This Week in Middle School… Week of Sept 19, 2022

Students working on project together

Math

This week during math, Zoomshrooms worked on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals. They also had a lesson on what exactly a stock is and how to read a stock quote. One Zoomshroom team is in second place in the stock market game in their region!

Shockwave worked on simplifying expressions, solving one-step equations, and solving two-step equations. Most Shockwave students have the number sense to look at an equation and know the answer. We worked really hard on solving these equations using inverse operations and writing each step down. Next year, Shockwave students will be solving multi-step equations like my Algebra students did this week and need to have inverse operations down!

Algebra students have been zooming through their lessons. I taught 4 lessons in 2 days! The first four were over solving multi-step equations, solving equations with variables on both sides, solving equations that have no solution and infinite solutions, and solving proportions. The next two days students worked at their own pace to complete the previous lessons, go on a scavenger hunt to solve equations, have stock market meetings, and create a poster with equations that met certain criteria. Geometry students were introduced to inductive reasoning, conjectures, counterexamples, compound statements and truth tables. They then played a game where they had to determine if the given statements were true or false. The game ended in a tie! Finally, we covered conditional statements and biconditional statements.

ELA

Post Book Depression: That feeling you get when you finish a good book that you didn’t want to end. We’re feeling it this week in middle school. We finished our novels, Uprising (7th and 8th graders) and Bread and Roses, Too (6th graders). On Monday we gathered in small groups to discuss the endings–in some cases, the not-so-happy endings. The Zoomshrooms finished their story map diagram by filling in the climax, falling action, and resolution.

Next, we all moved on to a character analysis project. Each student picked one character from their novel and wrote how that character feels, thinks, wants and what they do. They had to cite evidence from the text to support their statements and also had to identify a meaningful quote from that character. We made ELA folders for our Google Drive and learned how to title our documents. This was a brand new thing for some and a review for others, but it’s exciting for everyone since it’s how we will organize our writing all year. Finally, students dug into the art supplies and created posters to display their character analysis.

Theme

Theme work this week concentrated on understanding the role of UNIONS and labor reform during the Progressive Era. Students learned that unions included groups of workers combining their efforts behind common causes, including fair pay, better and safer working conditions, and more reasonable work hours. Students chose one of the characters from their ELA novels, Uprising, and Bread and Roses, Too, and wrote about why that character would desire to join a union. Students compared the Gilded Age and Progressive eras, reading about various union actions to promote worker rights. They created Picket Signs, using information from their readings. Their signs reflected their efforts in understanding the conflicts between Unions and Company management, what worker demands were like in the early 20th century, and the events led to the changes brought about at the start of World War II.

The week ended with the first Theme CURRENT EVENTS day. Students watched a news recap using Rap Lyrics. They were challenged to write their own Rap Lyrics or Poetry to summarize one of the chosen news events of the week, from the death of Queen Elizabeth, to the Beyond Meat COO attacking and biting another person after a football game. Their songs and poetry were clever and funny as well!