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.