# What's Coming Up??

**Thanksgiving to Winter Break Update**

**Homework:**

**All students in grades 6th through 8th should be reading at home for 30 minutes every night as part of our independent reading program. Thanks for helping us monitor student reading. Students should be working on IXL math practice for 25 minutes per night.**

**Habits of a Scholar Emphasis**

**November : Compassion**

**December : Perseverance**

**Humanities**

**6th**: In our 6th grade classes we have been reading the book “Bud, Not Buddy” by Christopher Paul Curtis in conjunction with Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”, the “Back to School” speech by President Obama and Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement address. These speeches focus on the character of successful people and their “Rules to Live By” and follow closely in line with message from “Bud, Not Buddy” and its main character’s efforts to find belonging and livelihood as a orphan during the great depression. We are culminating this unit by creating our own rules to live by and fleshing out why they are important to us individually and thus hoping to better understand our own personal values and how they can help us navigate our increasingly complicated world in a upstanding and ethical manner.

**7th: **The 7th grade students in Humanities are engrossed in the narrative *Lyddie* which chronicles the experience of a teenage girl working in the factories of 1843 New England. Students are working in small literacy groups each day to read, discuss, comprehend, and summarize the text. Currently we are on the 15th chapter of the novel and will conclude the text which is 23 chapters in length after we return from the break.

**8th:** 8th grade Humanities students are studying World War II by reading *Unbroken*. This narrative follows the challenges associated with the survival of a young American bombardier, Louis Zamperini in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Our students are reading the text and completing notes and slides on each chapter in small literacy groups each day in class. Due to the length of this text your student has made a plan of action with their peers to read in their book over the break. Please encourage your student to reach their group's goal and ask them about the text.

**Science**

**6th: **6th grade has been exploring the wild world of ecology and ecosystems. Just before break we were looking at the carbon cycle and how humans have changed it and how it affects biodiversity. We will be finishing up our Ecology unit after break and then moving into physical science to find out what everything around us is made of,how and why matter changes states, and why do somethings float and some sink. Students will have multiple opportunities to complete hands-on labs and activities to deepen their understanding of these concepts.

**7th**: Before break, 7th graders finished up their Cell City analogies and presented their posters and projects to their classmates. Check out the middle school walls to see some of the student work! Students spent a couple days before break looking at prepared slides with microscopes and began to learn how to focus a microscope. They will finish up their cell unit after the break before moving into photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

**8th**: 8th graders have begun their unit on Forces and Motion and spent the week before thanksgiving break making and interpreting distance vs. time graphs and calculating an object’s speed and velocity. They will continue this unit after the break and will be moving on to Newton’s Laws of Motion!

**Math**

**6th: ** 6th Graders have been working hard on Rates and Ratios. After Thanksgiving, we will be working on Percentages. Then moving into Unit 4 which is Dividing Fractions. In this unit, students examine how the relative sizes of numerator and denominator affect the size of their quotient when numerator or denominator (or both) is a fraction. They acquire the understanding that dividing by a/b has the same outcome as multiplying by b, then by 1/a.

**7th: **Students have been learning to understand and use the term “circle” to mean the set of points that are equally distant from a point called the “center.” They are gaining an understanding of why the circumference of a circle is proportional to its diameter, with constant of proportionality π. They are seeing informal derivations of the fact that the area of a circle is equal to π times the square of its radius. Students are using the relationships of circumference, radius, diameter, and area of a circle to find lengths and areas, expressing these in terms of π or using appropriate approximations of π to express them numerically.

**8th: **After break, 8th graders will be finishing up Slope. We will then move to unit 4 and talk about Linear Equations and Linear Systems. In this unit, students write and solve linear equations in one variable. These include equations in which the variable occurs on both sides of the equal sign, and equations with no solutions, exactly one solution, and infinitely many solutions. They learn that any one such equation is false, true for one value of the variable, or true for all values of the variable. They interpret solutions in the contexts from which the equations arose. Students write and solve systems of linear equations in two variables and interpret the solutions in the contexts from which the equations arose.