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MS Week In Review - 9/9-13

Hello Middle School Parents!

We began our week with some planning sessions for our Extended Learning Field Trip (ELFT) and a walk into town to have lunch and read in the sunshine. The Extended Learning Field Trip is a super exciting part of our middle school curriculum. Students will work together to generate ideas, plan, and execute a field trip to a location of their choice. First we generated a list of nearly 20 places and discussed the viability of traveling to certain locales (i.e. Italy...probably not! :) Then we narrowed our list and divided the class into three groups, each tasked with researching two places. Next week they will share what they learned and we will narrow it down to a couple of locations and put it to a vote! It's so exciting watching these kids apply such "real world" skills to make this trip happen. As we continue our planning, I will keep you all posted regarding what trip we settle on as a class and what the expectations will be regarding fundraising! We'll definitely need all the support we can get to pull this off!

We also began planning out our Fall Edition of the DGS Gateway. New students were placed into groups with more experienced students and we reviewed the basics of journalism and began drafting ideas for our paper. 

In ELA we are continuing to examine plot with a specific focus on conflict and characterization. Students are applying their understanding of these elements as we read our grade specific novels and in their own writing. 

Here's some information about Social Studies for those of you who are curious. Social Studies at the middle school level is taught in a three year cycle. We completed a cycle last year, so this year is a "year one." We follow the World History For Us All curriculum, which I will link below.  The curriculum is broken into nine distinct eras, beginning with the creation of earth and early man and ending with modern history and the present day. This year we will focus on the first three eras, creation and early man through the emergence of complex societies. 

In terms of how I instruct, I generally don't touch Social Studies for the first four - six weeks. We use this time to focus heavily on middle school expectations and procedures and literacy skills. I like to really take my time with the literacy skills they will need to help them navigate the Social Studies curriculum, so note-taking, close reading skills, research skills, etc...We will begin Social Studies instruction in the next few weeks.

Have a lovely weekend!

Maya :)

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