Middle School News

March 5, 2014

January was a short month with all of our snow days and other delays due to weather. Social Action Day was a huge success and most of our students decided to join us for the celebration rather than having a day off!
Now we are looking towards Multicultural Month in March. Students also will be choosing new Creation classes and Friday clubs.
Our 8th graders are embarking on their graduation projects. The project will reflect 60-70 hours of work. Each will choose and work with a committee that will guide them and support them through the process. This is a unique gift of time for middle school students to explore something they are passionate about. Keeping a good pace is crucial. They will present to peers and parents in May.
We are very fortunate to again have retired Professor Bob Togasaki, return to the middle school to teach a course: Introduction to Physical Science. He has prepared a hands-on curriculum to provide students with a solid structure to grasp such concepts as:
• The four dimensions
• Scale of nature
• Concept of units
• Science and the decimal system
• Power of 10
• Atomic concept
• Conservation of mass and property of mass
• Oxidation and reduction reaction
• Sublimation versus evaporation
Each year in the second semester our students prepare for debates. We know they can argue well, but now they are expected to write assertions, contentions and rebuttals – all backed-up with facts! Our topics this year were:
1. Assisted Suicide: Doctors should be able to perform assisted suicide on terminally ill patients.
2. Video Game Ethics: Unethical video games can lead to negative behaviors.
3. Animal Rights: Using animals for medical testing is good for society.
4. Video Game Consoles: The Xbox 1 is superior to the PS4.
5. Homework: Homework negatively affects kids.
The 6th graders are shadowing the middle school and next month our 8th graders will shadow the high school. We are hoping this will help with the transition and answer or generate questions.
Stay warm –
-Ursina

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