8th Grade Learning Previews - Sept. 2018

8th Grade Learning Previews - Sept. 2018
Posted on 09/18/2018

English Language Arts: Mr. Saveriano,

8th graders are truly readers and researchers. Before beginning the National Book Award winning novel Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, our students are spending a handful of academic days researching the complex history of Vietnam, the Vietnam War, and the plight of refugees. Soon, students will put on their reading caps and jump into Lai’s novel that is told in poetic journal entries. As readers, we will determine the best text evidence to help us analyze character. We are also considering how word choice affects tone and how tone affects meaning.

Science: Mr. Dave Suchy,

Students have begun their Earth science unit. During this unit they will study the causes of seasons, climate and climate change. We are currently analyzing data and observing models to explain what causes the changing seasons in Cambridge. In the coming weeks students will use space and Earth based perspectives to build a foundational understanding of seasons and climate so they are prepared to explain the causes of climate change and propose practical solutions. This week you can ask your kids to explain the seasons to you!

Math (On-Grade Level): Mr. Jose Oliveira,

Over the past week, students began learning about rigid transformations (reflections, translations, and rotations). We have been using patty paper (tracing paper) to help demonstrate how these transformations work. In the coming weeks we begin looking at dilations and similarity as we move closer to beginning our study on slope. Be sure to ask your student what a translation does to a point/shape. Additional math help is available Tuesday-Friday mornings before school (starting at 8:00 AM) and after school (by appointment).

Accelerated Math Pathways: Mr. Jose Oliveira,

To begin the year we did some review of the Pythagorean Theorem and transformations. Students were able to deepen their understanding of these concepts through various practice. This week we will begin working on variable statistics (scatter plots, line of best fit, outliers, etc.). Our work in statistics will bring us to linear relationships in a few short weeks. Ask your student how they can prove whether a triangle is a right triangle. Additional math help is available Tuesday-Friday mornings before school (starting at 8:00 AM) and after school (by appointment).

Social Studies: Mr. Thomas Trainor,

Firstly, I would like to welcome all families to another incredible journey of learning, self-discovery, and growth this year at the amazing RAUC. 8th graders will embark on an amazing range of units, projects, and goals. Our 8th grade curriculum is going through a bit of a transition with new state standards for civics education, however as we start every year students will be focusing on developing and discovering their own identity. Our first unit will be based on a curriculum developed by Facing History and Ourselves and challenges students to develop their own voices both in the classroom and in American society. Some goals students are striving for in their first unit are:

Students will understand that . .
identity is dynamic, complex and personal, and affects both how we see ourselves and how we interact with others
our environment impacts how we understand ourselves and others
the identity of a nation like the United States is the product of collaboration and conflict between a variety of individual voices and groups—some famous, but many not.

Students will be able to...
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources
Make connections between the history and literature they study and their current lived experience