Friday, December 21, 2012

Final weekly update of 2012!

Kraft Packaging Redesign Presentations
This week our final groups presented their ideas for redesigning their Kraft products' packaging.  After their presentations they got a lot of creative and interesting suggestions from the rest of the class.  We are excited to work on our designs after break.

Stacker Mallows group:  Morgan, Matt, Lorie, and Jackie 
(Not pictured:  Cassie)
They are designing new packaging so that the marshmallows don't get squished.

Emilia, Connor, and Michael
(Not pictured:  Ziran)
This group had some great ideas to make Capri Sun packaging easier to open and use.

Rocco, Cecelia, Claire, Lorie presented their ideas for repackaging Jell-O cups to have less waste. 

Om, Trey, and Patrycja (Annie not pictured) came up with great ideas for Mac & Cheese.

Michael K, Rhea (and Henry) are redesigning Lunchables to use less packaging.

Keatyn, Charlie, Michael P, Veronica, and Kayce want to make Jell-O pudding packages easier to use.

Colin, Emma, Isabel, and Paul have some great ideas to make it easier to open string cheese.

In Chinese we did a project where we made a poster about our family, with everything in Chinese about us, like our birthdates, Chinese name, and family members.  We also told our grade and ages.  We presented what we wrote in Chinese to Mrs. Hsu.  You will be impressed with how well we can speak Chinese! 





GeoBee in Social Studies
In social studies all Thomas students took a GeoBee written test, and the top 10 scorers in each class competed to be finalists while the rest of the class helped keep score.  It was a very close competition in both classes, and we were really impressed with everyone's geographical knowledge!
Period 2 finalists: William, Paul, Lorie, Tyler, Veronica, Ziran, Colin, Emilia, Connor, Cassy

Period 2 winner:  Paul!

Period 3 finalists:  Sean, Alex S, Ben, Cecelia, Trey, Michael B, Matt, Om, Claire, Devin

Period 3 winner:  Sean!  Runner-up:  Alex S.!
Sean and Alex were tied, so we had a 
 "Geo-off," and Sean won after 4 competitive rounds.

During Team Time, Paul and Sean competed to represent Sigma in the all-school GeoBee.  It was a close competition, with Sean winning after 4 rounds.  Do you know the answer to Sean's final winning question?  The St. Mary's River, which connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron, separates Michigan from which Canadian Province?  (Scroll to the bottom for the answer.)

A panoramic shot of the team GeoBee

Board Game Day in LA
On Friday we had a "no electronics" day and played board games.  Some of us brought games from home, and we also played Mrs.Ziegenfuss's games.  

Emilia, Cassie, Rhea, Jackie, and Annie (left to right) all enjoyed playing a "girl version" of Monopoly.

Paul and Michael B. are playing tic-tac-toe and chess.

Rocco is teaching Trey how to play chess.

Keatyn, Jack S., and Devin decided to build a cool cascading domino design.

Here's the video of their dominoes falling!

Ziran brought a Lego game called Ramses' Pyramid.

Everyone loves Apples to Apples!  Cecelia, Trey, Rocco, Henry, Ben, and William.

Mrs. Lavidas and Cecelia are playing a connect-the-dot puzzle game.

Ben and William figured out how to play Mrs. Ziegenfuss's new Pathagon game.

Morgan and Kayce are coloring holiday pictures.

Connor brought his Risk game from home, and Nathan H, Tyler, and Michael joined him in a very competitive game.

Om and Michael P. played a few rounds of Pathagon.

Another big group playing Apples to Apples:  Matt, Emma, Isabel, Jack B, Rocco, and Sean.

Veronica, Claire, Lorie, Veronica, and Carol are playing In a Pickle.

Michael P and Om made this really cool domino design, and we all watched it cascade.

Alex S., Colin, and Nathan W. are setting up a Lego soccer game. 

Here are some videos that Alex S. took of their game:)

∑igma Celebrations
Congratulations to Sean and Lorie for being this month's T-Wolves!  We appreciate their hard work and helpfulness.

Jack was the first person to solve Mrs. Ziegenfuss's puzzle cube!
GeoBee answer:  Ontario

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekly Update 12/14/12

Weekly Update by
(From left to right) Paul, Michael K, Isabel, Charlie, Cassy, Emilia

Community Service Project Update:
The Sigma Community Project to collect clothing for the homeless was great! The girls--Cassandra, Annie, Jackie, Patrycja, and Emilia--collected many bags and boxes. Some things that we got from our donors here at Thomas were winter coats, bathing suits, shoes, and toiletries like shampoo and soap. Mr. Aho is going to drop our bags and boxes to 
Cornerstone Community Shelter this week.
We had a lot to give to the Chicago Shelter! 

"Lava Lamps" in Science
In science we put water, vegetable oil, alka-seltzer, and food coloring in a cup to see how they would react to each other.  When we put in the alka-seltzer it released some kind of gas and created bubbles and made a lava lamp.  When we added the tablets, the olive oil moved to the middle, and some of the food coloring moved to the top.  We observed that the food coloring didn't go through the oil very easily; it was very slow.   It was very cool to watch!
Nathan W. and Claire made this lava lamp, but they are not the ones singing this lava lamp song! 

Social Studies:  World Watcher Notes (current events) 
with Mr. Hillmer
The whole Sigma Team is reading about important current events that are happening in the same parts of the world we are learning about in social studies. Right now we are reading about current events in the Middle East and Egypt. Mr. Hillmer has been a lot of help with making a Scoop It with great articles and helping us to find good topics.

We learned about citing our sources and paraphrasing so that we don't plagiarize.

Mr. Hillmer helping Tyler and Connor

Mr. Hillmer helping Henry and Matt

Kraft Packaging Redesign Presentations 
We have been designing new Kraft packages for our assigned products.  We researched the history of the product and then looked at the primary and secondary packaging carefully to think of ways to improve it.  Now we are making presentations on what we are doing to change the packages and getting feedback from our classmates.  Three groups presented on Thursday.

Nathan W Devin, Alex and Jack explain how they are going to redesign the packaging of Kraft Singles. 
Nathan H., Tyler, Sean, and Alex Y have some good ideas for how to improve Cool Whip packaging.

Owen, Jack B, Ben, and William are designing new packaging for Taco Bell Dinner kits.

All-School Spelling Bee!
On Thursday, we had our all-school spelling bee.  There were 45 classroom winners in the bee, and lots of parents and friends came to cheer them on.  Morgan, Tyler, and Connor did a great job representing Sigma.  Tyler made it to the third round! After a lot of competitive rounds, a 7th grader won the bee.  We are very proud of all of our spellers!

The spellers with the crowd behind them




Snails in French Class
In French class we adopted our own pet snails so we can explain them in French. We named them, had an adoption ceremony, and some some of us even made them a new home.
Morgan with her snail Joel, and Annie with her snail Pierre.

LA:  Pronoun Song from period 7/8 
The pronoun song was hard to remember at first, but somehow we did it, and everyone did well on singing the song.  The song helped a lot of us on the test, too!

∑igma Celebrations:
It was only 12/12/12 for only one period of time, and it will be a very long time until another twelve is upon us, so we celebrated during our LA block!

Claire took a screenshot with Mrs. Ziegenfuss's phone.

Everyone wanted to mark the moment!


Duct Tape Club!
Jackie and Annie decorated one of Mr. Aho's chairs with lots of different colors and designs of duct tape.  Then they had everyone on Sigma sign it.

Jackie and Annie with their colorful chair design
 They added a Michigan State logo, the Sigma logo and some Bears logos, too.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekly Update 12/7/12

This Week's Bloggers!!
Trey, Rocco, Ben, Cecelia, and Devin

Preposition Song!
In LA we are memorizing a preposition song to the tune of "Yankee Doodle" to get ready for our test on Tuesday.
Cassy memorized the whole thing and did a great job singing the preposition song we used to help us study. 

This week to wrap up our Mesopotamia unit in social studies, we made clay cuneiform tablets  with our names on them!  We used a stylus to make wedge-shaped characters like the ancient Mesopotamians did.  Most of us decided that we would not want to have been scribes in Mesopotamia!

Here is Paul.


Annie, Lorie, and William

Annie, Lorie, and William


Carol and Jackie

Cecilia and Owen

On Monday Ms. Jurgens from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library visited and did book talks for our class and Mrs. Hallmark's combined together.  She brought a huge bag of our favorite types of books for us to check out:  fantasy, books about feelings, historical fiction, and books set in WWII.  
We had fun watching the book trailers 
and learning about the books.

Ms. Jurgens

We got to choose which genres we wanted to hear about.

Period 7/8 with Mrs. Hallmark's class

Period 4/5 with Mrs. Hallmark's class

∑igma Celebrations!!
On Thursday we participated in the classroom History Bee.  Below are our high scorers from each class.  Carol had the highest score in the whole sixth grade!!
Period 3:
Ben (second) and Carol (first)

Period 2:
 William (second) and Ziran (first)

Connor and Emilia learned "Egypian Legacy" by Soon Hee Newbold in their Music for Youth repertoire group.  They had the great idea to play their duet for our class.
This was a kick-off to our new unit, Ancient Egypt. 
Can you hear the Egyptian melody?
Period 2

Mrs. Samson gave us this really cool poster showing the anatomy of a Gummi Bear.  It is hanging up in  Mr. Aho's room.
Thank you for the Gummi Bear poster, Mrs Samson!!
In German: Danke für die Gummibärchen plakat, Frau Samson!!