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December 2022 BIS Newsletter

  • From the Desk of Mrs. Contrino

    The votes are in, and I am excited to announce the winners of this year’s ELA Gateway Creepy Story Contest!

    All winners received a gift card to spend at the BIS Scholastic Book Fair. Congratulations to all of our winners! Your stories are fantastic!  


    1st place: Ryleigh Sheppard

    2nd place: Gavin Vuono

    3rd place tie: Dylan Howes, Gavin Strand, and Whitney Sousa


    1st place: L. Souza

    2nd place tie: Mena Collins, Olive Harron, and Emily Braga

    3rd place: Leila Mathurin

    Tier 2 ELA News

    Grade 6 and 7 Tier 2 ELA

    Our Tier 2 ELA Google Classroom offers many interesting writing activities. We have recently posted a choice board to allow students to write about the courageous qualities and behaviors of different characters they have encountered while reading. In the months ahead, the Tier 2 Google Classroom will be offering even more choices and opportunities for students to showcase their interests, opinions, and ideas through various reading and writing prompts.

    Tier 3 Advanced ELA News

    Grade 6 and 7 Advanced ELA

    Students in both 6th and 7th grade Tier 3 Advanced ELA Gateway will learn and practice the proper formatting for writing DIALOGUE in a story. We will also brush up on our understanding of when and why to begin a new paragraph while writing any type of text. These young writers are all very eager to improve their technical writing skills, as well as develop their own unique style or “voice” within their writing. Their writing skills are rapidly improving and maturing each week! We will continue to have creative writing opportunities for the remainder of the school year, and it is so exciting to see each student’s personal growth as a writer with each of these assignments.

    FIELD TRIP ALERT for Tier 3 Advanced ELA! 

    All students currently enrolled in a Tier 3 Advanced ELA class will be traveling to John Hancock Hall in Boston on Thursday, December 22, to see a live production presented by the award winning Chamber Theatre Company. Chamber Theatre Company will be performing short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Washington Irving, and several others. The Gateway Department will be covering all ticket and transportation costs for this fun and exciting educational opportunity. 

    Tier 3 FPS News

    Grades 6 Future Problem Solving (FPS) 

    Our Future Problem Solvers have gained a solid understanding of Step One: Identifying and Developing Challenges within a Future Scene. In December we will be moving on to the toughest step in the problem solving process - Step Two: Choosing and Writing a relevant, impactful, and focused Underlying Problem. 

    Our problem solvers will be learning to evaluate all 16 of the challenges that were developed by the team during Step One, and then collaboratively decide which challenge they would like to adapt and develop into the team’s Underlying Problem, or UP. Step Two is the most critical step of the process, as well as the most difficult step to master. If Step One goes wrong for a team, then Steps Three, Four, Five, and Six will go off the rails! 

    Over the next several weeks, the problem solvers will be learning and practicing how to write an Underlying Problem (UP) in a very specific format. We will also be examining exemplars of UPs that are good, bad, complete, and incomplete, so that the teams can gain a better understanding of the je ne sais quoi that makes for a successful UP. 

    A strong UP is neither too narrow nor too broad, while having the greatest potential for positive impact on the Future Scene by addressing the most serious, pressing issue that has been presented. If an FPS team creates a strong UP that is relevant, impactful, and focused, then the solving of that Underlying Problem (which is Step Three - coming to an FPS classroom near you in February!) in 16 creative, futuristic, and plausible ways will be a totally exciting, fun, and rewarding experience for our novice problem solvers!

    Grades 7 Future Problem Solving (FPS)   

    All five of our 7th Grade FPS Teams have been working very hard to learn and apply their knowledge of the 6 Step Problem Solving Process, and now we will put that knowledge to the test! Our FPS Teams participated in their second International Practice Problem on Thursday, December 8.

    This time, the topic the students grappled with was Digital Realities, which focused on society's growing dependence on virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality in many facets of our daily lives. Architects of the "Metaverse" are gearing up to dominate the way we manage our needs in areas such as healthcare, workplace, education, travel, and everyday social interactions. Yikes!

    We certainly needed the innovative young minds of our BIS FPS teams to solve some of the challenges that accompanied this latest industrial revolution. 

    Congratulations to all of our FPS Teams for completing Practice Problem #2!


    The Gateway Department will be hosting an informational meeting for the families of our Grade 7-12 competitive problem solvers in the weeks ahead. The date and time of this very important meeting will be announced very soon.

  • From the Desk of Ms. Meredith

    Tier 2 STEM and Math News

    Tier 2 Science Grade 6 and 7

    This year, students who are looking for a challenge while in their regular education classes can explore Biology, Physical Science and Engineering while completing interesting and engaging activities in a virtual classroom.    


    Tier 2 Math Garade 6 and 7

    This year, students who are looking for a challenge while in their regular education classes can explore mathematical topics such as Logic, Algebra, Geometry and Probability while completing interesting and engaging activities in a virtual classroom.

    Tier 3 STEM News

    Grade 6 STEM

    In 6th grade STEM we completed the 5-second rule experiment, and now students are designing their own experiment on bacteria.  They are honing their skills on data collection, graphing and analyzing.  Most importantly, students are practicing original thinking and higher-order thinking skills to write a conclusion to their experiment. Click here to view the learning plan for this unit.   In the next unit, students will learn more about graphing and using data for extrapolation by creating a Barbie Bungee jump!

    Grade 7 STEM

    7th grade STEM students are continuing to learn about DNA as it is used in Forensic Science.  They will then use this knowledge to solve the mystery of Princess Anastasia.  Click here to view the learning plan for this unit.  I am excited to begin the next unit, Fractals! Students will create their own fractal work of art.

    Tier 3 Advanced Math News

    Grade 6 Advanced Math

    We have moved onto Unit 2: Algebra, in 6th Grade Advanced Math.  Students will define additive & multiplicative inverses, and using them and the properties of equality, they will solve one-step equations.  Next they will add steps to be able to solve multi-step equations, and ultimately literal equations.  Click here to view the learning plan for this unit.  Students are creating their own evidence of learning, which I will be excited to share with families.

    Grade 7 Advanced Math

    Students in 7th Grade Advanced Math are learning to perform operations with radical numbers.  They will be introduced to Quadratic Functions, and use the Quadratic Formula to solve for the roots of the function.  This is where students will first encounter imaginary numbers.  They will learn why Carl Fredrick Gauss wanted to call these numbers “lateral numbers”.  Feel free to ask your child, what is The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra?  Click here to view the learning plan for this unit.  Students are creating their own evidence of learning, which I will be excited to share with families.