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Middle School News

April 25, 2012

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Prepared for a Rigorous High School Curriculum

Our eighth grade scientists have been studying cells and organisms. After an initial investigation of cell parts, students showcased their knowledge by completing one of four projects:  a labeled 3D-model of a cell, board game, comic book, or short story. The students are now studying genetics by learning how to calculate the probability of inherited traits using Punnett Squares, raising their own yeast babies, and surveying their own families for common genetic traits. 

Sustainability science students have been exploring renewable resources via an online simulation that puts them in competing companies fishing the Pacific ocean. The students’ companies can buy boats from bank auctions, trade ships with other companies, or order them from the ship yard. As they build their fishing fleet, they are also in charge of allocating the boats to various regions of the Pacific ocean. The students have created fishing regulations in an attempt to prevent overfishing the oceans, but the game is currently in progress so we will see if they will be successful in managing this fragile resource.

In communication arts, students have been studying and reviewing literary devices and common grammar misuses. For literary devices, students created a piece of micro-fiction based off of five images. Once they had drafted and edited their micro-fiction, they then inserted a literary device of their choosing into their stories. The eighth grade writers then created a short presentation that conveyed their story, along side the images, which became a resource for all of the eighth grade for studying literary devices.

Students also created a grade level set of grammar trading cards.  Students in groups of two or three, acted as graphic designers, writers, and publishers as they created a card that illustrated the proper use of common grammar mistakes, such as, how to properly use to, too, and two. Once finished, every student received a set of student created grammar trading cards that served as resource for studying and writing.

In quarter three, mathematics students explored multi-step equations and algebraic properties. Students in Algebra learned techniques in finding the solutions to systems of linear equations and inequalities.

In social studies. we spent time integrating our current Civil War unit with art, specifically the artistic style of Clementine Hunter. The students, after reading and analyzing eight primary source documents written by slaves, selected one document that spoke to them. They then used that document, as well as Clementine Hunter’s style to create slave paintings.