Friday, May 10, 2013


This week, our focus was on Milestone and Capstone work, and the completion of our Afghanistan Journals.  

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • In Nat's Math class, we derived the formula for the surface area of a sphere through a rigorous process know as... the splitting of the tangerine.  Ask how to find the surface area of a sphere.
  • Mr. Sullivan Was our Guest Teacher for Nat's Math Section on Tuesday.  He and the students worked on the four fours: Creating every integer by using four fours and any combinations of mathematical operations.  We continued this project, and have found almost all of the integers from 1-100.  Ask which numbers were especially tricky.
  • In Science, we continued working on the sources of our electricity.  Ask what the most and least common sources of power are for the State of Maine (Natural Gas, Coal, Hydroelectric, Wind Power, Petroleum, Biomass, Nuclear).
  • In Spanish 7, we are creating comic strips. Ask your student "What is your comic about?"  Then show it to your family and friends and see if they can translate it!
  • In Spanish 8Pablo Neruda wrote hundreds of Odes. Ask, "Of those you have read, which is your favorite?"  Students are in the process of writing an Ode based on Neruda's style.  Right now, the Ode is in English.  Ask "how do you think it will change after you translate it into Spanish?"

  • In Art, students went to the PMA and toured the Paley Collection. Ask your student if they recognized any of this master work. Ask your student if there was a piece s/he really liked and why.
  • In Music, students are practicing their song for Genre Fest - and we got to listen to some Howlin Wolf.  Ask what the difference is between Chicago Blues and Delta Blues.  Ask also how they feel about their part in the class song.
  • In PE, we hiked to Jewell Falls with Mr. J., Fitz, and Trebor.  We found a snapping turtle and a snake (both of which Mr. J. picked up.)   Ask what other animal life we spotted.  Ask also how the snake liked being picked up.  
  • Our Afghanistan reading wrapped up with an open ended question about the future.  Ask why Afghani people might want Americans to stay or leave Afghanistan, and ask what it would take to bring true democracy to Afghanistan. 
  • NWEA Testing will be Monday and Friday of next week.
  • Afganistan Project Work will continue through the next two weeks, and will include letters to Afghan teenagers, and video work to summarize and synthesize our learning.
  • Next Wednesday, May 15, we'll be doing our service learning trip to Agawam.  (This trip will be contained during school hours.)
  • Spring conferences begin May 20.  I'll be sending a sign up sheet under separate cover.
  • Capstone Presentations are coming right up - May 28 and 29!