Next week, we’ll take a little pause on Tuesday and Wednesday for MAP testing. This test gives me a lot of specific information about strengths and weaknesses for each student and the class as a whole, and it helps our school track growth, so it’s important for students to do their best. Please ensure that your 8th graders get plenty of sleep Monday and Tuesday night and pack plenty of snacks, a water bottle and a book for reading if they finish early. Gum is also allowed during testing (but not otherwise).
Community Service and Biography Projects
Please remember that your 8th grader will need to turn in their community service plan by Sept. 16. Over the course of next week, it’s important that they start calling organizations they might like to work for (and that will work for your family’s schedule) so that they can select the best place for their volunteer work and make a plan for completing at least 10 hours by winter break and 20 hours by the end of April.
Another thing to be thinking ahead about is our biography project. Each student should get a biography to read by Sept. 25. I have a few selections in the classroom but it might be exciting to peruse the biography section of the library or order a used book on Amazon or half.com and shop for someone who truly inspires your 8th grader. I would recommend having them read the sample pages in a new edition of the book on Amazon or going to the library and having them read the first few pages to ensure that they are not only inspired to learn about this particular person but that the level of difficulty of the text feels right to them.
There is no homework over the labor day weekend but students should continue reading A Single Shard (to p. 107 by next Friday); several of them have a little catch-up work to do, and I discussed this with each of them today. Half of our students are taking pottery with Ms. Chappelle while reading this book about a 12th century Korean potter’s apprentice, so that’s been a nice connection to our explorations.
Now, please enjoy Jessica’s Class Report for the week:
On Monday we worked on our cloud essays and we learned about wind currents in Main Lesson. In Handwork we worked on our designs in our Batiks.
On Tuesday in Main Lesson we learned more about meteorology; then in Choir we learned a song by Haydn. In math we continued our work from yesterday and in Cyber Civics we made a “What I will and will not do” contract for online and offline.
On Wednesday we had Maya’s Current Events report about the earthquake in Italy; afterwards we had our first Book Buddies class. In Main Lesson we learned about lightning; then we did peer editing on our cloud essays. In music we reviewed our notes on the recorder and started working on a new piece.
On Thursday we began a Main Lesson page on Global Wind Patterns and learned about and compared hurricanes and tornadoes. The same day we talk about hurricanes, there’s a hurricane closing in on Florida after 11 years of “hurricane drought”. In math we had our first quiz of the year.
On Friday we practiced recorders in the morning. In main lesson we learned about global climate change. In art we did a picture of some clouds with pastels. Everyone’s picture was unique and all of them had a personal spin. At the end of the day we had a nice compliments circle that ended the long week with joy.