Week of Nov. 13, 2017

English

Students continued learning how authors use literary devices to reveal the theme in preparation for the essay during the week of Dec. 4-7.  Next week, Sniper will be read in class. Gr. 8 are also expected to continue reading their book club choices as book club presentation about how authors reveal the theme through literary devices will be on the week of Dec. 11-14. Sample parts of the paragraph for the essay are posted in Google Classrooms to help them in the two performance tasks: essay and presentation.

Social Studies

Gr. 8 went into research for their assigned country’s stand on LGBT or Nuclear Disarmament.  Students worked on their MUN note cards to prepare for making their policy statement. Next week, they will continue working on the 9 note cards which will be due on Monday/Tuesday. Then, they will work on a thematic map, in which they will color code the countries on the world map depending on their stand on the LGBT/Nuclear Disarmament issue.  Finally, they will write their Policy Statements and Operative Clauses.  Policy Statements are due to Turnitin on Nov. 26, Sunday by 8 pm.  Students will start delivering their policy statements in class on Nov. 27.  They have to print their own copy as they will not be allowed to use their devices.

Science

Students continued working on the lab stations and had their summary and group presentations.  They also had fun making ice cream using liquid nitrogen, which allowed them to extend their understanding of the process of solidification (freezing). Notebooks were collected and assessed for communication of learning, but most were found to be less than the expectation, so students were given until next week, on the day of the quiz, to fix their notes on the stations. Next week will be review and quiz.

The slide below is very important for the quiz. Students should be able to explain what is happening at each phase. The rest of the slides is posted in Google Classroom.

Mathematics

Infographics were submitted and students had gallery walks to see other works.  Next week will be Transformation starting with Translation.

These are the different kinds of transformations that will be taken up in this unit:

Week of Nov. 6, 2017

English

EmPOWER was reviewed

and the assessment was shared which will all be done in the classroom: Essays will be on the week of Dec. 4-7, while the presentation will be on the week of Dec. 11-15.

Students picked their choice for the Book Club. Students are expected to complete the Book Club Trackers in Google Classroom before the club meetings. Next week, book club presentation assessment will be introduced, and students will read and analyze “Just Lather, That’s All”.

Social Studies

Exemplary answers to the UN test were shared, and students read quick facts about Nuclear Disarmament and LGBT before voting for the MUN topic.  Block C chose LGBT, while Blocks F and G chose Nuclear Disarmament.  EasyBib add-on was shown for citation of work using MLA 8 format. EBSCO was likewise introduced as their source for their research to ensure the credibility of their sources instead of using Google. Next week, students will be working independently on both their research and their MUN thematic maps. The actual MUN conference will be at the end of the month. Students will be given two weeks of research time.

Science

Gr. 8 continued their exploration of physical changes. Any work not completed in class became homework. Students investigated the physical properties, fusion, and solidification. Next week will be a summary of the physical changes and review for the test, which will be on the following week.  Then students are in for a treat as they make ice cream.

Mathematics

Corrected test papers were given back, and test reflections were uploaded to ePortfolio.  Infographics performance task was discussed. They will work on this task for 4 class periods.  It’s due on Nov. 14 for Block A and Nov. 16 for Block H.

Week of October 23, 2017

English

Using the story, “The Gift of the Magi”, Gr. 8 reviewed the literary devices. After the break, students will work on topic, theme, and thesis. Below is an example:

Book club choices will also be presented when the students come back from the break. There will be two assessments this quarter: an essay on how the theme was revealed using literary devices on a short story and a book club presentation.

Social Studies

Cafeteria crisis was continued.  After the break, they will go through the test results and talk about re-assessment. Students will vote on the topic that they will debate as a class for the MUN: Nuclear Disarmament or LGBT. They will then talk about credible sources, CRAAP guideline, and Wikipedia because MUN entails a lot of research.

Science

This week was an introduction to Physical and Chemical changes. Gr. 8 worked on the first five stations below:

After the break, they will continue the investigations. The slides in this unit have been posted last week and it is also in the Google Classroom.  Assessment will be composed of three mini-assessments instead of one end-of-unit like last quarter.  Students will also be graded on their collaboration (how they work during the lab investigations) and communication (how they present their data in their notebook) during the lab work.

Mathematics

Students reviewed for the test and took the test this week.  After the break, they will work on their infographics performance task and they are expected to finish by the third session.  See last week’s post about this performance task.  After this task, they will go into Geometry.

Week of October 16, 2017

English

Gr. 8 had the Socratic Seminar on the memoir article, their own memoir, and the book club book.  

Next week will be the start of Quarter 2.  Students will review literary terms; read “Charles” by Shirley Jackson; and talk about topic, theme, and thesis. How authors reveal themes through literary devices will be answered this quarter.  Students will write an essay for their performance task using the EmPOWER strategy about the theme of a short story and how the author revealed it through literary devices. An example of a thesis statement for the essay is “In ‘The Lottery,’  Shirley Jackson reveals that tradition can be dangerous when it is not questioned through her use of symbolism.” Students should be able to cite evidence of the device from the story.

Social Studies

Students had the cafeteria crisis debate as preparation for the MUN. Next week, they will continue their practice. Students are reminded to observe the parliamentary procedures. Below are more suggestions:

    • Speak in a loud and clear voice.
    • Look at your fellow delegates.  Do not talk to the paper.
    • Use your hands to gesture when speaking.
    • Have a strong and convincing presence.  Stand up straight.
    • Do not insult your audience or speak down to them.
    • Try to include everyone in your speech.
    • Add emotion and feeling to your speech.  Monotonous voices convince nobody!
    • Be sure to take a pause after stating major points.  Let it sink in.
    • Use variety in the tone and pace of your speech.

MUN preparations will begin after the break.  Students will debate about Nuclear Disarmament or LGBT and they will know about the topic and their assigned country (usually their own) after the break. The date for the actual MUN debate has not been determined yet as students will spend a lot of time researching on their topics and preparing their policy statements and operative clauses.

Science

Gr. 8 wrapped up the unit on information processing and took the unit test. Next week will be the start of the next quarter which is about Physical and Chemical Changes.

Mathematics

Students reviewed for the end of unit test. Here are the answers to the practice test last week from Ms. Deveza. Next week is the test and introduction to the performance task. Below are examples of infographics for the performance task:Students can prepare for this by thinking about their special interests.  Once they have their topic, they can research and think of their design using these programs (infogram,  canva or any other design apps).  They have to show the following skills and present their calculations on a separate sheet:

Change fractions to decimals

Change recurring decimals to fractions

Estimate irrational numbers

Use scientific notation appropriately, and perform multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction with a final answer in scientific notation.

Week of October 9, 2017

English

Students learned about Action in DADI and worked on peer editing of their memoirs. They submitted their final drafts. Next week, they will have a Socratic Seminar, which is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. The topic will be about truth in memoirs. Students will be observed using the sheet below:

Social Studies

Gr. 8 took the UN test. Next week will be an introduction to the Model United Nations. They will debate on a topic and follow the protocols of the United Nations. The UN Delegate packets will be shared in Google Classroom. An important part of the MUN is creating good operative clauses.

Science

Gr. 8 worked on analyzing why a school is a system. On their own, they watched a video on the nervous system and took down notes on how it is a system. Next week session 2 is the assessment. It is important that they are able to answer how organisms detect, process, and respond to information from the environment and why a system is a system.  They will no longer have the systems analogy. Students will be allowed to use their notes on “What is a System” during the test. Below are the rubric and the revision guide:

During their last session, students also dissected a sheep’s brain.

Mathematics

Scientific Notation was the topic this week.  The unit test will be on October 26 and it will be about all the previous lessons: rational and irrational numbers, exponents, and scientific notation. Here is a practice unit test from Ms. Deveza. Next week will be the practice test and introduction to the performance task.

Week of October 2, 2017

English

Students continued writing their memoirs and learned about Introspection. Memoirs are due next week. Below is an example of introspection, which should be italicized:

Next week will be peer editing and Book Club 4. Then the final memoir will be turned in. Below is the rubric once again:

Social Studies

Students finished annotating the UN packet. Test on this next week. They are expected to have completed annotating the packet to qualify for re-assessment.

Science

The students wrapped up the discussion on the Dive Reflex investigation. They were also expected to have completed their graph (using Google Sheets) on the combined data for different classes. Then, they explored the question, “How do organisms process information detected from the environment? A sample CER about Dive Reflex was shared:  In the future, students will write their own CER for every lab investigation.

“The dive reflex is a phenomenon in which your body manages to lower the amount of oxygen while the face is exposed to cold water, slowing down one’s heart rate. This allows the body to effectively use energy while it is not getting a constant production of oxygen. The cold water is detected through thermoreceptors in the skin which detect change in temperature, touch, and pressure. This phenomenon was replicated in a classroom situation, and a grade level average was collected, proving this dive reflex to be true on its overall effect on heart rate. Looking at evidence, the average resting heart rate for 8th grade was around 79 beats per minute. During the dive reflex when the face was exposed to ice water, the average heartbeat slowed to around 66 beats per minute. This means there was a decrease of an average of 13 beats per minute after the dive reflex was activated.”

Students were given an introduction to systems using toys.  Next week students will learn about the nervous system using the “systems framework”. Assessment will be an analogy of a system.

Mathematics

Gr. 8 took the quiz on exponents and some blocks have started the unit on scientific notation. Next week will be a continuation of scientific notation. The next unit test will be on rational and irrational numbers plus exponents and scientific notation.

Week of September 25, 2017

English

Students continued having mini-lessons on narrative writing techniques for their memoirs which are due the week of October 9. Next week, they will learn about introspection techniques and scene three will be due before they go for CWW.

Social Studies

Gr. 8 continued reading and annotating the UN packet.  Videos were also shown about the League of Nations and Treaty of Versailles. Quiz on the UN packet will be on the week of October 9.  The quiz will have three parts: multiple choice questions about facts; comprehension short answer questions; and the students’ best closed and open evaluation questions from the UN packet.

Next week, students will read pages 13-17. Students who need support in understanding the packet can watch WWI, League of Nations, WWII, and United Nations on BrainPop. Username and password have been shared with the students. They can email me if they need help.

Science

Students investigated the Dive Reflex. Students collected data and organized and presented data using Google Sheets. It is expected that Gr. 8 will know how to use Google Sheets to present data and graphs.

This investigation concluded their exploration of the question “How do organisms detect, process and respond to information?” Next week will be wrap up of dive reflex detecting information and introduction to memory modeling. Performance task will be about creating a model – an analogy for systems.

Mathematics

Gr. 8 had their MAP testing and a practice quiz.  Next week will be the quiz on exponents. After that, students will work on scientific notation.


Week of September 18, 2017

English

Memoir performance task was discussed and the scaffold was shared.  See last week’s post for the rubric. Memoirs are due on Oct. 12 for Blocks B and C and Oct. 13 for Blocks DGH. Next week, students will have mini lessons on overusing descriptions, using the senses to write, and punctuating dialogue.  Part 2 of the scaffold is due on the first session of the following week before CWW.  Students should also be ready with Book Club Meeting 3 with their notes on MCRS in their reading notebook (see photo below):

Social Studies

United Nations packet was introduced with a quizlet for the vocabulary words. Next week students will continue reading and annotating the UN packet up to page 12.  They annotate by doing the following:

  • changing the font of unknown words into red and writing the definition on the comment box
  • highlighting important details
  • writing a connection
  • asking the following questions: wonder, knowledge, comprehension, closed, and open evaluation

Quiz on this packet will be on October 12/13.

Read and Respond #1 is due next Friday by 8 pm and the summary will be submitted to turnitin. The article for the Read and Respond has been posted on Google Classroom.

Science

Gr. 8 worked on the different stations to answer the question: How do organisms detect, process, and respond to information from the environment?

Students then summarized what they have learned:

Science notebook will be checked and graded using the rubric below for organization in learning habits:

Next week will be about the dive reflex experiment and the nervous system.

Mathematics

Gr. 8 reviewed the rules of exponents.  Next week will be MAP testing and practice for the test. Here is a practice quiz from Ms. Deveza. Quiz will be on Oct. 3 for Block A; Oct. 10 for Block H.

Week of September 11, 2017

English

Book club due dates for the chunk has been given and students wrote the dates in their planner. Baseline writing assessment was also given back. Next week will be MAP testing, Book Club 2 and introduction to the Memoir performance task, which will be due on the week of October 9: Oct. 12 for Blocks B and C and Oct. 13 for Blocks DGH. Here is a scaffold for the performance task and below is the rubric:

Social Studies

For CEFL watch CNN 10 Mon-Thurs; Al Jazeera on Fridays every other week; and Our Little Earth every Friday. Causes of WWI were discussed. Next week is MAP testing and discussion of the United Nations packet.  Here is the differentiated UN packet.

The first Read and Respond will be due on September 25.  An article from Newsela will be given and the students can choose their Lexile level.

Science

A phenomenon about some animals was introduced and the students looked for their own phenomenon to find out if the behavior of the organism was innate or learned.  Students worked on different stations to answer the question: How do organisms detect, process, and respond to information from the environment?  Here’s a quizlet for the vocabulary words in this unit. Next week, they will complete the station activities, create an information processing model and work on the Nervous System.

Mathematics

Rules of Exponents was discussed. Next week will be about negative exponents and a review of all the exponent properties.  Quiz on the exponents will be after the MAP testing.


Week of September 4, 2017

English

Memoir and DADI have been discussed and students have revised their birthday moments after peer review. Book club choices were revealed.  Students were given their books and they are expected to read 20 pages a day or enough to finish the assigned chunk per week. They are also required to write the 10 (8 plus all the connections) Metacognitive Reading Strategies that they use while reading their book club book chuck in their reading notebook.

Next week will be the MCRS quiz, where they will read a story and write a comment on ALL the 8 strategies.  They need to have the following labels: Identify, Apply, and Explain.  Examples of comments are in the Google Classrooms on the story, The Glass Castle. Students will also re-write their small moments focusing on DADI.

How to comment on the MCRS.

Social Studies

Read and Respond Rubric has been shared.  Students also finished their first quiz. Gr. 8 should know that CEFL questions (which starts next week) will be selected from these three sites: CNN10, Aljazeera in pictures, and Our Little Earth.

Next week will be about World War I to give the students a background on how the United Nations was formed. They will summarize the MAIN  reasons for the war and take Cornell notes. World War I will not be assessed.

Science

Gr. 8 talked about how science works based on their two labs: thirsty candle and modified thirsty candle.

They were also shown how to make a model to explain their investigation like they would do on a test that measures Transfer of Learning.  To explain the collapsing can (see photo below), for example, the model below the photo would get a grade of 7:

Next week, they will continue learning about how organisms know what they know.  The slides are in Google Classroom for this new unit on Information Processing.

Mathematics

Gr. 8 had their first quiz on rational and irrational numbers.  Exponents was introduced and will be continued to next week.  See below for some help on this topic.  Quiz on this will be after the MAP test.