Today, SDFAS is celebrating Pi Day with fun math activities, a Pi number Contest, a Pie Baking Contest… and the tasting of the pies! All winners get well-deserved awards. Congratulations to all participants and winners, and thank you to Mr. Giot, our middle school French Math teacher and its Math Club for organizing the event for our enjoyment!
The music program started this week in middle school. The Center for World Music has brought in to the school a wealth of various instruments, music styles, and artists for the past few years. This trimester, 8th grade will learn how to play the Banjo in the “clawhammer” style! They will also have the privilege to go on a field trip to the Deering Banjo Factory later on in the Spring, which is the largest company making Banjo in the USA.
What is SLAM?
Today, Ms. Addo crafted a workshop in order to kick off the SLAM project! In April, SDFAS will welcome the French vice-champion of SLAM on campus. Teachers and students will benefit from workshops with him, and learn the ropes of the SLAM art!
The 7th grade students sealed their ecosystems today. The goal is to have all the organisms that they included survive for 3 weeks without anything new being added or anything old being removed from the ecosystem. Organisms include succulents, aquatic plants and algae, snails, roly polies , insects and a minnow. They had to decide how much of each thing to put in so that there was enough food to last, enough plant matter to cycle the oxygen and carbon dioxide, but not so much that it used it up, enough bacteria (or other detrivores) to process the waste and so forth. They are very excited and will be recording what happens daily for the next three weeks.
Students have engaged their robots in a fierce tournament for the past few weeks. Working in pairs, they programmed and coded their robots, while the students in the MakerSpace elective kindly built and paint round areas for robots to compete. On February 14, the challenge culminated with the championship finals.
The Student Party Planning Committee (PPC) was in charge of the event in middle school this year. Thank you, PPC, for a fun celebration based on inclusiveness and kindness toward others!
Black History Month Celebration: reflecting on bias, stereotypes and preconceived ideas
Ms. Aseltine and Ms. Addo organized a whole middle school forum on February 14, 2019 on the theme of stereotypes, bias, and preconceived ideas. Students were invited to work in groups of 5 or 6, and tasked with the objective of producing a collective drawing of what a “social loser” and a “social winner” are. After 20 minutes of teamwork, all students gathered in a full assembly, and discussed two drawings. The drawings were an opportunity to reflect on bias of judging people upon their appearance, and how we assess others through the filters of assumptions based on preconceived representations.
On February 7, the 8th grade ESL students went on a field trip to UCSD with their ESL teachers, Amelia McCurdy and Erika Geary Fowler. The students were responsible for planning and implementing a tour of the Stuart Collection at UCSD. Students researched various art installations and guided them around the campus, providing detailed descriptions of each piece in English. The two teachers were lucky to have such motivated English learners as tour guides, as they both forgot their glasses and their French for the day!
During the time on campus, the students successfully found all art installations, asked detailed questions regarding the projects and directions from campus staff, and were able to contribute to a collaborative chalk installation. Be sure to ask them about their adventure (in English)!
Thank you to Amelia and Erika for such an impeccable project based unit, since the field trip was only a piece of it. It is now time for the students’ feedback papers!