Monday, March 27, 2017

Week of March 27

Welcome to Spring, Puma students and families! Remember that old saying, “In like a lion, out like a lamb…” Well, it seems March was confused this year! The past month has had its surprises, and we want to thank our Puma students and families for being flexible while we adjust schedules due to the weather. Hopefully, we’re done with snow days because with the spring, comes a lot of big events: MEA testing, conferences, and learning opportunities!

As a reminder, please sign up for student-led portfolio presentations: here.

Next week, April 3rd-7th, the Puma students will be taking the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA). April 2016 was the first administration of the new MEA, which all schools across the state were required to administer.  The new online format had some technical glitches for us during testing, and the individual student reports were only recently made available by the state of Maine.  We are hopeful that the testing next week will be more smooth, the results more indicative of the knowledge and skills of our students, and the reports to parents provided in a much more timely fashion. Please be sure your child attends school everyday that week.

Michelle York writes:
We have begun our work in the Ratios and Proportions unit. This is still pre-algebra work and this work is very important. There will be homework on occasion.

Britni Rowe writes:
This week in ELA, we will be diving into reading informational texts. Students will be practicing summarizing as well as determining the central idea of informational texts (Standard: YMS7.ELA.RI.02 - Determine central ideas; summarize objectively).  Students will also continue to practice applying their fifteen new vocabulary words. At the end of the week, students will be assessed on their new words.




Nancy Lindbom writes:
This week in social studies, we are beginning a new unit on immigration. We will be looking at the immigration experience and how can we welcome refugees to in their new Maine communities. We will start off this unit with vocabulary and background knowledge. We will be listening to the stories of immigrants, as well as looking at immigration reform and current policies on immigration.

Eileen Hickman writes:
We are busy this week planning and preparing a cook what you wish day. I will supply most of the ingredients. Students have made plans, given me recipies and will bring in the ingredients needed. We also made baked doughnuts and will be close to finishing up the term.

Scott Dorr writes:  
This week we will be watching the documentary “Fed Up”.  The movie directed by Stephanie Soechtig and narrated by Katie Couric, focuses on the growing link between sugar consumption and the obesity epidemic, with more than 70 percent of Americans overweight or obese, and the epidemic going worldwide.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Feb 27, 2017

Welcome back Puma students and families! We are enjoying hearing about the kids vacations: from sports tournaments to traveling to sleeping in. Last week, York got a glimpse of Spring, so hopefully we don’t have any more snow days coming our way. We’re looking forward to moving forward and diving into new learning.

Michelle York writes:
We are going to be finishing our lessons in chapter 5 this week: expressions and equations. Afterwards, we will be going on to ratios and proportions.

Britni Rowe writes:
I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable break! Due to the many snow days and delays before break, I postponed the reading of A Long Walk to Water. Today in class, we will review the history of South Sudan and who the Lost Boys of South Sudan are. Students will also receive a  copy of the text today. To find out more about the novel, check out: Goodreads: A Long Walk to Water.

Nancy Lindbom writes:
Welcome back Puma students! I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing vacation week. Thank you so very much to all those who cooked and donated paper goods for our African celebration. The food was amazing!

This week in social studies, we will be completing our document analysis and beginning our next argumentative essay. Details to follow. The students have also been given back their grades for their African postcards. Please check in with your student and remind them that revisions are due within 2 weeks. Please email me with any questions.

Eileen Hickman writes:
This week, we are finishing kitchen safety and food borne illnesses. We have been watching clips and videos. We will have a review sheet and quiz the end of the week.

Scott Dorr writes:  
This week we will be finishing up our latest standard, the kids worked with partners on developing a Kahoot quiz which we will use as a review process.
There will be an assessment on Tuesday/Wednesday covering the 21 key terms from our last standard.  We will begin reading our science novel “Operation Redwood” as a lead in to our next standard.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Week of 2/8/17


Michelle York writes:
We are chipping away slowly but surely at our algebra standards. The unit 4 exceeds packet is due next Wednesday. The students have had about a month to work on the exceeds work.

Britni Rowe writes:
This week we are finishing up the film: The Good Lie. Students have been having good conversations about the experiences of the Lost Boys of Sudan and the challenges they are faced with. At the end of the week, we will begin our new class novel, A Long Walk to Water.

Nancy Lindbom writes:
I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed that Patriots win!!! The students will continue to work on the DBQ: Is Chocolate Good for Cote d’Ivoire? The students will be analyzing documents this week to answer that question. All homework is posted on the Puma team calendar.

Please, I need your help! On Friday, February 17th (the last day before the winter break), the Puma team would like to host “A Taste of Africa” for our students. While the students were researching a country in Africa, they found many recipes that they would like to try. I have compiled a booklet of these recipes, but I need cooks. If you are able to help, please send me an email at nlindbom@yorkschools.org. I will send the booklet home with your student. Then, please let me know what you are willing to make. I need to know by this Friday if you are able to help. Any questions, please let me know. Thank you again for your help and support.  
 
Eileen Hickman writes:
We have finished studying how to measure in the kitchen. Quiz this week. Starting safety and food borne illnesses.

Scott Dorr writes:  

This week the students will be applying various scenarios to designed ecosystems, then use cause-and-effect relationships to predict possible responses within the components of the ecosystem.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week of 1/30/17

It's so hard to believe that February is upon us already!! Time flies when you are having fun at York Middle School!



Michelle York writes:
We are working our way carefully through Unit 4 Algebraic Equations. The exceeds packet has been given to every student for this unit. It was not optional for them not to take one and at least try. They will be due before February vacation.


Britni Rowe writes:
Students worked hard last week to summarize and represent a theme of their independent reading books; I saw a lot of creativity in how students chose to represent the theme of their book: from book trailers, to game boards, to scavenger hunts and more. This week, students will be presenting their independent reading book projects.


We will also kickstart our next class novel: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. To find out more about the book, check out: Goodreads: A Long Walk to Water. To help students learn more about journey of the Lost Boys of South Sudan and to support their visualization of the text, we will be watching the 2014 film, The Good Lie.

Nancy Lindbom writes:
On Friday, the Puma students were treated to a “Chocolate Fest” for the afternoon. If your student has not shared this information with you, please ask them about the day. Some of the treats they tasted included organic dark chocolate bars, Nutella, brownies, Mars products, and organic raw Cacao Nibs. The festival kicked off our next unit in social studies where the students will learn about the history of chocolate, where it comes from, and the positive and negative impacts of the industry. Stay tuned for more details.
 
Eileen Hickman writes:
Welcome to Family and Consumer Science class. We will be learning about equivalents and abbreviations in recipes. We have also gone over the tools used in measuring. A quiz will be in the near future.


Scott Dorr writes:  
This week the kids will be doing activities centered around competition, predator/prey and mutualism.  We will be working on describing how organisms depend on their environment and the various factors that affect population size.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Week of 1/16/17



Michelle York writes:
We continue to study Algebraic Equations in math. I am sending your students home with the exceeds packet tomorrow. It is due by the end of Unit 4, which should be in about 2 - 3 weeks.  That gives plenty of time for the students to ask me clarifying questions if they do not understand the work.


Britni Rowe writes:
In ELA, we’ll be diving into our Independent Reading Book Project. Students will be working on summarizing the book and determining a theme this week, and their final projects are due at the end of next week. All students will be working on the standard: YMS7.ELA.RL.02 - Determine a theme or central idea; provide an objective summary. Students have a lot of choice in how they present the theme of the book; this is a great opportunity to for students to pull in their unique skills and interests.


Nancy Lindbom writes:
First I’d like to recognize and congratulate the winners and alternates of the Puma team geography bee. Each class competed in a geography bee prior to the break. Puma team classroom winners: Kristen Chipi, Delaney Foley, Caitie Edminster, and Meghan Toohey. Classroom alternates: Roan Spencer, Sylvain MacGovern, Bryce Gamache, and Lexi Brent. Congratulations to all! Everyone is welcome to cheer on our students as they battle it out to represent the school at the next level in the state! The YMS Geography Bee is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24th at 2:10pm in the school cafeteria.  The winner will move on to the next level in Maine! Here is a document with apps/links for kids to practice with so they can become super geographers.


The Puma students have all chosen countries in Africa to explore for their research project. The students should be completing 15-20 minutes of research homework every night in order to meet the project due date of January 25th (Blue class) /26th (all other classes). I have encouraged all the students to make use of after school time. Please let me know if your child is struggling with this assignment. Thank you.


Fred Bloise writes:
Congratulations to Louie Hamel! He is the 2016-17 air dragster competition winner!  Sadly, this is our last week in engineering.
Students are currently designing cookie cutters on our 123D design program.  Their designs will be printed on our 3D printer and they will be used to make cutout cookies next quarter in family consumer science.


Scott Dorr writes:  
This week the kids will be studying the levels of ecological organization and working on answering the following essential questions:

  1. How do organisms compete for resources?
  2. What is the effect of predators in an ecosystem?
  3. What are the biotic/abiotic factors within an ecosystem?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

1/9/17

Happy 2017!! Welcome back to school. It’s always a good feeling to start a new year. The students are back and seem rested and ready to work hard for the remainder of the year.

Michelle York writes:
We are starting unit 4 this week. It is our Algebraic Equations unit, which is an extension of unit 3, which was Algebraic Expressions. There will be frequent homework assignments, as this work requires a lot of practice for maximum understanding. Please check the homework calendar frequently.
I would like to mention the opportunity for students to achieve an exceeds score in math. Every unit of study includes an exceeds packet that every student has access to. I provide those opportunities about half-way through the unit so that students have some basic skills before they attempt the packet. Unfortunately I get very few packets back, even though they have about a month to complete them. The packets were due before break and I only received one back. I sent an email reminder to the students over break and told them that I would take packets upon return to school. I only received 4 more. I just wanted to let you know that I have been providing exceeds opportunities and very few students are taking advantage of those opportunities. Please encourage your child to do the exceeds packet for unit 4. I’ll let you know when I release that packet.

Britni Rowe writes:
In ELA this week, we will be finishing up our This I Believe unit. Last week, students received their second drafts with written feedback and a scored rubric. Their best drafts and recordings due at the end of the week.

Starting next week, we will be beginning an independent reading project. Students must have selected by Friday. Students will be working on summarizing their book and determining a theme.



Nancy Lindbom writes:
In social studies, we are starting our unit on Africa. The students are starting the unit learning about the physical traits of Africa. Their map of Africa is due on Monday. If not finished in class, it will be homework Monday night. Next week, the students will begin a short research project on a country in Africa. Details to follow.
Standards for the unit:
  • G7.3--Understands how humans adapt to and modify their environment.
  • G7.2--Understands the physical and human characteristics of places and regions in the world.
  • WHST 6-8.7--Conduct a short research project drawing evidence drawing from several sources.
  • WHST6-8.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

Fred Bloise writes:
In engineering, students will complete their air dragster competition to determine the fastest dragster on the Puma team.  The Puma team winner will then challenge the Snow Leopard team winner from quarter one in a final race for the 2016-17 air dragster title.   Next week, students will explore 3D printing by designing a cookie cutter that will be used in Family Consumer Science during quarter three.



Scott Dorr writes:

This week we have switched gears and turned our attention to our new standards revolving around environmental sciences.  In our first standard the kids will be required to “analyse” and “interpret” data to provide evidence for the effect of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 21, 2016

Good bye to 2016...

Reminder: Please remember to not allow your kids to bring glass beverage containers to school. We do not have carpet in our classrooms. Therefore nothing bounces. We had a huge mess of smashed glass and liquid this week. Plastic, rubber coated or metal containers only.


Michelle York writes:
We have a busy schedule this week with chorus and band. We are playing math games today. The kids are enjoying the competition and are even enjoying the challenging level of math questions! It seems like no matter what, if you turn it into a game, they love it! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. See you next year!



Britni Rowe writes:
In ELA this week, we will be continuing to work on our This I Believe personal narratives. We will be working on incorporating sensory details and dialogue during their revisions. Students have a 2nd draft due on Thursday this week, and they will receive feedback when they get back from break.


Nancy Lindbom writes:
The students have completed their geography unit. This unit focused on standard G7.1-understands how to use a variety of geographic tools and standard RH6-8.7- can integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts. After the winter break, we will begin a unit on Africa. Wishing you all happy holidays, safe travels, and the best in 2017!


Fred Bloise writes:
In engineering, students will shape their air dragsters using power tools in the woodshop.  After their designs are completed, they will run time trials to test and redesign their work.  Students will paint their dragsters and end the project with a race competition.




Scott Dorr writes:
This week the kids will finish their CER write-up on the claim that the body is made up of systems and subsystems that work together.  They will also be making their own “Kahoot” game quiz which they will share with their classmates in an attempt to be the top team.