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October 2021 BIS Newsletter

  • Tier 2 ELA News

    All Tier 2 ELA students in Grades 6 and 7 have been invited to submit an original creative writing piece in our 11th Annual Gateway Creepy Writing Contest. The contest closes on October 15th. 7th graders will be reading the packet of 6th grade stories, and deciding which stories are their favorites. 6th graders will be reading and judging the 7th grade stories. Judging is based on a variety of criteria, including story originality, mechanics/writing technique, etc. I look forward to sharing the winners of the contest in the next newsletter!

    Tier 3 Advanced ELA News

    Grade 6 Advanced ELA

    The 6th graders have been hard at work these first few weeks of school. We have begun reading our first novel of the year, Show Me A Sign, by Deaf American librarian/author Ann Clare LeZotte. This historical fiction novel is set on Martha’s Vineyard in 1805, and features cultural clashes and deep mistrust and misunderstanding between the island’s residents, who consisted of the native Wampanoags, English settlers, and Freedmen, who had been slaves before Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1783. The story also examines the prevalence of hereditary deafness on MV, where at one time, there were as many as one in four deaf residents as opposed to one in six thousand throughout the rest of the U.S.

    In addition to our novel study, all Advanced ELA students in Grades 6 and 7 have submitted an original creative writing piece in our 11th Annual Gateway Creepy Writing Contest. I look forward to sharing the winners of the contest in the next newsletter!

    Grade 7 Advanced ELA

    The 7th graders are currently reading one of two novels, The London Eye Mystery or The Guggenheim Mystery, both crafted by British author Siobhan Dowd. These fascinating mysteries follow the adventures of a sister/brother detective duo, while also teaching readers about famous historical landmarks, art, and other cultural aspects of two of the world’s greatest cities - London and New York City. Will our unlikely hero, Ted Spark, who is a rather unusual and highly intelligent autistic 12 year old, be able to solve these complicated mysteries before it’s too late? The 7th graders will know the answer to that question by the end of October!

    In addition to our novel study, all Advanced ELA students in Grades 6 and 7 have submitted an original creative writing piece in our 11th Annual Gateway Creepy Writing Contest. I look forward to sharing the winners of the contest in the next newsletter!

    Tier 3 Future Problem Solving News

    Grades 6 and 7 Future Problem Solving (FPS) 

    Students in Grades 6 and 7 have begun learning about an exciting component of The Future Problem Solving International Program called Global Issues Problem Solving, or GIPS. Throughout this school year, our 6th and 7th grade problem solvers will be learning a 6 Step Problem Solving Technique, while also doing research about a topic that is currently a problem throughout our world. Topics for the 2021-2022 FPS season include: Water Supply, Building Green, Insects, and Mining. The problem solvers will learn how to define the multitude of problems and potential problems within each of these topics, learn how to create diverse, creative, and futuristic solutions to these problems, create criteria to measure the effectiveness of their solutions, and finally, learn how to develop an action plan that details the who, what, how, where, and why of their GIPS Team’s best solution. Get ready to have some fascinating conversations with your child this year as they ponder the ways that global problems can adversely affect many aspects of our lives such as our environment, matters of business and commerce, arts and aesthetics, psychological and physical health, ethics and religion, economics, education, transportation, etc.

    Tier 2 STEM and Math News

    Students in tier 2 Advanced Math & STEM have lots of fun activities to enjoy in the Google Classroom, including a wide range of topics from Space to Logic to the Fibonacci Sequence!

    Tier 3 STEM News

    Grade 6 STEM

    Our 6th graders are growing bacteria to test the 5-second rule.  It is a great way to understand the Scientific Method and to learn how to design an experiment that is both valid and objective.  Next, they will be practicing their higher-order thinking skills by writing a conclusion to the experiment. I can’t wait to read them!  Stay tuned to hear about how we create bungee cords for Barbie and test them in our school to learn how to graph and extrapolate data.

    Grade 7 STEM

    Our 7th grade STEM students have been learning about the structure and function of DNA.  They created really cool 3-D models made of candy.  Some of these may have made it home, but most I think were eaten before they got there! Next, we will be extracting DNA from a strawberry and ourselves using common household ingredients.  Finally, students will be exploring Forensic Science where it pertains to DNA and solving the mystery of Princess Anastasia!

    Tier 3 Advanced Math News

    Grade 6 Advanced Math

    Our 6th graders are learning about numbers and their inverses, such as squares and square roots, additive inverses and multiplicative inverses.  They will use their knowledge of these number-relationships to solve multi-step equation problems.

    Grade 7 Advanced Math

    Our 7th graders are learning about real and imaginary numbers.  They are approximating the value of the square roots of non-perfect squares in decimal form, and then they will learn to simplify these numbers in radical form.  Next, they will perform operations with radicals.  

    We are off to a great start!  It is so wonderful to have all of our students back in person this year!