Welcome to Ms. T's classroom at Salmon Creek School!
Salmon Creek Middle School Humanities Remote Classroom
In this unprecedented time, Harmony teachers and staff are working hard to help keep you engaged and up-to-date in your learning via online activities. Below is a description of what you can expect via Remote Classroom.
History History will be taught through the online History Alive curriculum. Students have full access to the online textbook, and they can do activities and answer questions in an online “notebook.” Additionally, I’ll be posting “lectures” on Youtube to summarize, review, or highlight material. I’ll also ask students to view video clips that support the content.
Reading Students will be expected to read at least 30 minutes per school day in a book of their choice and respond to their reading on our class Kidblog site once per week. They will also be doing “book talks” over Zoom meetings.
Writing The 8th grade will continue work on the I-Search, and the 7th grade will have smaller writing projects. Writing activities will be completed on Google Classroom.
Language Skills Students will log onto their Acellus accounts and work through the English/language arts curriculum at their level for their grade. They can also continue to share Wordly Wise words during our class Zoom meetings for extra credit.
Support and Connection Our Zoom meetings will have some academic focus, but will largely serve for us to come together as a class and stay connected. We’ll also communicate through our Kidblog posts and through comments on Google Classroom assignments. Parents and students can email me any time, and I’ll have designated “office hours” to answer emailed questions or conduct Zoom conferences. Weekly assignments will be sent out by 8:30 a.m. on Monday mornings via email to parents and students, and they will also be posted on the class website.
Grades Schoolwork for each week will be assessed by Friday afternoon, and grades will be updated on Schoolwise at that time.
13 March 2020 Dear Middle School Families,
It’s been an unsettling week for all of us, here in Sonoma County and throughout the entire world, but we’ve maintained a sense of normalcy at school, continuing with curriculum and taking walks in the forest. Yesterday and today, the students and I discussed the reason for possible school closures (slowing the spread of disease so that health facilities don’t become overloaded), and I hope that I’ve assured them that even if the shutdowns seem extreme, the students themselves aren’t in danger. We have not gotten official word yet, but we’re going into Spring Break anticipating that school will likely be closed for a few weeks beyond the vacation. In the event of closures, you and your child can expect an email from me at the end of the break outlining a schedule of learning activities, plus online links to access them. Students who don’t currently have independent reading books at home had an opportunity to visit the library today to choose a book to bring home. Those students with no devices had Chromebooks checked out to them, and those students with no wifi got hard copy packets of work.
On a lighter note, we’ve had a few amazing events at school recently. First off, congratulations to the actors and stage helpers. It was a great performance of Shrek! The students also had a great time at the Color Run a few weeks back, and the 8th graders did a wonderful job helping out with facepainting, the water station, throwing color, etc. We also recently held our middle school spelling bee. Ben and Hope tied for top place, and Ben will represent our school at the county competition in April! Runners up include: Sabine, Jasper, Oliver, and Vida.
And last, but not least, here’s what we’ve been doing in class:
Seventh graders wrapped up their study of Central and South America by studying Frida Kahlo and making still life pastel drawings inspired by her work. This week we started learning about West African kingdoms. We will learn how they grew, became part of major trade routes in the Middle Ages, and how they changed once they were influenced by Islamic traders. We recently wrote a second explanatory essay, and we continue to learn new words from our Wordly Wise workbooks. The 7th graders have been diligent about finding their new words out in the world and sharing them with the class! We also had our first literature discussion circle on an African folktale called “Chura and Marwe,” and the students had a lively conversation and made many insightful observations.
The eighth graders also just started a simulation on women’s suffrage and the abolitionists, in which each student takes on the persona of a famous abolitionist and they discuss various tactics by which to better 19th century society at a “town hall meeting.” Eighth graders have also begun their I-search, a trimester-long research project on a topic of their choosing. While the prospect of doing a major research project feels overwhelming at first, the students will undoubtedly be inspired by the topics they choose and be empowered by all that they learn about research and writing. Due dates for various I-Search components are listed in the packet that went out.
8th grade chaperones: Thank you so much for offering to drive. I got notice from the LBC that the show has been cancelled.
I hope that all of you are able to spend some cozy time with your families this week.
Best Wishes, Tanya
20 February 2020
As we approach the end of the second trimester, I am reflecting on how far your children have come since the beginning of seventh grade. I continue to enjoy watching them grow into more capable students and young adults. Here are a few highlights from class:
The seventh graders are in the last week of studying Aztec, Inca, and Maya cultures. Their slideshow presentations are due on Friday, and they’ll be presenting some time over the next week. Please ask your child to practice for you at home! We’ve started learning about what happened when Hernan Cortes marched to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, and we’ll be looking at primary and secondary sources to determine perspectives and biases of various persons. These will include Aztec poetry, Cortes’s letters, and paintings by Diego Rivera. The students’ explanatory essays on Aztec, Inca, and Maya cultures turned out beautifully. Next, they’ll write another explanatory essay on Cortes as well as an essay arguing their own perspective on Mexican history. We continue to do Wordly Wise vocabulary study most weeks. And thank you to Golden Dragon Acrobats field trip drivers for your time and help: Elizabeth, Leon, Mariah, Kristina, Gay Lynn, Annalyce, and Melissa.
The eighth graders just started a unit on the heavy and critically important topic of slavery in the United States. They just created illustrated timelines of the history of slavery in the U.S., and next week our literature discussion is on an excerpt from Frederick Douglass’s autobiography. On Friday, the students will tackle a different topic and write in-class essays arguing about whether or not we should lower the voting age to 16. Ask them to see their sources, notes, and outlines at home tonight--it always helps to talk through an argument before one writes. The 8th graders were awesome runners and helpers for last week’s color run, and the third grade teacher, Ms. Monroe, has been giving me glowing reports on how well the 8th grade big buddies have been interacting with their little buddies!
Lastly, a big appreciation to the student artists who’ve designed and painted the sets for Shrek and who will begin working on play programs next week: Chloe, Graham, Gray, and Lumi!
Upcoming Dates: 24-28 FebruaryDrama blackout week 26 February8th Grade Trip parent meeting 6:30-7:30 28 FebruaryLATE WORK CUT-OFF 2-6 MarchReading Week 6 Marchend second trimester 6, 7, 8 MarchShrek play production 16-20 MarchSpring Break 24 March8th grade field trip to LBC
All the best,
22 January 2020 Dear Families,
The seventh graders have started a history unit on Central and South America, beginning with the geography of contemporary Latin American countries and an introduction to the Aztecs, Inca, and Maya. Students will focus on one aspect of one of the cultures for a research project. In the process of researching and writing an informational essay, they will determine the credibility of websites, narrow or expand their topics, take notes, organize information, use in-line citations, and create a Works Cited page--all important skills for high school. After writing essays, students will create slideshows highlighting some of the things they’ve learned and want to share with the class. We’ll have a sneak peak at our China unit when we go see the Golden Dragon Acrobats in February; thanks to our many chaperones for driving! We continue working on Wordly Wise vocabulary--I encourage students to find the vocabulary words out in the world to bring in and share for extra credit. Congratulations to Eva and Pia who have each found over 50 words!
Eighth graders studied the Bill of Rights for the first two weeks of January. Not only did they learn about the amendments, but they also analyzed Supreme Court cases involving teens and the Bill of Rights, and they made comic strips imagining what life might be like without its protections! We are now studying the presidency of Andrew Jackson, using historical evidence to assess his legacy. Students will make a “Wanted” or “Hero” poster and then write an argument essay that supports their position. For Junior Great Books, we will read and discuss a story transcribed from Cherokee oral history about one family’s experience on the Trail of Tears. At the same time, we are in the middle of a poetry unit, and we’ll also discuss one of the poems in our Junior Great Books circles.
The students in set design class are creating beautiful backdrops for the play, and as we paint we get to hear the drama students practicing. It sounds like the play is coming together nicely!
Official mid-trimester progress reports were sent home with students. Please take a look at your child’s current grades, although the best way to keep on top of grades continues to be through the Schoolwise portal. We will also be holding parent conferences in mid February, by teacher or parent request. I will be reaching out to families that David and I would like to jointly conference with. If you would like a conference and don’t hear from me, please email me.
Upcoming Dates February 68th Grade Trip parent meeting 6:30-7:30 February 10-13parent-teacher conference week (by request) February 117th grade field trip to LBC (Golden Dragon Acrobats) February 13Color Run (fundraiser for the 8th grade trip) February 14-17President’s Day long weekend February 28Humanities late work cut-off March 6end trimester 2 STAY TUNED FOR PLAY PERFORMANCE AND BLACKOUT WEEK DATES! March 16-20Spring Break
Thanks much! Tanya
7 December 2019
The seventh grade is studying medieval Islam. We’ve learned about the life of Muhammad, and the students created beautiful Islamic “tiles” this past week. We also met a guest speaker froming.org over a Zoom meeting who gave a presentation that's aligned with the 7th grade history standards; he was able to answer the students’ many questions. Next, we’ll be learning about principles and practices of Islam and doing choice projects about advancements in literature, arts, and sciences during Islam’s Golden Age. Simultaneously, we’ll do poster projects that showcase our interpretations of Spanish-Islamic nature imagery poems. Our current seventh grade literature book is Seven Daughters and Seven Sons, an adventure-romance novel set in the twelfth century and based on an Iraqi folk tale. Not only are we learning about history from the novel, but we will also focus on point of view, analyzing how the story benefits from employing multiple perspectives. Finally, we’re planning a Middle Eastern feast for December 19. We’ll play chess and backgammon, listen to Middle Eastern music, and try various dishes. Students will be researching ingredients and recipes, and they are encouraged (but not required) to bring in a dish to share. They are also learning the modern countries of the Middle East (using map games posted on Google Classroom) and have two opportunities to pass a test on the countries on Dec. 10 and 17.
Eighth graders are studying the structure, purpose, and content of the United States constitution. In the first half of the unit, the students divide into “Expert Groups” to investigate the three branches of government and then report back to their “Teams.” In the second half of the unit, they will join “House Committees on Pizza” to amend and then try to pass a pizza bill. At the same time, students will be writing grant letters Ark to ask for funding for their bill, as well as letters to actual members of Congress on issues that they care about. We will have our year’s first literature discussion on The Preamble to the Constitution next week, exploring to what extent students believe our nation lives up to its ideals. The students have also been memorizing The Preamble, with two more opportunities to recite it to an adult on Dec. 12 or 19!
Here are a few other MANY things that are going on:
The middle school enrichment classes are supporting the drama production by creating the sets for Shrek. Some students are helping Mr. DeMarche with building, while others are helping me with design and painting.
We are currently planning a fantastic 8th grade trip to San Francisco for May 18-20. Please make sure that your child is asking for Jog-a-Thon sponsorships from family, friends, and neighbors so that we can cover the costs for this trip. I’ll send more information in the new year.
The 8th graders pulled names for a Secret Santa exchange for Friday 12/20. They should bring in a wrapped gift for their Secret Santa buddy on or before the 20th (homemade, regifted, or under $10).
We could still use a few raffle items for our Ark Fundraiser! Thanks to families who have donated--a parent shared a tip that holiday treats are 40% off at World Market right now. You can also send in canned food to school for our canned food drive over the two weeks before break.
Do you like to teach art? Or do you have an idea for our class project for the Ark Auction? I need some help with organizing a project for the 8th grade class. Contact me if you are interested!
Lastly, We need some drivers/chaperones for upcoming field trips. If we can get enough drivers, we don’t need to spend money on a bus. Please email me if you can volunteer!
Feb. 11: 7th grade to Luther Burbank Center (drivers and/or chaperones)
March 24: 8th grade to Luther Burbank Center (drivers and/or chaperones)
Date TBD: 8th grade to Sonoma State University (drivers and/or chaperones)
April 28: 7th grade to Japanese Tea Garden/Asian Art Museum (we need at least 5 parent chaperones: we have ordered a bus, so no drivers needed)
In spite of the busy school schedule, winter break is just around the corner. I hope the kids get a well deserved rest from school work, and I certainly encourage them to spend some time reading good books over break. Winter break is also a good time to clean out binders and stock up on pencils and binder paper. Thanks to students and families for a wonderful fall, and I wish you a safe and fun-filled holiday. Warmly, Tanya
Upcoming Dates Dec. 9-20Canned Food Drive Dec. 11-13Copperfield’s Book Fair Dec. 12Winter Concert and Gathering Dec. 197th grade MIddle Eastern Feast Dec. 19Jog-a-thon POSTPONED Dec. 208th grade Secret Santa exchange Dec. 21 - Jan. 5winter break Jan. 6school resumes Jan. 172nd trimester progress reports Jan. 20Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Feb. 117th grade field trip Luther Burbank Center
18 November 2019 Dear Families,
Here are a few important reminders and updates:
Raffle Basket fundraiser: The 8th grade theme is "Holidays Around the World." Please help by bringing in packaged food, recipes, children's books, CD's, toys, ornaments/decorations or other items that relate to various holiday traditions around the world.
Jog-a-Thon and 8th grade trip: Jog-a-thon information will be sent home on Friday 11/22. It will be important to get sponsorships from friends and family over the Thanksgiving break so that we can make it a great 8th grade trip, both for this year and next!
Evacuation surveys: Thanks to those of you who filled out the survey online. A yellow paper survey is being sent home for those of you who weren’t able to complete the online form--please complete and return it to the office.
Square 1 Art orders are dueonline. There is also a paper form on the catalogue, or you can call 888-332-3294 to order.
Binders: I always suggest that kids hold on to their graded work until after the report card comes out--this is a good skill to learn for high school and college. Meanwhile, the holiday is a good time to clean out binders and restock supplies for the second trimester.
Seventh graders are wrapping up their study of medieval Europe this week, with a history test on Thursday. On Friday, we’ll start a new history unit on the Middle East. We’ll begin by studying Middle Eastern geography before we go back into medieval times. We’ll concurrently be reading the novel Seven Daughters and Seven Sons, about an eleventh century Iraqi girl who dresses as a man in order to earn money for her family. Seventh graders also just finished up their first grammar unit with a quiz on sentence structure and compound sentences, and this week they started their Wordly Wise program. I encourage students to find Wordly Wise words out in the world and share them with the class for extra credit!
Eighth graders are currently studying the US Constitution. The students will be getting into “expert groups” on the three branches of government and will be teaching their “teams” what they learn. Finally, teams will form congressional committees and amend and pass bills for a class pizza party. At the same time, the kids will be discussing The Preamble in literature discussion groups, and they’ll be memorizing and reciting it aloud. They are also reading The Misfits, a novel about a group of middle school kids who form a new party for their school election. This novel is rich with themes of diversity, freedom of speech, political process, and anti-bullying. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to read aloud! The eighth graders are also continuing their study of Wordly Wise vocabulary.
Upcoming dates Nov. 22first trimester report cards mailed home Nov. 22Fun Friday Nov. 22Jog-a-Thon info and sponsor sheets sent home 11/25-11/29Thanksgiving break Dec. 9school-wide assembly Dec. 12winter performance Dec. 9-13Copperfield’s book fair Dec. 19Jog-a-Thon (raise money for the 8th grade trip!!!) 12/23-1/3winter break
Thanks for a great fall, and have a great break with your families.
21 October 2019
It was a pleasure to meet with many of you during conference week, and it’s hard to believe the trimester is already rushing to a close! The late work cut-off date isWednesday, October 30, and the trimester ends on November 8. Grades will be mailed out to families approximately two weeks after the trimester closes. Just a reminder that Humanities homework is posted on my school website at Hazelnut Humanities, and grades can be checked at Schoolwise. Students should check their grades online and make sure to turn in any missed work before the deadline!
Seventh graders have joined “feudal manors,” in which they play the part of lord, knight, peasant, or serf. As they learn about medieval European society, the manors will be competing against one another in academic “jousts.” Last week we finished our class novel, Crispin: The Cross of Lead, which is set in 14th century England. We have been studying vocabulary, plot, setting, character, and literary devices, as well as reviewing paragraph structure. Our last Crispin quiz is this Tuesday, October 22, and the next day we’ll be writing formal paragraphs about the story. We’ll also be writing in-class fictional narratives next week, and we’ve been reviewing and learning grammar this semester; we’ve graduated from “sentence basics” and will start learning how to craft and punctuate compound sentences later this week.
Eighth graders are currently learning about the Constitutional Convention. They are preparing for a simulated debate in which they discuss the issues that divided the delegates, and they’ll discover how the delegates finally compromised to write the U.S. constitution. Next week students will be writing an in-class analysis of literature essay, and we are well into our Wordly Wise study. It’s exciting to have students share Wordly Wise words that they find out in the world (and they earn extra credit when they do so). Lessons 1-6 in the Wordly Wise workbook are due on November 8. Our current grammar/writing unit is on active versus passive voice. We are doing a number of fun in-class activities that play with both active and passive voice so that students can recognize and use them in their writing.
Also, the Ark Boo Fest is this Saturday the 29th, and they are looking for middle school students to sign up for a shift to help (and earn community service hours). Lastly, be on the lookout for the Square 1 Art fundraiser: your child’s artwork should be sent home in the next two weeks!
Upcoming Dates: Oct. 30Humanities LATE WORK CUT-OFF Nov. 1Staff work day: no students Nov. 8End trimester 1 Nov. 11 Veteran’s Day holiday: no school Nov. 22Report cards mailed home Nov. 25-29Thanksgiving holiday
Thank you all for your support at home! ~Tanya
12 September 2019
I hope the end of the first weeks of school finds you all well. We’ve accomplished a lot at school in these few short weeks--it’s hard to believe the school year just started!
The seventh grade finished brush ups on editing and world geography, and this week we embarked on a short history unit on the Roman Empire. The students are taking on a “barbarian” persona and are gathering data in order to try to breach the border of the empire and help bring about The Fall of Rome! In English class, we are reviewing subject/predicate and are learning simple sentence diagramming in preparation for the sentence building and combining work that we’ll do over the next two years. We are also well into our first major writing project, a fictional narrative. The kids have been very willing to share their drafts with the class, and I’ve been impressed with the students’ creativity and skill, as well as with their insightful critiques of one another’s work. Please ask to see your child’s draft on Google Classroom and also check out the fictional narrative rubric. Rough drafts will be due late next week, and final drafts are due the following week.
The eighth graders have started the year reviewing U.S. geography and brushing up for a test on the 50 states. They have three chances to get 100%, and the final test is on September 18. For those who haven’t passed the pre-test, they should be practicing a lot at home! There are online map games on Google Classroom to help them. In English class, the students have finished their first writing project: a cover letter and application for a class job. We are currently reading S.E. Hinton’s classic young adult novel, The Outsiders, and this week we are analyzing the Robert Frost poem that appears in the novel in preparation for writing literary analysis paragraphs.
Students from both classes should be spending at least three hours of time at home during the week reading a book of their choice. Each week they alternately write a blog post about what they are reading or comment on classmates’ posts on Kidblog (The kids will need their passwords to get onto this private site, and I’d have them bookmark their class blog on a device at home: 8th grade blog and 7th grade blog.) For those who don’t have internet service or a device at home, don’t worry. The students get adequate time to work on Kidblog during Reading Workshop each week, and if they don’t finish that day, they can continue blogging during Thursday work time.
And if you haven’t already, please bookmark my teacher website to see classroom information and weekly homework assignments. I look forward to meeting with my 8th grade homeroom families during conference week. I will send out conference sign ups in the near future. David will meet with the families of his seventh grade homeroom students, and I will provide detailed notes for him.
Lastly, I hope to see you at the Community Dinner this Friday night!
upcoming dates 9/13Community Dinner 9/20 Shark Run 9/21Coastal Clean-up Day 9/25Picture Day 9/26Back-to-School Night 9/27 progress reports 10/7-10/11conference week
18 August 2019
Dear Middle School Families,
Welcome to the middle school Humanities class at Salmon Creek School. My name is Tanya Turneaure, and I’ll be teaching your children history, English, and art in both the seventh and eighth grades. I am an artist, reader, and writer myself, and I love sharing these passions with the students. I live in Sebastopol with my two daughters (one in high school and one in college), my husband, and a doggie that we foster for six months of the year. I’ve been an educator for over twenty-five years. Of the twelve years I’ve spent teaching middle school, eight of those have been at Salmon Creek. What I appreciate most about middle school students is their mixture of youthful enthusiasm and their emerging ability to think critically about the world and their places in it. I’m looking forward to helping shepherd your children through these important years of their lives!
It was a great first two days of school. The eighth graders were excited to see friends and teachers and were comfortable sliding right back into class routines. The seventh graders are sweet and enthusiastic and are learning the procedures that come with switching classes. We are spending the first days learning classroom routines and procedures, getting to know one another, creating art, and doing some academic reviews and assessments. The eighth graders will begin their first project this week: creating a flier and writing a cover letter to apply for a class job. Students will do their writing projects on Google Classroom, which is linked to their school gmail accounts. Eighth grade parents, you can take a look at the cover letter rubric to see what skills we are working on and offer any assistance at home.
Just so that you are aware, homework over this weekend is twofold: one is the parent survey (7th grade can be found here, and 8th grade here), and the other is to gather school supplies for their academic classes. The students have their own hard copies of these assignments that they should share with you.
A great way to keep up with homework, as well as to get basic information on the Humanities class is on our class website. I would also highly recommend setting up your Schoolwise Parent Portal account, where you can check your child’s assignments and grades. I believe that Suzi has shared Schoolwise activation codes with you, but if not, I’ll make sure these get distributed to families.
My family email list is incomplete at this point, so if you’d like me to send you or anyone else in your family email updates, please let me know which email address to use. And I look forward to seeing new and returning families at Back-to-School night on September 26, where you’ll get a chance to learn more about the two-year Humanities program.
4 August 2019
Hi Students and Families! I'm looking forward to seeing our 8th graders back at school on August 15, as well as meeting all the 7th grade students! If you have any questions for me between now and then, don't hesitate to reach out. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.