Thursday, June 15, 2017

Last Day of School!

CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES!!
GOOD LUCK IN THE FUTURE!!

Graduation Date - Thursday, June 15th
Last Student Day: Friday, June 16th - 1/2 DAY

Upcoming Change to School-Issued Email Accounts
Our school district, CSSU, is changing its name this summer to become the Champlain Valley School District (CVSD). Along with that change comes a change to our school-issued email accounts.

All student and adult email accounts will end in @cvsdvt.org instead of @cssu.org.
  • At 4:00 on Friday, June 16th, everyone should stop using their Google accounts. 
  • On Monday morning, June 19th, everyone can login using ____@cvsdvt.org instead. The password will remain the same.
Students and school staff: If you have added your account to any other device, be sure to change it there too.

Parents/Guardians: Any email sent to the @cssu.org account will still get delivered to the person @cvsdvt.org, but please begin making the change in your address book/contacts.

Questions? Contact Bonnie Birdsall  - bbirdsall@cssu.org

Friday, June 2, 2017

Week of May 30th - June 2nd

TA’s Notes:
***Please do not send in any food to be shared among Voyager students***

June 7th : ⅚ 10 - 11:15 am Learning Exhibition Open House (parents welcome!)
June 8th - 9th : Voyager House overnight to Camp Abnaki
June 15th- 8th grade Graduation 6:30pm (8th grade dance follows pick-up at 9:45pm)
June 16th: Last Day of School! (11:55am dismissal)

The Week in Mr. Merrill’s Room (⅚ Humanities):
  • We studied the early history of Vermont. We used the Vermont Historical Society’s website that details European contact, New Hampshire Grants, New York Patents, The Green Mountain Boys, Attack on Ft. Ticonderoga, and Vermont becoming a state. Students made a story map to learn this history.
  • Our trip to Ft. Ticonderoga included a scavenger hunt and the “Act as One Body program.” Details of the program are below.
  • In this program, your students are immersed in the daily routine of the Continental soldiers garrisoning Fort Ticonderoga in the weeks after the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold in 1775. Students form a platoon of soldiers, learning teamwork and discipline as they undergo a typical day in the life of soldiers. They learn about the training used to prepare soldiers to meet a powerful enemy, what soldiers ate, where they slept, and experience the confusion of battle.During their participation in this program, students observe a musket demonstration and practice formation tactics. The soldiers’ experience comes to life as students learn about key aspects of the American Revolution. This program is a strong cooperative activity and lasts about one hour.
  • We reflected on our experience as Green Mountain Boys at Ft. Ticonderoga and made concept maps and wrote journal entries.

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

Math 5:  Students have wrapped up their last book of the year, Prime Time.  Assessment will be completed and scored after this weekend.  Our next two weeks will incorporate some cumulative review, where we go back to the math of the year and test our success with the concepts AND fun math logic puzzles that challenge the brain!  We began our week with the Monty Hall Problem.  The puzzle is based on the old Let’s Make a Deal game show in which contestants can win a goat or a car!  Students used experimental data collection to answer the question: If you choose Door #1 and Monty reveals that there is a goat behind Door #2, should you stay with Door #1 or switch to Door #3?  We collected data and made the decision that the odds are in favor of...well, I’m not going to tell you.  Ask your kiddo!  We ended the week with the Bridge Riddle. There are more challenging puzzles to come.  Please know that the kids are struggling through them, but it is good think time for all!

Math 6:  Students wrapped up the last unit of the year, Variables and Patterns, with a unit assessment.  I was so impressed with the level achieved in this very algebra and proportional reasoning heavy unit.  Results will be posted soon.  We ended the week with a mathematical logic puzzle called the Monty Hall Problem.   The puzzle is based on the old Let’s Make a Deal game show in which contestants can win a goat or a car!  Students used experimental data collection to answer the question: If you choose Door #1 and Monty reveals that there is a goat behind Door #2, should you stay with Door #1 or switch to Door #3?  We collected data and made the decision that the odds are in favor of...well, I’m not going to tell you.   Ask your kiddo!

⅚ Science:  Oh my, if you could see the mess!  I decided to just let it happen!  We are building our Rube Goldberg mechanisms and are happy to be successfully improving these mechanisms to fulfill a simple task.  Please remember our Open House next Wednesday’s Learning Exhibition from 10-11:15!  Enjoy watching your child try to pull off the impossible...a mechanism that models energy transfer!  Also, we will have a reading room for written work from the year that you can sit and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee!

The Disaster!
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The Week in Mr. G’s Room (⅞ Humanities):

While the 8th graders were away at Riding High, the 7th graders took the opportunity to present a “Caine’s Arcade” style game room for the younger students. Students were challenged to build a game out of cardboard boxes and other materials found in their homes. We invited Ms. Haas’ class and Ms. Ward’s class to come and try out the games.
In both 7th and 8th grade we worked on close reading. We practiced by close reading the lyrics of songs that students are familiar with, like “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, and “Beat it” by Michael Jackson.
In the afternoons, students are learning about the geography of North America by planning a road trip. Students have a budget of $10,000 with which their team must buy a car, food, hotels, and gas for a trip at least half way across the country, seeing sights and meeting people along the way.

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

CMP8
8th graders have been tasked with many things this week, including taking language exams.  We flexed a bit with our routine in order to give returning test takers an opportunity to regroup after  completing a two hour exam. On Thursday and Friday, students rode off into the sunset to the Ridin-Hy resort for their 8th grade trip. Our final mission for 8th grade math students is to complete their “It’s in the System” Unit Test. Students will be asked to write a system of linear equations from a word problem and find the common solution.  They will also be tasked with using different methods for solving a variety of systems.  They have been given a unit test review that is due on Monday and the unit assessment will be on Tuesday.  Time left in our year will be devoted to inequalities and overall review.

CMP7
This week the 7th graders have been working hard on understanding linear equations using graphs and tables.  We have worked to understand the context of these real world problems and have begun to manipulate variables from one side of the equation to another.  We played linear expression Bingo and tried our hand at one-step algebraic equations.

Science 7th/8th
We had  a very abridged week of science. (Two class periods)  We are trying feverishly to get our solar cookers completed, so we can have a bake-off.  I am hoping that there will be sunshine next week for testing!  Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

TA’s Notes:
***Please do not send in any food to be shared among Voyager students***

May 29th : No school (Memorial Day)
June 1st : 5th & 6th grade field trip to Fort Ticonderoga
June 1st - 2nd : 8th grade overnight to Ridin-Hy Ranch
June 7th : ⅚ 10 - 11am Learning Exhibition Open House (parents welcome!)
June 8th - 9th : Voyager House overnight to Camp Abnaki
June 15th- 8th grade Graduation 6:30pm (8th grade dance follows pick-up at 9:45pm)
June 16th: Last Day of School! (11:55am dismissal)

Dance at CVU for incoming 9th graders:
With cooperation from all the CSSU middle schools, CVU is proud to announce the 3rd Annual “Spring Social,” an event meant to bring together the CVU Class of 2021 before the end of eighth grade.

Who: All incoming 9th graders from the towns of Hinesburg, Williston, St. George, Shelburne and Charlotte
What: A DJ’d DANCE and an opportunity to get to know your fellow students of the CVU Class of 2021! This as a fantastic way for you to foster relationships with peers from other sending schools in the district before starting the 9th grade together in the Fall of 2017!
When: Friday, May 26, from  6:30pm → 9:30 pm
Where: CVU “Mini-gym” (upstairs)
Why:  Because you KNOW you want to see who will be joining you at CVU for the next four years. And,  its a great opportunity to make some connections before the start of summer vacation! And, it's a fundraiser for the CVU Senior Class Council. Be there!

Cost: $8 Admission
Snacks and drinks will also  be available for purchase
Casual (but classy!) dress→ this is not a “formal”
Questions? Please contact Michelle Fongemie at mfongemie@cssu..org


The Week in Mr. Merrill’s Room (⅚ Humanities):

This week 5th grade students started reading Holes as their final lit group book and 6th grade students started reading Hoot.
Both 5th & 6th grade students completed a mini unit on how the Constitution was written. They also started to study the origins of Vermont, the Green Mountain Boys, and Fort Ticonderoga in preparation for our field trip there next week.
Permission slip HERE can be turned in by students or scanned & emailed in to our TA at KFieldsend@cssu.org


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

CMP8
We created step-by-step procedures for solving systems of equations.   The methods included using equivalent equations, substituting one equation into the other and eliminating one term in both equations in order to combine them.  Each process works to find a solution where both linear equations have a common coordinate point.  It is always a multi-step process that presumes that you know how to keep equations balanced and how to use the distributive property.  We had a quick formative check-in on Thursday and next week we will work toward preparing for our final assessment.

CMP7
The 7th graders are in the midst of all things linear.  We explored what a y-intercept represents in the context of a problem and looked closely at how slope is formed.  We had a bit of an abridged week with the excellent concert. Students are also forming an understanding of how to solve multi-step algebraic equations.

Science 7th/8th
We had an abridged week this week with 8th grade Challenge presentations.  We began the week with the introduction of our final engineering challenges.  Students will be working to create a solar reflector or oven that will allow them to cook something. (Hotdog? Cookies?)  We read about the push to utilize solar ovens in places like Africa where wood is becoming scarce and the wood smoke harms women and children.  These ovens are built from cardboard and mylar and can help eliminate the need for walking great distances for firewood.  They can cook food thoroughly and purify water so that it can be safe to drink.  Students will be working with a partner to construct and test their ovens for a mini bake-off.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Week of May 15th - 19th

TA’s Notes:
***Please do not send in any food to be shared among Voyager students***

Important Dates
May 25th- 7:30 - 8:10am: Open House for 8th Grade Challenge (parents invited)
May 29th : No school (Memorial Day)
June 1st : 5th & 6th grade field trip to Fort Ticonderoga
June 1st - 2nd : 8th grade overnight to Ridin-Hy Ranch
June 7th : ⅚ 10 - 11am Learning Exhibition Open House (parents welcome!)
June 8th - 9th : Voyager House overnight to Camp Abnaki
June 15th- 8th grade Graduation 6:30pm (8th grade dance follows pick-up at 9:45pm)
June 16th: Last Day of School! (11:55am dismissal)

Community Post:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Interested in performing in this classic Shakespearean comedy this summer and exploring the wonders of the imagination?
Description: Two weeks of intensive rehearsals from June 26th-July 7th (Mon.-Sat.) and one week of performances (including indoor, evening performances and outdoor, mid-day performances for the community).
Ages: 12-17
Rehearsals: (June 26th-July 7th)-at the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts
         Monday-Friday, 9:00am-3:00pm
         Saturday, 9:00am-1:00pm (optional fun activities from 1-4)
**no rehearsal July 4th**
Performances: (July 7th-15th)
         Evening shows at 7:00pm, July 7th and 8th (possibly 15th) (at the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts)
​          Mid-day shows July 10th, 11th, 13th, and 14th (various time/locations around Chittenden County)
Auditions: Monday, June 12th at 1:00pm in Williston (other arrangements can be made if necessary)
Tuition: $300/participant ($200 for each additional sibling)
Contact: Lauren Palmer at silverclaw3@yahoo.com with any further questions or to enroll as an actor/actress (please also fill out basic registration form below).
Also see hourglassyouththeatre.weebly. com to check out the company’s previous production, for more information about the company, and for an online basic registration form (for actors)
We are also searching for 2-3 crew members to help with lighting (for evening performances), sets, props, and costumes. We are also looking for an assistant director (upper high school). Please enquire by contacting Lauren Palmer at silverclaw3@yahoo.com.
**sponsored by the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts**
Coder Camp for Girls:
New Coder Day Camp for Girls at Vermont Technical College – Williston Campus – July 17th – 21st – is now open to girls 11 years – 16 years of age..  and we have many full scholarships available thanks to the Vermont Women’s Fund!

Trout Release Pictures from last week:
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The Week in Mr. Merrill’s Room (⅚ Humanities):
Highlights:
  • Book Presentations: Students lead a book talk on an independent reading book.
  • Trout Reflections:  Students wrote short essays or personal narratives about their trout week experience.
  • Current Events: Finding Fake News - students learned how to analyze and evaluate examples of news stories to determine their credibility and accuracy.
  • How did the Framers write our Constitution? That is the question we will be focusing on as we study what unfolded with our government during and after the Revolutionary War. Students will keep a notebook to document their participation in this mini unit.

The Week in Ms. O’s Room (⅚ Math & Science):
Math 5:  Students in 5th grade are closing out their first 6th grade Connected Math Book, Prime Time.  Our last investigation, which we worked on this week, was all about Distributive Property.  Although not a new concept, it is the first time this property has been given a name.  The area model of multiplication is a good example of this property and so when students saw the model again, they realized that they had some skills in Distributive Property already.  The focus of our work this week was to understand Distributive Property when dimensions are unknown.  Really it's a dip into algebra and the next time students will see this idea, they will be working with Quadratics (8th grade).  This introduction is essential for us, at this grade level, because it teachers students about equivalent expressions, and Order of Operations.  Final assessment will take place Wednesday.

Math 6:  Every year I realize just how rich Variables and Patterns is, and how I must hold myself back from all of the skills and concepts of 7th grade!  Variables and Patterns launches students into deep discussions about relationships between variables. Students are filling in tables, graphing and the new focus for the last 6 lessons, equation writing.  There is so much to learn and the students are so curious, that there are moments when I just have to say...there is more to a concept and you will learn it next year.  For now, we are muddling our way through how a table, graph and equation are connected.  We learned the simple generalization, y = mx yesterday, so students have a better sense of why all of the data in this unit, has graphed as a line and that the equation is something all the data sets has had in common.  We have another investigation and will be wrapping up this book by the end of next week.

5/6 Science:  Students began investigations in our new unit, Energy, Forces and Motion, on roller coasters.  Who doesn't like the science of roller coasters?  Students tested 12 pipe insulation roller coasters in order to answer the question, why do some roller coasters allow the marble to run from start to finish and others do not?  It was a lively lesson that then led to a roller coaster challenge of building a roller coaster with a certain set of criteria.  Student loved it!  I'll be finding marbles under book shelves for the next four weeks!
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The Week in Mr. G’s Room (⅞ Humanities):

This week in Humanities, we presented our skits portraying important aspects of life between the World Wars. Some students focused on the unresolved issues from seeds First World War that planted the seeds for the second. Others focused on economic conditions or changes in culture and technology. Students researched their topics in groups and then presented their finding to the class via their skits. We also made time in the week for the DRP reading test and the On-Demand writing prompt for 7th graders. In both classes we are opening space up for independent reading. In seventh grade we are reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas together.

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

CMP8
This week students have been investigating systems of linear equations.  We learned to find the solution of our systems by means of graphing and by creating equivalent linear expressions in the y= mx + b format.  Students were given baggies of 60 m&m’s and jelly beans.  They were tasked with finding out how many of each kind of candy they had based on the mass of the bag, the mass of m&m’s and jelly beans.  This information was used to create two linear equations.  Once we graphed them we were able to find their intersection point and find out exactly how many m&m’s and jelly beans were in the bag.  It was a sweet system of equations.
CMP7
The 7th graders experienced activity-based learning this week.  We divided the class into groups of 4 and had five stations that posed hands-on problems related to finding slope from tables, creating linear patterns with blocks, utilizing online graphing programs to match lines to equations, creating tables from linear equations and played a card game that looked at unit rate.  We finished the week with reteaching ratios and proportions and unit rates. Students took the Comparing and Scaling retake on Friday.

Science 7th/8th
Students completed their science model games.  They created study guides for our end of unit assessment on the flow of energy through the ecosystem.  Although the weather was quite hot, we were able to get out and play different games that modeled photosynthesis, the food web and the Carbon Cycle.