovie, and a song parody. These projects take the place of a unit test and will show what students learned during their study of Holocaust literature.

7th Language Arts: Students are finishing up RAFT stories. We'll have a group edit on Tuesday in the lab, and final drafts of RAFT stories are due on Wednesday. If students get done early, they should start working on their 2nd pen pal letter of the year. Rough drafts are due Friday. Week 13 spelling is centered around the suffix -ly. Pretest corrections and page 82 (1-20) are due Wednesday.

Week 13 Spelling Words

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Preview: 11/21-11/22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It's a short week here at FMS, and then we'll all have some time off with friends and family. There are so many things for which to be thankful!

6th GOAL: 6th graders finished their read aloud book on Monday and are completing an activity to go along with it. Next week, we'll get started with our popular Mock Trial unit.

7th & 8th GOAL: Literature circles are still going strong. 8th graders will have their last discussion on Monday, November 28, and 7th grader will have their last discussion on Friday, December 2.

7th Language Arts: No spelling this week. RAFT stories are due for teacher edit before student leave on Tuesday, November 22. Final drafts are due Wednesday, November 30.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

6th Grade GOAL Models & Design Unit

6th grade GOAL classes have been putting their engineering skills to the test with their Models and Design unit. Students began by exploring the concept of a black box in science... a system that we cannot see inside, so we have to theorize about how it works. They made conceptual models and physical models of different black boxes to try to figure out the systems in each.

Students then took the idea of building a physical model to create a rubber band-powered car. Groups had to plan how their system would work and build a working model. Cars will enter a competition for distance as the final activity of the unit.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekly Preview: 11/14-11/18, 2011

Happy American Education Week! We are celebrating at Fairfield Middle School in the following ways:

Monday = Student Appreciation Day! Staff will wear school shirts; treats in homeroom for our Magnificent & Most appreciated students
Tuesday = Parent Appreciation Day! Staff will contact a parent to thank them for helping on a regular basis or for attending conferences. Students will write thank you notes in homeroom to an adult who has been instrumental in their education.
Wednesday = Support Staff Day - Our building will thank our support staff by providing a special luncheon for them.
Thursday = Educator for a Day - Staff will trade classes with a colleague or have a guest speaker.
Friday = Sub Day - We will thank our substitutes! Staff will also wear college alma mater shirts and talk about the importance of higher education &/or why we went into education.
As for regular weekly business, here is what's happening in room 1o1 this week:

6th GOAL: Students are finishing the Models and Designs unit by building rubber band-powered cars. We'll have our distance competition on Thursday and our unit wrap-up on Friday.

7th & 8th GOAL: Students are working hard on their literature circles, discussing and reading every day. 7th graders are reading books under the Culture Clash theme. 8th graders are reading books under the Holocaust theme.

7th Language Arts: This is a maintenance test week in spelling, so there is no pretest. On Friday, students will be tested over the words from weeks 7-11. See past Weekly Previews for those lists. To practice, spelling book pages 75 (1-20), 76 (1-20), and 77 (1-10) are due Wednesday. We will be starting work on the Voice trait of writing this week. RAFT stories will be assigned with rough drafts due by the end of class on Thursday. Stories will be due for teacher edit (revised, typed, 2 peer conferences, & fixed) by the end of the day on Tuesday, November 22.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Preview: 11/7-11/11, 2011

Here at FMS, we've all enjoyed a three-day weekend. I hope yours was as restful and rejuvenating as mine was! Here is what we will be doing this week in room 101:

Tuesday morning before school is the last time this year's Book Fair will be open. There are tons of great books this time... I know. I spent WAY too much money for my class library!

6th GOAL: This class is finishing up their conceptual models of the Humdinger. On Wednesday, they'll actually see inside the Humdinger, and they'll be able to compare their models to the real thing. From there, we'll move on to rubber band cars as the last activity in the models & design unit.

7th GOAL: On Monday, I'll be booktalking books for the upcoming literature circles around the theme of Culture Clash. Students will also be presenting their campaign posters from the Big Science activity that finished up last week. Literature circles will start on Wednesday, and this will be the only time during the year that students will have a daily assignment.

8th GOAL: Literature circles are continuing this week with books centered around the theme of the Holocaust. Remember, this is a daily assignment!

7th Language Arts: On Monday, students will work on Week 11 spelling. Pretest corrections and p. 70 (1-20) are due on Wednesday. For the remainder of the week, we'll be discussing the trait of word choice in writing. We'll have some in-class activities related to word choice. By the end of the week, we'll be discussing the trait of voice in writing, and that will lead to our upcoming RAFT writing assignment next week. Stay tuned for details.

Week 11 Spelling Words

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Weekly Preview: 10/31-11/3, 2011

Welcome, November! It's going to be a crazy, short week here at FMS. Don't forget Parent/Teacher Conferences Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4:00-7:30. If you want to see all the teachers at once in the Commons, come on Tuesday. If you'd like to go to each teacher's individual classroom, come on Thursday. And, don't forget, there's no school on Friday!

Here's the scoop for this week in room 101:

6th GOAL: We're looking at the contraption called the Humdinger. We're figuring out this black box and making our own physical models to recreate our own Humdingers.

7th GOAL: We're finishing up our Big Science activity by narrowing our class's choices (debating and arguing and coming up with a consensus is hard work!). Then, we'll be making campaign posters for our personal choice. Next week, we'll start literature circles.

8th GOAL: We're starting literature circles this week. Our theme is the Holocaust, and this is the only time in GOAL when we will have a daily assignment. Groups are decided based on book choices, and each group will decide how much they will read for the next day.

7th Language Arts: Final drafts of our Grown-Up Rules stories are due Friday. Some students will need to work outside of class to get this completed on time, whether it's at home, in study hall, or before/after school. With shortened periods this week, our typing time in the lab is limited. Spelling p. 63 is due on Wednesday along with pretest corrections. The posttest will be on Thursday this week due to no school on Friday.

Week 10 Spelling List