This is the Westwood French class. We always have a ton of fun finding ways to remember the new language. One thing that our class has done is take our recently learned food vocabulary and made our own miniature restaurant. We all enjoy this class very much and are also happy to take the fun and challenging high school class. Who wouldn't love all of the amazing French cuisine!
In S.T.E.M we have been building gears and gear assemblies to do specific rotations. We have been using coding on test beds to teach the class how to code. We plan to code robots to do specific things, we want the class to be ready. We built windmills to catch the wind and use 2 different types of gear assemblies.
After studying ancient China in Ms. Yanuszeski's class, students analyzed how inventions, trade, and the philosophies developed in the ancient dynasties have influenced life in modern day China. In January, all 6th grade students were fortunate to have special guests, Mr. and Mrs. Dotson, give a wonderful presentation on China. They shared beautiful stories and photographs from their travels and really brought the culture to life. Students in Ms. Yanuszeski's class were also able to try on traditional Chinese clothing and celebrate the Chinese New Year with Mrs. Dotson. Thank you (Xiexie) to Mr. and Mrs. Dotson and 6th graders for your enthusiasm and love of learning in social studies!
This quarter in Language arts extension, Mrs. Mortenson's class has been working with the idea of theme. The students read the book "I Am Malala" and developed posters to go along with the theme of the book. Each student picked their own idea of what the theme was and then attached five quotes or text evidence pieces that supported their idea of the over-arching theme. The students loved the book, and loved the idea of a project-based assessment. The posters turned out great!!!
Westwood National Junior Honor Society recently completed a very successful service project. We researched local organizations and decided to conduct a fund raiser for SpokAnimal. We planned and organized "Fresh Flower Friday". Over 400 flowers were ordered to send to friends! It was a lot of work, but it was with great pride we presented our donation check to SpokAnimal for $420.87. Dori Peck, SpokAnimal Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, told our group that they did over 3,000 adoptions last year. She also said that SpokAnimal receives no funding; they rely on grants and fundraisers like these. Westwood NJHS shows great pride in our community!
This winter, eight MESA science students from WMS worked diligently after school for 2 months designing and building robotic arms to compete in the Spokane MESA 8th grade Competition held on March 10th at Gonzaga University. Their dedication to working as a team and the skills they learned around robotics will be invaluable to them as they head into high school. Way to go Wolverines - we're proud you could represent us in this competition!
Academic vocabulary increases in importance in the state of Washington as Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) raise the bar for excellence. Because research estimates that 85% of achievement test scores are based on the vocabulary of the state standards, much time and effort are being spent on student acquisition of words that meet these specific standards. With the increased use in the class room of the CCSS and the demands of the SBAC, it is essential that students master the critical verbs identified by the standards and can recognize, define, and respond to them automatically. Teachers employ various methods of teaching these critical verbs, including emphasis on definitions and use of objects to assist in remembering these definitions, discussion of how these words are put to use, and illustrations of their use to assist in picturing their application. Research maintains that pictures add up to 37% better vocabulary retention, giving the opportunity to students to create a mental image to assist in their memorization of the academic vocabulary.
Students in PE are finishing up their Intro to Fitness unit. They have learned and practiced different fitness activities using a variety of games and workouts. Students are able to assess the intensity of their activity based on their heart rate. Most recently, they played exercise monopoly to raise their activity level.
The Westwood SeaPerch team competed at the Northwest SeaPerch Event on Saturday, February 27th. Westwood had four teams entered. All of the teams competed in each of the events which included a slalom course, ring pick up and drop in a bucket, and a "cap the well" event which had a camera mounted to their robot and trying to put a cap on an orange safety cone located underwater while only viewing from a TV monitor. In the poster competition, the team of Garner Prior, Carl Enburg and William Emert came in 1st place! In the maneuvering competition the team of Carter Lefler and Collin Novo came in 1st Place in the Middle School Division and earned the right to go on to the National Competition in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in late May. All of our competitors were amazing. We improved so much from last year in every event. Our proactive and hard work paid off. It was a fun day for all of us!