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Jon & Carrie's Rooms (Middle School)


Carrie's Weekly Update 12-7-17

posted Dec 7, 2017, 12:17 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Upcoming Events

Saturdays and Sundays

U-Cut Holiday Tree Fundraiser For Ridgeline

10 am - 4 pm - see address below

Saturday, 12/9               

LuLaRoe Fundraiser 11am-1pm in the Ridgeline Gym

Mon. 12/11-12/15           

Joy of Sharing

Thursday, 12/14            

Mod Pizza Fundraiser

Friday, 12/15                 

Grandparents’ Day (pre-registration required-please contact office for details!)

Mon. 12/18-Tues. 1/2        

NO SCHOOL – Winter Break

Wednesday, 1/3            

Class Resumes

Friday, 1/12

Ridgeline Talent Show


Announcements

 

Ridgeline Talent Show

Message to students from Kate Downing


Ridgeline talent show will be 6-8pm on Friday, January 12th. Acts in the past have included singing, dancing, skits, poetry reading, comedy, martial arts, tumbling, group music performance...


Please make sure performance is limited to 3 minutes. Practice with a timer. If you perform  with a group, plan to practice outside of school. No weapons allowed; all materials should be appropriate for all ages. If you plan to do martial arts or tumbling, make sure you can do it without injury on mats in front of the stage (not a huge space).


Sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the lobby. Please try to sign up before the break. If you are performing with a friend indicate that on the sheet. I'll contact the phone number they put on the sign-up to verify they will participate and find out what sort of music or space they need. Make sure you tell your parents if you sign up so they aren't surprised by my call!

Thanks!! Any questions can be directed to wobblykate@hotmail.com

 

Attention 8th Grade Families - Are you curious about global events? Do you enjoy considering different perspectives on world issues? Do you want to make a difference in your local and global community?

You might be interested in Eugene International High School!  Eugene IHS is an award-winning alternative high school in international studies for students in grades 9-12.  Located at Churchill, Sheldon and South Eugene, the school is open via district lottery to any student who wishes to attend.  If you are curious about the world and want to be part of a close-knit community of learners in a unique environment that is both challenging and supportive, we hope you will consider Eugene IHS as your high school choice.

Admission into Eugene IHS is through the 4J District lottery process; all students must fill out an online 4J School Choice Lottery Application. 4J School Choice Lottery Applications for 2018-19 will be available in January.  Go to the 4J District School Choice web page for school choice deadlines and applications: http://www.4j.lane.edu/choice.

IMPORTANT DATES for the 2018-2019 School Year:

January 1........ Online application period for 4J School Choice Lottery opens for in-district students

January 31...... Deadline to submit in-district 4J School Choice Lottery Applications

March 1.......... Online application period for 4J School Choice Lottery opens for out-of-district students

April 1............ Deadline to submit out-of-district 4J School Choice Lottery Applications

Interested Parents and Students:

Please come to one of the special information nights listed below to hear more about Eugene International High School and enrollment information.

 

South region

·       Thursday, January 11, 7:00 pm, South Eugene cafeteria (includes French Immersion break-out session)

·       Thursday, January 18, 6:30 pm in the South Eugene cafeteria  (joint session with South; South information 6:30-7:30, Eugene IHS information 7:30-8:30)

Sheldon region

·       Tuesday, January 23, 7:00 pm, Sheldon lecture hall (includes Spanish Immersion break-out session)

·       Thursday, January 25, 7:00 pm, Sheldon lecture hall

Churchill region

·       Tuesday, January 16, 7:00 pm, Churchill cafeteria

For more information contact one of the Eugene IHS offices below, or visit the website at www.ihs.4j.lane.edu.

Eugene IHS @ Churchill:  541-790-5225

Eugene IHS @ Sheldon: 541-790-6636

Eugene IHS @ South Eugene: 541-790-8030


Joy of Sharing BasketsOur annual food drive, the Joy of Sharing begins December 11 and runs through December 15. Please bring non-perishable donations to school during this week. In addition to food, other items such as toilet paper and personal hygiene items are welcome.  With the donated items, we will create and distribute food baskets to Ridgeline families in need, to help them over winter break. Please contact Cynthia if you would like to suggest a family to receive a Joy of Sharing basket.


U-Cut Holiday Tree Fundraiser For Ridgeline

Akal Ranch

84850 S. Ridgeway Rd. Pleasant Hill, OR 97477

Pleasant Hill, right at the Dairy Queen (follow the signs)

 

Updated Volunteering Link – Cynthia has learned how to make a handy dandy grouping of all the volunteer jobs needed! If you click on this link you will be able to sign up for Grandparents Day and many other events! http://signup.com/go/mAVvwCy

Grandparents Day Volunteers Sign Up – A team of volunteers is needed to help with our two Grandparents Day events on December 15th and January 12th. Volunteers will greet our guests, sign them in, escort them from the gym to the classrooms, help with refreshments, etc.


Academics

Science

This week we began Unit 2, Chapter 1, in which we seek answer to the question, “How do scientists describe interactions in terms of energy?” Students created energy diagrams of interactions.  We also began our investigation in mechanical wave interactions.  

Some questions you can ask about this week’s science material are:

  • What are some examples of types of interactions? (Some examples from our investigations are electric circuit, mechanical, electric charge, magnetic, and light.)

  • When describing an interaction between two objects using energy ideas, what information do you need to know or what questions do you need to answer? (They should mention: the objects interacting and which is the source and which is the receiver, and the type of interaction. )

  • What are some types and properties of waves?  (Two types of mechanical waves we investigated were transverse and compression waves.  We explored the relationships between frequency,  wavelengths, energy transfer, and amplitude. The pulse travels down the coiled spring in both kinds of waves, but the pulse itself travels parallel to the movement of energy in a compression wave, while it travels perpendicular to the path of energy in a transverse wave. The energy transferred along the wave increases when either the amplitude or frequency increases.)

  • What is the difference between frequency and amplitude? ( The difference between frequency and amplitude is in how often the pulse is produced vs. how much energy is put into each pulse.)

  • What was evidence that energy was being transferred along the coiled spring?  (One must be able to support your assertions with observational evidence using any number of your five senses and/measuring tools. If you have a slinky at home, ask your student to give you a demo.)


Math

Please help your student in setting up a daily routine for how and when they will complete their homework.  Every family is different, but here are some ideas that may work for your student.  Have a space set aside for homework.  Make a list: get home, have a snack, let the dog out, sit down and get started.  Take a break from phones and computers unless it is directly relevant to what the student is working on.  Skip problems you are stuck on and come back to them later.  If they cannot do a problem, come up with one or two questions to ask the next day.  Take short breaks.  


Thank you for all you do to support your student’s learning!

Carrie and India


~

Absences

Math

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 often foundational to what they will work on when they return.

~

Science

For alternate credit in science, absent students are to:

- Access Jupiter Grades to identify 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 a short summary of the key ideas covered in the Activity

- 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 check this work off with either India or me.


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.*


Volunteer Opportunities

MATH! Weekdays Mid to Late Mornings-

Our students can always benefit from math support in the classroom.  If you are comfortable with both  middle school math and students, and have time any day Monday through Thursday between 9:20 and 10:15 or 11:20 and 12:15 please contact me so we can talk about if this volunteer opportunity would be a good match for you.  This is a great way to earn some volunteer hours by supporting our students during math period.  Thanks!


Jon's Weekly Update 12-4-17

posted Dec 4, 2017, 12:32 PM by Cynthia Friedman

IMPORTANT DATES: 

Sun, Dec 10, 4:00-4:40pm               TRUE Alumni Performance, Beer Garden--Opening for 'Olekona
Friday, Dec 15, 11am-1:05pm          Star Wars Party
Mon, Dec 18-Tues, Jan 2                  NO SCHOOL: Winter Break
Wed, Jan 3                                         Back to School!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Middle School Family,

The Climate Change projects are over. We're all heaving a sigh of relief. I'm extremely proud of the hard work most of the students put into deeply learning about their chosen specialty. It was exciting to help them struggle through putting their pieces together in small groups. 

"Three minutes maximum?! For the whole group of six to present?!"

Yes. Tell us what really matters. They did.

What was most interesting to me, through this whole process, is how much MORE concerned the students were about the very real environmental and humanitarian impacts that our overconsumption is causing worldwide. They could certainly imagine the future impacts of climate change on the livability of our planet if we don't change our behavior. But what  disturbed them most was the suffering and extinction we're causing right now, with our wasteful consumption.

After Winter Break, we're going to roll right into our weekly World News Shows. Things are going to get interesting. In the best possible way.

Over the next two weeks, we're going to do some more playful writing. If you can call Dystopian Fiction 'playful...' We're going to put their research to use in creating some doomsday scenarios in short scenes. It should be a lot of fun.

We're going to have a Star Wars Party on December 15. We'll watch the original Star Wars movie, Episode 4, in class, starting at 10:45am. I need a parent volunteer to pick up pizza and drinks from Costco and deliver them to Ridgeline by 12pm. Help! 

Costumes are highly encouraged.

It will be a great way to celebrate the hard work the students have been up to, and the progress they've made this year.

Courage!
Jon and Maizzy

Carrie's Weekly Update 11-16-17

posted Nov 16, 2017, 1:47 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Upcoming Events
Tuesday, November 21
Send Vegetables for Stone Soup
Wednesday, November 22
Stone Soup - Bring a Bowl and Spoon!
November 23 & 24
Thanksgiving Break
December 2 Student Marketplace
Saturday, 12/9 LuLaRoe Fundraiser 11am-1pm
Mon. 12/11-12/15 Joy of Sharing
Thursday, 12/14 Mod Pizza Fundraiser
Friday, 12/15 Grandparents’ Day (pre-registration required-please contact office for details!)
Mon. 12/18-Tues. 1/2
NO SCHOOL – Winter Break
Wednesday, 1/3 Class Resumes

Stone Soup - Our annual Stone Soup Celebration is Wednesday, November 22nd.

Ridgeline volunteers will cook the stone soup outside the front of the school on Wednesday, and the soup will be served for an early afternoon snack following an all-school assembly. Your student should still bring a sack lunch from home that day to eat in the late morning!

Students will eat in their classrooms and parents are welcome to join us for both the assembly and the soup.

Please bring $2 per person on Wednesday, November 22 Theatrical Live Looping & Story Telling with Cullen Vance who leads a high-energy performance combining theatrical storytelling and live looping electric violin!

Bring a BOWL and SPOON on Wednesday, November 22

If you are leaving early with your student(s), be sure to sign them out in the office. School dismisses at the regular time, 3:05pm.

Allergic to Soup?
All of our soups are vegetarian. If your child has special dietary requirements, please consider sending in some “safe soup” from home.

Academics
Science

This Chapter’s questions are: “How do scientists measure the amount of “stuff” in an object?” and “What are some properties of objects that help you decide what kind of material they are made of?” Our focus in this chapter is on establishing a foundation of understanding of the relationship between the mass, weight, volume, and density of an object . Some key questions from this week are:

What is mass? How is it measured?
How is mass different from volume?

Do gases have mass? We conducted an experiment in which we filled a soccer ball with air and found that it significantly increased in weight. We asked the question, “If that is evidence that air has mass, then does helium have mass? This leads to a conversation about density, the subject of the following question.

“What property can help you decide what kind of material an object is made of?”

Math
We BEGIN each math period (Monday through Thursday) by checking the assignment listed due for that day. This means that the assignment due that day is to be finished BEFORE math period begins. The student will be given full credit for accurate and properly accomplished math problems complete by the beginning of the period. Students receiving below 80% can makeup unfinished and incorrect problems by the next math period. They will be given half credit for these late problems. Students must show their work when steps are involved. Assignments not completed in school are homework! NOTE: If your student is doing hours of homework, or experiencing lots of tears and stress, please let us know. We want your student challenged but not overwhelmed. We want them comfortable accessing the support available in their learning community. Drop us a note, and encourage them to come talk to us during the morning break.

Volunteer Opportunities

MATH! Weekdays Mid to Late Mornings-
Our students can always benefit from math support in the classroom. If you are comfortable with both middle school math and students, and have time any day Monday through Thursday between 9:20 and 10:15 or 11:20 and 12:15 please contact me so we can talk about if this volunteer opportunity would be a good match for you. This is a great way to earn some volunteer hours by supporting our students during math period. Thanks!

Thank you for supporting your student’s learning!
Carrie and India

For Your Reference
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 often foundational to what they will work on when they return.

Science Make-Up
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 a short summary of the key ideas covered in the Activity

- 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 check this work off with either India or me.


Link to the Interactions in Physical Science Textbook:

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

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

Jon's Weekly Update 11-14-17

posted Nov 14, 2017, 11:37 AM by Cynthia Friedman

IMPORTANT DATES: 
Fri, Nov 17, 5:15-6:30pm               TRUE Alumni Performance: City of Eugene's "Light Up Downtown" Celebration
Fri Nov 17, 7pm                              TRUE ALL IN Performance, Barnes and Noble Bookfair
Tues, Nov 21                                    Bring Stone Soup Veggies
Wed, Nov 22                                     Stone Soup
Thurs-Fri, Nov 23-24                      NO SCHOOL: Thanksgiving
Fri, Dec 1, 5:40-7pm                       TRUE Alumni Performance: Grrrlz Rock Whirled Pies
Sun, Dec 10, 4:00-4:40pm               TRUE Alumni Performance, Beer Garden--Opening for 'Olekona
Mon, Dec 18-Tues, Jan 2                  NO SCHOOL: Winter Break
Wed, Jan 3                                         Back to School!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Middle School Family,

Don't panic! Your student's Climate Change Project is due Wednesday. We knew this day would come. We've dropped almost all other work in my class for the last two weeks, so they'd have time to complete the last phases of this assignment at school. Maizzy and I have been conferencing with individual students like crazy. 

Did you know that they spend 105 minutes with us every day? That's an hour and 45 minutes!

There are no posterboards, no powerpoints. Here is a link to the handout I gave the students a couple of weeks ago, describing the first phase of this project. In short, your student must compile, in a fancy folder, a cover page with the project title and their name; an Abstract that tells us their Essential Question and answers it in 150 words or less; the graphic organizer (mindmap and outline) they used to organize their research; their script (that they will read to their small groups); and their raw research.

On Wednesday, the students will be broken into small groups of five "experts" on diverse topics about Climate Change. They will share their script with their group and show them graphs or other infographics, if that helps them explain their research. The rest of their group will take careful and purposeful notes. What I mean by 'Purposeful' is very important: the students are going to combine their research into a more formal group presentation.

The group presentations are all going to follow the same final format. The students must combine their individual research into a presentation that provides concrete Evidence that Climate Change is real. Their presentation will also use their research explain some of the Causes and Effects of Climate Change. Finally, they'll provide us with some effective Actions we can take to slow down this very real catastrophe.

While the students are presenting in their small groups, their group mates will all be taking notes capturing important facts and information in each of these four categories (Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Actions), to help propel their group project forward. The goal I'm pushing for is to do these group presentations next Tuesday (Stone Soup is Wednesday, and there's no school on Thursday and Friday).

After Thanksgiving, we're going to put our collective knowledge to work, starting with energy and waste audits at Ridgeline to help our community move into positive action.

My hope is that a small group of students will rise up after these presentations and collect and refine our findings into an incredibly powerful Final Presentation we can share with the community at large in a Climate Symposium at Ridgeline. My vision for this continues to develop as I witness the work the kids are doing, and as my network in the Eugene community around this issue is expanding. Thanks, Dave Vazquez for the connections!

One last word on Wednesday's deadline: It had to come. Urgency is everything, it seems. Almost every student has put valiant effort into this project. They know more than they think they know. And they certainly know more than they know how to organize into a presentation.

This is all part of the process of learning how to do this important work. I think of learning to do meaningful projects the same way I think about learning to drive a car. You have to get in the car and drive. At first, you can only drive slowly, joltingly, around a large open parking lot with no obstacles, but you're still driving a car, growing into the potential of the car. Growing into your potential as its driver.

It only gets better from here.

Jon and Maizzy​​

Carrie's Weekly Update 11-9-17

posted Nov 9, 2017, 12:05 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Middle School Update - Week of 11/10/17


Upcoming Events

Friday, November 17

Barnes and Noble Book Fair-Grab our book fair ID # as you walk in the door, and earn gift cards for our teachers with your purchases!

Tuesday, November 21

Send Vegetables for Stone Soup

Wednesday, November 22

Stone Soup - Bring a Bowl and Spoon!

November 23 & 24

Thanksgiving Break

December 2

Student Marketplace

Saturday, 12/9               

LuLaRoe Fundraiser 11am-1pm

Mon. 12/11-12/15           

Joy of Sharing

Thursday, 12/14            

Mod Pizza Fundraiser

Friday, 12/15                 

Grandparents’ Day (pre-registration required-please contact office for details!)

Mon. 12/18-Tues. 1/2        

NO SCHOOL – Winter Break

Wednesday, 1/3            

Class Resumes


Book Fair – Our annual book fair at Barnes and Noble is just over a week away, Friday, November 17!  Please join us at the Barnes and Noble Book Fair to purchase holiday gifts, buy books for classrooms, watch classroom performances, and enjoy a fun evening together.

A percentage of the book fair purchases at Barnes & Noble will go to Ridgeline. This includes friends’ and family purchases at stores around the country! Just give them the book fair ID number 12212015. All purchases need to be made November 17-22. You must tell the cashier you are with our book fair and give the ID number for it to count toward the book fair. Online purchases do count, although the percentage back to Ridgeline is much less.

Features at the book fair this year:

  • Welcome table inside the front door of the bookstore for Ridgeline families to get a book fair schedule and book fair ID sticker. This sticker will assist Barnes & Noble staff in identifying book fair shoppers to ensure that all qualifying purchases count towards our book fair.

  • All performances will be in the music area.

  • Teachers’ wish list book bins will be in the children’s department, along with the bookmark-making table.

Book Fair Performance Schedule – (note: times are approximate. Please arrive with plenty of time to spare!)

6:00pm          Diana – reciting poems “What is a Book?” and “I like Fall”

6:15pm            Emily's Class – singing songs “Glorious” and “A Place in the Choir”            

6:30pm           Eric's Class – singing songs “Limerick Song” and “Sixpence”

6:45pm         Cheri's Class – singing songs “Over the River” and “This Little Light”

7:00pm         Middle School – T.R.U.E. performance

7:20pm         Book buying break!

7:35pm         Clint's Class – “Postcards from National Parks”

7:50pm         Sharon's Class – “The Adventures of Superman” radio show

8:10pm         Mary's Class – “Famous Journeys of Explorers” play


Stone Soup - Our annual Stone Soup Celebration is Wednesday, November 22nd.

Ridgeline volunteers will cook the stone soup outside the front of the school on Wednesday, and the soup will be served for an early afternoon snack following an all-school assembly. Your student should still bring a sack lunch from home that day to eat in the late morning!

Students will eat in their classrooms and parents are welcome to join us for both the assembly and the soup.

  • Please bring $2 per person on Wednesday, November 22 Theatrical Live Looping & Story Telling with Cullen Vance who leads a high-energy performance combining theatrical storytelling and live looping electric violin!

Bring a BOWL and SPOON on Wednesday, November 22  

If you are leaving early with your student(s), be sure to sign them out in the office. School dismisses at the regular time, 3:05pm.

Allergic to Soup?

All of our soups are vegetarian.  If your child has special dietary requirements, please consider sending in some “safe soup” from home.


Academics

Science

This Chapter’s questions are: “How do scientists measure the amount of “stuff” in an object?” and “What are some properties of objects that help you decide what kind of material they are made of?”    We are learning how to use scientific measuring implements, how to label units properly, and what method to use when measuring the volume and mass of a variety of substances.  Our focus this week was on the volume of solids and liquids.  Some key questions from this week are:

  • What is a meniscus, or how do you read the water level in a graduated cylinder?

  • How would you decide to use the calculation method or the liquid-pouring method to measure volume?


Math

It’s right about this time of year when I see a number of students who have been struggling with the work routine, start to get it together.  Thank you parents!! I hear comments from students that there is pressure from home.  It is working!  I get great satisfaction in watching them learn that they can accomplish (and are capable of) so much more than they ever realized, because they are willing to push themselves.  Watching them debunk their own myths about their limitations turns my job into a calling.


Volunteer Opportunities

Bookmark Marking Table and Greeting at the Book Fair – More volunteers needed to help greet families and to manage the bookmark making table. All supplies provided. The volunteer just needs to supervise the activity. Contact Cynthia to volunteer.


Enjoy your weekend!

Carrie and India


For Your Reference

~

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 often foundational to what they will work on when they return.

~

Science Make-Up

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 check this work off with either India or me.


Link to the Interactions in Physical Science Textbook:

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

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

~


Jon's Weekly Update 11-6-17

posted Nov 6, 2017, 1:48 PM by Cynthia Friedman

IMPORTANT DATES: 
Sun, Nov 5, 2-3pm                          TRUE Alumni Performance: Grrrlz Rock Hop Valley
Thurs, Nov 9, 6:30-7:30pm           TRUE Alumni Performance: Grrrlz Rock McKenzie River Music
Fri, Nov 10                                       NO SCHOOL: Veteran's Day
Fri, Nov 17, 5:15-6:30pm               TRUE Alumni Performance: City of Eugene's "Light Up Downtown" Celebration
Fri Nov 17, 7pm                              TRUE ALL IN Performance, Barnes and Noble Bookfair
Tues, Nov 21                                    Bring Stone Soup Veggies
Wed, Nov 22                                     Stone Soup
Thurs-Fri, Nov 23-24                      NO SCHOOL: Thanksgiving
Fri, Dec 1, 5:40-7pm                       TRUE Alumni Performance: Grrrlz Rock Whirled Pies
Sun, Dec 10, 4:00-4:40pm              TRUE Alumni Performance, Beer Garden--Opening for 'Olekona
--------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Middle School Family,

The first official Term of the school year is officially over. The new term starts on Monday, November 6, and runs through December 15. Grades start fresh on Monday

The only late work we'll accept this week is the Answers to the students' Research Questions. The projects will continue to roll forward, and the research is an essential part of the process! We already pushed the deadline for this assignment out a week. We're in the "making sense of it all" phase of things. Please check in with your student about how their Climate Change Project is going.

It was great to touch base, face to face, with many of you last week. One of the questions that frequently came up was about homework, and when you should worry. I'm doing my best to make sure the students have plenty of time (and support) AT SCHOOL to get their work done for my class. Every student is going to have some math homework. If they use their time wisely, they should be completing all of their assignments for my class AT SCHOOL.

Maizzy and I conference with every student on most of their completed assignments and give them real-time feedback for improvement. Most of them take us up on the opportunity to improve their work, and come back with edits. We do our best to stay on top of grading, and mark missing assignments on the due date, so you and your student are aware when they are falling behind. 

The only time a student should have "homework" from Humanities and Communications is if they aren't getting their work done at school. Please check in with Jupiter Ed and help us hold your student accountable for their responsibilities. It's amazing how much more they care about their school work if YOU care.

We have designed and continue to refine a very rigorous, empowering middle school program. It only works if the students do the work required to learn these essential life skills: reading, writing, arithmetic, scientific inquiry, art, music, critical thinking, cooking, cleaning, yardwork, dungeons and dragons...

We're literally working to help our students build and live full, rich adult lives. It starts by helping them take on clear, accountable responsibilities. 

Our middle school teaching team does our best to set a positive example of what "full, rich adult lives" look like, in action. We also spend enough time with our students to demonstrate our very real human limitations. We strike a lovely balance between academic rigor and honest humanity.

Best,
Jon and Maizzy

Jon's Weekly Update 10-20-17

posted Oct 23, 2017, 11:50 AM by Cynthia Friedman

IMPORTANT DATES: 
Mon-Tues, Oct 30-31                      NO SCHOOL: Conferences
Sun, Nov 5, 2-3pm                          TRUE Alumni Performance: Grrrlz Rock Hop Valley
Thurs, Nov 9, 6:30-7:30pm           TRUE Alumni Performance: Grrrlz Rock McKenzie River Music
Fri, Nov 10                                       NO SCHOOL: Veteran's Day
Fri, Nov 17, 5:15-6:30pm               TRUE Alumni Performance: City of Eugene's "Light Up Downtown" Celebration
Fri Nov 17, 7pm                              TRUE ALL IN Performance, Barnes and Noble Bookfair
Fri, Dec 1, 5:40-7pm                       TRUE Alumni Performance: Grrrlz Rock Whirled Pies
Sun, Dec 10, 4:00-4:40pm              TRUE Alumni Performance, Beer Garden--Opening for 'Olekona
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Dear Middle School Family,

I've mentioned before that the Humanities/Communications class is taught as a Project-based learning environment. Most of us equate "Project-based" learning with poster-boards. While putting together a poster-board can be fun and informative, they are not the cornerstone of true PBL.

Currently, we have been studying Climate Change as our over-arching topic. More specifically, our Essential Question has become: "What can we do to stop Humanity's negative impact on our natural environment?"

PBL starts with an Essential Question/Problem that requires a broad base of knowledge and skills to answer/solve. It needs to be real and it needs to be important to the students. Our students are in unanimous agreement that this is a critical problem to solve.

The reason we're in accord, is we've been consuming and discussing information about this important problem. I don't expect them to memorize facts, or names, or dates. We've been looking at a lot of information. They've been taking notes. What I've asked them to do is look for their Hook. What do they feel driven to dive deeply into. In this massive topic, what do they want to become an expert about?

My main requirement is they have to bring it home, make it relate very clearly to the Essential Question. "Why should I care?" is the question I keep asking them as they refine their projects. Penguins and polar bears are dying? So what? The glaciers are receding? Who cares? Sea levels are rising? Surf's up! 

The first task to answering the Essential Question is making the case that these are causes for worry.

In the next few weeks, the students will be developing conference presentations for a Climate Change Symposium. They're going to present their scholarly findings in small groups. Then each group is going to put their heads together to create a group presentation for the class, building the argument that Climate Change is a global crisis that requires action.

For now, we're going to be building the case, because not even our President is convinced (ask your student about their Article of this Week!). 

My hope/plan is for us to build a community event, where we screen a film, the students present their case, and have materials for takeaways, and we get a panel of real scientists together to answer questions. Woohoo!

The other essential piece of a PBL classroom, is that students are constantly practicing and developing the skills they need to complete the big tasks: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic (speaking, listening, evaluating media...). 

Good work. Real work. Meaningful work. That's what we're engaging in. It's exciting stuff. And we all have a lot to learn!

Have a great weekend.
Jon and Maizzy 

Carrie's Weekly Update 10-12-17

posted Oct 12, 2017, 10:17 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Middle School Update - Week of 10/13/17

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 13

NO SCHOOL – Statewide In-Service

Monday, October 16

Return Jog-a-Thon Packet (Pledges or Not)

Wednesday, October 18

Curriculum Sharing from 3:05-4:05 pm and 6-7 pm

Friday, October 20

Vision Screening

Saturday, October 21

Skateworld Costume Party from 4:30-6:30pm

Wednesday, October 25

Picture Retakes

Mon & Tues, October 30 & 31

NO SCHOOL - Conferences

Friday, November 3

Term 1 Ends

Friday, November 10

NO SCHOOL - Veterans Day

Friday, November 17

Barnes and Noble Book Fair

Tuesday, November 21

Send Vegetables for Stone Soup

Wednesday, November 22

Stone Soup - Bring a Bowl and Spoon!

November 23 & 24

Thanksgiving Break

 

Conferences

Please sign up for your conference with your child's homeroom teacher (where they eat lunch). Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences are 20 minutes. If you are not in our homeroom, and wish to discuss a subject specific concern with either Jon or me, please contact us individually.


Carrie's conference page is located here:  http://signup.com/go/JzYVbqX

Jon's conference page is located here: http://signup.com/go/xvwYjup


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 student's 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 relevant to what they will need to 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 check this work off with either India or me.


Link to the Interactions in Physical Science Textbook:

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

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


Science

This week we continue our investigations into interactions. Students continue to practice analysis and communication skills while describing interactions using only directly observed evidence, not opinion (previous knowledge). We 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 are some variables that influence and electric-circuit interaction?

  • How do electromagnets and buzzers work?

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.

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 - Math test and 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 math class. Test corrections can be turned in to the space provided in the classroom.  Students who have achieved 80% mastery are encouraged to turn their energy towards learning new material.  

Volunteer Corner

A big thank you to Tiffany and Daniel for covering our math books!


Garden Crew Opportunities

Thank you Thea for offering to water on Saturdays, and for donating ground cover to our garden project!

We still are in need of some kind of netting or small gauge chicken wire material to protect our seedlings before our fence goes up.  If you are willing to donate some, we can get the rest of our plant starts in the remaining three beds.

Thanks!


Warmest Regards,


Carrie and India


Carrie's Weekly Update 10-6-17

posted Oct 6, 2017, 1:02 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Greetings Middle School Family,

Upcoming Events
Friday, October 13
NO SCHOOL – Statewide In-Service
Monday, October 16
Return Jog-a-Thon Packet (Pledges or Not)
Wednesday, October 18
Curriculum Sharing from 3:05-4:05 pm and 6-7 pm
Friday, October 20
Vision Screening
Saturday, October 21
Skateworld Costume Party from 4:30-6:30pm
Wednesday, October 25
Picture Retakes
Mon & Tues, October 30 & 31
NO SCHOOL - Conferences
Friday, November 3
Term 1 Ends
Friday, November 10
NO SCHOOL - Veterans Day
Friday, November 17
Barnes and Noble Book Fair
Tuesday, November 21
Send Vegetables for Stone Soup
Wednesday, November 22
Stone Soup - Bring a Bowl and Spoon!
November 23 & 24
Thanksgiving Break

Kudos from a Ridgeline Grandma - The Ridgeline students get big kudos for leaving the walking path after their Jog-A-Thon just about trashless! I was one of the volunteers to walk along the route after the event and all we found were three colored bands and a few paper water cups. Well done. ~Pat Soussan (Ridgeline grandma)

Academics
Science - This week, we continued our work in Chapter 2: Describing Interactions, in which we seek the answer to the question, “How can you describe interactions?”

The questions we explored in Activities 2 and 3

The students continue to grapple with the challenge of describing an interaction using only directly observed evidence, not opinion (previous knowledge).

What are the defining characteristics of a magnetic interaction? In other words, what pattern of interactions can you observe that indicate an interaction involves two magnets and/or a magnet and a magnetic material? What is a magnetic material, anyway?

What are some defining characteristics of an electric-charge interaction?

What are some similarities and differences between the magnetic and electric-charge interactions?

Math - This week started out pretty rough with many students missing math assignments, but we really pulled it together over the course of the week. Most students are either caught up or almost caught up. Way to go!

We are working on some challenging and fun order of operations problems this week. One source of error was the misconception that ‘PEMDAS’ (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) means that, after parentheses followed by exponents, multiplication comes before division, which is then followed by addition, then finally subtraction. In truth multiplication and division are equal, except they are to be worked in order from left to right as they appear in the problem. Addition and subtraction operations are to be worked last in order from left to right as they appear in the problem. Students shared some great aha moments when they rooted this misconception out.

Another skill we are experiencing some growing pains around is consistently and thoroughly reading directions. In math, there were some near breakdowns this week when students realized that they did not follow the directions for which problems to do for an assignment. Breakdowns were narrowly averted when we informed them that we’d accept the problems they did for credit, as long as the student practiced the required range of concepts.

Volunteer Corner
Thank you to the multiple parents who offered to do our Room 7 laundry! We are now up and running with back-up!
Also thank you to our middle school parents who offered to cover our math books!

Warmest Regards,
Carrie and India

Jon's Weekly 10-6-17

posted Oct 6, 2017, 12:32 PM by Cynthia Friedman

IMPORTANT DATES: 
Sat, Oct 7, 12pm                             TRUE Alumni Performance, Spencer Creek Grange
Fri, Oct 13                                       NO SCHOOL Teacher Training
Mon-Tues, Oct 30-31                      NO SCHOOL: Conferences
Fri, Nov 10                                       NO SCHOOL: Veteran's Day
Fri, Nov 175:15-6:30pm               TRUE Alumni Performance: City of Eugene's "Light Up Downtown" Celebration
Fri Nov 17, 7pm                              TRUE Performance, Barnes and Noble Bookfair
Sun, Dec 104:00-4:40pm              TRUE Performance, Beer Garden--Opening for 'Olekona
--------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Middle School Family,

Holy Climate Change, Batman! We've spent the last two weeks digging into three outstanding documentaries about climate change. 'Thin Ice,' 'Chasing Ice,' and 'Time to Choose,' in this order. Maizzy and I were just talking today about how one of them alone wouldn't have been enough. It's been incredible to watch the students move from befuddled concern, to clearer understanding, to "we need to do something about this!" 

Ask your student about it. I'm happy to say that they are all pretty determined that change starts at home, so get ready! In the next few weeks, we're going to research actions and options--for our selves, for our homes, for our school, and in our community--that will make a positive impact. We're going to make critical determinations about meaningful actions versus token gestures. It's going to be exciting to watch the research turn into real action.

Behind Schedule This Week
I was over-ambitious in what I thought we could get done this week. Our discussions about the documentaries took longer than I'd planned. The kids are outraged! We also took time in both sections to discuss the gun tragedy that happened in Las Vegas this week. We are so proud of these kids and the depth and sincerity of their care about the world they're inheriting.

I'm pushing all of the work deadlines for this week out to next week. We'll get caught up by Tuesday. I was heartened by how concerned most of the students were about getting everything turned in. They're taking their academic responsibility seriously! 

I reassured many of them, as I will reassure you right now: I will NEVER be unreasonable about deadlines. We will apply pressure to get their work done, and we will support the students' efforts. We will hold the bar of expectation for each student, individually, high. And my deadlines will often change as the reality of the week unfolds. 

Late Work Policy, in General
In general, we'll accept late work up to one week after the deadline. If students miss class, it's their responsibility to check in with Jupiter Ed, and then Maizzy or myself to figure out what they need to do to catch up with their work.

Parent/Teacher Conferences
The middle school has 51 students this year. Carrie and I split the conferences up. You should ONLY schedule a conference with your student's home room teacher. Your student's home room teacher is the teacher whose classroom your student eats lunch in. Click this link to schedule your conference!

Carrie and I are happy to schedule a meeting with you outside of the conference times to discuss subject-specific concerns. Just zap us an e-mail!

We're in this together,
Jon and Maizzy

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