Students continue to explore the human body this month. They enjoyed observed a fresh cut lamb bone along with its structures. Students created mythical skeletons to reinforce their understanding of bone and muscle anatomy. We dissected chicken wings to learn about opposable muscle pairs and their attachments. From there we will move into learning about the digestive and circulatory systems. Here, we will observe actual digestive organs and an animal heart. We'll also gather a little bit of data on ourselves to understand how heart rate changes with changes in how our body is positioned. Check your child's school supplies. Students start to run out this time of year!
Now that 4th quarter is here, we are moving quickly. Students will be learning some advanced grammar when dealing with verbals: gerunds, participles, and infinitives. Ask them to tell you all about it. I'm sure you're tired of hearing those prepositions, but I'm excited at how quickly they learned them. In 4th quarter, all classes will be working on a "What Do I Stand For?" project and presentation. More information will come home with your student. We've been discussing oppression all year, and this quarter we discuss what it takes to stand up against the oppression we might see or feel. Students will also be working in book clubs in class to do their 4th quarter project. It will be a very busy quarter!
Fourth quarter has arrived and only 8 weeks to go. The biggest change for fourth quarter is that there is NO late work. Please be aware of deadlines. Students are working on their scale model projects. This is always a fun time of year because the projects turn out super cool! In Algebra students are working on quadratics. In math 8 students are working on systems of equations.
The social studies classes are studying the causes of the Civil War in April, and then preparing for the 28th Amendment Project. Parents are invited to volunteer to serve as a Senator-for-a-day, and serve on one of the project's panels. Please contact Susan Burrows if you are interested. Parents and other family members are invited to come on May 16 and watch their child's performance. In addition to their regular curriculum, math students are a few weeks into the Scale Model Project. They have been provided with interim deadlines so that the project is able to be completed in a non-stressful way. Students are looking at the impact that scaling has on surface area and volume of rectangular prisms or cylinders. Geometry classes are continuing to study the Pythagorean Theorem plus right and non-right triangle Trig. Math 8 classes are continuing to look at linear relationships/functions, transitioning afterwards into non-linear functions.
All language arts classes will be working on a "What Do I Stand For?" project that they will be generating and developing throughout the 4th quarter. Stay tuned for more details! Advanced classes will be reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, continuing their study of verbals, and Greek and Latin word parts. Grade level classes will be reading The Adventures of Ulysses, working on their understanding of verbals, and continuing to learn Green and Latin word parts. I'm looking forward to a strong and wonderful finish to our excellent year together!
In science we completed our unit on Forces and Motion and Energy. Students researched different energy sources and did a CER (claim-evidence-reasoning) paper on which source of energy they believed was the best. We were also lucky enough to have presentations from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on energy transfer, as well as South Metro Fire Department on the physics of car crashes. Once we get back from break we will wrap up our unit on genetics and move on to chemistry.
In Social Studies students will be studying the Civil War. We will discuss the causes, political figures, major battles, and ramifications of our internal struggle. We will also be getting ready to start the 28th amendment project which will be held on Friday May 16th. I am looking for adult volunteers who would like to participate as in this culminating project by listening to the presentations and questioning students to defend their ideas about how to make our country a better place. If you are interested please email me at email@example.com.
In Language Arts, Advanced students are finishing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Students will be analyzing Tom's behaviors in the novel and will explore the issue of ethical choices through discussions and an essay. They will finish out the year by reading and performing A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare. Regular students are finishing Warriors Don't Cry, which is the story of the courageous Little Rock Nine. In discussions and a final essay, students will explore the themes of racial injustice and oppression. During the final quarter, all 8th grade LA students will be working on an I-Search research project about a cause they care about. Each student will then plan and participate in a service project in order to be a positive force in the community. These projects will be presented during a What Do I Stand For? Celebration Day on May 22. More information will be given out about this during quarter 4.
This month, students are finishing up their 3rd quarter project. I look forward to seeing their lesson plans, reading their book reviews, or reading their author interviews. After TCAP, we will be beginning new novels. Periods 3, 4, and 6 will begin reading Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. We will discuss government oppression and its effects on society. Period 7 will begin reading Animal Farm, by George Orwell. Government oppression will also be the topic for that unit.
We continue learning Greek and Latin roots and will begin to integrate important Latin phrases. We will start to learn prepositions and verbals, which I'm sure the students will be excited about :).
Well, the 4th quarter is upon us. Some changes are that there is NO LATE WORK for this quarter. All of the 8th grade are working on the scale model project. This is a great activity and I always look forward to seeing all the wonderful work that students create. Please check COLE for deadlines. Students in Algebra will be working on quadratics and students in 8th grade will be working on systems of equations.
In science, we are now learning about genetics. Students learned about inheritance, DNA, genes and chromosomes through a fantastic website, the Genetic Science Learning Center (http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/). Students applied their knowledge about genetics to arrive at the genotype of corn seedingling's parents. Just prior to spring break, we will begin learning about the human body. We will begin our journey by learning about the skeletal system. We will examine characteristics of bones and create a mythical skeleton.
As we wind down our unit on Race in America, I am hoping that our conversations, research, and reading have led to new understandings about what race means and how it affects Americans, some much more than others. It is a courageous conversation, but I believe our students understand how brushing it under the rug and pretending the social construct of race and racism doesn't exist helps perpetuate the negative effects of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. We were able to barely scratch the surface, but students did a great job of researching a big question and presenting their findings to the class.
After we complete our literature circle discussions, we will move into our final unit: Rising Above Oppression; What Do I Stand For? I am looking forward to this unit as most students find it very uplifting and personally relevant.
Students will finish-up reading I Never Had It Made. In addition to finishing Jackie Robinson's autobiography, students will continue to work on Greek and Latin word parts and verbals. To add to our study of the text, we will have students present their research on a topic of their choosing, and participate in various discussions of race and its impact on our modern society. Students will also finalize the unit by writing an in-class essay, which is good practice on something which will be expected of them in high school.
In Math 8 we will be beginning our unit on Linear Relationships. Real world relationships are often linear relationships with a constant rate of change which can be modeled mathematically with equations, graphs, tables, etc. Fluency with different representations of linear patterns allow for comparison and contrast of linear situations, such as service billing rates from competing companies or simple interest on savings and credit. In Algebra I we will be beginning our unit on Quadratic Equations. If you throw a ball (or shoot an arrow, fire a missile or throw a stone), it will go up into the air, slowing down as it goes, then come down again... and a Quadratic Equation tells you where it will be! In this unit, students will learn different methods for solving Quadratic Equations and will use those methods to solve real world mathematics problems. In all math classes, students will be introduced to the Scale Model Project. This project is an exciting time in 8th grade mathematics! Look for information coming home in the next couple of weeks!
In science we will be moving into the Human body systems after Spring Break. Students can look forward to the Mythical Skeleton project, Digestion Dances and tons of hands on labs!
In Advanced classes, we will continue looking at poetry and will analyze poetry using the six building blocks of poetry. We will also begin reading Jackie Robinson's autobiography, I Never Had It Made, as we explore the issue of racial injustice. Students will also be completing a Banned Book project. Regular students will be reading Melba Pattilo Beals memoir novel, Warriors Don't Cry, which is about the integration of Little Rock High School during the Civil Rights movement years. We will also be exploring the issue of racial injustice. Both groups will be reading various companion texts, such as Martin Luther King's Dream Speech and poetry by Langston Hughes.
In Social Studies students will be studying early American Presidents and their impact on our country. We will also be learning about Westward Expansion, the Industrial Revolution, the Indian Removal Act, and the Trail of Tears.