Jon's Weekly Update 4-6-15

posted Apr 6, 2015, 9:21 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Tuesday, 4/7, 3:15-4:15pm TRUE Rehearsal
Thursday, 4/9, 3:15-4:15pm TRUE Rehearsal
Saturday, 4/11 Ridgeline Community Campus Work Parties
Tuesday, 4/14, 3:15-4:15pm TRUE Rehearsal
Thursday, 4/16, 3:15-4:15pm TRUE Rehearsal
Saturday, 5/9, 4-7pm **TRUE Performance: Student Uke Jam, Cozmic Pizza
Thursday, 5/28 Canopy Connections Field Trip
Thursday, 6/4, 6:00-8:00pm Eighth Grade Graduation
Mon, 6/8-Thurs, 6/11 Adventure Trip
Wed, 6/10 Last Day of School 

Dear Middle School Family, 

Welcome back! It's been an energetic week. It's truly a joy to participate in this middle school community. These young women and men take such delight in each other's company. Bunch of goofballs! Love it. 

Wednesday Studio
It's just me, Carrie, and Dave Prince, so the students' options for these last 8 weeks of Studio are Cookie Crew, African Drumming, and Ultimate Frisbee.  

We kicked off the week with a classic cultural conflict simulation, "Heelotia." We divided the class into two distinct societies with very strong traditions, the Heelots and Hokies. The two groups then navigated the muddy waters of crossing cultural and social norms and taboos in their attempt to establish economic and social relationships with each other. We started before lunch and it took up the rest of Monday afternoon. 

One of the major, important conflicts that came up for both groups was, "How much are we willing to compromise our own societal beliefs in order to accommodate communication with the other group?" Who should compromise more? (What ended up happening in the simulation was the group that was perceived to have less power than the other group ended up was the one that compromised (and lost all their money!). 

As we delve into our studies of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, this is an essential question. Even united under the same 'God,' there are different interpretations of how to "do it" right. We'll continue our broad study through the next two weeks, and then students will pursue individual research projects into topics of deep interest. Essential Question: "Why can't we be friends?" 

These are sensitive waters, I know. The students are sincerely curious, sincerely baffled. Our goal is the long haul: Peace. 

Life Science (From Carrie)
This week in our study of genetics, we used Punnett squares to simulate the inheritance of traits. We used the genetic code contributed by two parent organisms to build two first generation offspring (F1). After creating the next generation (F2) from from the first generation offspring, we discussed how variation increases over time.  

Smarter Balanced Testing
We're going to start next week with the Reading test and get that out of the way. We're going to take this bit by bit. It's going to take some time, but it's really not that big a deal. 

Uke Happenings
We don't have a gig lined up until May 9. I'm working on that. In the mean time, we're working hard to clean up our act for the studio. Track Town Records is donating studio time to Ridgeline to do a recording session. Live performance is forgiving. Can we withstand repeated listening? That's what we're shooting for. After-school rehearsals are required for participation. (We're working hard to make this as good as possible.) I'm shooting for mid-May to record. It's not too late to participate! 

8th Grade Graduation VOLUNTEERS PLEASE!
It's time to start planning for this. The tradition is that the 7th grade parents organize an ice cream sundae bar, so the 8th grade parents can be with their families. Graduation is Thursday, June 4th from 6-8pm. Ceremony, Music, Celebration. Help! (Carrie and I have to prepare the ceremony and complete all grading and report cards by the end of this week, so we can take your students camping for the entire next week.) 

It's just going to get crazier in the next 9 weeks. 

We're in this together,
Jon and Carrie