What an honor to work with this cast!
I didn’t get a blog posted last week, so please enjoy some photos from the past couple weeks, plus both Lilly and Zina’s class reports for the past two weeks. We are leaving American and World History for now and embarking on our play block next week.
Lilly’s Class Report: Week of Feb. 6-9:
Monday: Today we learned more about Licoln’s life story and the civil war. In math we learned more about surface area and Volume of different shapes. Then, in handwork we worked more on our pajamas.
Tuesday: Today we learned more about the Civil War and had world language today. In math we learned more about prisms. Then in choir we sang our song, “Seasons of Love.” In extra lesson, we practiced our play. Lastly, in gardening we re-planted some plants from our school.
Wednesday: Today we studied more on the Civil War and in math studied for our test. Then lastly, in music we practiced our piece.
Thursday: Today, we had study hall. In math we had our test and worked on a map for class.
Zina’s Class Report: Week of Feb. 14-17
On Tuesday, we did a review in math. We also went over the basics for our civil war essay;
we also had an assembly and we performed our Gettysburg Address and our song with our all middle school choir. We later had a professor from CSU come in and lead us in a theatre workshop outside, to help us prepare for our play.
We ended the day by lifting buckets in gardening.
On Wednesday, we learned about World War 1 in main lesson and worked on a worksheet in math.
In out door ed we played games outside, and in wood working we ate rice and did some finishing touches to our spoons.
On Thursday we had our study hall and we worked on late work or got ahead on our work. We then had world language and in Spanish we played games.
We also learned about World War II.
On Friday morning, most of us attended our 8th grade visitation day at Fort Collins, Poudre, and Rocky Mountain high schools. Back at school, in art we worked on carving and print making, and we learned how to make origami dodecahedrons with Chelsea, a guest teacher from River Song Waldorf School.
American History through Biography: Sequoyah, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Abraham Lincoln
This week we launched our next American and World History block, an era filled with powerful biographies of great leaders, thinkers and heroes who worked against injustice and inequality and navigated great divisions in the early history of the United States. Please see Maya’s Class report for details from this first week.
Here are dates to keep in mind for the coming week (and the coming months):
Parent Evening Wednesday (Feb. 8): We will have our parent evening from 6:00 to 7:30. This evening is just for parents. Along with getting a glimpse of our journey through the 8th grade curriculum and your student’s work, we’ll be discussing high school transitions, and our plan for our play, service learning presentations in early May, our class trip to Moab, and graduation. My hope is to pack all that in to about an hour and send some of you home early while my Moab chaperones stay for a quick 20 minute meeting. I hope one parent from each family can make it.
Teacher Work Days/No School: Next Friday Feb. 10 and Monday Feb. 13
Feb 16 and 17: Rocky Mountain High School transition Days (pick one day to attend)
Feb. 20 5-7 p.m.: Student Council fundraiser for Middle School dance at Fuzzy’s on Harmony. Mountain Sage students will be bussing and delivering dessert.
Feb. 27: A high school counselor from Poudre High School will be coming to work one-on-one with our group of students going to Poudre to offer guidance in selecting classes. She will be there beginning at 8:15 so please arrive promptly that day.
Class Play: We will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the school during the day on
Wednesday March 8. Our evening performance for family and friends will be at 6:30 on
Thursday March 9. The 8th graders are supposed to work on mastering two-thirds of their lines by Friday of next week. Our goal is to have all lines memorized before we start blocking the play on Feb. 20.
Moab Class Trip: We plan to take a class trip to Moab on May 15-18. At this point I’m anticipating the trip fee (including 3 nights of camping, food for 4 days, a half-day rafting trip, and admission to Arches National Park) will be about $160. I realize this is a sizable amount of money, so I wanted to allow everyone to start budgeting for it. Please e-mail me if you are either in need of a scholarship (reducing the fee) or willing to help pay a portion of another students’ fee above and beyond your own, and I will try to sort out our financial needs.
Reading Rhythms: We will not have a class reader for the next two weeks but please encourage your 8th grader to find an independent novel or other reading material that feeds their love of reading and continue reading as part of their daily rhythm. It was wonderful to hear their insights about Lord of the Flies during Friday’s small and large-group discussions.
Maya’s Class Report
On Monday during language arts we worked on deciphering our school play (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) from Shakespearian language into modern English. In Main Lesson we learned the story of the great Cherokee leader Sequoyah, who invented a writing system for his language. And in Handwork we continued to work on our pajamas.
On Tuesday we started our first person narrative of Sequoyah, and listened to a song from a musical about Alexander Hamilton (who we heard the story of today). During extra lesson we continued our work on the play. And in gardening we hurried to get the doors finished on our recycling boxes.
On Wednesday morning, we read with our reading buddies. In math we reviewed volume and surface area of cylinders and pyramids, and learned how to apply these concepts to cones. During Main lesson we learned the story of Frederick Douglass.
Thursday: Today we learned about Harriet Tubman and compared and contrasted her and Fredrick Douglass. In math we reviewed some math we learned before. After that, we had study hall and we finished up anything we needed to do.
Friday: Today in language arts we discussed the ending of The Lord of the Flies, and we started our compare and contrast essays of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Dougllass, two heroes of the abolitionist movement. In main lesson we heard the story of Abraham Lincoln and his great debates with Stephan Douglass. In Art we worked on charcoal portraits of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, and in extra lesson we continued deciphering our play: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Thank you, Tina, for making soap with us!
We wrapped up our study of organic chemistry with a focus on fermentation and presentations of the students' Organic Chemistry final projects. Read the class report below for more details and be sure to read about these important upcoming dates:
Parent Evening Feb. 8: We will have an 8th grade parent evening from 6 to 7:30 on Wednesday Feb. 8. Along with getting a glimpse of our journey through the 8th grade curriculum and your student’s work, we’ll be discussing high school transitions, and our plan for our play, service learning presentations in early May, graduation, and our class trip to Moab. It’s going to be an action-packed ending to our time together. I hope at least one parent from each family can make it.
Feb. 27: A high school counselor from Poudre High School will be coming to work one-on-one with our group of students going to Poudre to offer guidance in selecting classes. She will be at Mountain Sage beginning at 8:15 so please arrive promptly that Monday. If those of you whose students are going to other high schools talk to counselors willing to do the same, we are more than happy to have them. (Sue, Henry and Oscar’s mom, helped set this Poudre counselor visit up for us.)
Class Play: We will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the school during the day on Wednesday March 8. Our evening performance for family and friends will be at 6:30 on Thursday March 9. The 8th graders are supposed to work on mastering the first third of their lines by Friday of this week. Our goal is to have all lines memorized before we start blocking the play on Feb. 20 so that we can focus our energy on staging, projecting and acting with expression. Thanks for supporting your thespian in this ambitious work!
Moab Class Trip: We plan to take a class trip to Moab on May 15-18. At this point I’m anticipating the trip fee (including 3 nights of camping, food for 4 days, a half-day rafting trip, and admission to Arches National Park) will be about $150. I realize this is a sizable amount of money, so I wanted to allow everyone to start budgeting for it. Please e-mail me if you are either in need of a scholarship (reducing the fee) or willing to help pay a portion of another students’ fee above and beyond your own, and I will try to sort out our financial needs. If anyone wants to head up a fundraiser that is in keeping with our school mission please contact me. Chaperones on the trip will include Kristen, Marci, Mark, Reneca, Rodney and Toby.
Collaborative Class Report by Henry, Jaymison, Nynaeve and Lilly:
Monday: During main lesson, Ms. Hutchinson, an addiction specialist at Turning Point Center for Youth and Family Development, gave a presentation about marijuana and its effects to our class and the 7th grade.
Tuesday: Today we spent German studying for a quiz. In math we were taught how to graph in 3d, and in main lesson we made cheese. In choir we sang Seasons of Love, in cyber civics we practiced the play, and in gardening we played in the geodesic dome.
Wednesday: Today we decided to heat some milk and started to make yogurt. After main lesson we had recess and lunch then had explorations. I have outdoor Ed, and we looked at how water is provided between all of Colorado. We then had music and learned a new song. Then we did chores packed up and went home!
Thursday: We had a calm morning which included world language and study hall. Then we watched, the sixth grade play, Momo and the Thieves of Time.
Friday: Today we presented our organic chemistry projects. After that, we ate lunch and went to Epic for our field trip today. We all went swimming and had a great time.
It’s been wonderful to be back together with the 8th graders, and to dive into organic chemistry with them. Last year we began our study of chemistry with inorganic chemistry and now we are focusing on the chemistry of carbon-containing substances – which includes a close-up look at the chemical composition of the foods we eat and the chemistry of the plant and animal world in general. You can read details in Emma’s class report below and enjoy our science slideshow.
We’ve talked about having a “strong finish” as an 8th grade class this year, rather than letting 8th-graderitis get the best of us, and so far the students have been engaged and getting a lot of good work done. They had very insightful small- and large-group discussions about The Lord of the Flies today, and it’s nice to see that almost everyone is keeping up with their reading.
Emma's Class Report
Today we had our first day of school of 2017. We started organic chemistry and started a new song in choir. We also had gardening and are working on our boxes for organizing our extra stuff in the back of the school. We started Lord of the Flies and read in small groups and had a class discussion about the book.
Today we read through some of our play and had chemistry, where we tested different types of sugars usings fehlings solution. We had explorations, and we also played recorders and started a new song.
Today we had math and took a take-home quiz. We had chemistry and went to stations and saw how iodine affected different fruits, vegetables -- and how it acts as an indicator for starches. We also had study hall.
Today we worked on our ‘testing for reducing sugars’ experiment write-up and we reviewed yesterday’s lesson and tested the touch, taste and solubility of sugars and a starch. Later in the day, we looked at rough ideas for play costumes and we also worked on our cover page for Organic Chemistry in oil pastels, charcoal, or watercolor paints.
Enjoy pictures from our field trip, pajama day, and our platonic solid collections -- and Mira's class report for our last week of the semester. Have a wonderful winter break!
Mira's Class Report
On Monday, we finished up linear equations for the quiz on Tuesday. Then in language arts we had auditions for play parts, and in handwork we worked on our projects we are making for the teachers and staff. In main lesson, we are starting on making icosahedrons and learning about platonic solids. Then we finished the day with hand-ball in games.
On Tuesday, we watched the dress rehearsal of the 5th grade play because we wouldn’t be there on Wednesday (because we were going on the field trip). Then we had world language, and then after that we had a math quiz on linear equations. Then in choir we decided that for the next assembly we would sing ‘mad world’. We then had gardening in which we were working on our storage boxes for the space down by the dumpsters.
On Wednesday, we went on a field trip to NCAR=National Center for Atmospheric Research. There we learned about the atmosphere and climate change and what that does and will do to our environment. Then we got back and played carol of the bells on the recorders. We also learned deck the halls for the assembly on Thursday.
On Thursday, we got our test results from math. Then we learned more about platonic solids. Then we had world language, next we had study hall to finish all of our stuff we needed to catch up on. But, it was a half day so we ended early.
On Friday, we had a secret Santa party with cookies and tea. We had a half day on Friday too, since Saturday would be Christmas Eve, but sadly we had to miss art because of it. Then we had world language, the last one before 2017.
This week we launched our Platonic solids block, a study of three-dimensional solids and their mathematical properties which promises to stretch the visual-spatial, mathematical, and creative thinking of each 8th grader. Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher- mathematician, recognized a certain number of Platonic solids (a number that we are leaving a mystery for just a few more days) as the building blocks of the universe. Platonic solids, by definition, have all congruent regular polygons as faces and an equal number of faces meeting at each vertex. We have also begun creating precise 2-dimensional nets for constructing the 3-dimensional shapes in paper.
In our slideshow you can see our approximations in clay of the hexahedron (or cube), the octahedron, and the dodecahedron – plus a couple photos from Winter Faire.
Field Trip to NCAR: In other exciting news, we will be going on a bus field trip to Boulder (thanks to a Bohemian Foundation field trip grant) with the 6th grade on Wednesday, Dec. 21. We will be enjoying a tour of NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, as an extension of our meteorology block earlier in the fall, and the 6th graders will go to the Fiske planetarium as part of their study of astronomy. Look for a field trip permission form in the next couple days.
Secret Santa reminder: The eighth graders requested a secret santa gift exchange again this year. Last week they agreed to bring one simple handmade or homemade gift for their designated classmate, and this week they are supposed to do the same (any time over the course of the week). We agreed that if anyone didn’t manage to do this last week they could bring two simple handmade/homemade gifts on different days this week. Then we’ll have a little party on our last day together, Friday Dec. 23, and exchange a gift of $5 value or less. No candy please!
Cody’s Class Report:
On Monday we started Platonic solids in main lesson and started by hearing a brief story about Plato, and we also listened to some of the Asian country PowerPoints. When we were in handwork, we cut fabric for pajamas or knitted.
On Tuesday we had Choir, and in main lesson we worked on making an octahedron out of clay, and in gardening we worked on our school's new recycling place.
On Wednesday we worked on more Platonic solids, and also we started to learn definitions for the terms. In woodworking we worked on our wooden spoons, and in recorder ensemble we worked on Christmas songs.
On Thursday we worked on making a dodecahedron out of a cube with clay for platonic solids, and in math we had our graphing quiz, and mid-quiz we had a shelter drill.
On Friday we had an interesting conversation about racial rights and how it affects the modern day because of the part of the book we are reading in To Kill a Mockingbird. In main lesson we have talked and worked with platonic solids. At the end of the day in art we worked on tracing for our linoleum block stamp work.
Bowl making -- and spoons carved by 8th grade woodworkers (courtesy of Ms. Albert)
Our economic geography study this week has given us a lens into the ways in which trade, consumption, avarice, and economics led to everything from mass opium addiction in China (fueled by British desire for tea and silver) to slavery in the Southeastern United States (to support the world’s growing desire for cotton) and to population explosions in Europe followed by famines and mass immigration (after Ireland, along with other European countries, embraced the potato).
Monday is the last day for our student council food drive. Please send in items on Monday if you haven’t yet had a chance to contribute (or if you’d like to add to our effort). Thanks to Kristen for driving our collection to the food bank on Tuesday.
Poudre High School Informational Evening: Wednesday Nov. 30; 6-7 p.m.
This meeting will provide an overview of the IB program at PHS from 9th – 12th grade with an emphasis on the Middle Years Program (MYP), grades 9 & 10; a panel of current IB parents and students who will share their experiences in the IB program; a look at the Intent to Enroll admissions form.
Winter Faire this year will be Saturday Dec. 10. Look for more information and a sign-up genius coming soon. 6th through 8th grades are together responsible for hosting a candle-dipping activity, along with outdoor fire pits and cider
Reese’s Class Report
Monday we learned about opium. Opium was traded for silver so the British could buy tea from Asia. Then we worked on an essay about what it was like to be a slave on a sugar plantation. In handwork we finished bags and made pin cushions for the fairy room. In math we learned more about circles.
Tuesday in main lesson we learned about cotton and how it is used in a lot of clothes. We checked our clothes and found out that most of the clothes we had came from Asia and Central America. In math we started learning how Eratosthenes measured the earth. In music we practiced a song that we are going to perform on next Tuesday at the assembly. In cyber civics we tracked our hours on social media and presented how many hours we spent.
Wednesday was a day where we continued our learning about cotton. In math we found out the formula on how to measure the earth. We switched our explorations. Woodworking went to outdoor ed. and pottery went to woodworking. For school tours some of the class met with Ms. Sexton to discuss doing tours for parents of prospective students. The 8th graders get to help with that. We also tried no added sugar day.
Thursday we calculated our results on no added sugar day. Half the class didn’t succeed. We learned about potatoes and will continue tomorrow. Potatoes actually have a very large impact on our world. Potatoes were grown for thousands of years by the Incas, but once they came to Europe, they were originally grown for animals in Europe. During the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars when the troops came they stomped all over the other crops. Since the potatoes are grown underground they survived and were the main source of food.
Friday we learned about the potato’s impact on Ireland and the Irish potato famine’s impact on the world. In art we painted on small canvases and made flowers for the silent auction at Winter Faire. In our extra period we got extra work done and played games.
This week we had our mock election and our real election. We learned about the electoral college system on Tuesday morning and then experienced it on Tuesday night. We felt the very real tension that has gripped the country in our own classroom and learned to speak respectfully to one another and move forward to a place of healing and hope in spite of it. I am proud to teach this group.
We also launched our Economic Geography block this week with stories of sugar, slavery and tea – as we begin to look at how a few staple crops have shaped our world, our politics, our economy and our humanity. These are some of the most brutal stories in our history, and in order to build some real empathy for the people behind the economics, the students are writing narratives from the perspective of a slave on a sugar plantation in the West Indies who has endured kidnapping from his/her home country in western Africa only to suffer the terrors of the Middle Passage and the brutality of slave labor on a sugar plantation in either Barbados or Jamaica. Alongside this global study, the students will be beginning their own Asian geography study on Monday as they prepare a 5-paragraph typed paper on the economy of their chosen country and a Power Point presentation with pictures, maps and concise captions to share a much broader picture of their country with their classmates. Don’t forget to pick books up at the library this weekend if you have not done so already! It would also be helpful if they can bring their own note cards. We will be learning to do MLA in-text citation for this project.
It was also our final week for our pottery and woodworking trimesters, so I’ve included a few photos of students with their pottery. (Maybe I will have a chance to photograph woodworking projects next week.)
Below are a couple opportunities for sharing warmth and sustenance (and your volunteer hours) with our community, followed by Henry’s class report.
Vision & Hearing Screening, November 14th
Help us to create a well supported and efficient experience for the students. This important and free service is essential! Click here to volunteer.
The Mountain Sage Student Council is currently sponsoring a Food Drive to benefit the Larimer County Food Bank. It is going on now until Monday, November 21. We are collecting all types of non-perishable food items (no glass or expired food) and healthy foods. Much needed items are peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, brown rice, whole grain pasta, canned fruits and meats, and low-sugar cereal. Our goal is 1000 items this year! Please help us reach our goal.
On Saturday, November 19 from 10 am until noon, families of Mountain Sage who may need food for themselves are welcome to come and take some of the food items before they are delivered to the Food Bank.
Thank you for your participation!
-Mountain Sage Student Council
Warm Clothing Drive:
The Third Grade classes are hosting a Warm Clothing Drive. If you wish to donate extra jackets, sweaters, gloves, snow gear, or hats, please place your items in the labeled box in the school foyer before Friday 11/18. Please make sure that donated clothing is in decent condition and is clean.
Ms. Krieves and Ms. Veach’s Third Grade Classes
Henry’s Class Report (with assistance from Maya)
Today, in language arts, we had a biography report and researched the Colorado ballot. In math we looked at similar triangles. In main lesson, we decided on Asian countries to study and heard about the production and consumption of sugar. In Handwork, we tried to finish our drawstring bags.
This morning in language arts we participated in a class “Mock Election” Where we practiced responsible and educated voting. In math we continued to work with similar triangles. In Main Lesson we learned about the early slave trade and how it is intertwined with Europe’s growing addiction for sugar. During choir we sang the “Duct Tape Song” and continued to work on “Ride.”
Today we went for a walk and had a talking circle. We worked on our math sheets in math. In woodworking we sanded our bowls and in recorders we continued work on “Happy Birthday.”
Today in German we looked at how German news was reporting on the election. In math we had a quiz. We listened to the narrative of a slave and worked on drawing. We had 50 minutes of study hall.
Today we began a narrative from the perspective of a slave and had a quiz on To Kill a Mockingbird. In German we worked on grammar. In art, we worked on drawing small objects, then on drawing a lake. We then had a talking circle.
This is our eighth grade class blog, a place to check in our learning and experiences from each week and learn about ways to support your child's learning and our larger school community. It is such an honor and joy to teach your 8th graders!