Middle School – Mr. Driver’s classroom – Sept 7-11

Last week was excellent.  In Math, we learned about the ingredients of numbers by multiplication (factors) and learned a few different ways to find the Highest Common Factor between a given pair of numbers.  Two girls even performed a little skit about Gozintas during the Friday assembly.  8 gozinta 32 four times (“goes-in-to.” I know it’s a lame pun!)  Literacy got through the opening scenes of our book and now it will really get interesting.  Grade 8A contemplated the relationship between money and happiness.  There were some great poems written and even a rap about what was learned!

The week ahead in Math will have us reviewing all of the concepts covered so far.  We will be finishing the first unit on numeracy.  Students will review their pre-test and see where their biggest areas of improvement have been.  I expect everyone will have shown improvement, and show that they are back in ‘school-mode’ now.  Students will also receive a review activity to take home, where they can explain to you rounding, factoring, and order of operations.

Should I reveal plot points to the book, or should I let the parents be curious enough to read it… hmm…  Well, literacy class has gotten through act 1 of our book and we are now into the world of the rats.  Mrs. Frisby was allowed access to the community by swearing secrecy.  Astonished at what she saw, she was led down from the rosebush entrance into the rat city.  As she waits for Nicodemus, her thoughts are on her family, Timothy, and Moving Day.

This week the leader of the rats, Nicodemus will reveal to Mrs. Frisby the orgins of the rats, and how they became so intelligent.  Through this lengthy flashback, the main issues of the book will surface – the acquisition of intelligence and literacy, and the questionable morality of animal testing, and the desire to live without stealing (sustainability.)  Our class will pause from the book and explore these ideas through nonfiction reading, a guest speaker, the sustainability compass model, and class discussion.

My thematic course will migrate to grade 8B this week.  One of our topics will be Dan Price, the Seattle executive who cut his own wages and raised his company’s minimum wage to $70,000 dollars per year.  In addition to discussing how his decision was related to happiness, we will look at different media portrayals of Mr. Price.  Will your students be able to perceive the difference in perspective between these two headlines?  “Congratulations, Dan Price” vs. “Dan Price, Boss of the Year?”

That’s it for the week ahead.  I’m going to make a goal of posting some pictures next time.

See you at Green School,

-J. Driver

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