Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two weeks left until the end of the quarter and the middle of the year

Greetings again!
Last week was a flurry of skiing, plays, and MAP testing. The first big adventure was skiing. However, with this group getting there can be half the "fun."

Once there, some went tubing...

Others went skiing

By the end of the day everyone had a good time.

Then there was the play. When it was over, the principal complimented Pangaea house on how well we listened and participated.

And finally there was the MAP testing. We now have some new math scores and soon some new Language Arts test results to add to the other MAP testing data from this fall and years past. If you want to learn more or have questions your child's homeroom teacher should be able to help you. If not we will take some time during third quarter conferences to go over them and their implication.

Not to be outdone, Tuesday the 29th, students saw another play but things are back to normal... well "normal" may be a bit of an overstatement because this week is Spirit week so Monday was pajama day, Tuesday is school colors day (blue, green, and white), Wednesday is backwards / inside out day, Thursday is Twins day (someone else or the baseball team) and Friday is red, pink, black, white, (Valentine's Day colors) day as well as hat pass day and fancy dress day on top of all that Friday is also wear red for women day... phew, that is a lot for just one day.

So, back to the business of science class. First, this week I have returned a slew of student work and given students a grade update sheet so they know exactly what they have and what they need as well as how to get it. The first part of the week will include an activity designed to help students understand radiometric isotope dating. This method is used by scientists to determine how many years old a given layer of rock or fossil is. Some radiation is naturally occurring in all plants and animals. This material breaks down in a predictable pattern and once that pattern is understood, it can be interpreted and students or scientists can extrapolate (I love that word!) when the material formed give or take a hundred years. The latter part of this week and next week will focus on volcanoes and earthquakes. Remember that science notebooks are due to be graded at the end of this week. We have done several activities in which students record their data in them so they are worth more this quarter than last quarter. Check in with your middle schooler and ask them about it. If it gets "lost" it can cut a final grade in half so if there are any problems there is time to fix them if we start now rather than the last possible moment.

If you have any questions please feel email me at mark.russo@emid6067.net

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