Learning Previews - Grade 8 - May 23, 2017

Learning Previews - Grade 8 - May 23, 2017
Posted on 05/23/2017
English Language Arts: Mr. Saveriano
8th grade readers have recently beefed up their background knowledge of the 1930s in America in order to fully comprehend the setting of John Steinbeck’s novella entitled Of Mice and Men. While reading this novella, students are sharing their thoughts through numerous small group discussion protocols. These discussions are rooted in several thematic-based questions, quick writes, journal entries, and independently selected text evidence. I encourage you to share your knowledge of the 1930s in America with your child. Tell them what you know about The Dust Bowl, racial and economic segregation, and The Great Depression. You should also notice your child independently reading selected pages from the novella.

Math (On-Grade Level): Mr. Jose Oliveira 
Now that math MCAS has passed, students are finishing up on an in-school project about linear and non-linear relationships. This project is a good way to help solidify their understanding of linear relationships. Once we finish our project we will do some work on volume of different shapes, including composite solids. Ask your student how they can tell if something is linear or not.

Math (Accelerated Math): Mr. Jose Oliveira
Students continue to deepen their knowledge of quadratics. We will be finishing up with some quadratic equation work before moving on to some data analysis work such as two-way tables, measures of center and standard deviation. Be sure to ask your student what their favorite method to solve a quadratic equation is.

Science: Mr. Dave Suchy 
8th grade students will be revisiting their study of climate change to end the year. The final goal of this unit is for students to express their new understandings by creating educational videos games about the causes and solutions to climate change; they will then play and evaluate each other’s games. Students will code their games using SCRATCH, basic coding developed by MIT for people learning to code. For more info about scratch you can visit their website. This project is being done in collaboration with TERC, a research based organization based in Cambridge that is focused on STEM education. To learn more about TERC you have visit their website.

This Friday, all 8th graders will be attending the annual Harvard Science Showcase at Harvard University. Each student group will present a science project to other students and guests at the showcase. It an excellent opportunity to for students to practice presenting to small groups and to learn about a wide variety of science topics. Ask your child about what they will be presenting at the showcase this Friday!

Social Studies: Mr. Jason Everhart 
Students in 8th grade social studies will continue their study of American civics and government with a direct focus on segregation and the Jim Crow laws of the early 20th century. We begin this week with an examination of the 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson case in which the "separate but equal" doctrine allowed for the segregation of races in many parts of American society; we will finish the unit with the impact of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case on the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The classroom discussions will be particularly relevant for our students in 2017, so be sure to ask how social structures of the past continue to influence our culture today!