Learning Previews – Grade 8 – March 21, 2017

Learning Previews – Grade 8 – March 21, 2017
Posted on 03/21/2017
Social Studies: Mr. Jason Everhart

Eighth graders have begun their "Interactions" unit in which we explore the voyages of Columbus and their impact on the indigenous people of the Caribbean, the march of Cortez to the Aztec capital, as well as a study of the culture and history of the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations. They will write their second Document Based Question, or DBQ, of the year just before the April break. As you may know from previous social studies classes, in a DBQ students study primary and secondary sources in order to answer an analytical question. In this case, they will explore whether they think historians should emphasize agriculture or human sacrifice when talking about the Aztecs. As April break approaches, ask your student what they think. This week, students begin a presentation project in which they will perform as prosecuting attorneys in a grand jury trial to bring justice to those responsible for the genocide of the Taino people. Please ask your children how their cases are going and where they think responsibility lies!

English Language Arts: 
Mr. Saveriano

In this editorial unit, students will study the craft of persuasive writing and utilize the techniques they learn while writing an editorial on a topic of their choice. The unit begins with an immersion phase in which students are exposed to a variety of editorial articles through interactive read-alouds, allowing students to construct their own understanding of editorials including key elements of persuasion. Throughout the writing process, the class engages in a combination of intensive exploration of mentor texts and frequent teacher modeling of various stages of writing her/his own editorial. Students will then publish their work in a celebratory activity such as creating a class collection, orally sharing with classmates, and possibly submitting work to professional publications including newspapers and literary magazines. Be sure to ask your child why editorials are so important to our society.

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

As we wrap up our unit on exponents, students are learning about what it means when a base number is raised to a negative exponent. Over the next few days we will begin our unit on the Pythagorean Theorem. Students will enjoy learning how Pythagoras used the “right angle” to solve certain math ideas. Don’t forget to ask your student about how a negative exponent is still a positive thing.

Math (Accelerated Math): Mr. Jose Oliveira

Students have been enjoying our current math unit exponentially (exponential functions)! They are also continuing their work with polynomials. During the coming week we will wrap up polynomials and begin our work with quadratic functions. Our quadratic work will bring us to the April vacation. Be sure to ask your student about how to classify a polynomial.

Science: Mr. Dave Suchy

Students have begun learning about genetics as part of their evolution and genetics unit. They will be studying the structure and function of chromosomes and DNA as well as probability of inheriting certain traits from your parents. We will also have scientists from the Broad Institute visiting our classroom every Wednesday through the end of April. The scientists are experts in the field of genetics and offer a unique view into their research and how it directly affects the lives of the students. See the attached flyer for your virtual introduction to the scientists who will be working with students. Ask your student what they learn from the scientists and what is important to know about genetics.