Announcements

May 25th - May 29th: I hope that you all had a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!  The optional, ungraded activity for this week focuses on Redesigning and Testing our structures.  The students will have an opportunity to use new materials to design a new structure to test.  The instructions for this activity can be found by accessing the Knowing Math May 25th - 29th folder in the files and documents.

May 18th - 22nd: The optional, ungraded activity for this week focuses on Building and Testing a Prototype.  The students will have an opportunity to use paper to build a structure based on certain parameters. Once built, they will simulate an earthquake for 20 seconds to see if their structures will fall.  The instructions for this activity can be found by accessing the Knowing Math May 18th - 22nd folder in the files and documents.

May 11th - 15th: The optional, ungraded activity for this week continues to focus on background research and provides students with an opportunity to develop a possible solution.  After gaining a little more information on how structures are built, the students will have an opportunity to sketch a picture of the structure they believe would survive an earthquake.  The instructions for the activity can be found by accessing the Knowing Math May 11th-15th folder in the files and documents.

May 4th - 8th: The optional, ungraded activity for this week focuses on the second step in the Engineering Design Process - Background Research. The students will have an opportunity to access a number of videos and simulations to gain an understanding of how earthquakes work and how engineers build structures that are able to survive an earthquake. The instructions for the activity can be found by accessing the Knowing Math May 4th - 8th folder in the files and documents.

April 27th - May 1st: The optional, ungraded activity for this week focuses on the Engineering Design Process.  The students began the semester exploring this process, and we will use the idea of how to build structures to survive earthquakes to review the steps.  The instructions for the activity can be found by accessing the Knowing Math April 27th - May 1st folder in the files and documents.

April 20th - 24th: The optional, ungraded activity for this week focuses on arcade games.  The students spent time in class coding an arcade game, and they will have an opportunity to create a new game using Microsoft MakeCode.  The instructions for the activity can be found in the Knowing Math April 20th - 24th folder.  

Knowing Math Virtual Instruction Hours: Mondays 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Knowing Math Virtual Office Hours: Fridays 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


April 13th – 17th:
I hope that you all had a safe and relaxing spring break.  Your health and safety are top priorities, so please make choices that are best for you and your family.  We are now entering phase 4 (April 14th – 24th) of continuity of learning.  During this phase the following will occur:

  • Students may improve their 3rd quarter grades by turning in any missing assignments.
  • Report cards will be mailed on May 4th
  • No new content will be taught. All instruction will be review of previously taught material and all assignments are optional.

Instructional time:

Mondays from 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm is the designated block of time for Knowing Math – STEM Enrichment for the remainder of the year.  Every Monday morning you will be able to find the assignments posted in Teams and in the files and documents tab on the class page.  An announcement will also be posted on the class page.  The assignments can be completed anytime throughout the week if you are not available during the 90-minute block. I will be available during this time to answer any questions that you may have.

Offices hours are on Fridays from 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at any time. 

This week’s assignment is focused on Artificial Intelligence and Robots.  There is a folder under files and documents titled Knowing Math April 13th-17th. In this folder are the instructions, articles, and questions needed for this week.  This information is also posted under assignments in Microsoft Teams.


April 1, 2020:
Although PWCS is unable to provide instruction or class assignments to students while schools remain closed, our School Division hopes that the suggestions for optional learning activities posted here will help parents support student learning until schools re-open. Please remember that use of these materials and participation in these activities are optional and neither grades nor course credit will be awarded.

March 30th - April 3rd: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students would be completing the coding project, so here is a modified version of it.  This is an optional activity to help you practice coding.  Although you do not have a Cue robot at home, you can still write the code for it to dance to a song of your choice.  In the files and documents tab, you will find a document that says "Modified Cue Robot Project."  These are the instructions on how you can complete the project from home. I have also placed an example in there so you understand exactly what to do. It is your choice whether or not you download the cue app because the project can be completed without it.  Please make sure to e-mail me if you have any questions.  I look forward to seeing your performances.  

What's Next?: Although I am sad to hear that the school will remain closed for the rest of the school year, I am glad that we are taking the necessary precautions to make sure that you and your family will remain safe and healthy.  There were a lot of activities that we were going to do, and I will try to provide you with some type of modification that you will be able to do at home.  Please check out the useful links section.  There are links to MakeCode as well as BreakoutEDU.  They both provide activities for you to do that will challenge you.  Since you all have had some practice with coding, you should be able to create your own game on the MakeCode website.  Microsoft is also providing daily tutorials on all their platforms including Minecraft.  If you choose to complete an activity on BreakoutEDU, I challenge you to complete "Show Me the Code".  It is focused around coding, and you have 45 minutes to unlock the 4 locks.  Once you have done this, send me an e-mail letting me know how long it took for you to break out!  Stay safe and have fun!

Coding Practice: I hope that you all are enjoying your time off.  Although you do not have an opportunity to continue to code the Cue robots while at home, you can practice coding if you want to.  Microsoft's MakeCode website offers many opportunities to practice coding.  If you go to arcade.makecode.com, you will be able to code another video game of your choice or play some of the games that are already created.  Have fun!
  
March 9th - 13th: Welcome to week seven!  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be completing a series of coding challenges using the Cue robot.  The coding challenges will help the students become familiar with how the robot works.  It will also help prepare them for their coding project using the Cue robot.  

March 2nd - 6th:  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will continue to code their arcade games.  The students will also be introduced to the cue robot and begin coding the robot.  This practice with coding will help the students with the coding project that will be assigned next week.  Don't forget that school is closed on Tuesday March 3rd. 

February 24th - 28th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be finishing their work on the Engineering Design Process.  The 6th and 7th grade students will begin their coding unit this week by learning how to create arcade games.  The 8th grade students will be testing the bridges that they have created.  They will also review for their quiz over the Engineering Design Process and complete it at the end of the week.  Don't forget, school is closed on Tuesday March 3rd.

February 17th - 21st: Welcome to week Four!  I hope that you all enjoyed your Monday off.  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will finish up their STEM challenges and begin reviewing for their quiz over the Engineering Design Process.  The 6th and 7th grade students will complete their quizzes on Thursday andt Friday of this week.  The 8th grade students will be building and testing bridges as part of their STEM challenge.  If you have not done so, please complete and turn in your parent contact forms.  

February 10th - 14th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be working on their STEM challenges.  The 6th grade students will be building, testing, and redesigning balloon rockets to try to get them to go the maximum distance.  The 7th grade students will be building, testing, and redesigning boats in order to carry the maximum mass.  The 8th grade students will continue to explore how gears work in order to create a display that meet certain requirements.  Parent contact forms are due on Monday February 10th.

February 3rd - 7th: Welcome to Knowing Math STEM Enrichment and Second Semester.  I am excited for all of the new learning opportunities in the class.  This week we will begin learning about the Engineering Design Process and how it differs from the Scientific Method.  We will also begin to explore the different STEM challenges that each grade level will be participating in.  Parent contact forms have been distributed to students and they are due by February 10th.

January 20th - 24th:  I hope that you all had a relaxing day off.  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be presenting their robot performance.  This is the last week in the semester, so please make sure all of your missing work is turned in by Wednesday January 22nd.  Don't forget that Incentive Day is on Friday January 24th!
 
Science Fair Judges are Needed:
"Local parents and other professionals in STEM-related careers are invited to serve as judges at the annual Rippon Middle School Science Fair. The event will take place at Rippon Middle School on Friday, January 31, 2020, beginning at 3pm.  To participate, contact your student's science teacher, or Heidi Ball at ballh@pwcs.edu.  Help us to encourage this generation's future scientists and engineers, and see what's happening at Rippon!"

January 13th - 17th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will finish and begin presenting their robot performance.  The students will show the class the dance they have coded their robot to perform to a song of their choice.  The students will have a quiz at the end of the week over the specific coding challenges that they have completed.  The end of the quarter and semester is Friday January 24th.  Please make sure that all work is turned in before this date.

January 6th - 10th: Welcome back!  I hope that you all had a wonderful winter break.  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will continue to code the robots to dance to a song of their choice.  The students will also continue to work through various coding challenges.  The end of the quarter and semester is Friday January 24th.  Please make sure that all work is turned in before this date.  

December 23rd - January 3rd: Winter Break.  I hope that you all have a safe and relaxing winter break!

December 16th - 20th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be coding the robots to dance to a song of their choice.  The performance needs to be 3-5 minutes long.  The students will continue with this project after winter break.  Have a wonderful break!  

December 9th - 13th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment we will continue to work through the coding challenges as we become more familiar with the cue robot.  The students will be assigned their project this week and will have time in class to begin working on it.  Please make sure that you turn in any missing work that you may have.  We only have 2 weeks of class before winter break.

December 2nd - 6th: Welcome back!  I hope that you had a fantastic Thanksgiving break!  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment we will explore coding in more detail by coding the cue robots.  The students will work in small groups to complete a number of tasks using the robot.  This will prepare the students for the project that will be assigned next week.  There are a number of 7th and 8th grade students who have not turned in their equations (7th grade) and water (8th grade) projects.  Please make sure that you turn them in as soon as possible so your grade can be updated.  

November 25th and 26th:  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will either be coding or investigating robots.  The 6th grade students will have an opportunity to code using Microsoft Makecode.  The 7th grade students will be coding and using Cubelet robots.  The 8th grade students will be finishing their lab and using Cubelet robots.  I hope that you all have a safe, relaxing, and fun Thanksgiving break!

November 18th - 22nd: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will complete a variety of activities.  The 6th grade students will be graphing the results of their investigation of insulators and discussing which insulator would work best in space.  The 7th grade students will be creating a video game that they will take turns playing in order to get the best time.  The 8th grade students will finish their presentations and investigate the density of various objects as they wrap up their unit.  The 6th grade students won the school spirit contest, so this Friday (11/22) the 6th graders will have a pep rally during their encore class time!
 
November 11th - 15th:  I hope you all enjoyed your Monday off!  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be transitioning to new activities.  The 6th grade students will be investigating space blankets as we wrap up the unit.  The 7th grade students will be finishing their equations calendars and begin exploring robots.  The 8th grade students will be presenting their research projects.  

November 6th - 8th: Welcome to Second Quarter! I hope that you all enjoyed your two days off.  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment, the students will be completing a variety of activities.  The 6th grade students will be investigating what materials are best to use when creating blankets in space.  The 7th grade students will be creating a calendar using different equations.  The 8th grade students will be finalizing and presenting their research projects on water filtration.  

October 28th - November 1st: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be finishing their activities for this quarter.  The 6th grade students will be testing their vehicles to see if they can withstand the terrain on various planets.  The 7th grade students will be building a raft and writing a report on their trip through the Amazon Rainforest.  The 8th grade students will continue with their research of water filtration in select third world countries.  This is the last week in the quarter.  Please make sure all missing work is turned in by Thursday October 31st.

October 21st - 25th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be completing some of the final projects for their units.  The 6th grade students will finish constructing their vehicles and begin testing them to see if they can withstand the terrain on various planets.  The 7th grade students will be testing the water and building a raft in order to get to their destination in the Amazon rain forest.  The 8th grade students will be researching water filtration in select third world countries to see how clean water has positively impacted the country.  There are only 2 weeks left in the quarter.  Please make sure that you turn in any missing work.  Don't forget that incentive day is this Friday, October 25th!

October 15th - 18th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be taking a quiz (October 16th for A-day and October 17th for B-day) and working on their prototypes.  The 6th grade students will be constructing a vehicle that can survive in space.  The 7th grade students will complete and present their posters on food in the Amazon.  The 8th grade students will be building and testing a new water filter.  Please make sure that you turn in any missing work.  There are only 3 weeks left in the quarter.

October 7th - 11th:  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will conduct research and begin constructing their prototypes.  There will be a warm-up check for every class on Wednesday October 9th (A-day) and Thursday October 10th (B-day).

The 6th grade students will complete their research on the planets and moons, and begin constructing a vehicle that can survive in space.  The students will be completing an open note quiz on October 16th (A-day) and October 17th (B-day).  The quiz will cover the vocabulary and facts we have learned throughout this unit.

The 7th grade students are testing their shelters this week, and will begin researching the different kinds of food that are available in the Amazon rain forest.  The students will be completing a quiz over the Amazon on October 16th (A-day) and October 17th (B-day).

The 8th grade students are constructing and testing water filters. They will begin constructing a water treatment system later this week.  The students will be completing an open note quiz on October 16th (A-day) and October 17th (B-day).  The quiz will cover the vocabulary and facts we have learned throughout the unit.

September 30th - October 4th:  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be working through their new units.  The 6th grade students will continue designing their rovers and begin investigating the unique features of each of the planets.  The 7th grade students are officially lost in the Amazon rain forest, and will be working together to build a shelter to protect them from the rain.  The 8th grade students are exploring water usage and gaining information to create a water treatment system that can be used to purify water.

September 23rd - 27th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will begin a new unit.  The 6th grade students will be exploring space and the vehicles needed in space.  The 7th grade students will be exploring the Amazon rain forest and the tools needed to survive.  The 8th grade students will be exploring the need for purified water and the systems needed to purify water.  

September 16th - 20th: This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will finish building and testing their rockets, boats, and bridges.  The students will be taking a quiz over the engineering design process.  Later in the week, we will be starting a new unit.  The 6th grade students will begin exploring space.  The 7th grade students will be discussing the amazon.  The 8th grade students will have an opportunity to look at how structures are built and compare this to the bridges that they have created.  Please make sure that you review your notes to ensure you do your very best on your quiz.

September 9th - 13th:  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will continue to use the engineering design process to complete a task.  The 6th grade students are working on balloon rockets.  The 7th grade students are building boats, and the 8th grade students are building bridges.  This week each class will participate in a competition to see which group has the best results.  If you have not done so, please turn in the parent contact form.  It is due September 9th. 
 
September 3rd - 6th:  I hope that you all enjoyed your four day weekend!  This week in Knowing Math STEM Enrichment the students will be learning and using the engineering design process.  We will begin by discussing the difference between the scientific method and the engineering design process.  The students will then take what they have learned to solve a STEM design challenge.  Each group will be tasked with making a prototype, testing their object, and redesigning as needed as they prepare for the class competition.  If you have not done so, please return the parent contact form.

Welcome to Knowing Math STEM Enrichment (Grades 6-8)

Greetings!  I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the beginning of a great year at Rippon Middle School.  I am anticipating an exciting time with unique learning opportunities.  Students will be introduced to various areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with an emphasis on problem-based learning.  Students will have an opportunity to use the engineering design process as well as critical thinking skills while solving problems and participating in STEM challenges.  A lot of learning will occur during the next five months!  

It is my hope that your child develops their critical thinking and problem-solving skills while solving real-world problems.  I appreciate the opportunity to work with your child and look forward to meeting each of you during the school year.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.  I can be reached by e-mail at biceysd@pwcs.edu.  This is going to be a great school year!