My teaching career has been entirely at Westford School. During that time, my wife and I raised three daughters (two of whom are teachers themselves now.) I also own Two Black Sheep Farm in South Hero growing/marketing organic vegetables. Other passions include space sciences, rocket and model making, old films, carpentry and British culture.
The Culture of Westford Hogwarts in Student Life
Now in its fifteenth year of use, a Hogwarts School theme is a popular genre encompassing many aspects of middle school life. Students are placed in one of four houses as a "first year." Regular activities, challenges, and an occasional mystery are presented to students as they combine academic and social culture events throughout the year. A grand "walk of the second years" takes place as students graduate into the junior high team. Along the way, students have lots of fun and excitement.
Fifth and Sixth Grade Science
Fifth and sixth grades are exciting times for students. The two years in the Hogwarts Team represent a passage from elementary to middle school. As a science and math teacher, I try to bring a passion for topics to students by using constructivist theory, process skills, and the use of the scientific method. This is done by using a project-based model with Next-Gen Science Standards as a template for study. Students collaborate in teams working on standards acquisition.
Fifth and Sixth Grade Maths
Grade 5 is the final year of the Bridges Math Programme. This year, multiplicative reasoning moves toward proportional reasoning. Time is spent making sure that foundational skills (such as math facts fluency) are established for students.
The sixth-grade curriculum is from Open Resource Math, a programme that uses a workshop model to learn and practise entry-level skills with proportional reasoning. The system has an appealing project component at the end of each unit. For example, in geometry, students research, design and build a model of a tent based on tents on the market.
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