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Summer Prep School: Week 4


Important Dates: July 27: Family program showcase and pizza party | Photos
PMS east wing 6: 00 - 7:30 . We'll be supplying pizza (meat and meatless) and drinks. Parents can bring a dish to share. There will be food for all and a chance to see what we’ve all accomplished.  

July 28: Whitewater Rafting trip Letchworth Gorge | Photos

Class Summaries: Week 4  | Class Photos

5th Library: Candice Lucas, Stacey Ehrig

Volcanoes: We applied the skills we learned in the last 3 weeks while working 
on this weeks challenge: our volcano webquest!  This project required a lot of 
organization.  We made another calendar to keep ourselves on task.  We also had to 
divide up the responsibilities of geologist, historian and  photographer.  Each job was
 very important and very different!!  We used Internet and library resources to find the 
information we needed.  Check our volcano page

Each person had to complete his or her part for the project to succeed. Working 
together was fun, but sometimes tough! We used the conflict resolution techniques we 
learned last week to come up with win-win situations. Now that our projects are 
completed, we are experts on what to do in case of a volcanic eruption. 

Ask us:

·        What a strato or composite volcano is

·        How to predict an eruption

·        What the dangers of an eruption are

·        How to protect yourself in case of an eruption

5th English: Judy Adair, Stephanie Perlet

The final week in Summer Prep proved to be busy and extremely successful!  The students worked on reading a non-fiction news article about hurricanes that related to a creepy fictional tale, “Strange Warning.” The kids practiced surveying the text by looking at the headline, sub-headings, pictures, diagrams, and captions. Then, after reading each section, students highlighted the most important details. Beware of Ms. Adair and Ms. Perlet, the “highlighter police!!”

Then, they moved back into fictional work, creating their own creepy stories.  Recording their chain stories helped the kids practice active listening, quick thinking, and their speaking skills. The students also had to make sure they met all of the required story elements. After careful revising and editing of the printed versions, the kids performed their stories for the rest of their group in a campfire style setting.  What an exciting and productive four weeks we have shared with these terrific kids!

5th Learning Skills: Andy Morrow, Jennifer Soloman

“All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players”

Although our acting skills leave something to the imagination, we completed this program with a fun activity. To review the major topics that we learned in study skills this month, students wrote, revised, rehearsed, and filmed skits. Each group shared their skit with the entire 5th grade group (often very embarrassing) and we spoke of the different ways that the skills could be interpreted and used to make them successful 6th graders. We finished our month together with our last learning log. Please make sure to read the logs, notice the fantastic organization of the binders, and laugh along with the skits Thursday evening!  Thank you for a fantastic program!  

5th Math: Raina Debboli, Heather Kitchen

This week we focused on the skills used in measurement. Monday, we practiced measuring to the nearest inch, which required them to use fractions. Tuesday, we measured things to the nearest millimeter, utilizing their decimal skills. Wednesday and Thursday students worked on a project that brought together all the skills that we have reinforced throughout this summer. The students stepped into the role of an architect to design a sketch of a Critter Condo. This role had them drawing the perimeter of a building complete with labeled dimensions in both centimeters and inches. Next, they used the skill of adding decimals and fractions to find the perimeters in both Centimeters and inches. After the blueprint was completed students stepped into a new role of a purchasing agent. They had a budget to purchase furniture, food and other materials for their Critter Condo.

Students did a fantastic job on this. Some creative ideas were developed like “The Lazy Ladybug’s Lounge” and a house in the shape of a mouse. Students really had some great hands on practice with using a ruler and seeing the connections between all their math skills. We look forward to seeing and hopefully working with these students as they move on through their middle and high school years.

6 – 8 Upper School

English: Pamina Abkowitz, Jill Wahl

This final week the effects of one-on-one instruction caught up with us. Students worked at various paces to complete the tasks started last week as well as started a DBQ assignment in conjunction with Study Skills. Ask your student to explain what DBQ means. This is preparation for the state exams in Social Studies and English, as well as reinforcement of the process for writing all essays.  Some students will complete the whole essay, while others will work toward building effective prewriting strategies, drafting, or revising and editing.  All assignments from class will be on display in their binders on Thursday night.  Some cute summer prep poems will also be posted in the English classroom (406)!  Thank you for your support throughout the program!   

Technology: Brian Holliday, Terry VanDerLinden

The 6th and 7th grade students have been working on their personal web pages.  These web pages will be accessible from the Summer Prep 2000-web site. During that time they have learned about file management and overall web site design. The 8th grade students are finishing work on the Summer Prep 2000 webzine. The students are working with in the parameters of the original web site. This will keep the overall web site the same and easily navigable by parents and students. You can access this page from the Summer Prep 2000 home page. 

Learning Skills: MaryLynn Gleason, Dave Providence, Brett Provenzano

This week in 6th-8th grade study skills we have continued our focus on analyzing the documents, which are being used for the DBQ essay. We are happy to report that in all of the classes there has been significant improvement in the students’ ability to view a situation from a more abstract perspective!  We began our analysis from a more simplistic view looking first at each leader individually.  In this first attempt the students were looking at cartoons, quotations, and narratives to discover the qualities of leaders and then to hypothesize their impact upon society.  Next, the students were asked to evaluate their experience in dealing with the documents.  Specifically, they were asked to reflect upon that which they were confident was easy and that which they viewed as difficult.  This process helped all of the students to realize their strengths and weaknesses.  In addition, this activity allowed the students to see how a group can help each other to problem solve.  In the second attempt the students were asked to look at the documents from a different view.  This time we evaluated which leaders were connected in a certain way either through having similar personal qualities or by having similar societal impacts.  This activity made the complete jump to the more abstract realm of reasoning and the students gave wonderful responses!  You will be able to see the depth they were each able to achieve when you read the final draft of your child’s essay.

For us, the Summer Prep session has been extremely rewarding and challenging.  Every activity we have developed has been based upon the following core foundation:

  1. Success = organization + effort + attention

  2. Problem-solving skills:  communication, co-operation, awareness

  3. Analysis

  4. Prioritization

  5. Use of analogies

  6. Context clues

  7. Concrete vs. Abstract thinking

  8. Evaluation—the use of reflection to look at oneself

We have put in a great deal of effort and we have seen the efforts of each child increase each day.  In addition, we have developed techniques that we intend to take back to our own classrooms in the fall.  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with your child.

Math: Kathy Curtis, Kim Mrva

Math 6: During this final week, students have used scale and proportion on Pittsford maps and United States maps.  Each student found distances from his/her home to Pittsford Middle School and answered questions using maps and scales.  Students used white boards to review and demonstrate knowledge of operations with fractions.  Students applied their knowledge of fractions and ratios to bread baking.

Math 7: During this final week, seventh grade students have expanded on their knowledge of area and measurement using ratios and proportions in scale drawings.  The students have also tackled non-routine problems solving and shared many different strategies for solving problems in class. The Math interns developed some unique questions for the students and directed a problem-solving contest.

Math 8: During this fourth week, eighth grade students solved systems of equations on graph paper and using graphing calculators.  Students applied their knowledge to telephone calls and athletic club memberships.  Students learned to use linear models and compare options offered by different companies. The final project includes drawing a picture and writing equations for these lines.    

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