Welcome to the A.L. Stanback Exploratory Newsletter!
Find your student’s exploratory class to learn more about upcoming events/information and what students have been working on in class!
Physical Education- Coach Thompson and Coach Capps:
In Physical Education this month we started with large group games such as Capture the Flag, CastleBall, Ratball, and Alaskan Kickball to get a feel for competition and how to function as a team. Our first unit of Physical Education has involved learning the rules, history, and strategy of Ultimate Frisbee. In Health Education:
- 8th Grade: Goals, Decision-Making, and how stress and our mental state affects those decisions and goals. The different types of Mental Illnesses and how that leads some to difficult decisions culminated in how we treat people with a showing of The Bully Project (2011).
- 7th Grade: Communication
- 6th Grade: Parts of Health, Goals, Decision-Making, Stress, and types of Communication.
PLTW/STEM- Mr. McBurnett:
“The greatest teacher, failure is.”
What is engineering? That is the question I pose to all of my students in the first few day of class. I get a wide variety of answers, but most students say something about building things. And through a guided discussion we agree that engineering is solving problems by creating things.
We then begin to learn about the engineering design process and learning how engineers solve problems. The hardest part of solving problems? Failure. Trying a new idea and seeing it not work. While the design process addresses this with a return to a previous step, it is hard for most middle school students to accept. Most students keep pushing forward with an idea that has proven to not solve the problem, compounding the failure, and leading to more frustration.
This semester I will be working hard with our students to internalize the concept of “failing forward.” Failure is almost inevitable in engineering, however, the discoveries that can be made in failure are lost in instant success. We will attempt to shift our paradigms, from failure as a bad thing to failure as a bigger step forward. Students often resist this mindset, because it is frustrating to see something they worked hard at fail to solve the problem. We will work hard on learning and moving forward from our failures in class.
Help your students at home by talking with them about the projects they are working on in engineering. Listen to the successes and the failures. Provide as much positive feedback for the failures as you do the successes. Try things like these to help them move forward:
- “It’s okay it didn’t work, why do you think it didn’t?”
- “Wow, That was a great idea, what do you think can be improved about it?”
- “I am sorry that it didn’t work, what other ideas do you have to solve the problem?”
Get them talking, drawing, writing, gesturing, whatever it takes to get them exciting by the possibilities of trying again with the new knowledge gained in failure.
You are always welcome to come in and see what we are doing in class! Be sure to check in at the front office before coming to my classroom (634 or 636, across from the gym.) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
Spanish- Ms. Bryant: Leer (Read), Escribir (Write), Escuchar (Listen), Hablar (Speak)
In all the ALS Spanish classes, we work on building skills in all four areas of language use. Here are some details of what we’re up to in each class.
- 8th grade: High School Spanish I. As we move into third quarter, students will do a weekly speaking activity alongside continuing to develop reading and writing skills. Encourage your student to use their Spanish daily!
- 7th grade, semester: A whole new group of kids will begin this course, so we’ll start with pronunciation and greetings.
- 7th grade, heritage speakers: This course is for students who already speak Spanish, but want to work on improving their reading and writing. We are reading and writing *every* day, building our skills.
- 6th grade: The second quarter is already over! So, a new group of kids will begin this class now. We’ll take the vocabulary students studied in elementary school and build on it so we can use it in conversation.
Follow Ms. Bryant on Twitter @MrsBryantOCS to see what we’re up to more regularly! Email email@example.com with any concerns.
Visual Arts- Mr. Barnhouse:
Sixth grade visual arts students have been studying Egyptian Art, which was aligned to what they were studying in their Social Studies classes.
Seventh grade visual arts students studied perspective, artists that have used perspective and have been asked to create perspective compositions using several different materials.
Eighth Grade visual arts students have been studying feminist artist and how they use their art to advance equality. They were asked to create a plate that represented (using five different symbols) a female hero in their life.
Don’t forget to take a picture in front of the ALS wings and add to the hashtag.
AVID- Mr. Jocys:
- 8th Grade AVID students will continue working on a college research / trifold project. They will visit NCSU.
- 7th Grade AVID students will start working on important college vocabulary and visit Duke University after researching it.
- 6th Grade AVID students will also start working on important college vocabulary and visit Elon after researching it.
“ Think Harder and Smarter”
“Struggle to Succeed”
“Adjust Your Approach”
“And Always do Your Best!”
Band- Mr. Capps:
- Expanded the instrumentation of the band by adding bassoon, alto sax, tenor sax, french horn, euphonium, tuba and percussion.
- Brass are working to develop range, lip slurs, tone and endurance.
- Woodwinds are increasing the use of air / air support to develop our tone to sound more mature.
- We are all developing a wider range of dynamics, ability to play faster and increase our vocabulary of rhythms.
- The quest to learn the all district scales has begun.
- Developing the proper tone and expanding rhythm vocabulary.
- Building range high and lower that will further develop tone.
- Increasing musical terminology.
- Develop an understanding on how to practice and what it means when you miss a day.
- Develop a better understanding of balance and what to adjust when you realize that your pitch is off.
- Expand our All-District Scales to full range.
- Increasing musical terminology.
- Increasing range, ability to play at higher speeds, and enhancing endurance.
- Learning all 12 major scales and expanding our knowledge to thirds.
- Developing the rhythm vocabulary to not only prepare me for high school but easily place me within the sections of my peers.
Chorus: Ms. Kelly:
- We had such a wonderful time caroling at UNC Hillsborough Hospital before Winter Break! We cannot wait to go back!
- Before the semester ends, we are taking our Theory Post Test! See if your student can teach you a thing or two about note/rest values, solfege, Takadimi, and dynamics!
- DPAC tickets for Phantom of the Opera, March 3, are being mailed! Permission slips will be going home in February!
- Our March MPA Preview concert will be a joint concert with Gravelly Hill Middle School! The concert will be on March 19 at 7 PM. Please come and support chorus in Orange County!
- Check your email for Parent Newsletters from Ms. Kelly and a new Student/Parent Contract for Semester 2!
- Follow our Twitter account @ALSChorus, under “Michaela Kelly”
Business (CTE): Ms. VonBraunsberg (Ms. VonB): End of the Semester
- 8th Grade – Multimedia and Games Discovery students have learned about many of the tags for a website and learned how to debug a website. They have made their own webpage and have continued to add to it.
- 8th Grade – Exploring Business students are finishing up the semester with reviewing while other students are teaching. We learned about the different types of economies, entrepreneurship and the basics of a business.
- 7th Grade Computer Skills students are finishing up with their PowerPoint on the different countries that I gave them to choose from. Our presentations have been great.
- 6th Grade Keyboarding students are finishing up with their typing skills. When they leave for the semester, they will always remember how their posture should be. Feet flat on the floor, sit up straight, fingers on those home row keys.
- FBLA - With the snow days, hopefully we will be able to still sign up for conference. We discussed it right before the snow.
Look out for newsletters from your Exploratory Team!
Have a wonderful Quarter 3!