Jon's Weekly Update 12-5-14

posted Dec 5, 2014, 11:50 AM by Cynthia Friedman
IMPORTANT DATES:
Friday, Dec. 5 Talent Show! (Many Middle Schoolers!)
Sat., Dec. 6, 11am-Noon Holiday Ukulele Hour at Pacific Winds
Sat & Sun., Dec. 5-6 Tree Sales
Sat & Sun., Dec. 12-13 Tree Sales 

Dear Middle School Family, 

Be sure to come out to the Talent Show on Friday night, Dec. 5! Something like a quarter of our class is performing! It's going to be a fun night! 

These next couple of weeks before Winter Break are going to be action (learning)- packed. Quickly: 

Regulatory Systems of our Bodies:
We've broken the human body into its various systems, and students (in their think tank groups) are going to teach the rest of us how their assigned system works, complete with visual aids and simulations/models. It's going to be pretty awesome. Presentations will begin next week. 

Imperialism in Africa
We're wrapping up students' individual Visual presentations of Africa this week. It's been a whirlwind visual tour of the diversity of this vast continent: What does the physical geography look like? the coasts? the jungles? the deserts? the plains? the mountains... What do the cities look like? the towns? the tribal villages?

This week, we're starting into the history of European Imperial rule in Africa, and the role (and toll) it's taken in the social and economic development of the continent. Why is such a resource-rich continent so desperately 'poverty-stricken?' And does continuing agrarian tribal traditions and ways of life count as 'poverty-stricken?' These are complicated, important questions. Whose way of life is the right way?  

Reading, Writing, and Mathematics
We continue to press forward with our communication skills. The more we work, the more frequently we practice these essential language skills, the better we get. Regularity is the key! We're reading and writing all the time in our subject-area work. Please look especially hard at your student's Math Progress grade, and encourage them to establish consistent math work habits. Pretty please? 

Cycle 3 Ends at Winter Break
Cycle 3 ends on Friday, December 19. There's no time like the present to help your student catch up with missing work, so I don't have a mountain of late work to catch up grading over Winter Break... (Is my holiday wish.) 

Holiday Ukulele Hour at Pacific Winds this Saturday
Pat Knaus, the owner of Pacific Winds asked me to connect with you about a fun event at their store this Saturday, from 11am-12pm. They'll be doing a holiday ukulele hour! Songs and tabs are available here:
http://pacificwindsmusic.com.   

There's also an open mike your student can sign up for, if spaces are still available. I can't be there, but it might be fun! (Apparently, the students have been playing some zombie holiday tunes, or something...)  

Have a great weekend,
Jon and Carrie
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