Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Eighth Grade Update

By Jen Lindsay

As some of the “newness” wears off on this 2009-2010 school year, the eighth graders are settling in to their role as the leaders of the school. We would like to a take few minutes to let you know what we are doing and getting ready for as October arrives.

In language arts, students have finished a parts of speech review unit. This always proves to be a successful unit as we are reminded of the eight parts of speech and enjoy creating products that actually display our learning. Upcoming units include persuasive writing, research writing and the novel, Good Night Mr. Tom. Be sure to ask your student about the plot—it is a good one!

Eighth grade social studies began with a civics unit in which students review the United States Constitution and its impact on the country. The Civil War and Reconstruction are upcoming units. Stay tuned for information about the immigration project and class elections!

In math, students begin the year working with the Geometer’s Sketchpad. Students are also working on writing clear math explanations. Following this, they will use spreadsheets to explore square roots and sets of numbers. Watch for units on coordinate geometry, probability, percents and ratios, and the Pythagorean theorem this year.

Biodiversity conservation is the topic in science as the year begins. Eighth graders look first at bacteria, protists, fungi and plants. Areas of study include how these are classified, and how we can conserve biodiversity. Next, students will study the costs and benefits of genetically modified crops.

In addition to these classes, students continue to learn and explore in health, art, Spanish or reading and physical education. In October we all come together for two amazing days at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp to step out of our comfort zones and accomplish things we did not know were possible at W.I.N.G.S.