Learning at VLUS: December 2017

Learning at VLUS: December 2017
Posted on 12/07/2017
6th Grade:

Science: We have completed the first unit of Physical Science. Students are improving their scientific writing and analysis. We are starting our second unit, Chemistry. Students will be exploring basic chemistry concepts with an emphasis on the question: "How Can I Smell Things From a Distance."

In ELA, students are reading fiction in small book groups, as they explore the features of The Hero's Journey in mythology and novels. They will be building their analytical writing skills by using the MEALS paragraph format (Main idea, Evidence, Analysis, Logical conclusion, Spelling / punctuation / capitalization). As they track the different elements of analytical writing in their own work, they will gradually grow their essay-writing muscles.

In social studies, students wrapped up their virtual brochure research and crafting and had a very successful sharing evening with their families. Our new unit- Human Origins - was launched on Monday, November 20. Students set up their Field Notes Journals and worked as teams to reassemble broken pot pieces, observing and discussing shape and design details. Be looking for a field trip permission slip to the Peabody Museum on January 10, 2018!

In math, students are done with Rate/Unit rate chapter that mainly is about unit rate ,unit price and distance/speed/time relationships . Currently, students are working on percent concepts and solving real life situations that involve percent calculation.

7th Grade:

Grade 7In ELA 7th graders will soon be working on two-voice poems and starting their identity unit.

In social studies, students are learning about West African empires. Students will be doing a project on Mansa Musa's Hajj in December.

In science, students will be starting their life science unit and will be asking "what is going on inside of me?"

In grade level math, students are working on operations with positive and negative numbers. In AMP math, students are starting to learn about expressions and equations.

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

8th Grade:

Science is wrapping up the unit on Weather and Climate: How Do Humans Impact the Environment? Students will complete a curriculum embedded performance (CEPA) after Thanksgiving vacation. They have looked at reasons for climate variation in different locations and analyzed many sources of evidence that the climate is changing. They will then look at ways to mitigate human impact on the environment.

The OGL math, classes wrapped up the second unit on linear functions and will explore functions and systems of linear equations after Thanksgiving break. The AMP math classes wrapped up a mini unit on scatter plots and functions and have explored linear functions. After Thanksgiving break they will continue to explore linear functions as well as absolute value functions.

In ELA, we are finishing the novel Inside Out & Back Again, and students will soon begin writing the final essay for this Module. Next up we will study some contemporary refugee groups and students will write poems inspired by their research.

In social studies, we have just finished our unit on Japan and are heading to Medieval Europe. This week we started tackling our first major DBQ (Document-Based Question) of the year, attempting to answer the question: Were the Dark Ages really dark?

This past month, students in the Sheltered English Program learned about the lives of the Wampanoag people, Pilgrims, and their participation in the first Thanksgiving celebration. On November 20th, we celebrated a Day of Thanks with food from dozens of countries around the world along with "traditional" Thanksgiving delicacies. Thank you to all families, students, and staff for sharing your cultures with us! A great time was had by all! In academic news, students demonstrated their mastery of our world geography unit through physical feature projects and presentations. We are proud of our successful first quarter.
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