- Field trip tomorrow to DADs landfill and Hammond's candy factory. Your student should have had you sign a waiver so they can enter the DAD's landfill. We will leave at 9:15 AM and be back around 2 PM. Students may bring a small amount of money (<$10) if they want to spend at the Hammond's gift shop. Full disclosure their candy is not cheap. It is expected that all students present tomorrow are attending the field trip.
- Report cards will be printed out and sent home to all families by Tuesday or Wednesday evening. We will have permission slip type forms that you will sign to indicate you have seen the report card. There are other materials that will be sent home if you did not come to a parent teacher conference such as PARCC data. If you did come to parent teacher conferences you will just get a report card with social studies grade added.
- We are planning a teach in on Wednesday March 7th to learn about gun rights and gun violence. We will do our best to provide a measured view of both sides so students are empowered to make their own decisions on the matter. If you wish to opt out of this, let us know and we will provide an alternative activity. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to opt in to a field trip to rally on March 14th. Please see the letter written by lead partner K. Jaquette explaining much more details below the regular weekly e-mail.
Topics = This week we're starting our final brand new content unit of statistics and probability. We'll start out with finding the probability of simple events (i.e. what's the chance of getting a 3 when you roll a dice?) and move on to compound probability. We will then use this knowledge to calculate expected values.
Essential Questions = How do you use probability in every day life? when is it useful? What's a simple event?
IXL skills = DD.1 Probability of simple events
Education for Sustainability (EfS, Wagner)
Topics = We're wrapping up our unit on buy-use-toss and the product lifecycle this week and preparing to move on to our snacks project. On Monday-Tuesday we'll discuss advertising and consumerism and on Wednseday/Thursday we'll discuss doing things that make us happy.
Essential Questions = What ads do we see that advertise to teens? How do they do it?
English Language Acquisition (Zendle):
Topics = Students will continue to document their 30 day reading habit in the first 5 minutes of every class. Students will collaborate to analyze the theme and character traits expressed in Langston's Hughes short story entitled, "Thank You M'am." Then, students will choose a short story to write an essay (or paragraph) about.
Essential Questions = How does a specific section of text fit into the overall development of the plot, setting, or theme? How do the characters in this text respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution? How does comparing and contrasting the themes in different forms or genres help a reader better analyze text?
Dear Middle School Families,
This email is intended to provide clarity to families as DGS empowers students with information and the opportunity to participate in the student walkout against gun violence on March 14th.
Context: The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has led to a surge in student voice and student participation in the democratic process. At DGS, we aspire to have the most informed students, the most articulate students the most empowered students. With these goals in mind, we think it is fitting that we use these current events to learn more about this issue and to support students that feel inclined to participate in the democratic process.
Becoming Informed: On Wednesday, March 7th, DGS teachers will host a "teach-in" where we analyze the issue of gun violence and gun control from a variety of angles. These angles should not include the assertion of any teacher opinions, but instead be grounded in facts. Nicole Saab, our amazing 8th grade literacy teacher has done a great job helping teachers plan for this. Here is an email she sent our teachers on the subject.
Student Choice: After the teach-in, students will be asked to submit a google form where they declare if they are interested in participating in this public gathering or would rather have a regular day at school. Students will be expected to give a well-articulated rationale explaining the reason they would like to participate. Students that opt to participate will still need a parent permission slip, which would go home on Thursday, March 8th. Students could choose to participate regardless of which side of the gun debate they fall on.
March 14th: The Action Network, which organizes the Women's March, is organizing a National School Walkout Against Gun Violence, on March 14th. Our expectation is that we would take interested students, select teachers, administrators and chaperones to the Capital. The current plan is to take the 83L and 79L from Leetsdale and Exposition to Downtown in the early morning. We would hope to be there are ready by 10am. Our focus would be student safety and being the most respectful and articulate members of the gathering. Any adults with our group would be there specifically to support students and would not voice their own opinions. Any students that are there to voice opposition to stricter gun laws would likely have additional supervision and support as the organization is bringing together this gathering with the following goal: "Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence."
The Right Way: DGS recognizes these are challenging situations for a public institution to be involved in, and therefore we want to be clear with how we will engage in this work. Our focus is safety and student voice. We see this as an opportunity to show how articulate our students are by taking what some students have learned in class and bringing it to a more relevant and larger audience. We will provide information to students from a variety of perspectives and let students make their own decisions. We will push students to be heard because they are articulate, not because they are loud. Students that participate are doing so because they believe in expressing themselves and their own views on this.
Interested Chaperones: If you are interested in chaperoning on March 14th, likely between 8:30-noon, please email me.
Opting-out: The March 14 rally is optional, but if you would prefer your child not participate in our teach-in, which we aspire to teach as evenly handed as possible, let us know and we can have different academic work.
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions. Our students inspire us everyday and we hope to reciprocate this inspiration by giving them every opportunity we can.
Thanks, Kartal and the DGS Middle School Team