Tomorrow a course selection packet will be coming home to you so that you can sign up to view your child's course selection and information in PowerSchool. The packet for students includes a timeline for the Middle School course selection process, as well as directions for you to use to create your portal account. You may begin creating your accounts this week, however you will not be able to sign off on any course selections until February 16th. This stretch of time is to give you ample opportunity to create your account and make sure it is working before you are required to take any action.
Also a Saturday and Summer Enrichment Program is being offered at UVA. The curriculum for each course is based on best-practices for gifted instruction. The teachers specialize in fields ranging from engineering and economics to linguistics. Students will have a unique opportunity to engage in a topic they would not usually encounter at their stage of learning, with a specialist in their field as their guide and mentor. During each 12 day session, students stay in UVA dorms with one roommate their age, in suites of eight students and one residential counselor, who is an university student. If you are interested, more details can be found by accessing this document. If you would like an application, those can be found here. Applications can also be completed online through their website. The submission deadline is February 15, 2015. Candidates must respond to a writing prompt and request a recommendation from one teacher. Tuition for the 2015 summer is $1300 with a $25 application fee. Limited financial aid is available based on need.
Kids Club will be starting next Wednesday, January 21. If your child has signed up to participate, we look forward to seeing them then. Next Monday, January 19 is a school holiday and the following Monday, January 26 is a student holiday.
Benchmark Testing will begin on January 27 with a reading test. The math benchmark tests will be on January 29 and 30. This test is divided into two sections, one that the students will take with a calculator and another that does not allow the use of a calculator. The benchmark test in science is scheduled for Monday, February 9.
We are finishing up our unit on variables and solving one step equations tomorrow with a test. Beginning on Thursday, we will be learning about many different addition and multiplicative properties with a focus on the distributive property.
In science we are still working with cells. I have four working microscopes set up in the classroom and the students have enjoyed looking at different specimens during our indoor recess days. They all agree that the newly hatched silk worm larva is the creepiest. The students have also had the opportunity to look at different cell models on the computer using their Discovery Education accounts. They will also be creating their own 3-d model of a cell to share with the class later in the week.
In writing, the students have begun a "choice" prompt about teachers or school. I am planning for them to be finished with this by Friday. Next week we will begin working with correctly placing commas in a writing piece. We will also review pre-writing, drafting and revising, and editing techniques as we move through the rest of the month.