middle school news
International School of Panama’s Dolphins are always up to something good, and we want to share it with you. Catch all the good news and important announcements for our middle school right here.
Please join us on April 3 from 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. in the elementary conference room. We will discuss important information related to grade 5 student transitions to middle school. This will be the first of several introductory sessions. We encourage all to attend to ensure parents have the resources they need to support their child during this time.
This year, the MS Spanish teachers implemented an activity for our SAL students called SALSA Lunch to benefit the SAL students. SALSA stands for Spanish as an Additional Language Student Association. Its purpose is to integrate and give the students the opportunity to practice the language in a fun environment and allow them to enhance their ability in speaking.
Every month, we have a lunch in which mentors and learners engage in activities to increase their speaking and listening skills. These students are in different classes. They eat together and then participate in communication games using visuals, competitions, karaoke, and a little dancing. It is a voluntary activity, but we encourage students to participate. This month we complemented our strategies with a movie in Spanish. In a later date, students will have various activities in the classroom depending on their level.
Last week, students from middle and high school took on the challenge of creating and sharing short stories in French. Students took on project based learning challenges in French class as part of their Tiptoeing Into Creative Writing project that aims to make learners aware of the importance of adjectives in descriptive and narrative writing. Students used adjectives to describe the characters’ personality, physical traits, and the environment. In addition, students were able to identify key components of a story. For example, they realized that a good story is well-sequenced, has a beginning, a middle, and an end, conflict, and a central idea. This project based learning approach helps students go beyond formal knowledge or content in order to establish connections with important issues like global warming, values, protection of our oceans, and having principles.
The ISP middle school Math Department is constantly learning innovative and fun ways to help all students learn. During the first semester our teachers had the opportunity to take an online course offered by Stanford University Professor Jo Boaler centering on developing mathematical mindsets in all students. This semester we are helping students to develop growth mindsets in math through self-assessments, number talks to develop flexible strategies, and authentic real-world problems and projects. The focus throughout math courses in ISP middle school is developing the standards of mathematical practices, including perseverance, collaboration, communication, reflection, and mathematical modeling.
6th graders are taking their knowledge of Greek city-states from social studies and applying it to sharpen their skills in a number of areas. Students investigate area by designing a map of their own city-state including farmland, roads, and borders. They use proportional reasoning to determine how many roads, schools, and markets they will need, as well as how many seats they need in a grand coliseum.
7th graders recently finished a financial literacy unit learning about deductions and net vs. gross income, as well as the dangers of credit card debt and the importance of investing money early. As part of our pre-algebra unit, students will be writing mystery stories in their Spanish or SAL classes which they will solve using mathematical equations or inequalities. When we can “find X,” we can solve the mystery!
8th graders have been learning about linear and exponential functions. While working in groups, students created equations and graphs to represent a given context. Identifying and discussing key features of any given function has been a key focus of our current unit and will lead us into our study of quadratic functions later in the semester.
More information about how you can help your child develop a growth mindset in mathematics is available below.