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Update from October 28, 2016

posted Nov 3, 2016, 6:23 AM by Rebecca Tapley   [ updated Nov 3, 2016, 6:23 AM by Benjamin Moss ]


Students became very familiar with percentages this week. We particularly worked on converting between decimals, fractions, and percents. We played a form of the card game “War”, using cards with mixtures of these forms of rational numbers.


Students have been working on their memoirs this week and have made great progress. Poetry continued this week with “Infant” by William Blake, “Dedication” by Jim Natal, and “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost. Our weekly session with published author Ellen Booraem focused on character development. Students will be working on developing these characters and a plot line next week.

With the beginning of November comes the beginning of NaNoWriMo. Check out what this exciting national phenomenon is all about! Students set personal word goals for their writing this month and will begin the fun event next week, on November 1st.


We continued reading “A Long Walk to Water.” Actually we will finished it today! It has been a great book for our group. Everyone either liked or loved the book.

We worked on our display, “Comparing Charitable Organizations” and discovered how each “spends” donations. It was an eye opener for us all! Please take a look at their work. It is on the wall at the beginning of the Middle School wing.

We discussed how difficult it was for Salva (main character) to arrange a trip back to South Sudan to locate his father. We are going to replicate that journey seeking airlines, costs, and time lines, to see just how hard it was for him. We will compare that journey to one which is similar in length that any of us might actually make. We will select airlines, “purchase” tickets (purchase in both USD and foreign currency depending upon the country - there are several stops). We will also look at  the communication challenges Salva experienced in trying to communicate with an area with no phones/computers/ newspapers/radios.

Either next Friday or the following Monday we will have a guest speaker talk to us about living in Ethiopia and working with charitable organizations. We will also be treated to some authentic artifacts from Africa, particularly the area around Ethiopia. Our guest will also speak about the refugee situation, “lost boys” from first hand knowledge. I can’t wait, it will be great. Perhaps some parents might like to join us. I’ll ask the class on Monday.

We discussed the next book choice - A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen. It was a recommendation by one of the 6th grade students. I love it when a student recommends a book for us all to read.


The first week is under our belt and the students did very well on the assessment today. A reminder:

Weekend - review the words in Chapter 2

Monday - we will go over the words in class

Monday homework - complete pages 12 and 13.

Tuesday - Hand in homework before 7:45 a.m.

Tuesday homework - Complete Sentence Check 1 on page 14.

Wednesday - Hand in homework before 7:45 a.m.

Wednesday homework - Complete Sentence Check 2 on pages 14 and 15

Thursday - Hand in homework before 7:45 a.m.

Thursday homework  - Complete Final Check on page 15.

Friday - Hand in homework before 7:45 a.m.

Friday - Results of assessment.


Students made nature journals this week and were introduced to the life and writing of Henry David Thoreau. We will be using these journals to explore what it means to be a naturalist in and out of the classroom. The students have also been enjoying playing WolfQuest and learning about the needs and behaviors of wolves.

Social Studies

Mr. Moss was taking part in professional development this week. Students continued work on their ongoing projects. We look forward to having Mr. Moss back on Monday.