Snapshot: December 18-22, 2017

Dear Knights,

2017 has been a great year at Ness Middle School. Congratulations to all my students so far on their achievement and for pushing themselves towards excellence in all areas of their lives. We had some good times this week, performing readers’ theatre versions of The Gift of the Magi and The Christmas Carol. We played some holiday-themed math games and tested our holiday trivia by playing “Quizmas”. Finally, we capped off the week on Friday with an activity afternoon. Students rotated among five stations, each facilitated by members of the teaching staff.

In the New Year, students will see our anthology of published English narratives for the first time, and a copy will be shared with everyone at home. We also largely finished our French texts about an animal, which will lead us into our novel study of Les prisonniers du zoo in early January. In Mathematics, we will continue our study of mental math strategies (but this time with decimal numbers!). We will also extend our understanding of positive and negative numbers, building on what students learned in Grade 6. And then…on to the fascinating world of circles! 

Although the December break always feels like the halfway point of the year, we’re not quite that far along yet. Together, we Knights have lots of time to continue working towards our goals in English, French, and Mathematics. January is always an exciting month, as we all return energized and refreshed.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season with friends and family. My plans include reading, reading, and probably some more reading. Enjoy your break!

Most sincerely,

M. J. Sorokowski


Snapshot: December 11-15, 2017

Dear Knights,

A big BRAVO! to 7F1 for helping to lead the first student-led assembly of the year. Together with one of the Grade 6 homerooms, students showed what they have been learning with the rest of the school. 7F1 shared some of their Humans of Ness pieces and then led the school through the practice of some tricky French tongue-twisters. Three outstanding Knights from 7F1 were also recognized. Congratulations to Sydnee, Liam, and Kiera.

This week in Mathématiques with 7F2, students wrote a quiz about repeating decimal numbers. These were returned on Friday and marks are on PowerSchool. As always, students are welcome to rewrite if they would like to improve their mark, an offer extended to students who did not receive a 4. The rewrite will occur later this coming week for students who return their quiz with the signed rewrite form. Otherwise, in math, we continued to learn about fractions. This week we will compare and order them. Our focus for the week will also include mental math for addition, which caps off our review of strategies for all four operations. In the New Year, we’ll begin mental math with decimal numbers. Finally, we have been playing some fun holiday math games! More to come this week.

In English and Français, students have spent most of the week finishing their major projects. In English (7F1 and 7F2), students are putting the finishing touches on their narratives, and in French (7F1), students are polishing their texte informatif. These are now due, and some students will need to finish them at lunch this week. Published hard copies will be shared in the New Year of these excellent pieces of writing!

Finally, a reminder to all Knights that this coming week is Spirit Week! Details can be found on the school Instagram.

Have a great week, and happy reading!

M. J. Sorokowski

Snapshot: December 4-7, 2017

Dear Knights,

We moved forward this week on many major projects, and the work you have accomplished is quite stunning. You have begun to show yourselves as skilled writers. It is staggering to see how much writing you have accomplished! Thanks to all our Knights for also trying harder to meet deadlines and coming in at lunch to catch-up on work if needed. You have demonstrated great integrity and responsibility, two of our school’s values.

In Mathématiques with 7F2, we came to the end of our unit on repeating decimals and completed review activity where we had to find questions around the room. All the questions were similar to the ones that will be on Monday’s quiz. Students should know the difference between un nombre décimal fini and un nombre décimal périodique. They should also be able to convert from decimal numbers to fractions, and vice-versa. We will continue our learning about fractions until the start of the winter break.

In English with 7F1 and 7F2, we spent much of the week working on our narratives and reading Restart. Most students have turned in their first draft for feedback. We are making sure that we have included snapshots, thoughtshots, dialogue, and exploding moments. Most stories are well over 400 words – a remarkable accomplishment.

Finally, in Français with 7F1, students made excellent progress with their animal research and informative texts. Most students have already written four or five paragraphs based on their detailed research. The next step will be to edit their work using the CHAPO framework we’ve been practicing. We will also write “le gros quiz des verbes” later this week (Thursday), focusing on all the present-tense verbs we’ve been learning (être, avoir, aller, -ER, vouloir, pouvoir, devoir, faire). Students are invited to bring home their référentiel de français in order to review. Luckily, verb conjugations in French generally follow patterns, so studying involves finding and learning those patterns.

Thanks for all the hard work, Knights!

Happy reading!

M. J. Sorokowski

Snapshot: November 27-December 1, 2017

Dear Knights,

I apologize for the delay in publishing this week’s snapshot. I have been hit by a nasty cold bug. Nevertheless, please enjoy a slightly abridged version.

In Mathématiques with 7F2, we began to learn about repeating decimals. We noticed a variety of patterns and used these to make predictions. We also practiced converting decimal numbers to fractions, both with terminating and repeating decimals. It was a bit tricky, but we’ll continue to practice how. This coming week, we will look at how to convert fractions to decimals (both terminating and repeating ones).

In Français with 7F1, students finished their animal research and began to write their paragraphs. I collected one and will return it with feedback so that students can improve their performance when writing the remainder of their animal informative text.

Last, but not least, in English Language Arts with 7F1 and 7F2, we began to draft our final narrative project. Students have been typing away on the iPads, exploding moments and integrating snapshots, thoughtshots, and dialogue. We will finish the first draft of these this week and will work on effective narrative leads (sometimes called hooks) and other revising strategies.

Happy reading!

M. J. Sorokowski