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Summer Prep School: Week 2
Important Dates:

July 14: Activity day
5th Ropes course BOCES Rush Campus | Ropes Photos
6th   8th Indoor climbing at Rock Ventures | Rock Photos

Class Summaries: Week 2  |  Class Photos

5th Library: Candice Lucas, Stacey Ehrig

Middle school is a friendly place.  We learned how to be a good friend, where to go if we need a friend or if we are having trouble with a friend.  We found out what friendship meant by using the thesaurus, dictionary and synonym dictionary.  We even know where the word "friendship" came from! (We used an etymological dictionary!!)  We then brainstormed important qualities of friends.  Organizing our list was easy and fun on Mrs. Ehrig's chart. 

We have friends in our community too.  We talked about diversity.  We read The Bracelet by Yoshiko Uchida and illustrated by Joanna Yardley.  It's about a Japanese-American girl named Emi during World War II.  If you liked this book, try:

  • Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Hiroki Sugihara

  • The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Hiroki Sugihara

Have you ever heard of a web quest?  We're doing one called "What will I be when I get big?"  We picked three heroes and we are doing research about them.  We are learning how to plan a large project and how to budget our time.  The library has computers, books and magazines to help us find our heroes.  When we are finished we will have a poster to show off.

5th English: Judy Adair, Stephanie Perlet

When you mix stories about black widow spiders and hundreds of brown, wriggling snakes with fifth graders, you get a high level of interest!  After the students read these “scary” stories, they completed story maps that highlighted the basic story elements of character, setting, and plot.  In small groups, the students compared and contrasted these stories using a Venn Diagram.  The Venn Diagram served as the prewriting stage in the writing process.  The second stage of the writing process, drafting a four-paragraph essay, began after discussing the “cheeseburger” format of essay construction.  Next week the students will continue to draft, revise, edit, and publish their essays dealing with the similarities and differences in the two stories read in class.  Ask your children about the snakes and the spiders, and please encourage them to read, read, read!!!

5th Learning Skills: Andy Morrow, Jennifer Soloman

Whew!  The time is flying by and we continue to be impressed by the work and dedication of this group!  Our mighty band of students started this week by finishing up the map of the school and reviewing the personal responsibilities of a 6th grader.  We then worked with the student handbook to learn how to use its resources.  To finish up the week, we spent time reviewing the purpose of the student planner and how it ties to our goal of being organized for the school year.  We then tackled a sample planner and practiced filling in a variety of assignments.  Finally, we reflected on this week’s work by completing a learning log.  Next Week: We become test taking “STARS”!

5th Math: Raina Debboli, Heather Kitchen  

Each morning students are given a problem of the day to solve. They then present the different strategies that they use to solve it.  We began this week by discussing how fractions that look different can actually be equal, called equivalent fractions. The students were each given fractions and had to find the student that had an equivalent fraction. Following this activity, they played a game of fraction bingo. The next skill we worked on was how to compare fractions. We worked on strategies to find the smallest common denominator and then played a game. The next day the students were each given a different fraction and made a human number line. Later, they had to place numbers on their own individual number lines. The students finished the week by rotating through game stations to practice their fraction skills. We were very impressed with the student’s enthusiasm and teamwork this week.        

6 – 8 Upper School

English: Pamina Abkowitz, Jill Wahl

Monday morning we got in gear by sharing the story chains from last week. After that creative jolt, students identified parts of speech in a passage about classy cartoon character Lisa Simpson. These skills will continue to be reinforced throughout our future classes this summer.

A hands-on origami activity awakened the listening capacities of our students.  They had to follow oral directions in order to complete the task. Following this, we read an article on the benefits and risks of exercise to evaluate listening comprehension skills and note taking. The process mirrored the 8th grade English/ Language Arts assessment. 

Our intern, Crystal introduced our song review writing assignment with a little meringue number by Ricky Martin. She demonstrated the proper way to follow written directions and pointed out how she developed her model paragraph to include details and completely answer the questions. The class helped her revise and edit her draft. They then started their own reviews. Ask your child which song they chose to write about and why.  Next week we will continue this project and prepare the opinion pieces to be proudly published on the website.    

Learning Skills: MaryLynn Gleason, Dave Providence, Brett Provenzano

The second week of study skills has focused on activities to reinforce the skills we have been learning about conceptually. On Tuesday, the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades prepared skits for our mutual enjoyment. We worked on understanding the importance of organization and effort and attention. Everyone agreed that these three attributes create success. We discovered that all three need to be present for success to happen. Here was the task: each group had two of the three qualities that lead to success while one was missing. The students had to act like they were in a classroom and they had to demonstrate, for example, good effort and attention but no organization.  The skits were hilarious! Each of the grade levels had Academy Award winning performances. Ask Corey about his portrayal of lack of attention. Or, Ask Phil and Andrew about their take on no organization!  Monica and Rebecca gave outstanding performances as “The Teacher”. 

By Wednesday the 7th and 8th grades experienced some problem solving activities. Can a human knot be untangled? Ask any of the 7th or 8th graders and they will tell you it takes a lot of communication and cooperation. But, the problem can be solved!  What was the moral of the story? Ross told us that “there is no ‘I’ in the word team!  Ask the 6th graders about brain theory and they can tell you what it takes for information to get into long-term memory. HINT:  Attention and Practice (elaboration, rehearsal) really count!  Also, ask them how long it takes for information to be forgotten and they can tell you.

By Thursday we had switched gears to context clues in reading. We discovered how efficiently we could use bold letters, titles, italicized words, pictures, graphs and punctuation to make predictions about a given text. Through a variety of exercises we came to the conclusion that context clues should be an essential strategy for next year. 

Next week we will continue context clues and we will start to unravel the enigma of the document-based question. Several documents are analyzed and they are the basis for a response in essay form. These DBQ’s need to be rehearsed because they are an integral piece of the new State Standards. Your child will learn basic strategies evaluate and complete these activities. 

Math: Kathy Curtis, Jeremy Duntley, Kim Mrva  

Link to: Sketchpad samples

Math 6: This week 6th graders have been exploring properties of triangles using the Geometer’s Sketchpad software. The students constructed an equilateral triangle, measured all angles and sides, and explained what connections exist between them.  Further exploration enabled them to discover the relationship that exists between the sides and angles in other types of triangles.  In addition, students were able to classify triangles according to the lengths of their sides and the measure of their angles.

Math 7 and Math 8: This week 7th and 8th graders studied transformations in the coordinate plane.  Students practiced reflecting triangles and quadrilaterals over both the x and y-axes using graph paper and derived rules based on their end products. Students then tested their conjectures by performing the reflections using Geometer’s Sketchpad. The cumulative project allowed students to create their own figure, reflect it in both axes, and explain how the coordinates changed. This software has allowed students to reinforce several fundamental principles in geometry in a hands-on manner

Technology: Brian Holliday, Terry VanDerLinden

The 6th grade students are completing their water rockets. The students have learned the principles of aerodynamics, the effect of gravity and Newton’s laws of motion as they pertain to the water rockets. Students will see the results of these principles applied during the launch of their water rockets.

The 7th grade students completed their model rockets. Through making model rockets students apply the principles of aerodynamics, Newton’s laws of motion and skills in measuring. Students will see the results of these principles applied during the launch of their model rockets. Student will also be able to calculate the height of the rocket using the Pythagorean theorem.

The 8th grade students are putting the finishing touches on their own personal web page. These personal pages will be on the Summer Prep 2000 web page soon. The 8th grade students have also been assigned to the various subjects and activities that the Summer Prep program covers. They will be using their English skill to report every week like the teachers.  The 8th graders will interview other students in the various grades that are represented in the Summer Prep program. Views on what’s going on in the program and many pictures of activities will be part of the students’ web page content.

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