Middle School Update – February 11, 2012

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Middle School Update – February 11, 2012


No School on President’s Day

Monday February 20th is President’s Day and school will be closed.


Friday School

We will not have Friday School on February 17th.  However, if your child is behind or needs to do some studying, it will be a nice, long, four-day weekend for him/her to work at homeJ


Library Wednesdays

To help support reading in and out of school, we will be walking a group of students to the Library on Wednesdays during study hall to renew, return, or checkout new books. If your child would like to join the group, please help him/her to remember a library card.   Contact Ms. Thurber with any questions.


Requests from Yearbook Students

If your child participates in a sport outside of school, please have him/her bring in photos of participating in the sport. 


Also, if you have loaned your digital camera to your child during any activities this school year (camping, dances, field trips, etc.), and you have some photos saved, please email them to Miss Hegg (or send them on a thumb drive or disc that would be returned to you).  Thanks!


Robotics After-School Program

Note the after school Sage/PCS flyer that was sent out this week (also attached to this email) regarding the STEM robotics after school program starting Tuesday next week. The class will cover mechanical engineering, robotics, electronics, and LOGO programming.

Spots are filling up!  So Register soon…


WHO:  Students grade 5th and up

DATE:   Beginning February 14th (for 6 weeks)

WHEN:  Tuesdays, 4:30-5:45 pm

LOCATED: Sage Middle School

COST:   $150.00, non-sage students, $185.00



It was a fun night at Foothills School for students as they were busting their moves!  Students from Foothills, Sage, and ANSER enjoyed a fun night.  Thanks to our parent chaperones, JP, Sondra, and Mary Anne, for helping out.


Dodge Ball

Just a reminder that we’ll have dodge ball on Tuesday after school form 4:15 to 5:00. Parent permission slips must be signed and returned to Sage for your child to play.


Movie Night

Come join us for another movie night at Sage.  Parents and siblings are welcome to join your middle school student at the event.  

Thursday, February 16th , at 6:00 pm.

Tentative Plan…(or open to other suggestions)

We will be enjoying our musical passions with a viewing of “August Rush.” 

A drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents.”  This movie is rated PG.  More information can be found at the following website: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0426931/

Kiddos may bring pillows, blankets and snacks – last movie night some even showed up in PJs!!!



Academic Updates


6th Grade IB Science 1 – Ms. Lockwood

We've finished our Matter unit!  Students celebrated with an ice cream lab on Monday, in which they enjoyed observing phase change and energy transfer.  Directions for making your own ice cream at home are available on my website.  We will complete the analysis questions for the lab on Monday, after our exam.  Please support your student in studying for Monday's Matter exam over the weekend.  I have posted several study tools, including a study guide, online flashcards from Quizlet, and several review videos on my website.  


7th/8th Grade Science & Society – Ms. Lockwood

We are deep into our persuasive essay projects and wrapping up our unit on Genetics.  Students spent Tuesday working to organize their research and dig deeper into stem cell technology.  They also enjoyed a guest presentation from Patricia Dock, a genetic counselor at St. Al's.  On Thursday, they refined the rough drafts of their persuasive essays - final drafts are due Tuesday.  Please check with your student to ensure they've made progress on this assignment.  The checkpoint assignments (the research organizer and rough draft) have been entered into Skyward.  In addition, group 7B enjoyed a TED talk on turning chickens into dinosaurs via gene technology: http://blog.ted.com/2011/06/07/building-a-dinosaur-from-a-chicken-jack-horner-on-ted/.


IB Math 1 – Mr. Gould

The students completed their second exam of the semester!  The exam covered ratios, proportion and functions.  The class then began working on percents, fractions and decimals.  Because of the students thorough understanding of fractions and decimals, the class had no problem completing the unit on percentages.  The students determined the amount of interest earned after money was placed in a savings account for five years and the percentage of people that put the peanut butter on first when making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Students will begin studying probability on Monday.  The unit on probability will compliment the genetics work the students have done in the science class.


IB Math 1– Ms. Henderson

This week in IB 1 students wrapped up their unit on rational numbers by reviewing converting between multiple forms of rational numbers. Students will test on these concepts this Tuesday.  Students' notebooks are also due this week. Students will need to have the notebook rubric signed by a parent after it is graded


IB Math 2– Ms. Henderson

This week in IB 2 students continued working with their understanding of proportional reasoning and ratios. Students explored the concept of a conversion rate and practiced using a unit rate to compare information.  Students should work on the Jabberwockey problem as home extension.


IB Math 2 – Mr. Gould

The class finished the week with a quiz covering ratios, proportion and geometry.  The students will apply their new knowledge next week when they begin a new unit on scale drawing.  The scale drawing will compliment previous work the students had completed in design tech.  You can challenge your child to demonstrate their knowledge of unit conversion by having him or her convert miles per hour to mile per minute or dollars per year to dollars per month, week or day. 


IB Math 3– Ms. Henderson

This week in IB 3 students began working with rational expressions.  This is a tricky unit for some kids due to the meticulous nature of the problems.  Students will learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide rational expressions throughout the unit.  Students also received their tests back in class.  Students that feel their mastery of the subject is not reflected by their grade should study the material and plan to retake a similar assessment for a new grade. 


21st Century Learning– Ms. Henderson

Students spent class this week participating in another personality assessment.   Students grouped up and made a list of strengths and weaknesses of the category they fell into.  Students also worked on how other groups’ strengths and weaknesses can complement their own in a collaborative learning setting.  As home extension, students should generate a list of ways to use the strengths of others to help them succeed in group work.  As part of the larger unit, students will be learning about the way they learn best and how to strengthen areas that they may struggle in.


English – Ms. Thurber & Ms. Percy

IB 1

For the second week of Camel Rider, IB 1 students read furiously and worked on connecting their reading to understanding the role of character and understanding how plot unfolds. After reading to page 131 and turning in their weekly work, students participated in a fabulous character discussion. Next week, students can expect to finish the book and their weekly work. Be sure to check in with your child to hear his/her thoughts about Camel Rider.


IB 2 &3

Wow! Students have spent the last two weeks reading, analyzing, and watching clips of Shakespeare's Macbeth, but I'm pretty sure that the performance that the Idaho Shakespeare Theatre put on Thursday was the highlight of this unit! Using only five actors the group performed an abbreviated version of the play for the entire Middle School student body and the 5th graders from the Parkcenter campus. The play was presented in a modified modern setting using ladders and umbrellas to add dramatic effects in unique and fantastic ways. Seeing the performance should help students as they complete their character analyses next week using a combination of character analysis, author's intent, and story/plot line components and terminology. Rubrics and instructions for the final project are posted on the website, along with a terminology guide to assist students in producing high quality creative analyses of three characters of their choice from Macbeth.


Physical Science – Ms. Terry

This week in physical science, students were true IB learners and spent time reflecting on their Unit 2: More Matter test.  As part of the reflection, students looked at specific questions on the test and considered the correlation of the test question, with the review.  The reflections will be returned when it is time to study for the next unit test.  I would be happy to go over tests with students on an individual basis. 

Students received the Chill Out Lab Evaluation in class on Monday, and we compiled the class data for the Chill Out experiment, comparing different packages, costs and effectiveness.  The final lab report, submitted in the lab notebook, is due Monday February 13th. 

In class on Wednesday, we considered the question, "How might advances in science and technology affect society?"  Along these lines, we will consider the causes and effects of two major oil spills.  Students received a new unit packet - Unit 3: Oil Spills, and we read an article summarizing the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989.  We will compare the events surrounding the Exxon Valdez spill, to the Gulf Coast spill in 2010 next week. 

January scrapbook grades are posted.  Class time for scrapbooks will be given next week, on Wednesday.  Februrary scrapbooks will be due February 29th.


Humanities – Miss Hegg

The flock has arrived at Sage!  Students worked at completing our goal of folding 1000 paper cranes!  We have folded 983 cranes!!!  Only 17 to go!

1000 Cranes Club - we will send the cranes to Hiroshima International School:


If you’d like to try to make paper cranes at home, here are the instructions.


After Aya visited our classroom last week, many students wanted to know more about the bombing of Hiroshima during WWII.  We watched and discussed a short clip from a National Geographic show about the event.  Some students wanted to watch part two and three of the series, which are both available on You Tube.  Note: Part two and three do have graphics related to the effects of the bombing on survivors that may be upsetting to some, so please review the clips first to determine if it is appropriate for your child.

24 Hours After Hiroshima – Part 1


 Ikenobo Ikebana

Many students took advantage of a lunchtime guest speaker who taught them about Ikenobo Ikebana, Japanese Flower Arrangements.  Greenleaf Wholesale Florists donated the flowers for students to use to create beautiful arrangements.  Attached is a PowerPoint of information – if your child missed out on the opportunity…maybe he/she will want to try an arrangement at home!  Thanks to Ellen Morgan from the Idaho Japanese Association for volunteering at Sage and providing a great opportunity for our kiddos.


Leadership & Fitness Activities– Mr. Gould

The students are preparing for their mock legislature by preparing bills.  Each student must prepare and introduce at least one bill in the legislature.  Directions for preparing a bill and the boiler plate document for each bill can be found on my web page at the weebly site under my Leadership class.  Over the next few weeks, each student will introduce his or her bill to the class and attempt to garner support for the bill.  There should be lively debate over some of the legislation.  Hopefully, the debate will result in productive compromise that produces insightful and well thought out laws.  Ask your child about the bill he or she will be introducing and suggest other possible bills for your child to introduce.

Students also enjoyed a fun day of bowling at the BSU SUB – thanks Michelle for being a chaperone for the fun!


Electronics – Mr. Falconer

We continue to develop our understanding of electronic components. I have students self-pacing the lessons they are to complete. This requires that the students be self-disciplined and self-motivating in the lessons we are learning.

Students: keep those TED talks (www.ted.com) coming in for us to share and discuss.


Aeronautics – Mr. Falconer

Monday, the students presented their aviation hero/pioneers. Overall, the students did a very nice job and were able to teach the other students a little something about their aviation hero. Wednesday, we laughed our way through the film Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machine. It is a silly movie, but the 1910 reconstructed aircrafts are beautiful and the students got a chance to compare it to the aircraft today.  

Students: keep those TED talks (www.ted.com) coming in for us to share and discuss.


Robotics – Mr. Falconer

Robots here, robots there, Sage robots EVERYWHERE!!! We spent the week building Cartesian robotic arms and understanding the working envelops of these machines, of course, more to follow.

Students: keep those TED talks (www.ted.com) coming in for us to share and discuss.


Yearbook – Miss Hegg & Miss Percy

Students practiced more with layout and using MS PageMaker to design an electronic layout.  Students were taught how to use a column-based layout to insert text and photos. Video students worked on creating a story board and organizing their ideas.


Newspaper – Miss Hegg

Off to press – watch for the first Sage newsletter next week!


Exploratory– Miss Hegg

Students continued to research the Greek god or goddess that they will play in our performance.  Students also researched different roles/jobs needed to put on a production, and then they signed up for the job of interest.


Music Ensemble – Ms. Petra

The first Test in Music Theory is coming up on February 22. The test will cover the staff, the treble and bass clef, note names, and ledger lines. To study and see our worksheets go here: http://www.opusmusicworksheets.com/free-music-theory-worksheets/

We are now studying the Baroque period. We learned about new forms, binary and ternary, and the first opera. We played our own binary or ternary compositions for each other and started a new round. Practice your scales, so we can start improvising!


Music , Strings– Ms. Petra

The first Test in Music Theory is coming up on February 22. The test will cover the staff, the treble and bass clef, note names, and ledger lines. To study and see our worksheets go here: http://www.opusmusicworksheets.com/free-music-theory-worksheets/

We are now studying the Baroque period. We learned about new forms, binary and ternary, and the first opera. We played our own binary or ternary compositions for each other. We can play now lots of songs and students have a CD or can download a program (http://www.stringexplorer.com/offer.html) to play all their songs. Practice all songs up to number 33!


Textiles – Ms. Percy

Most of the students have completed their pincushions and have moved on to the International Flag project. After choosing the flag of their choice, students are creating a pattern for a 3 foot by 5 foot flag and then using the pattern to estimate the material needed for their flag. Speaking of material...any donations of fabric would be most welcome. Students have decided to use a modified design for the flags, substituting patterned fabric for the usually plain colors, while keeping true to the color schemes. So! Please feel free to donate any and all fabric that you might have on hand that is pining away for a new home in the dynamic and creative environment that is our Textiles classroom! 

 On Thursday we all walked over to the Idaho Historical Museum and made lists of the various textiles we saw in the exhibits. We found examples of textiles in nearly every exhibit including stitched buckskin, woven grasses, various garments, and even the wallpaper in one exhibit. We're thinking about trying our hand at weaving some fibers after seeing some of the beautiful artifacts at the museum. Textiles encompasses so many creative and interesting elements that it's hard to limit our studies to only the few we can accomplish in one semester. 


Idaho Digital Learning Academy – Mr. Falconer

Students are making progress in an online class of choice.  Let Mr. Falconer know if you have any questions.


Thanks and have a great weekend!

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