Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Update 10/28/11 by Katherine, Hannah, Nick, and Morgan

Happy Halloween, fellow Sigmians!!
We had an exciting spirit week here at Thomas Middle School!

Here we are on Team Tuesday!

Give me a "J" for jersey!

Wacky Wednesday, the wackiest day of the year!

Orange is orange; Sigma is Sigma.  It's team color day!

It's Fancy Friday.  We are never this dressed up!

In literature we read a science fiction story called "All Summer in a Day" about summer on Venus.  We chose three quotes and drew a picture of the setting to represent the mood of the story.  Here are three of our best examples:

By Hannah

By Max

By Gina

More passions business cards!
Back row: Andrew's is the Middle Ages, Kyle's is trains, Stephen's is squirrels, Matt's is football.
Front row:  Max's is football and Lucas's is zombies.

We had a giant debate about plastic vs. paper bags to see
if we should use paper or plastic for our Kraft packaging.  
For solving our problem, we pretended that we HAD to use paper or plastic bags, not cloth ones.
After we read articles and watched videos, we made our own paper vs. plastic videos, choosing a side.   
We only had about 20 minutes to make these videos.  Here are some of our intriguing results:

In science, we also did an experiment with chromatography and the different colors that make up a black marker.  Here are Lauren and Elton with some colorful samples.

Last week we also discussed the differences between a solar and a lunar eclipse.  Here Lucas and Nick explain what a solar exclipse is.

Finally in math we finished our menu projects where we had to come up with menu items and prices and then translate them into Spanish or Chinese.  Here are three of our best.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Update 10/21/11 by Andrew K., Shane K., Max M., and Jake S.

        Max, Shane, Andrew, and Jake: AKA The coolest Sigma kids.

In Sigma team project we are redesigning KRAFT packaging. 
Each group below is working on their redesigning by 
researching their product.

Morgan, Eddie, and Lauren:  Teddy Grahams

Hannah, Kate, and Mili:  Oreos

Matt, Kyle, and Anna:  Oreo Cakesters

Lucas and Andrew:  Macaroni and Cheese

Nicholas and Stephen:  Macaroni and Cheese

Katherine, David P., and Jake:  Kool-Aid 

Kevin, Jasmine, Samson, Shane:  Sour Patch Kids

Sammi, Davie R., CiCi:  Capri Sun

Sammi and CiCi:  Capri Suns
James, Elton, Mick:  Swedish Fish

Max, Josh, Gina:  Chips Ahoy

Here is the mix-it-up lunch to meet other people. Each person had a tattoo of a country's flag.  We sat with the corresponding country.   Adults from the community ate with us, and we used a list of conversation starters to learn new things about the people we ate with.

Here are David P, Andrew, and Elton at the Brazil mix-it-up table.

Hannah and friends sitting at the Ireland table with Mr. Kelly, 
our computer teacher who was born in Ireland.

This is Sigma with Mr. Damico. We are learning how to 
make medallions for our Futabakai visitors.
  Futabakai is the Japanese language school in Arlington Heights.  Sixth grade students from Futabakai are coming to visit us on November 8.  On December 13, we will visit them at their school.

Here are  Morgan (reading), Sammi (acting), and Gina (acting) 
with their finished passions business cards. 
In social studies we are studying prehistoric times.  We went to Mrs. Lussem's German room which was converted into a "cave."  We did a simulation to pretend that we were prehistoric cave dwellers.  We drew in the dark with cave sounds in the background.  Below we are "discovering" each other's drawings and analyzing them as archaeologists do to learn about how 
people survived in the Stone Ages.

In reading we worked hard on plot maps for our independent reading books.  We shared them with our class so that we could add new books to our "someday" reading lists. 
Below are our finished maps.
Period 7/8  
Period 3/4

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Update 10/14/11 by Matt, Samson, Eddie, and David R.

Our weekly bloggers top to bottom:  
Samson, Eddie, David R., Matt

On Thursday, Sigma watched a live webcast with author James Patterson,
hoping that he would answer the question Kate emailed him.  Our question wasn't chosen, but we enjoyed listening to him talk about his books and recommend other fun books for us to read.

Check out James Patterson's great website for awesome books to read:
Here are three of our favorite books that James Patterson also recommended.  
We recommend these to all of our blog readers!
Eddie holding The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Anna is holding Wonderstruck, a new book by Brian Selznick.
Eddie is holding Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson.

In Advisory on Beta/Sigma, we played "Four Corners,"
a game where we joined different groups in the commons, based on our interests, 
to find out what we have in common.

In art, we are designing our own business cards related to our personal passions.  Some of us are using plaster and some of us are using paper.  Business cards don't have to be 2x3 inch cards.  
They can be more creative and even can be 3D.  
Left to right:  Samson, Max, Matt
Left to right:  Hannah, Sammi
Left to right:  Jasmine, Hannah, CiCi
In social studies, we analyzed the clustrmap on this blog during our geography study.  
We can see where all the people are from who have looked at our blog.  Our goal is to connect to people from all 7 continents and all 50 states.  So far people from all of the continents except 
Antarctica have viewed our blog!  Our blog has had 1,057 views from 18 different states and 9 different countries.  In the pictures below we are discovering interesting facts from our blog.

Andrew, Elton, and Samson hunting for clues during our geography scavenger hunt.

Other things we are learning about this week:
  • In math and world languages, we are making menus for restaurants.  We will use these for a math activity next week.
  • In Sigma Team Project, we were assigned our Kraft product groups and started researching the history of our product and its packaging.
  • In LA we are learning about setting and mood and are drawing pictures using shading techniques we learned in art to represent "All Summer in a Day," a science fiction story we read.  We also finished our capitalization review and are officially capitalization usage experts.  In WEX we are beginning our polished narrative essays next week.
  • In social studies we started our prehistory study and are beginning to explore the Stone Ages and early cultures.
  • In science we learned how sunlight can make lunar and solar eclipses.