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Discovering Geometry through Islamic Patterns

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Two eighth grade geometry students spent two weeks studying the blending of math and art in Islamic patterns, which use properties of regular polygons, symmetry, and transformations to create beautiful patterns for contemplation and inner-peace. Specifically, they studied a famous pattern displaying six-, eight- and twelve-pointed stars, from the 14th-century C√≥rdoba Synagogue in Spain by re-creating it with a 21st century tool: the math app Geogebra. The design begins with the famous “flower of life” motif, a series of overlapping circles whose arcs form a six-pointed petal design that creates a template of vertices for the underlying hexagonal grid. Once the hexagons begin to appear, then the stars start coming out by connecting the line segments created by the various points of intersection of the circles. Eventually, the Cordoba design begins to show forth.  E.K., after a lot of hard work on his computer, created this design: One student also created his design on his computer usin

Writing Is Art: The Creative Nonfiction Unit

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The middle school students are wrapping up an English Language Arts unit on creative nonfiction writing focused on food that paired with a science unit about sustainability. Their final assignment for this unit (informed by their work as young scientists) is to produce an essay that told the story of a meal they planned, cooked, and served. The journey to creating this final essay and the wide array of results speak to how writing at Seabury Middle School is all about developing as a thinker and an artist. Before We Could Write: The unit began with Ratatouille , the movie, not the dish. We talked about the idea of being a food critic and did a close reading of Anton Ego's speech : In many ways, the work of a critic is easy . We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things,

Open-ended - an opportunity to jump in at your level

 On Dot Day we traditionally celebrate student creativity, so this activity is a good example of how an assignment can allow students to jump in at their level. The students were given some parameters and assisted with some tech tips on how they could make their assignments more interactive. Many students are very capable in creating slides and presentations and using various web apps, while for others this may have been their first project on a laptop. Setting up challenges and choices gives them the opportunity to focus on strengths. Each project is unique and imperfect, but shows the students' abilities with technologies. It also gets them thinking about the world outside their homes and neighborhoods. Make sure you click on some of the images in the slides to see where they take you.

Seabury Middle School Student Mission Statement 2020-2021

 This is the mission statement that our amazing middle schoolers wrote for this school year: During the 2020-2021 school year, Seabury Middle School students will develop, recognize, and pursue our goals. We will ask thoughtful questions, indulge in our passions, use our strengths, develop our talents, work toward having grit to overcome difficulties, and explore our own identities. As students, we will try to think creatively and attempt to be open-minded and flexible. We will love learning and share that love while also seeking joy even when studying subjects or topics that aren’t our favorites. We will strive to be members of a kind, helpful, and supportive community. We will do all of this in order to take pride in ourselves, expand our intelligence, be better equipped to face obstacles or difficulties, improve as people, work toward being our best selves, and make progress toward being outstanding members of a global community. During these unprecedented times, our goal is to lear

Community is a Feeling

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During middle school (in any year) creating a community of learners is one of our top priorities, and we spend the first weeks teaching students the tools they need to do school and building that community. During distance learning, that has taken new forms. This post shares some of our activities and some of our process as we come together to learn and grow and challenge one another. Seabury Middle School Student 2020-2021 Mission Statement We worked in groups to draft Seabury Middle School Student Mission Statements for this school year. They will finalize their mission statement next week, and we will share the results with you. This deliberate and careful task asked the student to collaborate, identify their collective aims, and determine which words best depicted their values and goals for the year. Mrs. Wollum, head of school, helped students see the import of careful language selection, serving as an expert for this assignment. __________________________ Virtual class photo (to

Welcome Seabury Middle School Families!

2020-2021 - Overarching Theme: The Future We Want   The first two weeks of school, we bond, we set goals, we solve problems, and then we ease into an academic schedule. Here is the working schedule (subject to change as needed for the students and the curriculum--we will notify you of any changes in the Friday email.):

Book Recommendations for Summer Reading: Finding 'Good Fit' Books for Gifted Teens

Each reader is different, and not every reader is ready for the content they are able to read. That is the challenge of finding "good fit" books for advanced readers. These lists are just here to help you (and them) find some new books to read. At each level, these are not all designed to be “challenge” books. Some are just strong middle-grade/YA fiction that students might enjoy reading or that a particular student may not have read yet. Students are—of course--welcome to seek a challenge on one of the older lists as well or to read a great book they’ve missed from an earlier recommended grade. Parents should advise re: content. Also, the CCBC, an amazing children’s library resource out of the University of Wisconsin, has a Web site full of lists. You can access their many recommendations here: https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/detailLists.asp?idBookListCat=4 I have made three lists: Books for rising 6th and 7th graders, Books for rising 7th and 8th graders Boo