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7 Red Newsletter

7 red January Newsletter

Dear 7 Red families,
 

In our January - February Newsletter, you will find course updates, team happenings, upcoming events at Oak Middle School and some recent photos from classes and team activities. Before you scroll down to see all of the great things happening on team, we had a few quick requests that you  might be able to help us out with!

  • This past month we’ve had a large number of students out sick with the Flu, Strep, and other viral infections. Because of this, we’ve begun to run low on tissues for our classrooms. If you’re able to donate a spare box, we’d greatly appreciate it!
  • Every day we’re having students coming to us asking to borrow chargers because their iPads are below 10% battery. Each teacher only has maybe one or two spare chargers in her room, and cannot accommodate all the kids asking to charge their devices. If you could help see that your child’s iPad is charging overnight, and at full battery each morning, that would be incredibly helpful! Thank you!

Course Updates

SCIENCE- Brianna Mondello
Hello 7 Red Families! It’s hard to believe that we are already at the midway point in the school year! In Science, we concluded our Energy unit and transitioned into a mini Heat transfer unit. Learning about the 3 types of thermal energy transfer, we had a “popcorn party” where we made popcorn using three different methods (stove-top, microwave and with an air-popper) to demonstrate conduction, radiation and convection. Following our mini Heat unit, we transitioned into Earth Science, working our way from Earth’s interior to Earth’s exterior. We’ll be concluding the Earth unit with a mini weathering & erosion unit, then a cumulative project where students will be taking their audience on a virtual tour of major landforms. After concluding Earth Science, we’ll be spending the rest of the year in Life science, which includes our Genetics and Ecology.
 
In our last newsletter, I mentioned that we have been using science interactive notebooks as a learning device, and as the year progresses I wanted to keep you in the loop with students progress in making use of this tool. Students have been very engaged in learning about the content through the use of their science interactive notebooks and have taken immense pride in their work. The interactive notebooks have become an excellent tool for capturing their understanding. Take a look at some samples of students showcasing their work in the pictures below.
 
Our second trimester is action packed with engaging lessons, but also moves at a quicker pace than the first trimester. The curriculum is a bit more rigorous, so it is important that we are all on the same page! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns!

MATH- Lindsay Ventura
During this past month, students were hard at work creating their own business that could go inside of a building that is up for lease right here in Shrewsbury! Working together in groups, students designed a blueprint of their dream business whether it was a restaurant, a clothing store, a gaming/technology store or a recreational facility. This project was challenging in the sense that students had to ensure that the items that were going onto the blueprint were drawn to scale. For example, each square on the blueprint was only 1 inch but each square represented 36 inches in real-life. Students were given a list of items to choose from depending on their business and had to think critically about how that item would have to be scaled down on their blueprint. By working on this project, students were able to discover how scale factor affects the perimeter and area of various shapes. The work that students produced blew me away!
 
If you are able to make it to our Display Day, you will be able to listen to one group explain their blueprint in detail.
 
Our next unit that we are just starting, Comparing & Scaling, has students focusing on proportional reasoning. During this unit, students will learn more about ratios, proportions, percents, sales tax, commissions, markups, discounts and more! This unit is a lot of fun and students learn important skills that they will need in the future. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t use percents or unit rates!
 
If you have any questions regarding the curriculum, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

SOCIAL STUDIES- Carey Davis
Happy Winter! I hope everyone is doing well and staying warm! I also wish everyone’s families good health in the days to come, as we’ve seen a lot of sick students since returning from Christmas!!
 

We’ve had a busy first month of the New Year in Geography! We kicked off the month by creating maps of East and Southeast Asia. Students will be learning these locations, as well as some major landforms, and eventually be assessed on it by the end of the month. Alongside learning new Asian countries, students have been introduced to the topic of Globalization. What does it mean? How does it relate to us or impact us? These are questions students will be able to answer by the time we wrap up the unit. Currently, students are learning about top Global brands, and how multinational corporations operate. We’re discovering that materials and parts for products may come from one region of the world, yet be assembled in another, only to be sold on the complete opposite side of the globe! Students have been asked to create their own multinational corporations and do research on where their product materials are coming from, where they want to have their products manufactured, what the price points will be, the target market for their products, and eventually decide where their products will be sold! It’s a lot of work, but a very fun project, and I always love showcasing the student work at the end! Please take a moment to ask your son or daughter about their company and see their products! We’ve got some amazing designs and creative companies!

As we head into February, we’ll be learning about population issues in Asia. We’ll compare challenges in Japan, who has a declining population growth to that of India, who will surpass China as the most populous country within the next ten years! We’ll debate about what India should do to help control it’s rapidly going population, as well as what Japan can do to boost their drop in numbers.

I want to make sure to give a couple of  “Shout Outs!” to several students on team! The first “shout outs” are to students who recently competed in our Current Events Challenge this month. Top performers from 7 Red included Lawson Mitchell, Jasman Padam, and Matthew Gomes. Awesome job! The second “shout out” goes to James Minh Ha, who won the 7 Red National Geography Bee the first week of January. He beat out our other three finalists; Caroline Strickland, Gabe DeOliveira, and Lawson Mitchell. James Minh will compete against the 9 other Oak finalists the last week of January to see who becomes the 2020 Oak National Geography Bee Champ! Good Luck, Minh

Lastly, if any parent wishes to come in and speak with the students about growing up in Asia within the next month or two, I’d love to have you! We’ll be studying the continent through early March. I think having primary sources, or authentic sources, are the best kind of sources! The more that students can learn about other cultures and our interconnectedness, the better! If you’d be interested in coming in, please feel free to email me at cdavis@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us . Thanks!


LANGUAGE ARTS- Gabriela Belliveau
In ELA this month we are focusing on fiction and how one can develop  deeper level thinking about a story. We have been hard at work breaking down some very complex pieces of literature and discussing how various authors develop mood through their characters, setting and language. Your students have been becoming literary analysis experts,  as they annotate and critique works by Ray Bradbury, W.W. Jacobs, Roald Dahl and others. We are continuing to sharpen our writing tools and will be ending the unit with a project that will embody both writing and student creativity. This past week we participated in a student led Socratic seminar which was a joy to observe. All students were able to share their ideas surrounding “ The Monkey’s Paw” and engaged  in an evidence based discussion to support their thinking. Following this unit we will be reading  William Kamkwamba’s The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind  which will explore connections to the Science and Social Studies curriculum.

Special Education Teacher- Heather Ponte
In Learning Skills we have been working on progressing many skill sets that promote success in the classroom. The one we are focusing on currently is prioritizing and breaking down tasks into manageable pieces.  To provide a better understanding I have pre-taught and retaught concepts that proved to be a challenge to students. Within the ELA and math classroom supports are put in place to assure access to the curriculum for all students.


Team Happenings & Upcoming Events
Festive Fridays
In anticipation of the holiday break, the 7 Red Team celebrated by having festive- themed Fridays for the month of December. Our themes included Holi-yay Day, Pajama Day, and Formal Friday. We all enjoyed taking part in the cheerful fun!

Display Day
In place of student led conferences, we created Display Day as a way of inviting parents into our classes to learn about the everyday practices in each of our courses. Display Day is unique in that it is student led, but also focuses on the process of learning the content and skills in each class. Display Day allows parents to participate in learning about what their children are doing in school and allows students to teach and engage with their parents, relatives, administration, etc., All of the 7 Red Teachers will be present and accessible. We hope that you will be able to join us on Friday February 14th from 8:30-9:15 am for a fun and interactive experience!

* Be sure to check out our Display Day Formal Invitation HERE and we kindly ask that you RSVP HERE !!

Sincerely,
The 7 Red Team Teachers
Brianna Mondello, Carey Davis, Lindsay Ventura, Gabriela Belliveau, and Heather Ponte


Email:

We are all readily available by email. We check our email periodically throughout the day, but sometimes may not have enough time to send a thorough reply. Please allow up to 24 hours for a response, although we will almost always reply within the day your email was originally sent. If you have a question or concern, or if you want to make us aware of something that involves your child, please email your child’s homeroom teacher. If you want to email the team as a whole, you can also use the team email address at the bottom. Keep in mind that the email will go to all 5 of us.
 
Science: bmondello@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us
Language Arts:  gbelliveau@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us
Math: lventura@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us
Geography: cdavis@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us
Special Ed. & Co -Taught Educator:  hponte@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us
7 Red Team: 7red@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us

Schoology:

Our team website is Schoology. This site (or app) is connected with PowerSchool. Your child is currently in one Group (7 Red Team) and at least 4 Courses (Science, Geography, Math, and ELA). Your child’s Allied Arts or World Language teachers will likely have courses as well.

You can connect with your child’s Groups and Course so that you can see information such as assignments, due dates, test and quiz dates, field trips and spirit announcements.

SCHOOLOGY
To get connected to Schoology as a Parent:

*Do not go to Schoology.com!
 
*Go to this link HERE (https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/it/schoology-parent-instructions)

On the left click on “Account Creation Instructions”.
Once you are in you can look at any group or course your child belongs to. We recommend book-marking the link to Schoology, so that you have quick/easy access to it.
 
POWERSCHOOL
We also suggest you go into the Power School Parent Portal (https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/it/powerschoolparentportal)   to be sure all of your information (email, phone numbers, address) are up to date!!!  It is important to keep your email address up-to-date and “subscribed” to continue to get our newsletters and updates

Cell Phone and Smart Device Responsible Use Policy
Since the holidays, we’ve seen more and more smart devices (ie. cell phones, airpods, Apple watches, Fitbit watches, Samsung watches, etc.) in class. We are noticing that students have been very distracted by devices, so we ask that you please discuss our responsible use policy with your child.
 
Parent/Guardian Responsibility

  • Parents/caregivers should be aware when their child takes a mobile phone or smart device to school
  • Parents/caregivers contact Oak Middle school’s main office directly if they need to get in touch with their child. OMS phone #: (508) 841-1200

Student Responsibility & Acceptable Use

  • Students should ensure they keep their smart devices (ie. Smartwatch, cell phone, airpods, headphones, etc.) safely locked away in their locker during the school day or leave said devices at home
  • Students who bring smart-technology devices to school should abide by the school’s acceptable use policy (found in the Oak Student Handbook)
  • It is strongly advised that students use passcodes to secure their phone, and keep their passcode confidential

 

Upcoming Events:
February 4 - Early Release Day for students (Dismissal @ 11:35am)
February 14 - 7 Red Team Display Day 8:30 - 9:15 am RSVP HERE
February 17 - 21 Winter vacation
 

Thanks for reading! Again, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out! We look forward to working with your son/daughter this school year, and meeting you in the near future!

Sincerely,

Brianna Mondello
Gabriela Belliveau
Carey Davis
Lindsay Ventura
Heather Ponte