Here is the February MS Newsletter

Middle School Physical Education

All MYP students recently finished their Volleyball Unit. They did a great job on working hard and improving their skills. They MYP 1 and 2 students' skills were assessed (Criterion C: Performance) during a modified volleyball game called 'Bounce Volleyball,' where the ball is allowed to bounce one time on the ground each time it goes over the net. The point of this is to allow students more time to move to the ball and make a good decision on hitting the ball. This extra time allows students to be more successful, which not only builds their confidence but helps to improve their skills. For the Criterion C summative assessment in MYP 3-5, students participated in a volleyball match against the teachers. In a thrilling 5-set match there was a lot of skill and teamwork shown by both teams. (Just for the record the teachers did win the match 3 games to 2!)

If you would like to see some videos from both the MYP 1-2 Bounce Volleyball matches and the MYP 3-5 Student-Teacher match, please go to the following PE links: MYP 1 and 2 and MYP 3-5.


The WIS Wolves middle school basketball wiki page has been launched !! If you would like to read about the teams trips, match results, see pictures and view some videos please go to WIS Wolves Middle School Basketball, on Mr. Cooper's PE wiki.



MYP 1 are finishing up their sculptures, continuing to focus on the principles and elements of design. We are studying value, texture and form in particular and will be using these sculptures to inspire our next work, which will focus on composition and value (still) and shape.

MYP 2 are finishing up their collaborative city block sculptures, thinking about ways that they would like to link them together for their show during Arts Week. They have come up with some really innovative city elements and ways to connect them!

MYP 3 and 4 have just started their new unit on symbolism in an artwork. They are looking at how it can be used to tell a complete story in only a single image. They have just started, so watch the ARTatWIS wiki for the most recent developments as they happen!

MYP 5 have just finished a great critique of their work on the idea of how to represent motion. They each had valuable insight to share when giving feedback about each other's works. Here are some of the pieces at the critique:

2_print_2.jpg 3_print_3.jpg 1_print_1.jpg

Language A

The MYP 1 students have completed their research into a god or goddess of their choice and they are now working on speech writing. Their challenge is to not only teach an audience about their god or goddess, but to also connect with the audience and really bring their character to life.
When the speeches are finished, we will work on presentation skills. The plan is for the students present their speeches at our Assembly on Wednesday April 4th at 11.25, which of course you are all invited to attend. I will confirm the date and time nearer the time.
This is a picture of last year’s Greek Statues!


We have almost finished our Science Fiction Unit. As well as reading the novel The Giver and discussing the nature of Science Fiction, the focus of this unit has been on writing skills – particularly on how to write an effective paragraph. The students worked on forming effective topic sentences, using detail and examples to support their opinions and writing concluding sentences. They are now in the process of writing an essay about their vision of the future which will combine their writing skills with the ideas they have discussed in this unit.

MYP 3 & 4
We have now finished our unit on Leadership. The skills that we focused on in this unit were oral communication and using textual evidence and experience to support our opinions. During the last couple of weeks, the students have been taking part in a hot-seating activity. They each had to play one character from the novel the Lord of the Flies and be interviewed about their thoughts, actions and motivations on the island. The final assessment of the unit was a student-led group discussion on the ideas and themes in the novel. Students needed to demonstrate their ability to make timely and appropriate comments, respond respectfully to other student’s remarks, request clarification, provoke comments from the group as well as justifying and supporting their opinions by making clear reference to the text, to historical or current events and to their own experiences.
Out next unit is going to be an integrated unit with World Studies. As the students study the period in history from the end of World War II to the Vietnam War in World Studies, we will be asking the questions:
In what ways do historical events lend themselves (or not) to dramatization?
How do writers and directors use history to create plays, novels and films that speak to audiences today?
What is the responsibility of the writer/director when creating work about historical events?
To help us answer this question, we will be watching a number movies based on the historical events of this time period as well as reading the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

The students in MYP 5 are coming to the end of their unit on dramatizing history. We have been working on justifying and supporting opinions both orally and in writing and making connections to other novels as well as to historical and current events. As a final assessment, the students took part in a group-led discussion on the ideas in The Crucible. The students also continued to practice essay writing skills, both using the writing process and in timed, test conditions.


MYP 1:
MYP 1 students are learning that algebra is: the language of mathematics that is used to describe rules and relationships, and it is useful for solving problems. They must recognize patterns in the world around us and try to describe it in words and write a formula – in other words they express a rule using algebraic symbols. Upon completion of our unit on Patterns and Algebra we will start our next unit about angles.

MYP 2:
MYP 2 students have been learning about volume. They answered questions on: ‘How many liters of water are there in a swimming pool?’, ‘How many milliliters are in a teaspoon, cup?’ etc. They also built cubic meter, decimeter and centimeter models. Before we finish this unit we must also learn about mass, time zones and timetables.

MYP 3/4:
MYP 3&4 students are working on different topics. Unna is finishing Pythagoras Theorem unit. Min Hae and Hae Chang just started Curve Sketching and Polynomials unit. They have been learning to identify the properties of graphs using translation, reflection and scale factors and determine the points of intersection of a straight line with various other shapes. Emmi, Ola and Rachel are finishing Measurement unit. Now they are working on the final assessment of this unit – they are designing a small park.

MYP 5:
MYP 5 students are continuing Trigonometry unit. After learning how to use the unit circle to find equivalent ratios for obtuse angles and discovering the sine and cosine rules they are applying this knowledge to solve real life problems.

MYP Science:

We have continued our unit on how organisms are classified and the characteristics of living things. The students presented their animal presentations from the movie "Finding Nemo." Now, the students are researching a plant of their choosing and identifying how plants are classified.

We are working on our electricity unit. Students are building parallel and series circuits using batteries, light bulbs, and wires. Students are studying the advantages and disadvantages of both and will complete a test next Friday on these differences.


We are in the middle of our physics unit. Students have researched a rollercoaster of their choosing and completed a physical analysis study showing how Newton’s Laws of Motion are followed in rollercoasters. Students are working in groups and creating a rollercoaster model.

We are studying organic chemistry with a focus on how organic compounds are named. Students have learned about the differences between alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. A small test over the naming system will take place on Friday. Students are also studying a specific organic reaction and explaining the importance and the mechanism of how it works.


World Studies


The Sixes have begun exploring the world's major religions. During this unit they will learn about the origins and belief systems of various faiths and gain a historical understanding of their development and divisions. We began last week by investigating the origins of Christianity and its split into Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism.



The Sevens have started their unit on the Renaissance. For their summative assignment the students will be expected to present research on a Renaissance idea. To prepare for this assignment the students will be practicing how to evaluate sources in the coming weeks. They began by discussing sources from their own lives, which they brought into class to help them understand the difference between a primary source and a secondary source.


The Renaissance is the rebirth of classical ideas, so we spent our first week reviewing some of the ideas and accomplishments of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. During one lesson the students experienced firsthand how the Romans built their famous arches by building their own out of waffles. (Oliver and Seung Woo‘s arch was strong enough to hold a bottle of water!)

MYP 3/4

Credit: Cold War Flags from

In October of 1962 the world's two superpowers came to the brink of war. How did these former wartime allies come so close to dragging the entire world into nuclear Armageddon? How did their opposing ideologies shape not only the geography and politics of postwar Europe, but the geography, politics and culture of the postwar world for the next 50 years? This week we began looking into the origins of this conflict which began in the closing months of World War II.

Throughout this unit, we will be working closely with Language Arts and Ms. Craig's exploration of how historical events can lend themselves to dramatization and the artistic choices such dramatization demands.


Credit: Shepard Fairey

The Tens just finished their unit on the geography of the Middle East. Their unit project is to write an essay about what the region would be like without oil and discuss the sort of cultural, economic and political changes such a scenario would entail.

Next week we'll move on to American politics and not only follow the 2012 election cycle as it unfolds but learn about how this system operates by examining the election of Barack Obama in 2008.