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posted: Fri, Sep 21st, 2018

MOMS clean-up progressing, instruction continuing

September 21, 2018

Dear Mount Olive Middle School Families,
I am writing to update you on how we've been progressing during our relocation from the middle school. First and foremost, cleaning crews are making headway at MOMS – the entire second floor has been remediated. While we will not be able to occupy the building as cleaning continues, I see this as a very positive step.

Your children have been highly engaged in academics during their time at the high school. We rolled our new schedule out on Tuesday - this schedule facilitates smaller group instruction and allows students to work with their regular teachers. I asked teachers to share some highlights of the goings-on in their classroom spaces, and direct communication from them can be seen below my message.

As we move forward, we will be integrating instrumental music and chorus back into our schedule. I am working with the teachers and the District to have instruments transported to the high school with the hope that they will be available for use early next week. Every instrument case has been sanitized, and I am excited at the prospect of getting instruments back into our students' hands.

For our cycle courses, Google Classroom will continue to be the mode of instructional delivery. Students will be able to work on self-guided assignments that have been carefully designed by our teachers, so be on the lookout for posted assignments. As we settle into our new rotation, you will begin to find that more and more content will be populating on Classroom for your child. I encourage you to sit down with your child to check on his or her progress.

In closing, I'd like to personally thank our teachers, staff, my fellow administrators, and the Board of Education for working together to maintain an instructional program that works for our learners. I'd also like to thank you and your children for your unwavering support during this time. I've said it before, and I'll say it again – I am very lucky to be a part of this school community. I am proud of what we are accomplishing, and I can say with certainty that your middle schooler is learning and growing each and every day.

With great pride,

Matt Robinson

Follow me on Twitter for up-to-date information: @mrobinson322
**Please see teacher updates below**

Grade 8

Week of 9/17-9/21:

Students were focused this week on "The Power of Words" (assignment on Google Classroom)
1. Independent reading novel assignment related to "The Power of Words"
2. Multi-day Word Etymology project
3. Reflection paragraph about the power of words in our society today

With these two tasks, students were asked to research/analyze/explain:
• author's diction (word choice)
• author's purpose
• word etymology

Week of 9/24-9/28
Students will read texts through the lens of gender roles
1. fiction texts (short story, children's book)
2. nonfiction text (article)
3. gender roles survey

With these texts, students will be asked to:
• analyze gender roles in literature
• determine how characterization affects the reader's view
• determine author's tone
• determine foreshadowing and irony
• writing assignment that synthesizes all three texts
This is all background preparation for our classic text "The Lottery"

Students will have an independent reading assignment due by Friday. Students will complete a 'one-pager' [poster with images and analysis]
(All directions are on Google Classroom)

In 8th grade math the levels are being instructed by their regular classroom teacher with other math teachers' assistance. Every level has continued curriculum and Algebra and Honors already have completed an assessment online. Math 8 has broken groups up to accommodate all students and they will have a quiz coming next week. The students have acclimated well to the new setting and are making the best of it with their teachers.

In Algebra 2, we have figured out how to solve systems of equations with 3 variables and went over transformations of functions. In Algebra Honors, we are manipulating formulas to solve for different variables and learning about absolute value equations.

This week we began brainstorming what the students know about atoms, molecules, physical properties and chemical properties. Students have copies of these notes in their binders. Each class began rotating around tables that were set up with informational cards, element samples, a testing site for conductivity/hardness, and interactive web exploration for the students to develop deeper understanding of elements in the periodic table.

Social Studies
The 8th grade Social Studies department has been utilizing guided reading and collaborative group work to focus on some of our core concepts including: economics, culture, and government. In addition, the students have also been given a current events assignment on Google classroom. They will be covering topics in the Americas looking for bias and perspective using the media.

8th grade students who require specialized or small group instruction have been receiving the following:
In Social Studies, students have been reviewing map skills. There are interactive online links that can be found on Google Classroom to reinforce content. The students were also assigned a current event and can begin researching articles at home. Newsela can be used a resource in their article search.

In Math, students have been working on coordinate planes and are beginning the basics of geometry transformations. We will be focusing on translations, reflections, rotations, and dilations. Students will be doing interactive activities online, as well as practice sheets. They will also be fixing some of their mistakes on their Friday Math or finishing it if they have not yet.

This week, in science, we began brainstorming what the students know about atoms, molecules, physical properties and chemical properties. Students have copies of these notes in their binders. Each class began rotating around tables that were set up with informational cards, element samples, a testing site for conductivity/hardness, and interactive web exploration for the students to develop deeper understanding of elements in the periodic table.

ELA- In English Language Arts, students have been reading the dynamic story "Charles" by Shirley Jackson. We are already working on skills such as plot, inferring and characterization. The texts and assignments worked on during school hours can be found on Google Classroom. For reinforcement outside of school, students will read their independent reading book and complete questions related to the skills taught in school, which will be posted under their Independent Reading section on Google Classroom.

Grade 7
7th grade ELA has been hard at work this week! The students have been reading an independent reading book of their choice as of last week. This week, they have focused on important settings in their book, finding textual evidence to support those chosen settings, and analyzing each setting. Today, students have completed a written response to their reading via Google Classroom. In addition, students have begun introductory activities to The Outsiders, which we will begin reading next week. Students have completed a see-think-wonder of an alternate book cover to the book, watched the book trailer to hook them in, read an interview given by the author S.E. Hinton, and have reviewed all of the "slang" words used in the book. Reading will begin next week, and the students are so excited to begin!

Regular and ICS classes are teaching adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing integers. They have been doing nightly homework and they have Friday math assignments.

Honors Pre- Algebra is working on all operations with rational numbers and utilizing these rules with order of operations and evaluating expressions. They also have nightly homework and Friday math. They will be taking a quiz to assess these skills on Tuesday.
Algebra is working on absolute value and squared quantities. They also have nightly homework and Friday math and are taking a quiz on Tuesday.

Lessons for all levels are interactive utilizing engaging activities. Students are able to utilize white boards, work cooperatively together and even use technology such as Chromebooks for Kahoot and other assignments.

7th grade resource math students worked on approximating square roots by creating giant number lines on the floor and matching up perfect square roots to use as a baseline. A video to remind students of how to use the number line and assignment were posted in google classroom, in addition to resuming Friday Math so that students are working on their word problem skills.

We had our students do a hard copy assignment reviewing lab safety and a google classroom assignment reviewing the metric system. We will begin working with students next week on scientific method and parts of a controlled experiment. The majority of this will also be done through Google Classroom. Once we complete the work on scientific method we will move on to cover characteristics of living things, which will be done using Google Classroom and hard copy assignments.

Social Studies
This week in 7th Grade Social Studies we connected the activity that we created for the film we watched to colonization by analyzing resource maps in order to determine the economic benefits of each region of the United States during colonial times. We are continuing with the theme of colonization and the colonies by exploring the major themes of society in relation to the colonies, including people's motivation in leaving their homeland, reasoning for settling in certain areas, and connections to modern day America. Although individual activities may vary, it is the same core concepts and all work is posted to Google Classroom so that students may work at home if they like.

Grade 6

This week we read a poem called "One Moon" and answered questions about point of view and the big idea. We also carefully reread significant quotes from the poem to determine meaning, make inferences, and draw connections between the theme and the film "October Sky".

We read the short story "Stray" by Cynthia Rylant to identify theme and supporting details. Students composed an essay using specific examples from the text.

We read a higher Lexile-level article called "Shattered Sky," and answered vocabulary-in-context questions using supporting evidence from the text.

ELA Grade 6 HW assignments are posted on Google Classroom including the Setting Journal due 9/28. Students must read their independent book at home to complete the journal. The independent book should be brought to school each day as well.

6th grade math is working on operations with fractions and decimals.

This week the 6th graders have been working on our introductory unit which begins with recognizing proper lab procedures and safety tools. Students worked in groups to brainstorm important Science Lab rules, read our Lab contract, recognize hazardous situations and explain how to prevent them through scenarios.

Social Studies
We have been working on the following activities with our students:

-Introductory lessons analyzing the question "What is social studies?"
-Dissecting our essential questions and predicting what we think we will be learning in social studies this year
-Using technology, we completed a WebQuest about 9/11
-Working collaboratively in group settings
-Exploring ancient maps and their impact on the growth of ancient civilizations

We will continue making our days interesting, meaningful, and productive.

Mount Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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Phone: 973.691.4006 Fax: 973.691.4029

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