Friday, April 26, 2013

Weekly Update 4/26/13

Weekly Update by

Jack S, Jack B, Rocco, Trey, Paul, Nathan W, Matt, Owen

Poetry Night
On April 17 Thomas held its annual Sixth Grade Poetry Night.  Mr. Bill Buczinsky, the poet who held a workshop for us the previous week, acted as our host for the night.  The LMC was decorated with lights and flowers, and there were cookies and lemonade to make the night festive.  Many sixth graders shared their poems, and they did a great job.

This is a bunch of guys who read at poetry night.

Here is a picture of the crowd.

More parents and siblings

Here is another picture of the crowd.

To the center is Mr. B calling up the readers so they can share their poems. 

Poetry Night Videos
Thanks to Michael P. for putting together this iMovie of our Sigma poetry readers.
 Mr. Bucinzky was amazed by our talented poets!  Congrats to everyone who read and who attended!

Kraft Presentations
On Friday, April 19 we presented our final new package designs to a group of Kraft engineers, our parents, and our teachers and principals.  The presentations went really well, and we all had fun with this project.  We liked  how each group got to design something new and put their own touch on it.

Jell-O Tubes 
     Cecelia was part of the Jell-O Tubes group. 

Rocco, Lorie, and Claire 
They created tubes with Cool Whip and Jell-O.

Rocco and Lorie
If you don't like Cool Whip, you can break the tubes apart and eat Jell-O and vice versa.

Jumbo Jello-O Pudding 
Keatyn, Veronica, and Kayce

Charlie, Keatyn, Veronica, and Kayce
They created a big, resealable box of Jell-O pudding.

Keatyn, Veronica, Kayce, and Charlie

Slides showing their new package

Michael P, our tech assistant

Big Noodle Macaroni and Cheese 

Annie, Patrycja, and Trey
This group made the big noodle, a large plastic container to hold
many servings of macaroni and cheese.

Eat big or go home was their slogan!
Annie, Trey, and Patrycja


 Stacker Marshmallows S'mores

Morgan, Jackie, Carol, and Cassy
Matt was advancing their slideshow.

Jackie, Cassy Carol, Morgan
They created a backpack with marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers, and sticks.  Everything needed for s'mores.


Rhea, Michael, and Henry
The Lunchables group added carrying handle and a cold pack tray to keep food fresh.

Capri Sun Keg 

Ziran, Michael B., Emilia
The awesome Capri Sun keg group made a big keg with cups.

Connor explaining the Capri Sun Keg idea

Cool Whip Squeezables

Tyler, Nathan H., Sean
The way too cool Cool Whip group

Ale Y. explaining their idea for squeezable Cool Whip 
with different tips to decorate cupcakes and cakes

String Cheese
Technical difficulties occurred before the string cheese group presented but were quickly resolved with lots of helpers.

Paul, Colin, Emma, and Isabel
Their new design has an animated character, Stanley String Cheese, and a smaller package to reduce air space. The individual cheese pieces also have a tab for easier opening. 
They also added a token which the kids could trade in for a toy!

Taco Bell Dinner

William, Jack B., Owen
The Taco Bell Dinner group's design includes fresh foods like meat, cheese, and lettuce.

Ben explaining the Taco Bell design

Kraft Singles Pop-Ups

Alex S., Nathan W., Devin
Their new design is a pop-up box to easily dispense slices, 
along with a tab to easily remove the plastic film around each slice.

Jack explaining the Pop-Up design

Our Audience:

Rhea, Keatyn, Emilia, Cassy, and Connor watching the presentations

Mrs. Ziegenfuss thanking Megan and Elizabeth and all of the Kraft engineers
 and Thomas teachers who helped with this project

The crowd of parents, students, and teachers after the presentations

Time for Nilla Wafers and Capri Suns

All of our visitors


SS Greece Research Project:
In social studies we finished our Greece iBooks and shared them with each other on iPads.  We added lots of really cool features like photo galleries, interactive quizzes, embedded videos, and great facts about different topics.  Once they were all exported we got to choose three other people's books to read on the iPads.  Then we wrote a blog post about what we learned.  Some of our favorites were about the Persian Wars, Sparta, architecture, the economy, farming, philosophy, and medicine.  We are working on getting all of the books published to the iTunes store so that our families can read them at home.  

Cecelia, Patrycja, Owen, Matt, and Jackie looking at Michael P's book.  
He added a keynote and lots of quiz questions.

Paul, Jack B., and Rocco sharing books

Charlie, Ziran, and Nathan checking out other people's books

Annie, Lorie, and Alex Y.

Claire and Morgan reading together

∑igma Celebrations!
Thomas Garden Club!
Here is a picture of the new Thomas Garden!  It is on the south side of the building, right outside of Mrs. Ziegenfuss's room.  Mr. Slowinski, a 7th grade LA teacher,  started it, andEmilia, Cassy, Rhea, Tyler, Michael P., and Michael B. are all members.   They are excited to plant and take care of the garden over the next few months.

The T will contain spice plants and vegetables used in chili and pizza.
The M will be a rainbow garden with colorful vegetables
The S is for super foods.  Really healthy foods will be grown here.

Garden article by Michael B.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Weekly Update 4/12/13

Weekly Update 4/12/13

Social Studies:  Ancient Greece Research Projects
Mr. Juskiewicz, our technology teacher, came in this week to introduce a new program:  iBooks iAuthor.  We are the first classes at Thomas learning to use this new tool.  We each were assigned a different topic.  Some topics are architecture, foods, trade, and Sparta.  We are researching our subject and taking notes on Googledocs.  Next week we will each create our own iBook with lots of interesting information about our topic, along with photos, videos, and quizzes.  When we are all done, our books will be loaded on iPads and we can read and learn from each other. 

Mr. J. showing us how to add an introductory video of ourselves letting our readers know why our topic is interesting to learn about.

Mr. J. is explaining all of the widgets we can add to our iBooks, such as photo galleries, quizzes, and glossary words.

LA:  WEX Response to Non Fiction:  
The Secret of the Yellow Death

In LA this week we started the nonfiction book  The Secret of the Yellow Death. This book is about a scary disease in the late 1700s and all the through the early 1900s. The beginning of the book is kind of graphic and gory, but it really grabs the reader's attention.
"The young man didn't feel well. First, there was a chill: an icy bone-freezing chill in the middle of a warm summer evening. Then there was a terrible crushing headache. His back hurt. His stomach twisted with pain. And then he was hot, boiling hot, with a fever of 104 degrees. His skin turned yellow. The whites of his eyes looked like lemons. Nauseated, he gagged and threw up again and again, spewing streams of vomit black with digested clots of blood across the pillow... Then, five days after that first freezing chill, the young man died: another victim of a terrible disease called yellow fever" (1).  I love how the author uses great details about the young man's death and doesn't just say "He dies," but she lists how he dies and the causes of yellow fever.  I can't wait to read more! -Kayce D

Our first writing prompt:

Kayce wrote that it was important for scientists to determine the cause of yellow fever and try to control the spread because thousands of people were dying every month from yellow fever! And yellow fever lasted for over 100 years, so if thousands of people died in a month, imagine that happening for 100 years every month! That's crazy!  Cassy wrote that it was important to determine the cause of yellow fever because if the population started dying, then there wouldn't be people to become scientists or doctors. If there weren't any doctors or scientists, they wouldn't be able to cure this deadly and terrifying disease.

∑igma Celebrations!
Crosstown Classic Middle School Showdown 
Last Friday the South teachers played the Thomas teachers in a friendly game of basketball at Hersey.  We raised over $4,500 to help a former South student who was paralyzed in an accident and needs his house renovated to be wheelchair accessible.  LOTS of Sigma students had a great time cheering on the Thomas teachers at the game, and we were glad to help with a great cause.

Thomas players with the Showdown trophy!

Tommy the T-Wolf leads the cheers.

Mrs. Dunn showing off her basketball skills

The huge Thomas crowd

The Thomas staff players, including Mr. Kaye on left in a cape

Michael B. and Trey showing off the great pillow projects that they just finished.