Saturday, June 16, 2018

Last week of school!

TA’s Notes:

Congratulations to our 8th graders!!  Best of luck in High School!
Summer Work Packets for students have been handed out or mailed out.  
Teachers will share PDF copies by email for parents.

Have a safe and fun-filled summer vacation!

Notes from Ms. Sherman:

After spending countless hours with the 8th graders, their 8th grade presentations and projects are now complete. I want to take this time to thank all the parents, grandparents, guardians and other adults that helped our 8th graders in every way, shape, and form to get this project done. They are official complete with their Middle School careers.

For 7th Graders (now our 8th Graders!): Some people like to get a jump start on their 8th grade challenge hours during the summer. Come and see me about the requirements, ideas, questions, etc. Make sure what you are doing is approved and will count towards your hours.

Have a great summer everyone!
~Ms. Sherman

Friday, June 8, 2018

Week of June 4th - 8th

TA’s Notes:
***Please do not send in any food to be shared among Voyager students***
***Please notify us if your child has strep.  Thank you for this courtesy.***

Voyager Homework Club- Tuesdays (2:00-3:30pm) and Wednesdays (3:00-4:30pm)
Dates to Know:
  • June 13th- Voyager Book Swap (see note below)
  • June 14th - 8th grade Graduation 6:30pm (Last day of school for 8th graders)
  • June 15th - ½ Day, Last day of school (11:55am Dismissal)

The Week in Mr. Merrill’s Room (⅚ Humanities):
This week we played Mission US - A Cheyenne Odyssey. Students explored Westward Expansion from the point of view of the Cheyenne through a variety of classroom activities and by playing the game. A complete overview of the game is below.
The mission focuses on the transformation of Northern Cheyenne life on the Great Plains from 1866 to 1876. The game is divided into five parts, plus a prologue that offers historical background, and an epilogue that extends the story into the twenty-first century. Students playing the game assume the role of Little Fox, a twelve year-old Northern Cheyenne boy. As the game opens, Little Fox is growing up with his band around the Powder River Basin (in present-day southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming). Little Fox’s daily life is determined by the needs and traditions of his family and community. His everyday life, however, is soon impacted by the encroachment of United States military expeditions, railroad builders, and white settlers. As Little Fox grows older, the Northern Cheyenne way of life changes dramatically, as the tribe adapts to the United States’ expansion into the West.

The Week in Ms. O’s Room (⅚ Math & Science):

The current state of the hoophouse…
  • We will put cross bracing up to stabilize the hoops.  Need a carpenter for that, so maybe this weekend!
  • Plastic will be left off until the fall.  We will try to get some seeds in for some nongreenhouse harvesting in August.
  • Dedication of the Hoophouse: Popsicle party on Wednesday at 12:30 PM.  Please join us!
  • Special thanks to...Mark and Amy Yandow (excavation of the site), Dan Fleming (WCS resident science and engineering volunteer), Dave Robeson (retired builder and friend of Ms. O), Luna Wood (supported the building process on weekends, afterschool, and during the school day), Vermont Organics (donation of topsoil and recharge soils), John Schaefer and Schaefer boys (husband and kids of Ms. O), FAP (funding of the build project), Robert Nesbit (⅚ student), ⅚ Voyager students, Gardener’s Supply and Deb Miuccio for donations of sun bubble and seeds, Lauren Davis and Sarah Healy (support with architectural design drawings and grant proposal), the Town of Williston Zoning for the permit, Lyall and Wayne, our building managers at WCS, for the pickup of wood etc., WCS parents who helped me manage work days, Ted Milks (volunteer), Linda Chiasson, Community Gardener. I hope that if I forgot someone, you know you were a great help!

Math 5: This week we wrapped up our work in Prime Time, a unit all about multiplicative reasoning and solving problems using the properties of numbers.  We landed on a very important model, a prime factor tree, that can tell us a lot about the properties of a number and how that number may be similar or different to other numbers.  Students completed a final assessment for the unit, shy of all the content, but assessing the most important pieces. We abandoned our Number Story Children’s Book for the year, but will start the year with this important and fun project.  It will be great review for the 6th grade year.

We also mathematized a science activity with a rotocopter.  We will continue to work on this in all the spaces in between next week.  See photos.

As I organize for summer work for 5th grade, which will be handed out next week, I would like to put a special plug in to all parents, as you travel around the US and abroad, and go from here to there this summer!  I am still seeing a lot of students struggling through their multiplication math facts. This is one of the most essential skills to know, because Grade 6 math moves beyond basic fluency into the application of that fluency to real world situations.  Kiddos who do not know these really , really, really struggle in 6th grade math. Please see this as a really essential goal that you can help with. As you move prep for summer, grab a multiplication and division flashcard pack. I cannot reinforce enough how great it would be if all students come to school in August with these simple facts mastered.  Thanks for your help in this. 6, 7, 8, 9’s are the most difficult and the ones that students continuously breeze over. Put your emphasis on these!

Ways to coach your kiddos:
  • 4’s are 2’s doubled.  If he/she knows the twos, remind them of the double double.
  • 8’s are a double double double.  If you know your 2’s double them, then double again, and you have your 8’s.
  • 3’s doubled are 6’s.
  • Memorize the 7’s or use the 5’s plus the 2’s to solve.  I don’t know 7 x 6, so I use 2 x 6 plus 5 x 6 and I get 42.
  • 5’s are half 10.  Students always know the 10’s, so find that first, then halve it.
  • 9’s are one less group than 10’s.  If students know their compatible numbers (3 and 7 make ten, 4 and 6 make ten), then they can use the one less group for the 9’s.  Here is an example: I do not know 6 x 9. So first I find 6 x 10, the remove a group of 6. This is a ten (60) minus 6. 10-6 = 4, so I know I’m at 54.  6 x 9 = 54

Math 6:  I reinforced understanding of the mean this week, in addition to learning about Box and Whisker Plots.  Box and Whisker plots are used to look at variability in data, a skill we did not get to. We simply learned what the five number summary is and how to make a box and whisker.  It will come up again in High School Stats classes! We also played with rotocopters and will continue building understanding of the science and math behind the phenomenon in the spaces between next week.

⅚ Science:
Students have been enjoying our end of year science learning, the Amazing Race Geology style.  It has been fun to do a little out of the box thinking and watching how different students react to challenges, work together, and model geologic phenomena around the US. We made four stops after Yellowstone - Mt St. Helens, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Barre VT.  I have provided some pics of the fun!

The Week in Mr. Roof’s Room (⅞ Humanities):

ELA and Social Studies: This week has been all about writing a four paragraph essay/writing a song, rap, or poem/or designing a slide show and presentation that compares and contrasts important beliefs and practices from two of the world’s major religions. Students worked hard to use facts/evidence, and to explain and elaborate upon that evidence in support of their claim. Students used their notes and internet research to find their evidence. We did not have a reading log nor CNN 10 this week so that students could really focus their energy and thought on this assignment.

The Week from Ms. Q’s Room (⅞ Math & Science):

This week 8th graders finished up our brief foray into linear systems.  We explored several ways to solve linear systems algebraically through a method called substitution and another called combination.  These methods allow students to find a coordinate pair, (x,y) that will satisfy both equations. It is also the place where two lines intersect. We ended the week with a final assessment on our It’s in the System Unit.  We may have a few opportunities to do math over the next week in between all the graduation merriment.

The 7th graders have been exploring how to find equations from graphs, tables and coordinate points. We reviewed concepts from the beginning of the “Moving Straight Ahead” Unit and we finished with our assessment. Students will be receiving summer math work next week.

Science 7th/8th
Students received their edited first drafts of their natural disaster drafts at the beginning of the week.  We read a wonderful exemplar story written by one of our students that focused on an earthquake in California.  It was descriptive, scientifically factual,and captured the disaster authentically. It was fun to read. Students added more detail and passed in their 2nd draft on Friday.  It has been great reading their work.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Week of May 29-June 1

TA’s Notes:
***Please do not send in any food to be shared among Voyager students***
***Please notify us if your child has strep.  Thank you for this courtesy.***

Voyager Homework Club- Tuesdays (2:00-3:30pm) and Wednesdays (3:00-4:30pm)

Last day for Late Bus- June 6th!
Dates to Know:
  • June 5th- Last Homework Club day of the year
  • June 6th- Last day for Late Bus
  • June 8th- 8th Grade Challenge Presentations 8:30 - 10:00am (schedule was emailed out to 8th grade parents already)
  • June 13th- Voyager Book Swap (see note below)
  • June 14th - 8th grade Graduation 6:30pm (Last day of school for 8th graders)
  • June 15th - ½ Day, Last day of school

Voyager Book Swap (June 13)- Voyager would like to host a book swap on June 13th. Students may bring in any gently used books to donate to our swap and drop them off in our project room. We would like to have all of our students go home with couple of good books to kick start their summer reading.

Notice for incoming 7th Graders:
A reminder for parents, who have students that will be in 7th grade, in 2018-2019
All incoming seventh graders are required by the state to have a vaccination called TDaP.
Are records indicate that your child has not received this vaccine.
We are asking that you call your child’s doctor and see if your child has had this vaccine.
If they have had their TDaP could you ask your doctor’s office to fax it to us at 871-6101
Attention: School Nurse
If they have not had their TDaP, could you please schedule an appointment to complete
the state requirement, and provide us with a copy, by August 15 th.
We are required to have written documentation.
If you have any questions please call (871-6170) the WCS Health Office and we would be
happy to help.
Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated,
Carol Albertelli,RN
Maria Harlow, RN
WCS School Nurses

Notes from Ms. Sherman:

Mr. Roof and I had a blast and want to thank our 8th graders for representing Voyager House well!

***The last day of Homework Club will be on June 5th (Tuesday.)***
**8th Grade Challenge Presentations are on June 8th**
*8th Grade Graduation is in 9 more school days*  

While the 8th graders were at Rydin Hy, the 7th graders had two days of activities culminating in a trip to the UVM ropes course.  It was a wonderful opportunity for students to collaborate, take on challenges and have fun!

The Week in Mr. Merrill’s Room (⅚ Humanities):
  • Students started their book to movie literature groups. We will be watching the movie that matches the book on June 11th.
  • Pen Pals - 6th graders wrote a final letter to their pen pal and then recorded a video reading it. We shared our videos and finally got a chance to see our pen pals. 5th graders wrote a second letter and I heard our school friends in Gambia did send reponses - hopefully we get them next week!
  • Students were introduced to our mini unit on Westward Expansion. We analyzed the painting “American Progress” by John Gast, 1872. Students created their own version of the painting from the viewpoint of Native Americans and discussed the concept of Manifest Destiny.

The Week in Ms. O’s Room (⅚ Math & Science):

Math 5:  
Things we figured out this week…

Factor trees are great models for a prime factorization.
Prime factorizations are the longest string of prime factors that when multiplied give you a product.
Prime factorizations help us find the greatest common factor and least common multiple of any two or more numbers.
That efficiency in mathematics is the ultimate end goal.  This efficiency comes when you generalize.

Math 6:  
We talked about why Ms. O is so MEAN.  Well hang on, not that mean! It was a way for kids to understand the what mathematical mean is!  We used different data sets to drive towards the end goal of understanding how to find mathematical mean given certain conditions.  We used Khan Academy and other progressions to move from conceptual to generalizable rules for finding MEAN!

⅚ Science:
What a fun and wild week!  We ended the week with the first of five days of the Amazing Geology Race, a fun way to learn about the factors and forces that change rock on Earth.  Students are paired up and must solve daily puzzles to gain the most points available for the day!

Back it up and you will see from the photos that we got a partial build done on the hoophouse.  Thanks to Ann and Tom Lawrence for helping us out on that crazy day and special thanks to Dan, the engineer that has worked so hard, in the hot sun, to ensure proper assembly.  

We also wrapped up the Grand Prismatic Pool investigation.  Students are now modeling the phenomenon or using the LEAF format to explain what is happening and why it is happening.

The Week in Mr. Roof’s Room (⅞ Humanities):

ELA: This week marks the last of the reading logs. We achieved 35 reading logs this year, which is a new record for Mr. Roof’s classes!  We focused on participles and participle phrases, along with narrative point of view to close our grammar study out. Otherwise, ELA was supporting writing assignments in other classes: 8th grade challenge, Science Narrative, and Social Studies World Religions Summative Assessment.

Speaking of social studies, this week marked the end of our World Religions unit. We finished our notes for all five major world religions and began our final assignment, which is a comparison and contrast of any two religions. Ask your student about which two religions they chose, and what assignment choice they are working on.  We also completed our last CNN 10 assignment, working on argument writing. We will have a short argument assessment next week.

The Week from Ms. Q’s Room (⅞ Math & Science):

The 8th graders have made a breakthrough this week in solving systems of equations algebraically.  This week we took linear equations, placed them into y-intercept form and had them equal each other.  Through a series of steps students solved for one variable (x) and then went back and placed it into the original equation to find the (y). This is a form called substitution.  


In 7th grade we are moving from models of algebraic equations to using symbols.  Here is an example of the Mystery Bags of Monterak from “Moving Straight Ahead”. Students do a series of steps to find out what is in each bag by keeping the left and right side balanced.

The equation below is:
2x + 4 = 12
2x + 42= 122
X+2 = 6
-2        6-2
X = 4
We then moved on to solving equations with variables in both sides of the equations. It was exciting.

Science 7th/8th
Our science writers have been writing and talking about living through their natural disasters. Understanding the setting where your hazard takes place, what happens in the environment prior to the hazard, and what the experience is like for someone living through it are all important aspects of this paper.  We heard some archived interviews with people who had lived and survived the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Students peer reviewed their papers for accuracy and passed them in on Friday.