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Parental support is paramount to a child's success. However, in middle school, students self-select a research track that appeals to their interests.

Many of the topics that we research in FPS are new to the students. You can support your child's participation by helping manage time to allow for research at libraries, museums, and events that would build schema. Students are provided with readings and parents are encouraged to discuss relevant current events at home. You can also support your child by encouraging them to think beyond just the facts, and to dig deeper into the topics with a futuristic mindset. Ultimately, this is your child's research path and the work they complete as a team must be their own. In PRISM, we focus on the process of problem solving and not on how we perform at the competition. To do so would diminish the efforts of our young problem solvers and place the focus solely on an extrinsic motivator. 


If you are interested in pursuing enrichment in the PRISM program this year, please complete the registration for the track you want to join. We are limited in each track for the total number of participants. Remember, you cannot sign up for FPS if did not attend the mandatory workshop. There will be Chromebook stations available for lunch sign ups on Thursday and Friday as well if you need assistance. If you have any questions, email me at Rebecca.mclellandcrawley@wwprsd.org. Each program is a yearlong commitment and has a fee of $40. Some programs incur a higher fee later if a team travels to state and national/international competitions.

Remember: 6th graders can only pick ONE research path. 7th and 8th graders may take more than one, but I strongly encourage you to select the ONE path that brings you the most joy. We do not want PRISM to add to your stress. 

Registration closes on Friday afternoon.

Thank you!
Dr. MC

The FPS workshop is completely full. Students who have submitted their permission slips have been invited to the FPS Google Classroom. Pack a lunch and snack for the workshop and check in with your homeroom teacher before heading over to the Commons for a 7:50am start. 


  • What have we discovered so far about ourselves as learners?
  • What do we know about our brain that will help us be more successful problem solvers?

Circadian Rhythms and the Teen Brain


  • What is your sleep debt?
  • What are the affects of sleep deprivation?
  • How does the circadian clock shift for teens?


Complete your video questions from Tuesday. Remember, you only have to answer 10!

Left Brain vs Right Brain

Take the Left Brain – Right Brain Quiz for Teens at http://homeworktips.about.com/library/brainquiz/bl_leftrightbrain_quiz.htm  

Remember that you may actually be Whole Brain, and exhibit qualities of both Left and Right Brain behavior (I do).

Read the “Advice for (Left / Right) Brain Students” that will appear after you complete the quiz.  Bring in your results on Thursday so that we can discuss them with the class.

8th Graders: What is Social-Emotional Learning? 

Understanding my tween/teen brain.

Let's build on our talents and strengths. You are working to become a strong researcher with the tools necessary for this year and beyond. Your success in high school and college begin with the strong foundation you build for yourself in middle school. Find your passion!

Why is the Prefrontal Cortex considered the CEO of your brain?

Why is it essential for you to protect your brain?

Thanks PRISM crew for a great class discussion today. Be safe with your noggin!


Watch at least one part/segment of The Teen Brain.


Come into class tomorrow prepared to discuss at least three pieces of information you learned from this program that you found interesting.   

You are to complete viewing the ENTIRE program by Monday, September 26, and complete any 10 of the following questions:

  1. Parents may feel that for a brief period of time that their teenager is inhabited by…..?
  2. When will the period of rapid brain growth occur again for baby Natalie?
  3. What brain function is associated with gray matter?
  4. What did most people mistakenly believe about brain development?
  5. At what age has the brain reached 95% of its development?
  6. Explain what the brain grows like?
  7. Explain the “use it or lose it” principle in relation to brain development.
  8. Describe what the pre-frontal cortex is in charge of (ie. what it does).
  9. Where in the brain does the change occur that helps teens to regulate their emotions and solve problems effectively?
  10. In the study conducted at McLean hospital, how did teen brains compare to adult brains? (ie. describe the differences)
  11. What do the results of the McLean hospital study suggest about teen brains?
  12. Based on the findings from the McLean study, explain why miscommunication between teens & adults might occur?
  13. Explain why teens read emotions differently than adults
  14. How much sleep does an average teen get?
  15. What is the optimal amount of sleep that a teenager needs?
  16. What is the concern about teens with regards to their sleep patterns?
  17. What does your brain do while sleeping after learning a new skill?

What is the PRISM philosophy?

What does PRISM stand for and what does it mean to you?

Multiple Intelligence Theory

Go to: http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-assessment 

Take the assessment and copy down your results. Bring them to PRISM on Tuesday. 

Preview this short video on famous failures - http://lucarinfo.com/inspire/dgifted.html

What does this mean for you as a modern problem solver? What can we all learn from not being successful on our first attempt?

Your Know Thyself project should be shared with me no later than 9/30 at rebecca.mclellandcrawley@wwprsd.org. If you select a non digital option, bring it in by 9/30.

Don't forget: our PRISM calendar is on the site. Know what days we meet and attend only those sessions.

Attention 7th and 8th graders: PRISM for ALL begins September 19 during FLEX in the Media Center!

Thinking about PRISM this year? You must attend all of the sessions. This is the foundation curriculum for PRISM and attendance is mandatory. 

 9/19, 9/20, 9/21, 9/22 in the Media Center's Reference Area
9/26, 9/28 and 9/30 in room 814

 See Dr. McLelland-Crawley in room 814 for more information!

The FPS all day workshop will take place on Friday, September 23. All students interested in Future Problem Solving must attend the workshop. See Dr. McLelland-Crawley for a permission slip.

 Students will not be permitted to participate in Future Problem Solving if they do not attend this workshop. This "in-school field trip" will take place in the Commons and students must attend all day.  When students get the permission slip for this program, it indicates that it's their responsibility to advise their teachers that they will not be in class that day, and it's also the student’s responsibility to make up missed work or lessons. 
Practice Problem #1 is due on 10/27/16 by 5pm. 

I will be going into the 6th grade science classrooms before the end of September to provide an overview of the PRISM program to all students. Check our calendar for the date your science teacher selected.

The Media Specialist will be hosting a workshop for any interested researchers on 10/20 and 10/21 during FLEX. Students who want a refresher on NoodleTools or want to learn more about online resources for Inquiry Project or NHD should sign up ASAP to secure a spot.

How can students participate in PRISM at CMS?

  • PRISM is the Middle School Gifted & Talented program.

  • All students interested in participating in any PRISM activity MUST attend “PRISM for All”,  the introductory curriculum, for the first four weeks of the program:
Every Flex period Monday-Thursday.
  • Students should listen for morning announcements after the first week of school.
  • Updates will be posted outside of room 814 (second floor near the elevator) and on the PRISM website 814cms.blogspot.com.

  • Students looking to participate in Future Problem Solvers (FPS) must attend the mandatory all-day workshop held during school in September.
    • Permission slips are available in the PRISM room at each school and on the PRISM class websites
    • Permission slips are due by the date specified. Space is limited to the first 80 students. No late permission slips can be accepted.
    • These students must attend “PRISM for All” classes when scheduled.

  • Students who are interested in doing a research project (National History Day or the Inquiry Project) do not have a Fall workshop to attend.
    • These students must attend “PRISM for All” classes when scheduled.

Image result for prism dark side of the moon

Contact Dr. McLelland-Crawley at rebecca.mclellandcrawley@ww-p.org or rebecca.mclellandcrawley@wwprsd.org with further questions.

You may begin researching these topics and review the 6-step process over the summer: 

  • Practice Problem 1 - Educational Disparities
  • Practice Problem 2 - It's All in the Genes
  • Qualifying Problem - 3D Printing
  • Affiliate Bowl/Final - Identity Theft
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