Update Week of November 3, 2014

Parents,

Below are the summaries of the topics covered in English, Math, Science, Social Science and Strategy Instruction.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

ENGLISH

Poetry is in the air!  Students have been writing poems and learning how to use different poetic devices.  This week students covered onomatopoeia and imagery.  

For homework students should have completed the following types of poems:  tankas, antonym, and diamante.

MATH

Mr. Cargile’s classes continued to practice fraction and decimal conversations and using the Order of Operations.  Students started the School Supplies Activity during session three.  This is due next week.  The unit assessment is also next week.

SCIENCE

Students in Ms. Cook’s science classes continued to explore innovation through the Four Features of Natural Selection.  Students should have completed Part 3 of the performance task, Model Assessment.  Next week students will start motion, forces and energy.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Students started exploring Innovation this week!  They worked with their table groups to complete the Marshmallow Challenge during the first class session.  Students then began to analyze Chinese Innovations,and their influences on the modern world.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

~Steve Fischer

Update Week of October 20, 2014

Parents,

Below are the summaries of the topics covered in English, Math, Science, Social Science and Strategy Instruction.

Please also consult the Assignment Calendar tab above for specific dues dates and upcoming Middle School events.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

ENGLISH

Students in Ms. Monroe’s classes continued to learn and apply the different poetic devices to their own poetry.  This week students covered symbol, metaphor, alliteration and personification.  Students were also required to write an acrostic poem and a haiku for homework.

MATH

Students in Mr. Cargile’s classes completed the reflection and the corrections for the Rational Numbers Quiz and continued to practice solving problems involving integers, decimals, fractions and order of operations.

SCIENCE

SOCIAL STUDIES

Students began the Innovation unit by exploring innovations that are used today (e.g. computer, mobile phone, airplane, cars &c.).  Students discussed whether or not the following inventions were very important, important, or least important: compass, porcelain, gun powder, paper money and small pox innoculation.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

~Steve Fischer

Update Week of September 15, 2014

Parents,

Just a reminder that all Learning Support students need to report to core class tutorials (English, Math, Social Studies, Science) every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:35 to 3:00.  If they don’t have anything to do in these classes, they must report to Strategic Instruction, room 3003, where they will work on organization and/or study skills.

Students have a “tutorial passport” which they must complete before leaving for tutorial. In the passport the student fills in which teacher he/she will be seeing and a goal for that session.  The core teacher will then sign the student’s passport and make any necessary remarks.  Then student then returns the passport to myself or one of the Education Assistants in room 3003.

This will help students establish and achieve goals for themselves in their core classes.

Another reminder all students in Ms. Monroe’s English class are required to read at least 20 minutes a night, seven days a week, at home and make a complete entry each time in their Reading Journals.

Below are the summaries of the topics we covered in English, Math, Science, Social Science and Strategy Instruction.

ENGLISH

Last week students in Ms. Monroe’s classes began the week by reviewing the four stages of the writing process (brainstorming using brain-frames, first draft, revision, editing and final draft). They were asked to describe their own writing process through writing, drawing or a mind map.  Student then began “The Pearl Writing Task.”  Students were given a few options for this assignment:  rewrite The Pearl in modern times, write an alternative ending, or write diary entry from one of the character’s perspectives.

This week students strengthened their writing drafts by adding supporting details and by examining how they organized their writing so it hooks the reader with an inviting lead, has a logical series of events, and concludes in a effective and thoughtful way.

MATH

Students in Mr. Cargile’s classes practiced multiply and dividing positive and negative integers.  During the second class session students played a game where they practiced using the factors of positive and negative integers.

SCIENCE

 

Students in Ms. Cook’s block C class participated in an activity called “Survival of the Beakest” to investigate how changes in the environment will induce changes in the living organisms the inhabit them.  Students examined how variations in beaks effects access to food sources and thereby survival of particular birds.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Students in Ms. Vogt’s and Mr. Wislang’s classes continued to explore this unit’s topic, Identity.  Students spent much of the week answering the question, “Where’s my home as a third culture kid?”  Students worked in groups and created their own Third Culture Kid video.  For homework, students need to interview their parents regarding traditions and practices in their culture(s).Please also consult the Assignment Calendar tab above for specific dues dates and upcoming Middle School events.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

 

Update Week of September 1

Mr. Fischer

Welcome to the start of your child’s grade 7 school year!

My name is Steve Fischer.  I am your child’s Learning Support Specialist.  This is my second year at International School Manila.  Previously I taught students with a wide-range of learning support needs for over ten years in Chicago Public Schools.

I am very excited to be starting a new year with the Middle School Team and the larger community here at ISM and working with your child.

Seventh grade is an important year.  Students develop independent as well as collaborative skills in all their classes.  They begin to set academic goals for themselves and create action plans to reach them.  They also learn essential organization and self-reflection skills; both are key to their short and long-term academic successes.

As the grade 7 Learning Support Specialist, I am here to help your child meet these challenges.

Feel free to contact me at any time should you have any questions or concerns.  I am available by email (Fischers@ismanila.org), or to meet in person.

Warmest regards,

Steve Fischer

Learning Support Specialist

Grade 7

International School Manila

 

Update Week of May 12, 2014

Parents,

Below are the summaries for the topics we covered in English, Math, Science and Social Studies.

Please also consult the Assignment Calendar tab above for specific dues dates and upcoming Middle School events.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

ENGLISH

Students began working on their final performance task in Ms. Hawkinson’s and Ms. Monroe’s classes, a persuasive essay.  Last week student chose to respond to one of two writing prompts:  “Is the character, Edward Bloom, in the film Big Fish telling the truth?” or “Choose a character from the movie Big Fish who you believe is a hero?  Why is he/she a hero?  What heroic traits does this character have?”

Students spent the first session analyzing a model of a persuasive essay.  They identified the different parts of the essay-the introduction with hook and thesis statement, the body paragraphs with each topic sentence and the conclusion.  Students then brainstormed and prepared their own persuasive essays.

Students spent the second and third sessions this week completing their essay outlines and they began to write their body paragraphs.

MATH

Students continued to practice Linear Relationships in preparation for the unit’s pre-assessment to be administered during the third session this week and the formal assessment to be administered week of May 19.

SCIENCE

Students in Mr. Patterson’s classes continued to investigate the topic of heat transfer.

Mr. Passamba and Ms. Cook’s classes continued to explore the “What is Truth” unit by verify facts using the Scientific Method in a mock crime scene.  Students have been using evidence analysis of hair, blood and finger prints to verify facts.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Students in Ms. Vogt’s and Mr. Wislang’s classes started the last performance task of the year by choosing a human rights issue (e.g. slavery, discrimination, education, poverty, democracy, healthcare) in Africa to explore and analyze.

That’s this week’s summaries.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

 

 

 

Update Week of April 21, 2014

Parents,

Below are the summaries of the topics we covered in English, Math, Science and Social Studies.

Please also consult the Assignment Calendar tab above for specific dues dates and upcoming Middle School events. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

ENGLISH

Students in Ms. Hawkinson’s and Ms. Monroe’s English classes began preparing for their next performance task, talking about their heroes in a Fishbowl Discussion.  Students must persuade their peers that their hero should be nominated for ISM hero of the year. Students spent the week brainstorming/mind-mapping, reviewing the Tools of Persuasion and preparing their opening statements.  Fishbowl discussions begin week of April 28.

MATH

Students in Mr. Cargile’s classes spent the first session of the week collecting data for the Jumping Jack Experiment.  During the second session students graphed and interpreted the data.

SCIENCE

Students in Mr. Patterson’s classes students shared what they did during break with a science topic/ connection and observation that connects with the science topic.  Students continued to work on and their Density Slope Investigation graphs and conclusions, which are due on Monday, April 28.

Students in Ms. Cook’s Science classes are continuing their Crime Scene Investigation.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Students in Ms. Vogt’s and Mr. Wislang’s classes continued investigating cause and effect by analyzing how the physical characteristics (e.g. natural resources, landscape, weather conditions &c.) of their region in Africa effects the human characteristics  (economics, culture, &c.) of the people living there.

That’s it for this week!

~Mr. Fischer

Update Week of March 17, 2014

Parents,

Below are the summaries of the topics we covered in English, Math, Science, Social Science and Strategy Instruction.

Please also consult the Assignment Calendar tab above for specific dues dates and upcoming Middle School events. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

ENGLISH

Students in Ms. Hawkinson’s and Ms. Monroe’s English classes brainstormed life events/milestones to create their own Life Maps in session one.  In session two students continued to work on their Life Maps.  They also reflected on their strengths and areas of growth in English class in preparation for Student Led Conferences.  In session three students prepped for SLCs by role playing.  Student’s “parents” asked them questions about progress, strengths and areas where they need to continue to develop.

Students in all English classes should be choosing a hero and start reading a book about that hero from the library at a challenging reading level.  Books can be found in the ISM library, the bookstore or online.

MATH

Students in Mr. Cargile’s Math classes took the pre assessment covering combining like terms, distribution and one and two step equations during the first session.  In the second session students reviewed and reflected on their pre assessments.  Mr. Cargile postponed the actual assessment till next week and spent the class third session reviewing the unit with students.

SCIENCE

Students took the performance task Rocket Mania assessment during the first session in Mr. Patterson’s classes. They prepared for Student Led Conferences during the second and third sessions.

Students in Ms. Cook’s classes worked on convection and completed their lava lamps.

Students in Mr. Pasamba’s classes need to read and study the recycling factory handout for the performance task on density.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Students in Ms. Vogt’s and Mr. Wislang’s classes spent the three sessions this week working on their World Trade performance tasks, “The Impact of World Trade,” or preparing for Student Led Conferences.

That’s it for the week!

~Mr. Fischer

 

Update Week of March 10, 2014

Parents,

Below are the summaries of the topics we covered in English, Math, Science, Social Science and Strategy Instruction.

Please also consult the Assignment Calendar tab above for specific dues dates and upcoming Middle School events.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

ENGLISH

Last week students worked with their groups to create a scene based on their Literature Circle selection.  This week they continued to prepare and rehearse their pieces for Literature Theater performance in front of the class.  Students performed their pieces during the second class session.  During the third class session, students took the Reading portion of the MAP.

MATH

Students have been focusing on practicing and mastering Combining Like Terms, Distribution and One-Step Equations.  Students spent the second session reflecting on their own progress over the school year in Math class to prepare for student led conferences on Thursday, March 20.  Students will be taking a pre-assessment and assessment on Combining Like Terms, Distribution and One-Step and Two-Step Equations beginning next week.

SCIENCE

Students in Mr. Patterson’s Science classes completed their investigations of Newton’s Third Law (“For every action, there’s an opposite reaction.”).  Students will complete an assessment in the first session next week covering Newton’s Three Laws.

Students in Ms. Cook’s Science classes continued to investigate density and worked on their Recycling Factory.  They were introduced to Convection, Conduction and Radiation in the last session.

Mr. Pasamba’s Science classes need to answer the sheet on achievement for the student led conferences on Thursday, March 20.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Last week, students participated in a mock stock market.  Students assumed the roles of countries selling hard commodities (e.g. oil, coal) or soft commodities (sugar, cocoa), banks or as the Account Exchange.  Students completed a third day of trading during the first class session.  During the second session students began to reflect on this simulation and how it connects to international relations and stability.  In the third sessions students began to reflect on their progress since the beginning of the school year in preparation for the student led conferences, Thursday, March 20.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

Have a great weekend!

~Steve Fischer

Update Week of January 20, 2014

Parents,

Below are the summaries of the topics we covered in English, Math, Science, Social Science and Strategy Instruction.

Please also consult the Assignment Calendar tab above for specific dues dates and upcoming Middle School events.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

ENGLISH

Students in Ms. Monroe’s and Ms. Hawkinson’s classes students continued to discuss their novels in their Literature Circles.  Ms. Hawkinson had students complete a reflection following the each Literature Circle meeting.  To prepare for Literature Circles, students need to write a summary of each passage, complete 10 sticky notes using the Reading Metacognitive Strategies and at least two open-ended (FAT) questions.

MATH

Mr. Cargile’s students continued to work with percents this week.  They spent the first class session of the week focusing on finding the percent of a number when given a whole. Students then found the percent increase or decrease in a number if it is made larger or smaller by practicing practical and real-world situation problems.

SCIENCE

Students in Mr. Patterson’s classes continued their investigations into forces by focusing on Newton’s Second Law, F = ma (acceleration).

SOCIAL STUDIES

Students in Ms. Vogt’s and Mr. Wisling’s classes continued working on their Silk Road performance tasks.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email, fischers@ismanila.org.

Have a great weekend!

~Steve Fischer