Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weekly Update 5/17/13

Weekly Update 5/17/13
Owen, Matt, Alex Y, Michael B, Trey, Nathan W, Henry, Jack S

Language Arts:  Novel Study 
Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech
We are reading a book called Chasing Redbird about a girl who found a trail and wants to see where it goes.  She is persistent about uncovering this mysterious trail, while other devastating things are happening in her life.  We are reviewing literary elements like conflict, character, and setting as we read the book.

7th Grade L.A. teacher Mrs. Kirr made Mrs. Ziegenfuss a poster about the trail in the book.  
Mrs. Z. added some of her own touches as well.

Devin, Henry, Owen, and Jack reading Chasing Redbird during reading time.

We were given Chasing Redbird groups for Edmodo.  Mrs. Z gives us questions for each sections we read.  We have to answer the prompts using evidence from the text, and we are graded on our responses.     We also comment on each other's responses and can agree or disagree. Here is a great conversation that Cecelia, Morgan, Rhea, and Kayce had in period 4/5 about traits of Zinny, the main character. 

Social Studies:  
Greek and Roman Mythology
Now we are studying Greek and Roman Mythology in social studies and in LA.   We learned the Greek and Roman names of the gods and goddesses, and we are reading great stories like "Ceres and Proserpina," a Roman myth that explains why we have seasons.   Everyone loves Mrs. Z's poster of mythological monsters.  We have lots of mythology experts on our team!

∑igma Celebrations!
Veronica S. and Charlie G. won the Tommy T-Wolf of the month award for this month.  Congrats to both of them!!

Congrats to all of our amazing band members who performed for the entire school onTuesday!
Ben & Paul:  trombone
Tyler & Devin:  percussion
Charlie & Colin:  French horn
Alex S, Sean, & Ziran:  trumpet
Jack S:  flute
Annie and Henry B:  clarinet
Emilia:  bass clarinet & chorus
Isabel:  baritone

The crowd listening to the band

The audience is clapping for the people's beautiful singing voices.  Emilia is on the right in the front row.

Here is a picture of the concert band waiting for their next song.

This is a picture of the jazz band.  Lots of our musically talented Sigma student hope to be in the the jazz band some day.

Jazz Band Videos
Colin's brother Peter performing a solo on trumpet with the Thomas Jazz Band

Nicholas, a seventh grader and Sigma alum, performing a solo on tenor saxophone

Friday, May 10, 2013

Weekly Update 5/10/13

Weekly Update 5/9/13
This week's crazy bloggers:  Michael P., Owen, Isabel, Devin, Cecelia, Matt, Kayce, Charlie, Trey, Rocco, Ziran, Nathan W., William, Alex Y.

Science:  Food Chains
In science we are learning about the patterns of the food web.  We are learning about different food chains, predators, consumers, producers, and prey.   Then we wore cards to represent different animals and their places in the food chain. 

In science we made a food chain. We wore cards saying what animals we were and what we eat and what eats us.

Isabel making her own food chain.

Devin and Emilia and Cecelia exchanging information about their animals

Science:  William's 4-H Project
Last week William brought in 6 chicks from 4-H- a club that he's in. For the eggs he had to turn them 3 times in a day so that the embryos wouldn't stick to the shell and come out deformed. They were soft and felt very fragile. We couldn't set them down or they would get stepped on. They were also too jumpy too if you didn't hold them properly. Some of them were loudly chirping, while others were very quiet.  
Thank you, William and Mrs. Ruppert for bringing them in!

William explaining how he took care of the chicks

This is everyone gathered around the chicks.

William demonstrating how to hold the chicks after everyone has washed their hands

Devin and Michael holding the adorable baby chicks

Cecelia holding a different colored chick.  It is very adorable and fuzzy.

Social Studies:  Ancient Rome Daily Life Simulation
We learned many things from the simulation. We went from
each station an learned about the everyday lives of the
rich and poor Romans. We learned about their food, clothing, living areas, and more.
Carol learned that rich Romans wore dirty togas (Roman robes) so criminals would think they were poor and they would not be robbed.
Veronica learned that the rich and poor were treated unequally.  Matt learned that poor Roman teenagers dumped their garbage out their windows.

Here are Emma and Jackie discussing the food & drink question.  Emma thought the poor Roman's people's food (porridge & asparagus) sounded better than the rich people's (roasted mice & parrots)!

Here are Colin and Tyler working together on the recreation question.  They learned that the rich and the poor both went to events at the Colosseum.

Here are Nathan H, Ben, Henry, and Owen working together on education in ancient Rome.  Nathan H. learned that students stopped at food bars to get breakfast on the way to school.

Here are Ziran, Paul, Alex Y., Rocco, and Nathan W. working on the food & drink question. Ziran learned that the rich ate unusual foods such as stuffed jellyfish and roasted parrots and mice.

Here are Sean and Michael P working on a question about law and order.  They learned that the poor got more fines and were disciplined more than the rich.

Language Arts:  Complex Text Analysis of
The Mosquito Solution by Michael Specter
excerpted from The New Yorker

In class we read an article about mosquitoes.  This article was on dengue fever, a deadly disease that is killing many people in mainly Brazil and in some of America.  The ironic part was that the same mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) also caused yellow fever which we just read a whole book on.  In Brazil right now a company is genetically modifying mosquitoes to try to kill off the ones that cause dengue fever.  We debated whether we think it is safe to try a scientific experiment like this with no proof that it is safe.  It reminded some of us of the tracker jackers and jabberjays in The Hunger Games.  We don't want genetically modified bugs like the ones in The Hunger Games!

Emilia and Trey answering comprehension questions about the article.

       Kayce and Morgan working on the mosquito theory

Annie and Charlie in the hallway highlighting the text to show the different sources the author used:  reading and research, interviews, and personal experiences.

Annie and Charlie's packets showing the diagrams they drew of the process scientists used to modify the mosquitoes.

Kraft Thank You Notes in Advisory
In Advisory this week we wrote thank you notes to Elizabeth, Megan, and all of the Kraft engineers who worked with us on our projects and came to Thomas for our presentations.  We were thankful for their help!

Emma, Cassy, Emilia, and Rhea

Cecelia, Emilia, Cassy, and Michael P. choosing stickers to decorate their cards

∑igma Celebrations!
Good luck to Kayce who has a show on Friday! It's called "No Business Like Show Business," and the actors wrote it themselves.  It has songs from A Chorus Line, Footloose, Chicago, RENT, Smash, and much more! "Break a leg," Kayce!!! 

We are VERY proud of Emilia and the Wind Ensemble!!  They traveled to U of I for the Super State band competition last week.  One song they played was September Field.  Emilia plays the bass clarinet in the band.  They came in fifth and received this plaque!  

Awww...Michael B. with his adorable new puppy, Lola, a nine-week old Maltese.

Mr. Aho made this meme of Michael B. taking a test!

We were hoping that Sigma's favorite hockey team The Chicago Blackhawks would win for Chicago, and they did.  The Blackhawks are in the second round of the Stanley Cup finals.  Go Blackhawks!  Emma made a drawing of the Chicago Blackhawks' logo that is proudly hung on the wall of Mrs. Ziegenfuss's room to show our spirit. Hopefully the Sigma team spirit will cary all the way to the Hawks players.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Weekly Update 5/3/13: Kraft Packaging Redesign Project Presentations


The purpose of this project was to allow 6th grade students to cooperatively collaborate on a packaging redesign for an existing Kraft product.  Students researched the history of their product, studied primary and secondary packaging and integrated all of their academic subjects into their final product and commercials.  The project culminated in presentations on to Thomas Middle School staff, parents, and Kraft packaging engineers where students’ prototypes were also displayed.

Thanks to everyone who helped with this project, and congratulations to all of our creative students on a job well done!

Project Introduction/Jell-O Tubes

Cool Whip Squeezables

Jumbo Jell-O Pudding

Big Noodle Macaroni and Cheese

Stacker Marshmallows S'mores


Capri Sun Keg

String Cheese

Taco Bell Dinner

Kraft Singles Pop-Ups