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

Week of May 22


Gr. 8 worked on their choice board and This I Believe Speech.  Next week, they will deliver the speech in class. See last week’s post for the rubric and sample of speech. Sample speeches for every AFC topic can be found in the English Google Classroom.

Below is the schedule for the AFC Summit:

Social Studies

Gr. 8 continued working on their AFC choice board projects which are due on Turnitin this Friday. Students have to write Operative Clauses for the AFC Summit due on May 29 at 8 PM. Below are the rubric and sample clauses. Next week they will have the mock AFC to prepare for the actual AFC on June 1.


Gr 8 have finished their performance tasks on the E column.  Next week, they will present their videos and disassemble their E columns.


Gr. 8 worked out the formula for getting the volume of a cone from actual measurement using water.  More information here. They continued to work on the formula for getting the volume of the following similar 3D shapes: cylinder, cone, and sphere. There will be no assessment on this unit.  The students are just being prepared for Gr. 9.


Week of May 15


Students made a relationship brain frame to work on their proposed solutions.

This I Believe speech assignment has been given which will be performed in English class on May 29/30. This will also be delivered at the start of the AFC Summit on June 1. Here is a sample speech. Below was the rubric last year.

Social Studies

Students worked on the TREE organizer for their proposed solution. They need to submit this personally to their advisers this Friday at 3:00 PM. Final note cards are due Friday at 8:00 PM.  Next week, they will work on their AFC choice board projects, which are due May 26 at 8:00 PM.


Students continued to work on their E-column. They have been writing their daily observations.  Assessment will be based on the journal and the video on the E-column. The journal is due Block 2 of next week and the video is due Block 3 next week. All the guidelines and samples are in Science Google Classroom.


Gr. 8 finished their end of the unit test. They will work on the volume of cylinders next week. Class note on this is posted in the Google Classroom.

Week of May 8

English and Social Studies

Students were reminded that causes need to be linked to the solutions. Solutions should link to the cause, but the cause need not all be solved because some are complicated. Choice Board was introduced and the rationale for their choice is due this Friday.  Please see last week’s post on the choice board and the rubrics. The final project is due on May 26 at 8:00 PM. Next week, the students will work on their last note cards – advocating for the solution that they support, which should consist of several different parts, for example, prevention-addressing current situation-rehabilitation and so on. Students should not forget the thesis statement.

Next week, the students will work on their last note cards – advocating for the solution that they support, which should consist of several different parts, for example, prevention-addressing current situation-rehabilitation and so on. They will fill out the TREE chart, which will be due to the advisors on May 19, Friday at 3:00 PM.

AFC dress code will also be discussed as well as the This I Believe speech, which is their personal statement about their issue.


Grade 8 started their daily observations of the E-column. They should refer to the written log document shared in Google Classroom for the journal entries. Ecology notes are also posted on Mr. P’s website.


Students practiced analyzing data and working out the average and relative frequency.  End of Unit test will be on Monday, May 15.  Here is a practice test and the answer key.

Week of May 2, 2017

English and Social Studies

Gr. 8 have continued working on their AFC note cards.  Next week, they will research on Tried Solutions to their research question. Students are reminded to paraphrase properly.

Some students are still not using in-text citation properly.  They are encouraged to visit this site.  Choiceboard for this project will be introduced next week and they have to make their choice by May 12 at 8:00 PM. This was the rubrics that was used last year.


Students have started the Interconnectedness unit and are in the process of building their Eco-column.  They will write their observations in a journal which will be the basis of their grade in this unit. Always check Mr. Pasamba’s site for more info.


Students have continued learning about correlation. They have also started working on the relative frequency. End of unit test will be on the week of May 15.


Week of April 24

English and Social Studies

Students have finished their AFC Global Overview.  Next week they will work on the Causes and Home Country outlook (they can choose their own country where they have more connection).


Students took the test on the current unit. Next week they will start the Interconnectedness Unit.


Students looked at describing correlation and line of best fit.

Next week they will be drawing scatter plots and in particular placing a line of best fit accurately and use this to approximate answers to questions using the variables. Then they will move on to relative frequency tables and discuss the association between variables.

Week of April 10, 2017

English and Social Studies

This week the students worked on coming up with their research question for the AFC. Research will begin next week and will continue for the next six weeks.


Gr. 8 worked on Kinetic and Potential Energy and the Law of Conservation of Energy. There will be an assessment on Gravity, Work, and Energy next week.


Students worked on statistics calculating the mean, median, mode, and range using heights. They have also started to analyze statistics that they might encounter in their AFC research. They will continue working on this next week.

Week of April 3, 2017


The students finished working on their propaganda posters. After the break time will be spent on AFC. Students should visit the AFC site for information.

Social Studies

Gr. 8 delivered their speech for the political party project. After the break classwork will be spent on AFC. It is really important for the students to think about their research question. RefSeek is an academic search engine that they can use for research. InstaGrok is a site that can help them in exploring their topics.


This week, students wrapped up their investigation on gravity and shared their CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) presentation with peers. Then they explored the concept of work through another investigation about the relationship between work and energy. After spring break, they will go into Law of Conservation of Energy – Pendulum.


Students worked on real life problems (ex: choosing the right taxi to take from the airport depending the rate and the distance) using y=mx+b using the Desmos graphing calculator. They also took the end of unit test on functions.

After the break, they will study statistics (calculating the mean, median, mode, and range using heights.)  Then they will learn how to interpret data from a graph/table that will help them in their AFC unit.

Week of March 27, 2017


Students learned about the propaganda techniques.  They have to use at least two of the techniques for their posters which are due third session of next week, April 6/7. Next week, they will work on their posters in the class.  When they come back after the break, they will work on their AFC topics. They need to have a book of their choice as well as a break from AFC research.

Social Studies

Gr. 8 have started researching on the solutions to their problem.  This time they can use resources outside of the recommended sites, but they still have to use the CRAAP test before using the website.  Note cards are due this week and the brief on April 2 to Turnitin by 8 pm. They also had a chance to choose their topics for AFC. Next week, they will deliver their speeches.  See last week’s post for the scaffolds. Below is the rubric for the speech.

When they come back after the break, they will work on their AFC topics.


Students had the free fall lab, in which they used the  following formula and the unit m/s2 to measure the constant acceleration of a falling object:

Acceleration = 2 x Distance ÷ Time2


a = 2d/t2


Students measured the slope of the different playground equipment in elementary school and middle school.

They continued to learn about functions and end of unit test will be given next week.  Here is a practice test. After the break they will work on statistics to help them interpret the graphs in AFC.