The nitty gritty: Our snowshoeing trip has been rescheduled for this coming Tuesday, February 2nd! We’ll be heading up no matter the weather this time. We’ll be watching the avalanche news closely to see whether we’ll be able to make it up to the exact spot on the Nisqually River we saw in September. If that’s not safe, we’ll do some snowshoeing around Longmire.

First Semester Report Cards will be coming out this Tuesday, Feb 2nd. This year, report cards will be sent to you electronically as a pdf file. If you’d prefer to receive a paper copy, please let us know and we’ll be happy to get you one.

English: We have started a literature study of the book “Dragonwings,” by Lawrence Yep. This book chronicles a young boy’s move from China to San Francisco at the turn of the century to live with his father. The book is a Newbery Honor Book, written in 1975.

For our next Independent Reading Book (IRB), students are selecting a biography to read. At the Tacoma Library yesterday, students began their search for a biography. Selections need to be made by Tuesday, February 2nd.

Social Studies: On Monday, we will be going up to the Tacoma Public Library to meet with two librarians from the Northwest Room to gain access to resources on the topics they have chosen to research. This will be first of many visits and the students will need to have their library cards with them every day, starting Monday.

Service Learning: Last Tuesday, we made the first of many visits to the Franke Tobey Jones Retirement Community. Twenty residents gathered with our students in the Lilly Pratt Room. Lee Fischer introduced the Seabury Middle School students to the assembled group and then the students read their This I Believe In essays.

Afterwards, students sat with one or two residents and initiated a conversation / interview. What a great job the students did! At the end of our time, I spoke with numerous residents who were very complimentary of their time with the students and were eager to meet with us again! As we boarded the bus back to school, the conversation was all about the conversations they had had with residents.

Earlier, we spent considerable time working with the students to prepare them for this experience – developing interview questions, conducting mock interviews, discussing how to interact with an elderly population, the importance of speaking loudly and being patient, and how to handle difficult / unexpected situations.

The students did a fantastic job of interacting with the residents we were quite proud of the integrity with which they approached this activity. We will make our second visit on Friday, February 5th.

Check your e-mail early next week for pictures from this visit.

Math: Math instruction this week has been moving along rapidly, and all of our math groups are on track to finish their books by the end of the year. Some topics studied by various math groups this week have included dividing by decimals, the Pythagorean Theorem and distance on the coordinate plane, proportional and nonproportional relationships.

Science: There have been three projects going on in Science this week. First, students having been refining their Micro-g experiments to make sure that they are creative and yet still conform to the rules of the project. Those will get sent in to NASA by Feb 19th.

It’s Science Fair time! This year, we worked together with the students to identify the various steps of the project and then set reasonable due dates along the way. Being able to take a large task and break it up into smaller tasks is an important study skill that will serve these guys well in the future!

The date for the Science Fair this year is March 4th, and it will be held at the lower school campus. The South Sound Regional Science Fair is Saturday, March 27th at Pacific Lutheran University, and we’re going to be encouraging as many students as we can to attend this year. Like last year, each Science class will also be conducting an experiment as a group to present at the Science Fair. More details to come…

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