Friday, September 22, 2017

Week of September 18th - 22nd

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

Dates to Know:

  • Wed, Sept 27th- Grades 5-8 Curriculum Night, Learning Expo & Parent Assembly
6:30pm - 7:00pm Parent Assembly in Auditorium
7:00pm - 8:00pm Curriculum presentations on house
8:00pm - 8:30pm Learning Expo in lobby & dining room

  • Tue, Oct 3rd- Walking Field Trip to Adams Apple Orchard.  Permission slip HERE
Please have your student turn into to teacher or TA or email back to KFieldsend@cvsdvt.org

  • Fri, Oct 27th- Voyager Harvest Breakfast Open House 7:45 - 8:45am in Voyager
House.  Come see various works students have created on display.

  • Wed, Dec 6th- Voyager Family Night / Variety Show 6 - 8pm at WCS in Dining Room & Auditorium

Continental Mathematics League 2017-2018

Registration deadline for grades 3-8 is September 22nd
(Registration for grade 2 will be announced in October.)
Grade 4-8 Meet dates:
November 15, December 20, January 17, February 14 & March 14

Williston​ ​Central​ ​School Supports​ ​Hurricane​ ​Victims!
Monday, September 18th through Friday, September 29th Bring in your loose change!

Each team will have a collection jar! Donations will help support two organizations!

AllBreed​ ​Dog​ ​Rescue​ who have already been in Texas saving owner surrendered and stray dogs from shelters and is currently doing the same in Florida. Twenty-five dogs have been brought to Vermont and are in the process of being adopted from the Williston shelter.

Belle Terre​ ​Elementary​ ​School​ ​located in Palm Coast, Florida which has been closed since the hurricane. Margaret Munt’s daughter, Vanessa Ajayi, works in this school system and is serving as our connection. Note: Margaret was a long-time Williston teacher that passed away from cancer.

We welcome any parents or businesses to “match” the amount of money collected for their child’s team. Contact Jackie Parks, Principal, if you are interested. jparks@cvsdvt.org

Williston FAP Annual Fund
Please donate to the FAP Annual Fund. This is how your student's field trips are paid for.
$45 recommended per student. Any amount helps!
Send check to Williston Central School, Williston FAP, 195 Central School Drive


The Week in Mr. Merrill’s Room (⅚ Humanities):
We focused on our preparation for Peace Day this week. Students created peace pinwheels to place out in front of the school on Peace Day. We also studied the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Students were introduced to the idea of a right vs. need and brainstormed rights that they think they have as children. Ms. Cable then introduced the UN Convention - Rights of the Child, and led a read aloud on a picture book that highlights these rights. Students then completed a walking tour, reading stories of children around the world whose rights have been denied. Students had to match the correct right from the convention to the story.
On peace day, our 7th and 8th grade students shared their infographic projects with us, and we shared our first draft peace poems. Together we placed our pinwheels on the front lawn of Equinox.
6th graders were introduced to their pen pals from Hawaii. We will be writing to our pen pals all year. Please ask your student about his/her pen pal.
We will start next week off with our book talks and begin our read aloud of I am Malala.
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The Week in Ms. O’s Room (⅚ Math & Science):

Math 5: Students have tackled some important multiplication strategies, strategies that will ultimately help students see relationships between numbers. I realize that sometimes this math looks foreign to you and so homework help may be difficult, but the math sensemaking that students are doing during these times, is very important for their math brains!  I had a parent contact me this week, asking me for help, and I was glad to provide some context.  Please feel free to do this at anytime!  Multiplication strategies included: Double a dimension, double the area;  double both dimensions, quadruple the area; 10 x more or less; Halving and Doubling; the Double Double Double.  While engaging in these strategies, students are doing multidigit multiplication using basic math multiplication facts AND seeing relationships.  It is a worthwhile pursuit!  We also tackled volume and surface area, which at it’s roots, is more multiplication!

Math 6:  Students are completing the first investigation in Comparing Bits, and learning how to compare pieces and parts!  The focus of this unit is on ratios.  Students are learning how to write comparative statements that focus on multiplication rather than addition.  So I would expect to see statements like, “for every $4 the 6th grade raises, the 7th grade raised $3.50, as opposed to the 6th grade goal is $.50 more than the 7th grade goal.  And thus the focus has been on fractions, what fraction of the goal was reached? & “how does one goal for one group compare to the other group?  We have used “for every” statements to help us move in this direction.  For example “for every $4 the 6th grade raises, the 7th grade raises $3.50.  This will help move us to next week’s work on unit rates.  

⅚ Science:
Pics from last week’s Hunger Banquet

⅚ Science This Week!  Students have been around the world, looking at life in Gambia and Tanzania through a food and agriculture based lens.  We also constructed our temporary Sunbubble, so that we can pilot growing this fall.  Today’s work focused on learning about our Lt. Governor, Dave Zuckerman, who will be visiting us roundtable style on Monday.  
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The Week in Mr. Roof’s Room (⅞ Humanities):

In ELA this week, we continued our independent reading with reading log 3. This is a tool we use to help set goals, track our reading in and out of school, build vocabulary, and explore grammar and literary analysis. To continue our PLP work, we completed an executive functioning survey. This was to help identify strengths and challenges with how we manage ourselves, our resources, and use mental skills to accomplish tasks. We also did some work with subject and predicate identification. We will begin our first writing project next week, which will focus on narrative. This is usually a high engagement, creative time for students, so we’re very excited.
In Social Studies, we were focused on projects for Peace One Day. Peace Day was celebrated on Thursday, September 21st. Students defined vocabulary words regarding peace and human rights, made infographics about Peace Day, and constructed peace pinwheels that were placed on the school grounds.  We were able to share our work with the 5 & 6 grade students, who in turn shared their peace poems with us. It was great to work together and hopefully we will have more opportunities to do so in the future.



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

CMP8 and CMP7
This week students began the “Popsi Challenge”, a design engineering project to create a container that can hold 360 cm3 of the refreshing Popsi beverage and have a surface area less than 294 cm2.  PopsiCo is looking to update the humdrum can for a new and innovative container that utilizes less material and is stackable, packable and aesthetically pleasing.(Say that fast!) Students did a lot of searching for 3-D figures and tested different dimensions to find a figure that could meet all the constraints.  They created flat patterns and 3-D models of their designs.  The next task is to figure out how these containers will be transported and stored and finally every student will create a “pitch” for their model that they will deliver to the PopsiCo executives next week.  

Science 7th/8th

The week began with some misconceptions that we had about density.  Do two logs cut from the same tree have the same density if one is small and the other is twice as big?  Does a copper nugget and a copper pipe have the same density?  These situations were to get at the concept that size and shape of a similar material have no bearing on its density, and that density is a physical property.  We participated in a demonstration on the density of fluids and found that water has a density of 1g/ml.  Finally, we explored the physical property of solubility or the ability for a substance to dissolve in another substance.  We took water, isopropyl alcohol and acetic acid and placed the solute of salt or sugar in it.  We timed how long it took for the solute to dissolve in the solvent.  We made claim/evidence statements on our results and learned about what makes water such an incredible solvent.  We rounded out the week with looking at the atomic structure.  Mr. Shepley, our awesome UVM intern, has begun to present different portions our our class.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Week of September 11th - 15th

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.

Planners have been ordered for all Voyager students and we are hoping they will be in soon!

Dates to Know:
  • Wed, Sept 20th- WCS Picture Day (order forms were put in cubbies!)

  • Wed, Sept 27th- Grades 5-8 Curriculum Night, Learning Expo & Parent Assembly
6:30pm - 7:00pm Parent Assembly in Auditorium
7:00pm - 8:00pm Curriculum presentations on house
8:00pm - 8:30pm Learning Expo in lobby & dining room

  • Tue, Oct 3rd- Walking Field Trip to Adams Apple Orchard.  Permission slip HERE
Please have your student turn into to teacher or TA or email back to KFieldsend@cvsdvt.org

  • Fri, Oct 27th- Voyager Harvest Breakfast Open House 7:45 - 8:45am in Voyager
House.  Come see various works students have created on display.

  • Wed, Dec 6th- Voyager Family Night / Variety Show 6 - 8pm at WCS in Dining Room & Auditorium

SPARK Enrichment After School Session 1            

We are excited to offer your child an opportunity to participate in Spark Enrichment, an after-school applied learning program for students in grades 5-8. Sessions  will run for 5 weeks from 3:00 p.m - 4:30 p.m. with our 1st session starting September 21st and ending October 19th. These small group classes will be facilitated by school faculty and staff. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that can be found on the link below. Every student who registers will be assigned to one of their three choices. No one is turned away from Spark! Students are informed of the workshop they will be attending the day prior to the start of the session via their house TA. In order to take full advantage of this learning opportunity, students will need to make a commitment to attend all five Thursdays. If your child decides to not take part in this session after having registered please contact Julie Rogers so that others may fill the spot. The after-school activity bus will provide transportation home for students in need of a ride home.
Students will be placed on a first come first serve basis. Sign-up form and a listing of workshop descriptions. Contact Julie Rogers (jrogers@cvsdvt.org) with any questions.

The Week in Mr. Merrill’s Room (⅚ Humanities):
We started the week with our first Reading Cafe. Students read a selected book independently for 30 minutes and created a book list template in their Reading Response Notebooks. For our first current events mini lesson, we watched CNN 10 Student News and discussed the recent hurricanes and the anniversary of 9/11.
Our Peace One Day unit work included an introduction to a number of well known peacemakers and some reading to identify their accomplishments and special qualities.
We also did a choral reading of and watched the “I Have a Dream” speech. We will be using this speech as inspiration for our own dream of peace poetry next week.
Students should now have access to Google Classroom, Typing Club, and Digital Passport/Compass. Typing Club assignments will be posted on Google Classroom and the “Digital” programs are to be completed as part of our work on digital citizenship.

Be sure to ask your student about the two assemblies we had this week. Here are some links to the speakers.
Jared Campbell

Also, don’t forget to consider signing your student up for the intergen reading program - see the School Bell for information.

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

Math 5:  Students have had a great start to the school year!  We began our first unit this week, building models, looking for patterns, and practicing our multiplication.  

Specifically we:
  • Played the Product Game.  Students used factor lists and offensive and defensive strategies to find products on the gameboard.  To win, a student needed to get four products in a row.  We reviewed the definitions for factor and product.
  • Made number associations with multiplication facts.  How can we see relationships between numbers so we can use those relationships to find products we do not know?  
  • Built models for multiplication using the scenario, Brad’s Baseball Shop.  Brad wants to start a business selling baseballs (huh??), and has to consider how he will ship his orders.  We built models for those orders by considering how to build rectangular prism boxes.  We identified dimensions of possible boxes, and then saw that those dimensions would allow us to find all the factors of that number (the number of baseballs we were trying to box).  More to come with Brad’s Baseball Shop!

Math 6:  Students began their first book in the Connected Math Program for the year, Comparing Bits and Pieces.  This book intentionally moves students to ratio thinking.  Highlights from the week included:
  • Tackling a fundraising problem, in which students have to justify comparative statements about the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade fundraising goals.  Those comparative statements were made by students in the book who were thinking in addition and in multiplication.  
  • Defining ratio and beginning to see that multiplicative reasoning is necessary for understanding ratios.
  • Looking at the relationships between fraction thermometers for fundraisers and what we can say when one line on one fundraising bar matches up with one line on the other fundraising bar.  That’s ratio thinking!
  • Building our own fraction thermometers and relating ratios to fractions.

⅚ Science:

What a week!  We were busy this week finishing up our Food System models in an attempt to model/represent how our food gets from field to plate.  In doing this, we also followed the resources (energy) and money required to support a food system, whether local or global.  Some interesting patterns arose.  Global food systems are expensive and resource intensive!  I then asked, what could interrupt our food system?  This led us to make meaning of our food systems when there are interruptions like, lack of money, lack of roads, isolation of villages, ater issues, wars, and natural disasters.  More food system work to come!

Simultaneous to this learning about food systems, we began a peek into issues of hunger.  Why veer from food systems to hunger?  Students will begin to deconstruct their food system models to see if interruptions they have identified could lead to hunger.  Does war in a country cause increased hunger issues? Can a rural village’s lack of roads to the rest of the country, cut them off from food access? There is a lot to learn here!   Thus the Hunger Banquet.  Ask your child about our Oxfam sponsored Hunger Banquet.  There is a lot of reflection to be had from that experience.  

Friday, we put together our Globe greenhouse, donated from Gardener’s Supply (Thanks Deb Miuccio!) and dug up the ground for our pilot greens plot.  This growing adventure this fall will be our first experience growing food for donation to the Williston Food Shelf.  We will soon be designing a hoophouse and writing a grant proposal for funding with Lauren Davis and Sarah Healy.  If funded we will have a great building project for the spring, a permanent hoophouse for the school garden and a production line for fresh food for the Williston Food Shelf.

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

This week was quite busy in ELA and Social Studies. In ELA, we continued our strong work developing and maintaining our independent reading habits. Students are asked to read one hour per day. It is a lot, and we recognize that not everyone is there yet. We are trying to give at least 30mins/day at school, between class time and core time. Students are asked to read outside of school as well. This link helps independent reading become a habit instead of a chore. Please encourage this practice. Students complete a weekly reading log to help them set goals, track their reading, and work on vocabulary and grammar. We also began work on student Personal Learning Plans (PLP), specifically the About Me section. Ask your student about this engaging work so far.
In Social Studies, we are focused on the global event Peace Day, which is held on September 21st of each year. We have watched a video, held class discussions, and completed some writing to explore this rich, deeply rewarding topic. In addition, both classes had discussions regarding our amazing assemblies this week in which we heard powerful, motivating messages from Paralympian Chris Waddell and singer-songwriter Jared Campbell.

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

CMP8 and CMP7
This week both the 7th and 8th graders explored 2-D figures for area and 3-D figures for surface area, volume and flat patterns.  We looked at the formula for the area of triangles, quadrilaterals, trapezoids and circles and how they are derived.  For example, the area of a trapezoid is, ( A=b1 + b22h). By inverting a trapezoid, you create a parallelogram which can be solved by b h  and then you divide it in half to find the area of the single trapezoid.  
http://virtualnerd.com
We finished out the week exploring cylinders and calculating surface area, volume and how to create flat patterns.  Next week we begin our Popsi Challenge design engineering project! 7th and 8th graders will compete to create a drink container that holds 360 ml, and has the least surface area, is easily stackable and aesthetically pleasing.  Stayed tuned for the excitement!

Science 7th/8th
We began our chemistry unit with the exploration of physical properties of matter, specifically density.  Dr Massa Volumnae sent a top secret box of solids.  Within one solid was a secret weapon.  An inside operative was able to get out the clue....2.7.  Students worked methodically to calculate the density and volume of the solids to find the solid.  Voyager student scientists were able to locate the solid (aluminum which has a density of 2.7 g/ml)  and save mankind! Phew! At the end of the week we explored the density of fluids and students took a “Check-up” on their science reading.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Week of September 5th - 8th

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

5th -8th Grade Curriculum Night and Learning Expo has been moved from Thursday, 9/28, to Wednesday, 9/27, 6:30pm

Williston FAP Annual Fund
Please donate to the FAP Annual Fund. This is how your student's field trips are paid for.
$45 recommended per student. Any amount helps!
Send check to Williston Central School, Williston FAP, 195 Central School Drive

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The Week in Mr. Merrill’s Room (⅚ Humanities):
We introduced our first unit of the year - Peace One Day. We read a picture book and watched a short film on the creation of Peace One Day. Students reflected on the idea and brainstormed ideas of things that they could do to make peace on September 21.  Students also labeled and set up their Reading Response Notebook, Writer’s Notebook, and Humanities folder. These will be important learning tools for the school year. Chromebooks were also assigned to students.

Next week we will be learning about peacemakers and methods to deal with conflict. We will also have our first Reading Cafe on Monday. Students should bring in an independent reading book for the cafe. We will also have our first current events lesson and  start to set up our digital classrooms and digital learning tools.

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

Math ⅚: This week we engaged in the Week of Inspirational Math Lessons organized by Jo Boaler at Stanford University.  If you haven’t heard about her, she is an amazing mathematician who is really internationally known for her Growth Mindset work in Mathematics.  Each year she organizes a set of problems to introduce to students the first week of school and they are amazing.  Check her out if her work is of interest to you!  https://www.youcubed.org/
Lessons this week included:  




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⅚ Science:

We began our week by launching the Food and Farming unit I have planned for the month.  Our first lesson, called from Field to Fork asked students to consider the differences between food items in my pantry.  Students had the challenge of figuring out what makes one potato different than the other or the differences between a tomato from Mazzas and a can of crushed tomatoes from California.  We started with just the information contained on the can or label and then I gave them additional info, like where the tomato was grown, or how it was grown.  Students then considered, how did this tomato get here?  We built food system models, tracing the food item from field to plate.  We considered who the players are in the journey: farmers, distributors, etc.  and also considered the inputs (seeds, fertilizers) and the outputs (money spent, gas emissions) that are also part of the journey of that food item.  This modelling helps students to see not just a tomato, but everything and everyone needed to get that tomato to our table! We will continue this work next week.  On Thursday, we will have a community lunch together at school.  No bagged lunches or school lunches will be necessary that day!  We will be feeding them!  

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The Week in Mr. Roof’s Room (⅞ Humanities):
⅞ ELA
This week, we worked on completing a student interests document, so that we can all get to know each other better, and so that we can identify connections that bring us together. We also hope to use our interests in our learning. In addition, we worked on writing reflections about our amazing circus residency with Troy Wonderle. The objective was to identify the new learning we experienced from taking risks, pushing our comfort zones, and using teamwork, and then to examine how we can use that new learning in the classroom and beyond. We also introduced independent reading, with the goal being an hour of independent reading each day. We are flexible about this, as it is a lofty goal for many. The first step is to make a solid habit of reading both in school and out, and to track progress. We will support this by using a weekly reading log.

⅞ Social Studies
This week, we worked on completing individual SMART behavior matrices that pinpoint in-class behaviors that support us all in establishing a productive learning environment. Students had six columns of classroom situations to complete SMART targets for: Entering and Leaving the classroom; Working Independently; Working with others; Working on projects that require many materials; Listening to a peer, adult, or video present information; and Eating in the classroom.
We also set up and joined our google classroom.

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

CMP8 and CMP7
In both CMP7 and CMP8 we began our week with Jo Boaler’s Week of Inspiration Math (WIM).
Through videos, hands-on math activities and conversations students focused on math boosting messages, strategies for solving math problems, embracing math mistakes and realizing that doing math fast is not important, but deep thinking is.  We learned about Pi /and how it relates to circumference and diameter, we played with rope, created 3-D geometric figures and we used multiple strategies to find the area of different geometric figures.  Equal math talk during our dyad discussions was practiced. It was a fast and furious week! To find out more about WIM and the awesome Jo Boaler, you can peruse the Youcubed website.  https://www.youcubed.org/

Science 7th/8th
What does an effective, respectful and fun science class look like?  We spent some time setting norms for class behavior to begin our year, organized our science journals and placed tabs in our science binders.  We began our academic study with considering the physical characteristics of matter in the form of 13 duct taped vials with unknown contents.  Through sound, feel and touch, students had to describe the properties they observed and then conjecture on what materials were inside.  We also played the “Physical Properties of Matter Game” where students could only describe the physical attributes of an object, without describing how it is used, while their partner had to guess what the object was.  Personally, I was stumped by a tooth brush!  Finally, we took notes on some of the common physical properties of matter which are density, ductility, malleability, boiling point, melting point, electrical conduction and solubility. Next week we will begin with density!