We will be having our first major of the unit next Wednesday, 10/25. Students will be getting a study guide in class on Monday. This multiple choice test will cover plant parts and their functions and processes.
Topics to review: plant parts/functions quiz, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, & transpiration notes
We have finally gotten through our research stations for the TomatoSphere project. If you haven't already, ask your child to show you what they've been working on in Google Classroom. If your child's group didn't get finished over the last three days in class, they will need to complete it for homework.
The quiz tomorrow will cover the parts of the flower (study labeled diagram of flower parts) and their functions (study the descriptions of what they do). In case your child has misplaced theirs, my completed copy of the note sheet is attached.
Reminders: We are looking for lily donations so that we can dissection flowers on Friday. Please send in ASAP if you are able. We appreciate your support! If you would like to volunteer to come help out with the flower dissection, send me an e-mail. We would love to have you!
We will also be looking for donations for the TomatoSphere project, once we make our class supply lists. We will be working on that tomorrow, and will hopefully start planting on Thursday. I know it sounds like a quick turn-around, but I will be purchasing the supplies to start the seed growth. The donated materials will be used a little later in the process. Your child should be able to explain this to you! :)
Whew, we have gotten a lot accomplished within this first week of the quarter! We started out this week by reviewing and "focusing" our Social Contracts. Each class worked through a process to pick out the 5 expectations from their Social Contract that they thought were the most important and that we should focus on for this second quarter.
We also learned about the reproductive structures of a flowering plant (see my copy below). Your child's homework this week was to review these notes each night for at least 15 minutes. We will have a MINOR quiz on this next week. The date has not yet been determined. It will not be open-note, but will be very similar to the notes page. We will also be dissecting a lily next week to get a better look at these different flower parts. If you are able to donate, we would love to have at least 5-6 lilies per class. Please send in donations Monday or Tuesday.
Our first grade for this quarter was due in class today. It is called the "Mystery Missing Flower Parts." This was an in-class assignment from Wednesday, but was able to be taken home if students didn't finish in class. If your child did not turn this in and does not have their copy at home to work on, they can pick up an extra copy on Monday. If it is turned in Monday, there will only be a 5% late deduction. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the deduction will be 10%. It cannot be turned in after Wednesday.
You may have heard that we are starting a VERY EXCITING project this quarter. We are partnering with the TomatoSphere project to collect data about the germination rates of tomato seeds if they have been sent to space. We have received two packets of seeds: one went to the International Space Station and the other is a control, but we don;t get to know which is which! Yes, this is a very REAL project. We will be submitting our results back to the project manager and the data will be used to help with future space exploration! Your child started their background research today in Google Classroom. Feel free to have them add you to the class so that you can stay up-to-date with what we are doing with the project. We will need supply donations for this project, but I do not have the list yet. It will be posted later this week. Students will be responsible for determining and creating our final supply list. We would also LOVE to have your help with this project! If you'd like to volunteer to help with ANY part of this project or if you are an expert in any of the topics we are exploring, please send me an e-mail and we'll see where we can work you into our schedule.
Homework for parents?
One of the most common concerns that parents are voicing during conferences is that of our communication. We are frequently hearing that there is just too much communication happening in too many different places, which is a little overwhelming. I hear your concern. If you have a free 10-15 minutes, please fill out the following survey about our various forms of communication. *Because it is a Google Form, it may require you to log into a Google account. If your e-mail is not through Google, fret not. Your child can sign in under their school account. Then, once in the survey, there is a place to put your name and an alternate e-mail address.
Each class is in a different place, but no class is getting finished with these today. We will finish in class next week.
Students took the Layers of the Earth & Plate Tectonics Major today in class. All students have their scores back already. If your child was in my 3rd period or if they test in the testing lab, they will get their scores by the end of the day tomorrow. 3rd Period students experienced an internet outage and had to take their test "the old-fashioned way" instead of via Google Classroom.
If your child would like to retest, they will need to fill out the "Request to Retake" form, which they can get in class tomorrow and have it back to me on Friday. The deadline is typically Monday, but has to be pushed back up to Friday since we do not have school on Monday.
Per PHMS Grading Plan, your child may not re-test next week if they have any missing work from this unit (Student Agenda, pg. 5). Because we have very long units, this includes everything in the grade book currently with the exception of the Science Safety Quiz and Scientific Method Lab from the beginning of school. Next Wednesday, 9/6 will be the only day the re-test for this Major will be offered. We will not continue with re-tests after track-out, as this grade will be on the first quarter report card and this quarter ends at track-out.
If you have any questions, please let me know!
I have had a lot of questions about our most recent Major project. We finished presentations today, and I saw some really awesome projects! If your child did not get the grade they'd like, they do have a chance to make-up that grade. Just like our first lab, this is the only time this year I will be offering a way to make-up a project. If you'd like to take advantage of this opportunity, your child will need to:
1) Use the graded rubric to correct the errors made in the presentation.
2) Fill out the Make-Up form posted in Google Classroom.
3) Sign up for an "interview" time through the Sign-Up Genius posted in Google Classroom. If your child signed up for a time before or after school there will be a parent permission slip to fill out as well.
**If your child does not show up for their "interview," they will forfeit the opportunity to make up this assignment.
Last week, we started our next MAJOR- the "Where in the World?" project. The last day to work on this project in class is this Wednesday. On Thursday, students will work through a self-assessment and peer-assessment to ensure that they have all parts of the rubric complete. We will begin presentations this Friday. Most students will not get to present on Friday, as it is an Early Release Day. I suggested the following pacing guide for students to make sure that they get everything done on time:
Thurs 8/10: Landform Identification (HW: country and continent)
Fri 8/11: In class: Boundary and Plates, Movements/Crust Effects/Landforms (HW: Impacts)
Mon 8/14: In class: Visual & Comparison, Begin to put together presentation
Tues 8/15: In class: work on presentation
Wed 8/16: Any last minute questions, wrap up presentation & begin to rehearse
Thurs 8:17: Self & Peer Assessments
Fri 8/18: [Early Release] Begin student presentations. Students who do not present 8/18 will present Tues 8/22.
**Note: I have included both copies of this assignment below. The one on the left is the version most students received. The one on the right is the modified version. If you are not sure which one your child received, please e-mail me. It is very important that you are using the correct version for your child. Everyone is free to look at both of them, but please note that there are slight differences in the rubrics. If you use the wrong one, your child could miss things that are supposed to be in their presentation and could lose points.
There seems to be an issue with the first lab (Bubbles!), so please let me explain. It is counted as a MAJOR assessment, which means your child has the opportunity to make up that grade if they A) forgot to turn it in, or B) did not like the original grade. This is an exception, as it was our very first major. In the future, your child will ONLY be able to make up MAJORS if they have no missing work. This would include a 0 for not turning in the MAJOR the first time.
You can access your child's grade by checking PowerSchool. Students are able to log in now. If your child has a "0", that means they did not turn in their lab sheet, even during the late period. If your child is sure that they turned in their lab sheet but they have a 0, please check their graded work folder in their science binder. If they do not have the lab there with a grade on it, they did not turn it in. These were handed back Monday. I did tell each class on Monday that they have an opportunity to fix their grade. It is due tomorrow.
Now, if your child would like to "fix" their grade, they need to go to DiscoveryEducation.com tonight to make up the lab. (UN: wcpstudentnumber PW: studentnumber) The lab is called "One Tomato Two Tomato." They need to complete all of the questions on the attached post-lab sheet and have it ready to turn in tomorrow if they are taking this opportunity to fix their grade.
Our Plate Tectonics lab sheet deadline is Monday. If they turn in in tomorrow or Monday, there will be a 10% late deduction, per our late policy in the student agenda. Your child's work is considered late if it is not ready to turn in when collected at the beginning of class, no matter what the excuse- with the exception of the absent policy if they didn't know about the due date in advance. Any time your child is absent, please have them check this section of the website as well as Google Classroom so they do not get behind. In middle school, we do not ask students for make-up work if they are absent. It is their responsibility to make sure they have their work caught up and turned in on time. We simply have too many students to track down absent work. They are, of course, allowed and encouraged to come see us about any questions they have about absent work.
I hope that I did not come off too harsh; that was not my intention. I just know that there are a lot of new things to learn with middle school and I wanted to make it as clear as possible. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to me! The goal is for your child to be successful! :)
**SPECIFICATIONS on tonight's science homework: Today we learned about our next MAJOR, called "Where in the World?" This is an individual, research-based project that will conclude with a presentation to the class next week. Please see the attachments below for more details about this project. Tonight your child is responsible for finding the "Landform Identification," or the continent and country where their landform is located. They should have this information ready when coming to class tomorrow.
And finally (whew!)- interims will go home tomorrow. Be on the lookout for these forms. This marks the halfway point of the quarter so that you have an idea of your child's progress. Please keep in mind that if your child has complete retakes or has turned in absent work besides what was actually due this week, that may not be reflected on their interim yet. It takes time to go through the assignments, and current assignments are the priority.
We had our second lab on Friday about plate tectonics. It was a lot of fun! Your child should be working to complete their lab sheet at home. It is due on Wednesday and will be counted as a MINOR grade. If your child was absent, they have an alternate assignment to complete and will need to see me for the details.
Today we are using resources posted to Google Classroom to learn more about Alfred Wegener. If your child does not get them finished in class, they need to be finished for homework tonight. We will be using these notes to complete another map activity in class tomorrow.
DON'T FORGET- PICTURES ARE TOMORROW! :)
Extra help is available every Tuesday from 3:30-4:30. Please remember that you MUST fill out a permission form (below) and turn it in the day before in order to attend.
For some of our projects this year, I will be asking for parent volunteers. If you already know that you would like to volunteer in the future, please contact me. Otherwise, the need for parent volunteers will be included in the weekly update. Thank you! :)