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Learning at VLUS: November 2017

Learning at VLUS: November 2017
Posted on 11/01/2017
6th Grade News
In social studies, students are researching a country of their choice to create a Google Maps brochure using the five themes of geography. Students are developing strong persuasive writing skills, using effective lead sentences, credible evidence and analysis, and logical conclusion statements. These writing skills are transferable across all subjects.

In English Language Arts (ELA), students are writing personal essays in the style of the radio project, This I Believe. Students will record and share their essays with families on November 16th.

In science, students are beginning a study of chemistry, called "How Can I Smell Things at a Distance?" They will be exploring solids, liquids, and gases, and developing models of how molecules and particles change and move."

In math, students are using what they learned about fractions, decimals, least/greatest common factors, and computing multi-digit numbers to work on small group projects. Students will use both technology and art to finish those projects. Please ask your child what s/he is working on."
In 6th grade Health class students are learning about expressing feelings in a healthy way with effective communication.

7th Grade News
In ELA students have been learning about quote sandwiches to add details to their essays with supporting quotes from a text.

In social studies, students are wrapping up their unit on Islam with a DBQ essay. Students are using information from articles to support a thesis statement. This is the first of several DBQ essays students will be writing in social studies this year.

In science, students are learning about chemical reactions and how properties of substances change in a chemical reaction.

In On Grade Level math, students are learning about how percents connect to their real life in discounts, taxes, etc. In AMP math, students are starting their unit on operations with positive and negative numbers.

In 7th grade Health class, we are discussing stress reduction techniques and strategies to use during difficult situations.

Please check your child's weekly homework grids for news from classes and for weekly homework assignments.

8th Grade News
In ELA, we started our first class novel, Inside Out & Back Again, by Thannhha Lai. Students are reading the text with a critical eye towards character development and how word choice creates tone and meaning.
In science, we continue looking at the underlying factors of climate. This includes differential heating of land versus water creating convection cells, which in turn make the global wind patterns and ocean currents.

The OGL math, classes wrapped up the first unit on equations and are now creating and interpreting scatter plots, which will lead to exploring linear functions. The AMP math classes ended their mini unit on equations and inequalities and have now started another mini unit on scatter plots and functions to provide a big picture understanding before diving deeper into four key function types (linear, exponential, absolute value and quadratic).
In social studies, we have begun our unit on Japan. We will be looking at how Japan's culture has been shaped by its neighbors, examining whether the Golden Age of Heian. Japan was really a golden age after all, exploring social class in medieval Japan, and learning about samurai, shogun, and much more.

In 8th grade health class, we are finishing up our media literacy unit. Students are working in small groups to help educate a particular group of people (VLUS 6th grades, Younger Siblings, etc.) about a topic related to media education. Some groups are creating public service announcements about Photoshop fails while other groups are making convincing fake news sites that I will use to teach about evaluating websites with next semester's 8th graders.

The Annual Election Day Bake Sale is an important fundraiser for 8th grade families. It will be on November 7th from 7AM - 6PM at the Firehouse at 167 Lexington Ave. All money raised goes to eighth grade activities.

Eighth graders are invited to come to the Homework Help Center after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3 - 4:30PM if they are looking extra support or a focused space to get work done. Snack donations for Homework Center are ALWAYS welcome. Please feel free to drop off donations of non-perishable food in any of the 8th grade classrooms.