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News

Principal's March Message

March 5, 2018

 

Dear Los Cerros Families,

 

Spring is upon us and that means we are entering the 4th quarter and have begun preparing for next school year. Students are continuing their inquiry of curriculum throughout their classes and have been able to display their knowledge through tools on Google Classroom, written reports, assessments and projects. This past Monday night, Los Cerros staff served dinner to 53 people at Gianni’s Italian Bistro. We had a great time and raised $683 for our technology fund. We look forward to doing this again in the future and hope to serve dinner to 125 people.

 

Los Cerros has enhanced curriculum and technology from using Donor’s Choose. Every March, there is an event with Donor’s Choose called Best School Day! Best School Day is when our projects get matched from generous supporters in our community and nationwide. These supporters love to celebrate public education. Please visit our school’s link by visiting https://www.donorschoose.org/school/los-cerros-middle-school/4254/?active=true if you would like to view our projects and monitor their status. We appreciate everyone’s support and help in promoting our projects.

 

The district’s Personalized Learning Initiatives, PLI, will be taking effect in the upcoming school year. Our district has created a website that will be launched later this month with more information regarding each initiative. The website is http://www.srvusd.net/personalizedlearning.

 

Key Reminders:

  1. School attendance is very important; please have your students to school on time, every day along with keeping them on campus each and every day.
  2. Students who choose to play tag at lunch need to stay on the grass fields between the two baseball diamonds. Running near buildings presents danger near doors and slipping on the asphalt.
  3. CAASPP testing begins April 23rd with ELA and April 30th with Math. The school schedule for those two weeks will be sent home in the middle of March.

 

 

What’s Happening on Campus?

 

8th Science 

Students were recently introduced to their new role as a student physicist working for Universal Space Agency’s (USA) Magnetic Launch Program. The launch system would utilize high-powered magnets to send spacecraft into Earth’s Orbit. Traditional rocket launchers give off pollution and can only be used once while magnetic launchers would be environmentally clean and reusable. This would also reduce the cost of space travel and make it more widely available. USA recently conducted a series of tests using a small scale model. Our students have been tasked with investigating the unexpected results from those tests before the model can be sealed up and retested.  Students learned how to isolate the variables in the experiment, spent time playing with a magnet simulation, reading background information to better understand the magnetic properties of Earth and analyzing magnetic field line data. Next, students will need to consider where the energy to launch the spacecraft came from, explore the strength of magnetic force, and how it relates to the amount of energy stored in a magnetic field. Lastly, students will engage in oral argumentation as they grapple with ideas about magnetic force and energy. The program and materials utilized in this unit were paid for by a grant we received from the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation.

 

Core 8:

In English, we are wrapping up our study of character traits. Students are connecting their ideas about characters to motifs in their stories. As they analyze motifs, students are thinking deeper about the way authors hide messages or teach lessons in their writing in order to determine possible themes. Students will be moving on from studying character and theme to writing a literary thematic essay. The “thinking work” students have been recording in their English Notebooks will be utilized to help them develop evidence to support the claims in their essays.

 

In History, we have tracked continuity and change across the first five presidents of the U.S. Students  & have  analyzed continuity and change by exploring topics such as exceptions, turning points, progress/decline for different people groups, and the benefits/drawbacks of change. This unit will be culminating in an assessment, in which students will have the opportunity to show what they know about continuity and change using ideas from the first five presidents as well as current events to support their thinking. Students will also be working on an in-class group project, in which they will be campaigning for one of the first five presidents to be the next President in the 2020 election. In their “Campaign Rally” Presentation, students will be using historical evidence from their President's life, as well as their persuasive skills and creativity, to convince the class that their candidate is the best choice for the next President.

 

Core 6:

Sixth graders have begun unit 3, beginning with the study of India in social studies. In honor of Black History month we are in the midst of learning about Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player to enter MLB. We have started our next core novel, Tuck Everlasting. We have just finished our informational essays and continue to take practice CAASPP tests to familiarize our students. 

 

Science 7:

7th science just wrapped up our chemistry lab unit with two straight weeks of lab experiments. Students will spend the first half of March in the library learning about synthetic materials. Our librarian, Kim Carter, arranged for a speaker from Mango Materials to come and speak with students about alternatives to plastics. During the second half of March we will start our Ecosystems unit.

 

Science 6:

Sixth grade science is in the life science strand of our curriculum.  We have been working on an inquiry station project called Living or Not.  Students have learned the seven criteria that must be present for something to be living and are using that criteria as they move through the stations.  We are now going to be diving deep into cells, which is one of our criteria for something to be living.  Students will be using microscopes to look at different types of cells and complete a Cell Analogy Project - a favorite here at LC. 

 

Math 2/3:

Course 2/3 accelerated math is working with spatial visualization, geometry, surface area and volume by constructing figures with play-do and blocks. Kinesthetic learning enhances student knowledge and performance and helps students see what outcome should be.

 

Physical Education:

The basketball unit is here in Mr. Briemle’s class in honor of March Madness!

 

Music and Choir:

The music program took 80 students from choir, band and orchestra to Disneyland & Cal State Long Beach for college clinics and workshops.

 

Library:

We are working with 7th grade science students on an inquiry driven unit on synthetic materials, we will be kicking it off with one of the co-founders of Mango Materials to give the students some context on synthetic materials and what that looks like now and for our future. Next, 6th grade core will experience a 4 week NonFiction Series Study. We end the unit where students mentor podcasts, create one in class, and celebrate their work with a podcast party!

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Evan Powell

Principal

Los Cerros Middle School

Posted by: Cecilia Brear Published:3/6/18
Audience: Homepage and Homepage


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