8th Grade: The 8th grade English teachers have rolled out a new unit on Ad Rhetoric. Students will examine explicit and implicit rhetoric through the visual and verbal elements in advertisements. For the final project students will rebrand an advertisement in the hopes of making the brand/product more honest, ethical, and/or empowering. In math class 8th graders have been brushing up their arithmetic through reviewing solving equations and inequalities. In addition the technology specialist will be presenting Excel on the iPad to classes in preparation for the Sci-tube projects in the spring. Before students begin these projects they will investigate plate tectonics in science class. This unit encompasses earthquakes, volcanoes, and the model of why our earth looks the way it does. Finally, in 8th grade History we are continuing work on understanding the causes and outcomes of the Civil War with a specific focus on Abraham Lincoln’s words. Analyzing important primary documents like Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and The Gettysburg Address will help students gain a better understanding of the powers of the presidency.
7th Grade: In social studies, students are researching and articles on the United Nations Global Goals and reading and discussing one of the following book: I am Malala, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, I Will Always Write Back, and Mountains Beyond Mountains. By the end of the unit students will understand the concept of sustainable development and be able to answer the unit question: Are moving towards a better world?
In math 7, the students are finishing the data unit. We have been hard at work creating histograms, bar graphs, and circle grade both in Excel on the iPad and on paper. Hyper 7 has been exploring quadratic functions in all of its forms and learning its connection to the parabolic curve. Advanced 7 has been exploring how to collect, manipulate, organize, display, and analyze data in preparation for their article about UN goals.
Science has begun the study of pill bugs through experimental design. We will be conducting experiments and writing a lab report from now until Spring break. Last week in English, Mrs. Dana Stangel-Plowe – an upper school English teacher and poet – visited our classroom to help us kick-off our poetry unit. This week students are continuing to work on writing their own original poems, exploring the question: What can we do with poetry?
6th Grade: With three weeks before March spring break, the sixth grade students are fully immersed in their current units. In math 6, students are working on order of operations problems. They are solving problems involving all four operations with fractions and parentheses. Then, they will move into the next part of the unit where they will solve word problems with fractions. Advanced 6 math continues to work on problem sets. They recently introduced absolute value problems to their current list of threads. The Hyper 6 class are Graphing Linear Equations and learning how to write equations of lines. They are also trying to recall the trigonometry that they learned first semester. Finally, they have started a new project: what factors influence the period of a pendulum? In science, students are learning about Human Anatomy and comparing and contrasting human anatomy with other living organisms. Students will be completing an assignment linking art and science called the “Human” X-ray drawing. This assignment and other work will lead up to the frog dissection before spring break. In social studies, students are presenting as the Greek God or Goddess of his or her choice and being evaluated on expectations that we developed as a class. When they are done, they will be creating a timeline of Greek history, which the students will complete in collaborative groups. In English, the students are still reading Mildred Taylor’s novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. They are tracking two themes — coming of age and power — and they will be analyzing the theme of their choice in their first analytical essay. They will be workshopping and revising this essay in class over the next two weeks. It promises to be a busy and exciting month!