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Jon & Carrie's Rooms (Middle School)


Carrie's Update 3-5-2020

posted Mar 5, 2020, 10:55 AM by Cynthia Friedman

One mission, One Vision, One School, One Community

Please click the link below to get-up-to date calendar information.

Full Calendar: http://www.ridgeline.org/calendar 


Upcoming Events

Friday 4/6

Middle School Field Day at the Park

Friday 4/6

Middle School Dance-See Info Below

March 23-27

NO SCHOOL- Spring Break

Thursday 4/30

Majestic Trees/Tree to Tree Field Trips


Announcements


Health & Cleanliness 

The middle school has implemented additional handwashing steps shared by principal Michelle. In addition, we have made adjustments to student jobs to reduce the spread of germs.  We are no longer using sponges or reusable cloths. Instead, we are using paper towels to clean classroom surfaces. We are committed to the health of our community!


This Friday is the Middle School Dance! 

We're very excited to bring some Spring in the Tropics vibes to the Middle School, and hope that you student is planning on attending. 


A few important safety notes:

1. Only current Ridgeline Middle School students are allowed to attend. 

2. Your child must be dropped off and picked up at the dance, unless we receive WRITTEN permission for them to walk home or go home with another student. Please email written permission to:

 india.john@ridgeline.org 

3. Please remind your student that they will only be allowed in the gym and nearby hallway, and will not be allowed to wander the campus unsupervised.


Thank you,

India


Health Class This Term!

"For term five all of the students will be participating in a health class during one of their elective periods. Maizzy will be teaching the six-week curriculum. Here is what Maizzy has to say about it:

Hey there middle school families! 

This week we embarked on a six-week tour through human health and sexuality. From Monday, March 3rd to Thursday, April 16th the students will receive two health lessons a week. We only have twelve lessons to cover such an essential topic! Please see the Oregon State Health Education Standards for 7th and 8th grade if you would like to know what kinds of things will be addressed.

Because we have so few lessons this year, we'd like your help: each week, at least, please ask your student about what was covered in health class! They will be coached to discuss these things with their trusted adults. If we can provide you with any parent resources on a topic, please let us know!"

Maizzy


Academics

Science

This week we wrap up Unit 2 Chapter 2 Activities.  Some questions we investigated this week are:

  • How do we evaluate a good analysis, explanation, and diagram, of an interaction?

  • Why is it important to first describe the change in motion of an object?

  • What are the main general steps in the experimental process?

    • Pose a question to investigate (with the manipulated and responding variable clearly defined), 

    • Develop your hypothesis, and supporting reasons.

    • Design your experiment to test your hypothesis (control all your variables).

    • Write your step by step experiment plan (in detail so that others can repeat your experiment precisely).

    • Conduct the experiment (using multiple trials).

    • Organize and analyze your data.

    • Write your conclusion, supporting it with all the data, and only scientific reasoning.

Next week we review Unit 2 and take the Unit 2 Test.


Math

Students are actively encouraged to review their tests, correct their problems and look for patterns of errors to practice reviewing and improving math habits.  Students who choose to do test corrections will receive .5 point for every corrected point. This is actually a significant portion of their grade, because tests are heavily weighted in comparison to homework.  Students are provided with a template on which they can show their test revisions. It is to be neatly stapled over the top of their test. On it, they first figure out their mistake(s) on each problem they missed, rework the problem correctly, then write a note describing what their error was and what they did differently.  The most common kinds of errors are: copied the problem incorrectly, didn’t read the directions carefully, didn’t carry the negative, made a simple operations error, didn’t reduce the final answer, switched up order of operations, didn’t show their work, and/or forgot to label with units. Generally each student will find a pattern where they do one or two of these regularly. These are simple fixes whose only requirement is attention to changing a habit. It takes mindful intention to neglect old habits and work on building new ones..  Each student who is doing this, is steadily improving in their repertoire of math skills!  


For parents with students in CC2, I would like to reiterate that these students have access to their books online.  This is a good resource for getting your head around math concepts in CPM Core Connections, Course 2, Parent Guide with Extra Practice:

http://msbryant.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/CC2-Parent-Guide-FULL.pdf


Thank you for sharing your amazing students!

Carrie and India


Resources

Link to the Interactions in Physical Science Textbook:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxgNrBsjIH5uazNzY0JEQVhXMk0?usp=sharing

NOTE! Ridgeline Middle School students may ONLY access this link using their ridgeline email address.


CPM Core Connections 2 and Core Connections 3 Student EBook sign In:

  1.  Students are to sign in to their Ridgeline Google account using their Ridgeline address.

  2. Go to https://sso.cpm.org/

  3. Students use the “Sign in with Google” link to sign in to their assigned ebook.

    1. The CPM ebook has supports and homework help for each assignment.


CPM Parent Support Page:

https://cpm.org/parent-support

CPM Homework Support

http://homework.cpm.org


Carrie Culliton
Middle School Teacher

Carrie's Update 2-13-2020

posted Feb 13, 2020, 3:13 PM by Cynthia Friedman


One mission, One Vision, One School, One Community

Please click the link below to get-up-to date calendar information.

Full Calendar: http://www.ridgeline.org/calendar 


Upcoming Events

Monday  2/17

No School - Presidents Day

Monday 3/2

Term 5 Begins

Monday  3/23-Monday 3/30

No School - Spring Break

Thursday 4/30

Field Trips:

7th Graders - Majestic Trees

8th Graders - Tree to Tree


Announcements

Eugene School District (4j) School Transfer Information

https://www.4j.lane.edu/instruction/enrollment/schoolchoice/


Attention! 

Guardians of 7th Graders who wish to Chaperone on this year’s Mystic Trees (Formerly Canopy Connections) Field Trip!!

Chaperone Duties: The 7th grade cohort will be divided into 5 groups, each facilitated by a college student, who will be supported by a Ridgeline Chaperone.  India and I will cover two groups, so we will need at least 3 chaperones for this trip. We will also need one parent driver, as the motor pool vans that India and I will be driving will each carry 11 people.  

 

Majestic Trees (Formerly Canopy Connections) Field Trip Information

Methods/topics:  Hands-on, experiential learning. One station will continue our tradition of integrating writing and art (and we have several artists on the team, so there may be painting this year). The other three stations will focus on forest ecology, centered on the long-term ecological research being conducted at HJA, including a focus on climate change. Note: we will not have tree climbing this year (although this may change if I find another vendor to provide this) 

Location:  H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (HJA), which is located just an hour and 15 minutes from Eugene, in the Willamette National Forest. 

 

Facilitators:  The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is a service-learning program that provides undergraduates an opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to address local environmental issues.  The ELP team will be responsible for developing the curriculum during winter term and then implementing it with your students in the spring.

 

Field trip agenda: 

  • 9:30         Arrive at HJA

  • 9:30 – 10:00    Welcome, introduction, agenda, group agreements. Break into four groups (6-8 students each, pre-determined by teacher).

  • 10:00- 12:00 Two morning stations

  • 12:00-12:45     Group lunch - (bring own), bathroom break, refill water bottles

  • 12:45- 2:45      Two afternoon stations

  • 3:00ish        Students leave HJA



Information about the AVID 9 program at South Eugene High School

Dear Families of 8th Grade Students,

Applications for the AVID 9 program at South Eugene High School are now available for all incoming 9th grade students. AVID is a program that supports students in achieving academic success in high school while preparing them for admission to college. An attachment to our application has been included with this letter. Applications are due to SEHS no later than Tuesday, February 18, 2020 by 3:45pm.

 Additional information about AVID is available on the South Eugene High School webpage. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the SEHS AVID program, please contact Laura Queirolo, SEHS AVID Teacher, at queirolo_l@4j.lane.edu.

We will be holding our incoming 9th grade information night a bit later this year (April 1st), with visits to middle schools later in April.  Stay tuned for more information.

Best Regards,

Christy Gonenne


Academics

Science

We continue our investigations into mechanical interactions and energy transfer, in which we answered the questions:

  • Motion Energy: Where does it come from? Where does it go? How does it change?

  • How can you change the motion energy of an object?

  • What defines an applied interaction? Describe specific properties of the objects involved (source and receiver). How specifically do the source and receiver change in energy?

  • What defines a drag interaction? Describe specific properties of the objects involved (source and receiver). How specifically do the source and receiver change in energy?

  • What defines a friction interaction? Describe specific properties of the objects involved (source and receiver). How specifically do the source and receiver change in energy?

This week we added a new component to our energy diagrams.  An oval is connected below the energy source and another is connected below the energy receiver.  Students describe what type of energy is either being decreased or increased in the object during the energy interaction. Some examples of types of energy introduced this week are stored chemical, motion, and thermal energy. Image result for energy diagram source receiver


Math 

Students are actively encouraged to review their tests, correct their problems and look for patterns of errors to practice reviewing and improving math habits.  Students who choose to do test corrections will receive .5 point for every corrected point. This is actually a significant portion of their grade, because tests are heavily weighted in comparison to homework.  Students are provided with a template on which they can show their test revisions. It is to be neatly stapled over the top of their test. On it, they first figure out their mistake(s) on each problem they missed, rework the problem correctly, then write a note describing what their error was and what they did differently.  The most common kinds of errors are: copied the problem incorrectly, didn’t read the directions carefully, didn’t carry the negative, made a simple operations error, didn’t reduce the final answer, switched up order of operations, didn’t show their work, and/or forgot to label with units. Generally each student will find a pattern where they do one or two of these regularly. These are simple fixes whose only requirement is attention to changing a habit. It takes mindful intention to neglect old habits and work on building new ones..  Each student who is doing this, is steadily improving in their repertoire of math skills!  


I would like to reiterate that you and your students have access to math and science support online.  Access links listed below!

Thank you for sharing your amazing students!


Carrie and India


Resources

Link to the Interactions in Physical Science Textbook:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxgNrBsjIH5uazNzY0JEQVhXMk0?usp=sharing

NOTE! Ridgeline Middle School students may ONLY access this link using their ridgeline email address.


CPM Core Connections 2 and Core Connections 3 Student EBook sign In:

  1.  Students are to sign in to their Ridgeline Google account using their Ridgeline address.

  2. Go to https://sso.cpm.org/

  3. Students use the “Sign in with Google” link to sign in to their assigned ebook.

    1. The CPM ebook has supports and homework help for each assignment.


CPM Parent Support Page:

https://cpm.org/parent-support

CPM Homework Support

http://homework.cpm.org



--
Carrie Culliton
Middle School Teacher

Jon's Update 2-13-2020

posted Feb 13, 2020, 2:41 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Important Dates
Tues & Thurs 3:10-4:00 pm TRUE Rehearsals
Sun, 2/16, 11-11:45am TRUE Performance Asian Celebration, Lane County Fairground
Mon, 2/17 **NO SCHOOL: President's Day
Mon-Mon, 3/23-3/30 **NO SCHOOL: Spring Break
Tues, 3/31 Classes Resume

Dear Middle School Family,

Things are really picking up in the back of Building B. We have just made the leap into large projects in both Humanities and Communications. There are clear steps in the process along the way for both subjects, and it's going to require some attention to detail for the students to stay on top of their work. Please check in and see how they're doing. The steps are very clearly laid out in Jupiter Ed, with instructions and links to all the things they need. We are getting much stricter about deadlines in order to keep the students on track.

Humanities

This week, we are digging in to our second batch of Humanities projects, seeking answers to the BIG question of the year, "How should humans live together?" We've watched Crash Course World History videos, sprinting from the beginning of the Common Era and the Silk Road, through the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to the spread of Islam to the Crusades to the kingdoms of Sub-Saharan Africa to the Mongols. We wrapped things up right around 1450 C.E.

A lot of humanity happened in 1500 years! (And a lot of inhumanity!) This week, students are digging through their notes from the last two weeks, looking for a topic of great personal interest that will help provide some insight into how humans should live together. There's no easy answer, of course, but we sure have made a lot of attempts at making it work.

During the last week of February, the students will compile their findings on Project Boards, sharing three key lessons they learned from some person, movement, religion, civilization... human attempt in history. We'll hold a Gallery Exhibit after school on Friday, February 28, if you would like to come in and see what they came up with.

Communications

This week, the students turned in their first official Writing Project of the year. We made some changes a couple of weeks ago, expanding our writing program to include more options, more free choice, and more fun. Students have one more big Writing Project this term, and will have three each term, starting in March (six more this year).

Each term, each student will write an Argumentative Essay (based on an issue they choose), a Responsive Essay (essentially an AOW about an article they choose from a large selection), and a Creative Work (for now, a short story). Rather than coach the students one on one, as we've been doing with the Article of the Week, I'm meeting with the students in small groups of five.

Students are required to attend two lessons for each Writing Project. In the first lesson, students bring their beginning ideas about their project to the group. (I've provided a template to help them organize their ideas.) Students explain their Writing Project and their ideas with the group, and we help troubleshoot and make suggestions for each student as a team. Each student goes back to get started on the actual Writing Project with a bunch of notes and ideas, and a clear path for moving forward.

After they write and edit a draft they're feeling good about, students sign up for their second lesson. In the second lesson, they each bring six copies of their Writing Project, and the rest of the group makes editing notes directly on the page while each student reads their piece. Then we discuss the content of their work, and make suggestions not just for clerical editing, but for improving the clarity and impact of their ideas and content. Each student goes back to do their final editing with notes from 5 other pairs of eyes.

It's been a lot of fun, so far. The groups are just the right size that everyone is engaged in the process, and is enjoying hearing their classmates' work. I'm really enjoying the respectful way the students are engaging in each other's ideas, and sincerely working to help each other improve their writing.

Whew! Lots going on. As I said, please check in with your student, and don't hesitate to reach out to me via email if you have any questions or concerns. Sooner is always better than later.

Take care,
Jon and Maizzy

Jon's Update 1-15-2020

posted Jan 16, 2020, 12:17 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Important Dates
Tues & Thurs 3:10-4:00 pm TRUE Rehearsals
Mon, 1/20 **NO SCHOOL: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Fri, 1/24, 6-8pm Ridgeline Talent Show
Sun, 1/26, 2:15-2:45pm TRUE Performance Lane Home and Garden Show, Lane County Fairground
Fri, 1/31 **NO SCHOOL: Grading Day
Sun, 2/16, 11-11:45am TRUE Performance Asian Celebration, Lane County Fairground

Dear Middle School Family,
We are officially halfway through the school year! Term 3 ends on Friday, January 17, marking the end of the first semester. We will be sending home Semester 1 report cards next Friday, January 24. Please remember that you can log in to Jupiter Ed at any time to monitor your student's progress.

Humanities
Next week, we will begin the first phase of our next big project, returning to John Green's "Crash Course World History." Once again, students will take notes, sifting through the "information overload," in search of topics of deep interest that they feel demand more elaborate explanation. Links to the videos will be in Jupiter Ed, so the students can re-watch the episodes at home if they need more time to take better notes.

Communications
We'll continue to develop our writing and editing skills, as well, with the Article of the Week assignments. Each week, students will be assigned a current event to read and annotate in preparation for their written response. The AOW response assignment is an adaptation I've developed for middle school from the college textbook, "They Say, I Say," by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein.

Their response is a two-paragraph assignment. Their first paragraph should start with an assertion made in the article, followed by an explanation of the assertion, using evidence directly from the text. Their second paragraph is an assertion of the student's position in response to the assertion in the first paragraph. They use their own experience, as well as evidence from the text to explain their position.

Later in the year, as the students become more adept at these short assignments, we will be using evidence from multiple sources to discuss more complex topics. By the end of their middle school experience, our students are more than prepared for academic writing in high school and college.

The complexity, and the quality of the students' work is going to increase considerably over the next few months. Please check in with your student (and with Jupiter Ed) about their progress, and how they're feeling about the work they're doing. We are happy to meet with you to discuss any questions or concerns you have as the year progresses.

Best wishes,
Jon and Maizzy

Carrie's Update - Week of 12/17/19

posted Jan 16, 2020, 8:59 AM by Cynthia Friedman


One mission, One Vision, One School, One Community

Please click the link below to get-up-to date calendar information.

Full Calendar: http://www.ridgeline.org/calendar 


Upcoming Events

Monday, 1/20

No School - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Friday 1/ 31

No School - Grading Day

Monday  2/17

No School - Presidents Day


High School Options for 8th Graders

Interested in Eugene IHS ?

If you have 8th grade students interested in Eugene IHS for the 2019-2020 school year, the 4J School Choice Lottery for in-district students opens January 1st and the deadline is January 31st.  We will be holding parent information nights in January. All students interested in enrolling in Eugene IHS must apply through the 4J School Choice Lottery. Students currently enrolled in Eugene IHS do not need to re-apply unless you move outside of the 4J attendance area.


Academy of Arts and Academics in Springfield

We (Academy of Arts and Academics in Springfield) are getting up and running for recruitment for next year, and the Springfield transfer window opens in January. 

(A3 is) particularly interested in (Ridgeline) students because they have been immersed in a whole child environment... We have many students who come from Waldorf and Montessori backgrounds who thrive with our project-based, team focused learning. If you aren't familiar with us and you're interested, we have information on our website. I would suggest viewing the project based learning video we have on the site if you aren't familiar with A3 and would like an outline of what we do. http://a3school.org/

A3 is Springfield’s only arts integrated school. It is a tuition-free school of choice. All students must apply for transfers!  Transfers must be applied for by January 31st.

 A3 information nights: 

  • January 16th, at 6:30 pm 

  • March 4th 6:30 pm


Academics

Here in the Ridgeline middle school, rigorous academics are important for academic advancement, and more importantly, as a vehicle for personal growth.  We believe in our student’s potential, therefore we hold high bars in the arenas of personal initiative as well as academic performance. We provide designated time, reminders, and individual and community support while our students are working towards improvement in these areas.  

We are now finishing up Term 3 in Jupiter Grades. Term 4 begins this coming Tuesday January 21st.  If you or your student have difficulty finding assignments in Jupiter Ed, check the top left corner of the screen to make sure you are searching in the correct term. This is a link, just click to navigate to the desired term.  

Science

Image result for energy transfer diagramWe are now working in Unit 2 Chapter 1, and describing interactions in terms of energy transfer. Students have been introduced to energy diagrams as tools to describe interactions (see diagram).

Our recent focus has been on mechanical waves, through the mediums of air and water specifically.  Students have been assigned a Science Consensus Ideas review guide to review this section. This guide is designed to engage student knowledge of transverse and compression waves, and will be an excellent resource for students when they study for the Chapter 1 test. 

Students should be able to answer these questions:

  • What is the difference between a transverse and a compression wave?

  • When a wave travels along a coiled spring, does each individual coil travel from one end of the spring to the other? If not, what does each coil do? How does this help us understand how particles in air and water move when mechanical waves travel through these mediums?

  • What is the evidence that a wave transfers energy through air, and/or water?

  • How does the wavelength change when the frequency of a wave increases?

  • How does your ear perceive an increase in the amplitude of a wave?

  • How does your ear perceive an increase in the frequency of a wave?


Forward Ever,

Carrie and India


Resources

Link to the Interactions in Physical Science Textbook:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxgNrBsjIH5uazNzY0JEQVhXMk0?usp=sharing

NOTE! Ridgeline Middle School students may ONLY access this link using their ridgeline email address.


CPM Core Connections 2 and Core Connections 3 Student EBook sign In:

  1.  Students are to sign in to their Ridgeline Google account using their Ridgeline address.

  2. Go to https://sso.cpm.org/

  3. Students use the “Sign in with Google” link to sign in to their assigned ebook.

    1. The CPM ebook has supports and homework help for each assignment.


CPM Parent Support Page:

https://cpm.org/parent-support

CPM Homework Support

http://homework.cpm.org



Jon's Update 12-16-19

posted Dec 16, 2019, 3:25 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Dear Middle School Family,

It's that time of year again. The new Star Wars movie comes out this week, just in time for Winter Break. We're going to skip electives this Friday, December 20, and watch "Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi."

We will order pizza from Costco, and provide fruit juice. If your student has any special dietary needs, please send them to school with a fun lunch so they can participate in the festivities. (We have microwaves and ovens in Room 12.)

Please encourage your student to dress up as their favorite Star Wars character!

Please contact me with any questions.
Best,
Jon

Carrie's Update 12-16-19

posted Dec 16, 2019, 1:27 PM by Cynthia Friedman

One mission, One Vision, One School, One Community

Please click the link below to get-up-to date calendar information.

Full Calendar: http://www.ridgeline.org/calendar 


Upcoming Events

Mon. 12/23-Mon. 1/6        

NO SCHOOL – Winter Break

Mon 1/6         

(Possible Hazardous Weather Make-Up Day)

Monday, 1/20

No School - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Friday 1/ 31

No School - Grading Day

Monday  2/17

No School - Presidents Day


 Interested in Eugene IHS ?

If you have 8th grade students interested in Eugene IHS for the 2019-2020 school year, the 4J School Choice Lottery for in-district students opens January 1st and the deadline is January 31st.  We will be holding parent information nights in January. All students interested in enrolling in Eugene IHS must apply through the 4J School Choice Lottery. Students currently enrolled in Eugene IHS do not need to re-apply unless you move outside of the 4J attendance area.


Math

One thing I have heard again and again from people who discover my occupation, is how frustrated they were in college, when they finally understood middle and high school math concepts that they “learned” growing up.  I was definitely one of those people. Many of us, learned how to apply formulas to problems that fit a certain pattern without really understanding the problem or what the formula had to do with the concepts and processes used to solve it.  I certainly was not able to defend my reasoning, or discuss other ways of solving problems with my peers. We use the  CPM Core Connections curriculum because all this metacognition and mathematical thinking is built in.  It is designed to deepen learning of math concepts through hands on labs conducted in small groups. Students are provided the opportunity to discover for themselves, connections between math concepts.  I am a guide. They are the teachers as well as learners. It is very hands on, project based, and aligns with our Montessori philosophy. The following quote provides good reasoning for our small group, project based approach to learning.


“...students need to be active participants as they develop their own mathematical understanding.  The study team structure—students working in teams of two or four—creates a setting in which students are continuously in the presence of others with whom they can discuss, share ideas, and articulate their thinking.  In study teams, students refine their ideas, questions, and approaches in the security of a few classmates, where it may be easier to take risks – especially asking questions – than in a large class setting. Students consistently communicate with teammates who may see things differently, allowing them to discover new connections between ideas and encouraging them to justify their ideas to their peers.” -CPM Core Connections: Using Study Teams for Effective Learning


Science

Last week we wrapped up the third and last Chapter of Unit 1: Building a Foundation with a cumulative Exam.  In Unit 2 we will focus our attention on Interactions and Energy.  As we investigate energy transfer in water, sound, and solids, we will describe these interactions in terms of energy transfer in interaction chains. We will also collect, analyze and describe data on the motion of both objects and waves with constant or changing speeds. 

The key question for this Unit is:

  • How do scientists describe interactions in terms of energy?


With Great Appreciation,

Carrie and India


Resources

Link to the Interactions in Physical Science Textbook:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxgNrBsjIH5uazNzY0JEQVhXMk0?usp=sharing

NOTE! Ridgeline Middle School students may ONLY access this link using their ridgeline email address.


CPM Core Connections 2 and Core Connections 3 Student EBook sign In:

  1.  Students are to sign in to their Ridgeline Google account using their Ridgeline address.

  2. Go to https://sso.cpm.org/

  3. Students use the “Sign in with Google” link to sign in to their assigned CPM ebook.

    1. The CPM ebook has supports and homework help for each assignment.


CPM Parent Support Page:

https://cpm.org/parent-support

CPM Homework Support

http://homework.cpm.org



Jon's Update 12-6-19

posted Dec 9, 2019, 9:20 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Dear Middle School Family,

I've gotten a few emails from families over the weekend asking for clarification about what the heck we're up to with these Humanities Projects.

There's no simple answer, so here's the deal:

We teach Humanities on an A/B schedule. Last year, we studied "U.S. history and government." This year we're studying "Global Studies." This conforms with the State of Oregon requirements for what we cover in 7th and 8th grade. That's where the conformity ends.

For Global Studies this whole school year. we are centering our learning around the Big Question: "How should humans live together?" 

Over the last few weeks, we have watched the first 8 episodes of "Crash Course World History" by John Green. It started with the agricultural revolution around 10,000 BCE, and ended with Alexander the Great, just before the beginning of the Common Era.

We watched them with the Big Question in mind. The students took notes of names and places and historic events that might be of use for answering the Big Question. Because the videos are so short, and lack detail, the students then chose 3 things from their notes from each episode, and wrote short "Elaborations" about them. Just a quick explanation of the person, place, or phenomenon.

Then they chose a topic that they thought would help provide some examples from history to help answer the Big Question.  After 8 episodes, they should have had 24 topics that they had elaborated on to choose from. 

Topics chosen included: Confucianism, Ancient Indian Bhuddism, Ancient Greek City-States, the Persian Empire, Ancient Egypt, the Han Dynasty in China... The task: Students must dig into these topics to find examples of what can we learn from these various attempts at organizing humans. Both things that worked well, and things that didn't work out so well.

How should humans live together? We tend to simply accept that our way of living is the way. We're going to spend the year exploring the ways we've gone about organizing around this problem throughout human history up to now.

My plan is that by the end of the year, we'll all know a lot more about the recurring mistakes we've made, and a little more, at least, about how we can do a better job.

As for the process for these projects: we're teaching your student how to think for their self. It's a difficult process, and there are at least 45 different ways for our 45 students to think for themselves. Once we make it through the process of this first project, they'll have a much better understanding of how to literally make meaning. 

The next projects won't be nearly this difficult. We're teaching them a very personal process for digesting information. They're not being asked to memorize or even regurgitate "facts." They are being asked to dig and explore, to interpret information, and to synthesize meaning. They are contributing to our collective understanding of the Big Question. Every student's contribution to our evolving and expanding consciousness about our human interactions is invaluable.

By the end of the school year, we will have this whole humanity problem sorted out. 

In the meantime, please be patient with me, and support your student in their struggle to understand. We are deep in the learning zone, right now. It's uncomfortable. True learning and growth always is. 

It's going to be a busy, valuable week. On Monday, I'm going to share a basic example of what I want their presentations to look like. That should help alleviate some of the stress that's happening right now. 

Timing is everything. Now that they've wrestled with their research, and are at a point where they know A LOT about their chosen topic, they will be more open and receptive to the detailed explanation of what they're supposed to do with it.

Please don't hesitate to e-mail me, or schedule an appointment to sit down with you and your student if you would like additional support, or explanation.

We're in this together!
Jon

Jon's Update 12-5-19

posted Dec 5, 2019, 11:13 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Important Dates
Tues & Thurs 3:10-4:00 pm TRUE Rehearsals
Mon, 12/23-Mon, 1/6 **NO SCHOOL: Winter Break
Tues, 1/7 Classes Resume
--------------------------------------------
Dear Middle School Family,

The energy is always high for the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. Please encourage your student to stay on top of their work and make good use of their time at school. We don't assign specific homework in Communications and Humanities, but if they don't use their time wisely at school, they're going to fall behind on their assignments. Please check in regularly with Jupiter Ed and with your student about how they're doing.

As of this week, we are deep into our Global Studies projects. Students are researching people, empires, and ideologies from Ancient Civilizations in an effort to find lessons from history to answer the question "How should humans live together?" Next week, students will put together short powerpoint presentations. Presentations will happen the week before Winter Break.

There's no time to fall behind! And there is PLENTY of time for them to get their work done in class.

HELP: Weekly laundry
We desperately need a family to volunteer to bring home and wash the rags every week that we use to wash the tables. Pretty please!

IHS Information for 8th Grade Students

If you have 8th grade students interested in Eugene IHS for the 2019-2020 school year, the 4J School Choice Lottery for in-district students opens January 1st and the deadline is January 31st. We will be holding parent information nights in January. All students interested in enrolling in Eugene IHS must apply through the 4J School Choice Lottery. Students currently enrolled in Eugene IHS do not need to re-apply unless you move outside of the 4J attendance area.

Best wishes,
Jon and Maizzy

Carrie's Update 10-24-19

posted Oct 24, 2019, 1:19 PM by Cynthia Friedman

One mission, One Vision, One School, One Community

Upcoming Events

Thursday and Friday, November 7 & 8

NO SCHOOL - Conferences

Monday, November 11

NO SCHOOL - Veterans Day

Friday, November 15 at 6pm

Barnes and Noble Book Fair

Friday, November 22

Term 2 Ends

Tuesday, November 26

Send Vegetables for Stone Soup

Wednesday, Nov. 27

Stone Soup - Bring a Bowl and Spoon!

November 28 & 29

NO SCHOOL - Happy Thanksgiving!


Academics

Absences - Students are required to make up math and science assignments that are missing due to absences.  An ‘abs’ in the grade book negatively affects the students grade as if it were ‘missing.’ Students have up to a week after returning from an absence to get this work checked off.  These are not hard and fast rules, but it is generally better for the student, the quicker this takes place. What they missed is foundational to understand what they will be doing when they return. 


For alternate credit in science, absent students are to:

- Access Jupiter Grades to identify math and science assignments that are being missed.

- Use the link below to gain digital access to our Interactions in Physical Science Textbook.  

- Read through each Lab Activity we conduct during their absence.

- Write out the vocabulary terms (found in bold in the text) and definitions from the portion of the activity that they missed.  

- When students return they can connect with a fellow student (ask India or myself for a reference), and have them explain what we did, and how to answer the key question for the activity.  They will need to copy this answer in their notebook!

- Students will need to place a sticky note on the late or missing assignment to flag that we need to check it.  They are to write on the sticky note if it was not completed due to an absence!


Science 

This week we continued our investigations into interactions. Students apply analysis and communication skills while describing interactions. Supporting their claims by describing their experimental results, using all of their directly observed evidence, not opinion (previous knowledge), your students are building the skills and work habits of scientists!

The questions we explored in Activities 4 and 5 this week:

  • What are the defining characteristics of an electric-circuit interaction? 

    • What materials, elements, and connections are necessary for an electric-circuit interaction?

    • What was evidence of an electric-circuit interaction in one of our investigations?

  • What are some variables that influence an electric-circuit interaction?

    • What happened (did we observe in our light bulbs) when we increased/decreased the number of cells in a circuit?

    • What is the difference between a series circuit and a parallel circuit? Which do you think you have in your house? 

  • How do electromagnets work?

    • Vocabulary terms: Iron core, power source, copper coil. 

  • Do electromagnets need to be connected to a power source to function as a magnet?

  • How do buzzers work?

    • Video:  Build your own Buzzer Project     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3fvpIan5x4


Math 

Homework is checked and graded at the beginning of the math period on the day that it is due. Students trade notebooks with a peer, score it (students get credit for each correct answer), trade back, calculate their percent, and get it checked off with India or myself.  Sometimes this doesn’t happen till Thursday or Friday when we do our notebook checks. 


Late Work - Some students are getting bogged down in late math assignments.  Even if an assignment is only partially completed, students are to trade notebooks in the group, so another student can check what they have completed for the assignment due that day.  Then they are to go work on old math assignments while the rest of the group continues to grade the current assignment. As soon as the group transitions to working on the assignment due the next day, they are to join the group and focus on completing the current assignment. Current work is the priority! Very soon we will implement a restriction on turning in late work. It will be accepted only if under a week overdue.   Late assignments will receive no more than 80% credit. (This rule does not apply to assignments that are late due to excused absences, and are turned in within a week of the absence.)


Math Tests will be taken at the end of each chapter.  Students have up to two class periods to complete the test.  Students are required to show their work on the scratch paper provided.  Tests are heavily weighted in comparison to homework, participation, and notebook organization grades.


Homework and Test Correction Policy - Homework grades are entered into Jupiter Grades as percentage points.  A score of 80% accuracy or higher is considered mastery of the material. We encourage students who have earned below 80% on a test or homework assignment to rework missed problems, note the source of error(s), and specifically describe a new habit they will work on building in the future.  For instance if they didn’t read the directions completely, they can write a note adjacent to the problem, “In the future, I will read all of the directions for problem twice, before beginning work on the problem.” Students can check off Homework Corrections with us during study hall, and Friday work period. Another option is to arrange to meet with us after school.  Test corrections can be turned in to the “Done Correcting” rack provided in the classroom. Students who have achieved 80% mastery are encouraged to turn their energy towards learning new material. Corrected assignments will receive no more than 80% credit.  


Enjoy the fall colors and hot tea weather!

Carrie and India


Resources

Link to the Interactions in Physical Science Textbook:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxgNrBsjIH5uazNzY0JEQVhXMk0?usp=sharing

NOTE! Ridgeline Middle School students may ONLY access this link using their ridgeline email address.


CPM Core Connections 2 and Core Connections 3 Student EBook sign In:

  1.  Students are to sign in to their Ridgeline Google account using their Ridgeline address.

  2. Go to https://sso.cpm.org/

  3. Students use the “Sign in with Google” link to sign in to their assigned ebook.

    1. The CPM ebook has supports and homework help for each assignment.


CPM Parent Support Page:

https://cpm.org/parent-support

CPM Homework Support

http://homework.cpm.org


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