In Grade 8, students in English classes are wrapping up their study of To Kill A Mockingbird and continuing to refine topic sentences and thesis statements.  Students are also learning grammatical concepts in order to help increase the specificity of their arguments, namely using dependent clauses and proper comma placement.

In history, the 8th grade just finished up with their MaD (Making A Difference) projects.  They have been fine-tuning their websites, populating them with their research, and preparing their public service announcements.  They are all getting ready to Make a Difference. Their final presentations were made to groups of experts: a combination of Upper School teachers, media experts, and non-profit executives.  It was an incredible display of research, synthesis, evaluation, creativity, and passion all rolled into a multi-layer project. Kudos to our 8’s for their level of intellectual curiosity!

Our 8th grade science students have spent the last several classes learning about different types of volcanic eruptions. Math is beginning a new unit on graphing involving trend lines and learning how to reproduce graphs on their iPad. This will help prepare them for the culminating project in science later this year called SciTube.

The 7th grade students are hard at work for their Conservation Conversation projects. Parents of 7’s should have received an email invitation to the parent event on April 15th.  In class, students compared the similarities between their animals and other endangered, threatened, or vulnerable species.  Some classes created mini posters of their animal and others worked with the taxonomy of the animals. This week the students also had the opportunity to watch Racing to Extinction.  This moving documentary that was featured on the Discovery Channel last year helped put species in perspective.  If you have a chance, this movie is worth the time to view it.

In history classes, the students are starting an international conflict simulation where students will have the chance to play different roles to resolve a major conflict. Taking an active role in the simulation will help the students understand what really happens in these situations.  In English, students participated in a mini mock-trial in class based on Lord of the Flies, debating whether or not the characters on the island were guilty of committing murder. They enjoyed it and were able to come up with evidence to support both sides.

Our 6’s spent last Friday at the Met. To complement the 6th Grade social studies and art units underway, students, along with their HomeBase teachers, visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Greek galleries.  There they engaged in several observation and sketching activities designed to enhance their understanding of how art reflects culture and how artifacts and sculptures in the museum’s collection help to reveal developments in the society of Ancient Greece.

In the World language classes, our 6th grade students are learning about foods, and the students read through an authentic Burger King menu in Spanish. In 7th grade, they are studying the family unit, and the students wrote two paragraphs in Spanish about their family and their home. In 8th grade, some classes are studying the restaurant unit. In Sr. Bautista’s class, the 8th grade learned the future tense. As an assignment, students had to create or design their own invention for the future. Sr. Bautista was quite impressed about the student’s creativity and command of the language and vocabulary used during their presentation.