Week of August 28, 2017


Gr. 8 learned about Voice and how it improves their writing.  The expectation is for them to write one small moment about their birthday in preparation for writing a memoir.  They are reminded that their writing should not be a simple re-telling. Students also chose their book club for this quarter and they are expected to read 20 pages a day. The MCRS quiz has been moved to the following week.

Next week, they will read “The Glass Castle“, which is their mentor text for writing a memoir. They will also learn about the narrative techniques –DADI (Dialogue, Action, Description, Introspection), which should be reflected in their memoirs. A quiz on the Metacognitive Reading Strategies will also be given.

Social Studies

Students spent a lot of time working on the Read and Respond template by using the MCRS, writing comments, and asking questions representing each level of questioning.  Next week will be the quiz, which is exactly like the Read and Respond.  See last week’s post on how to make a comment. It is very important for the students to ask the right kind of questions. Please refer to the flowchart below on how to determine the levels of questions. On the quiz, they will be given an article and they are to ask all the kinds of questions. After the quiz, students will be introduced to the Structured Academic Controversy, which is how they will debate on controversial issues by presenting both sides.


Students presented their modified Thirsty Candle experiment to their peers and learned more about the nature of science. They have been reminded once again not to use personal pronouns in their report and to use more scientific terms in their reasoning.   Next week, they will go into the information processing model to answer the question, how do organisms know what they know? It is important for the students to review how to use Google sheets to make charts and graphs.


Students learned how to convert repeating decimals into fractions.  Next week, they will have a quiz and here is a practice test by Ms. Kath Deveza and here are the answers.  The actual test is very similar to the practice test.

Week of August 21, 2017


Students applied the Metacognitive Reading Strategies on the story, Eleven, by commenting on the side.  There will be a quiz on this on the week of September 4. Students will read a story and comment using the MCRS. See below on how to do this.

How to comment on the MCRS.

MCRS Identify Apply Explain

Book club choices were also introduced.  Formative writing on their birthday small moment was assigned for homework.  Next week, voice will be introduced and students will revise their small moments writing about their birthday.  This is in preparation for writing their memoir for their performance task.

Social Studies

Gr. 8 continued learning about how to complete the Read and Respond template by writing side note comment on an opinion or connection.  Levels of Questioning was also introduced. Next week, a full Read and Respond will be done in class in preparation for the test on the week of September 4.  Students will be given an article and they will apply the interactive reading strategies and write comments on an opinion and connection, as well as ask a question based on all the levels of questioning. Then, they will write a summary of the article.

Below is an example of how to write the comments:

R and R comments


Students finished their modified thirsty candle experiments and wrote their lab reports.  Writing the CER (Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning) took longer than expected so the information processing lesson will be moved to next week.


Gr. 8 learned about irrational numbers, ordering irrational numbers, and how to approximate square roots.

Approximating square roots

Next week, the lesson will be on converting repeating decimals to a fraction.  There will be a quiz on the week of September 4.

Repeating Decimals to Fraction


Week of August 14, 2017


Gr. 8 finished their writing sample and visited the MS library to check out the new books.

MS Library

Next week, they will talk about the Metacognitive Reading Strategies through the story, Eleven by Sandra Cisneros. They will also choose their book for the book club.  Students are expected to read 20 pages a day. For writing, they will start their small moments which will eventually lead them to write their memoir.

Social Studies

Students worked on summarizing from a video source and avoiding plagiarism.  Read and Respond bi-monthly assignment was introduced and will be discussed more next week. The students have to read a news article from  Newsela and use the metacognitive reading strategies to understand the article. Afterward, they are to write a summary. Next week, levels of questioning will be introduced and the CEFL (Current Events Football League) teams will be announced. Students should watch CNN10 from Monday to Thursday to compete in the CEFL.


Gr. 8 continued to discuss the Thirsty Candle Experiment and talked about the concept of heat, pressure, and particles.  Then they came up with their own experiment to modify the Thirsty Candle Experiment.

Modified Thirsty Candle

Next week, the topic will be on Information Processing. See below for the expectation in their lab experiment explanation and notebook format.

Science Notebook


Gr. 8 worked on changing fractions to decimal and decimals to fractions.  They also ordered rational numbers from least to greatest.

Human Number Line

Next week, they will go into Irrational Numbers.

Week of August 7, 2017


This week, Gr. 8 read “Where I’m From” and they started to write their own version. Next week, their poem, “Where I’m From” is due and a writing sample will be collected from the students. The students do not have to prepare for this as this is not graded and the goal is just to see what the students can write without any help. They will also take a trip to the MS library and they must have a book that they like to read with them.

Social Studies

Gr. 8 discussed the importance of critical thinking that will be expected throughout the year. The bottom line is that there is no right answer, but what is important is to have a stance (thesis) about a topic and give support in the form of logic and credible, research based evidence. Over the next few weeks, the students will have a boot camp on the following skills:

Here is the presentation on summarizing.  Students are expected to watch the news every day and Middle School Library should be bookmarked for research.

Next week will be about more summarizing and avoiding plagiarism.  Students will also sign up on turnitin.  Then, students will be introduced to CEFL to encourage them to watch and read the news every day.  Finally, Gr. 8 will be introduced to the Interactive Reading strategies.


Students went right away into performing science experiments to get them into thinking that science is doing; not memorizing.  They did the “Disappearing Coin” and the “Thirsty Candle” experiments and they talked about reflection, refraction, vacuum, gas, bubble, and oxygen.

Next week, they will talk about Information Processing, specifically, stimulus, response, the brain, learning, and the information processing model. Students are to bookmark Mr. Pasamba’s site, which is updated on weekends.


This week students took a pre-test to find out their levels for instruction purposes.  Next week, they will learn about Fractions, Decimals, and Rational Numbers.


Dear Parents,

I hope that you all had a restful summer break and that you are ready for school year 2017-2018!

We have a team of teachers to help support your child throughout the year in their core classes (English, Math, Social Studies, and Science):  Kathryn Deveza  (Teacher Assistant), Rhea Layosa (Educational Assistant), and myself, Maricel San Agustin, Learning Support Teacher for Gr. 8.

We work as a team to help all students, but the Educational Assistant is mainly to support the assigned student.  Our team works closely with all of the Gr. 8 teachers to advocate for your child’s needs.  We accomplish this by working in the core classrooms every day.  Great pride is taken in finding the right balance in supporting their needs while challenging them academically on their level.

I will be using this blog to communicate with you, so please bookmark this site.  This is updated on Friday afternoons.  You will find a short overview of what has been happening along with a look at what is coming up in each core curriculum class.  I will also post resources that are helpful for that week. I wish to particularly invite you to look at the Homework calendar often as all the assignments in the core subjects will be posted there on the day that they are due. Many parents find this very helpful when their child comes home and says, “I don’t have any homework” every night. Planners will be distributed on August 7, the first day of school.  It is very important for you to check the planners every day as that will communicate to your child the importance of school work and of being organized.

Many students take the Strategies Instruction class (SI) to help support learning and develop skills. In SI we take the time to help with organization, learning strategies, skills development, and task specific instruction. We do not use class time to complete homework. The class time is fully dedicated to improving and learning additional skills.

I look forward to meeting you all during the Open House on August 23, 2017.

I will be setting up goal meetings with you and your child soon. In the meantime, please feel free to schedule a meeting with me using this link if you have pressing concerns.  I always look forward to meeting with parents because they are the expert on their child.


Mrs. San Agustin

Room 3004