In this column:
Honors Algebra * Geometry * Language Arts * Social Studies * Science
|Honors Algebra |
Lynda Forman, Honors Algebra Teacher
"How do you find the length of a rectangle if you know the height and the area? Is there a formula for that?" As we begin our review of linear equations we will look at ways to manipulate formulas to solve for different variables.
"Why do we have to learn this anyway?" This is a common question asked by middle school students. During the month of October we will look at real life applications of linear equations. Students will find that algebra is something they use often and do not even realize they are doing it.
Mykel Hitselberger, Math Teacher
Geometry is considered by some to be the foundation of all formal mathematics. It is the most ancient of the mathematical studies and is an attempt to first describe and then predict the way the world works. It is an examination of shapes and properties and their interactions. The study of geometry is much different from the study of algebra. Algebra takes rules and then applies them to specific situations; geometry examines and explores specific situations as a way of discovering the rules.
Our first unit in geometry is an introduction to this new way of thinking. The formal study of geometry includes the study of logic and reasoning and requires a new vocabulary. We can now discuss postulates and theorems, hypotheses and conclusions. We have learned about truth tables and whether proposed conclusions are valid or invalid. We've looked at the way statements can be twisted and manipulated, reversed and doubled back upon themselves, and how these changes affect the validity of the statements. We have learned to recognize the operation of the Law of Detachment and the Law of Syllogism. Equally important as learning how logic works, we have looked at examples of logical mistakes and fallacies, making us better consumers and citizens. During the next few weeks, we will use these new tools and insights to examine the basic building blocks of geometry - lines, planes, and angles.
|Language Arts |
Tara Barnhart, Language Arts Teacher
In 8th Grade Language Arts, students will begin their literary analysis of The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton. Hands on activities include graffiti writing, sunset watercolors, and collage nature poems. The students have added 15 SAT words to the "wall of words" since school began and have taken "practice tests" via the new SMARTBOARD! Ongoing grammar, vocabulary and writing instruction will occur.
|Social Studies |
Doug Hart, Social Studies Teacher
The 8th graders have just completed some mini research on the many interesting characters associated with America during its emergence as a world power in the late 19th century. They should have a pretty solid understanding of this Age of Extremes, which saw the rich get richer and the poor get poorer (but start fighting for their rights!) They will continue to read primary sources from The American Reader (I want them to read many primary resources this year as they analyze the actual words spoken rather than just reading a textbook account of the events.)
As October winds down, they will begin to make sense of how difficult it was for the United States to get involved in World War I. They will begin with some map studies of Europe as it changed quite a bit after the war. They will compare this map to a current map, as well. A major essay will focus on our attempt to "return to normalcy" after the war. What is normal? I hope the 8th graders can help in answering this question. As we explore the "Roaring 20s," we will find that American culture would never again be the same.
Lynda Forman, Science Teacher
Why do some things float and others sink? Why does my shower curtain move toward the running water when I turn on the shower? How does a hydraulic lift work? These are questions that we will investigat during the beginning of the month. Archimedes, Pascal and Bernoulli give us the answers to these and many other questions. As we learn about their work, we will find the answers to these and many other questions.
In this column:
Spanish * Music * MS Physical Education * Art
During the month of September and part of October eighth grade students will work on the preliminary unit of their book. Students will review the Spanish alphabet, greetings, classroom items, vocabulary, plus daily class expressions. Students will also review the calendar, the weather, the time, and their daily school schedule.
Toward the end of October students will begin the first UNIT in their text books, learning about ESPAÑA! In this first unit we will talk about the body and the senses.
Eighth graders will be also participating in the dance for the Hispanic Heritage Month.
Sue Hughson, Music Teacher
September music has prepared the students for a fun filled October music experience. Guitar or piano music is being projected on the large screen, which frees the student to focus intently on the music rather than the set-up and take-down of music stands, collecting music books and turning pages. Guitar and piano instruction is on Tuesdays. Thursdays are devoted to general music to include the selections for the upcoming Holiday Show. This is one show you won't want to miss!
|Middle School Physical Education |
David Martin, PE Teacher
The students in middle school are learning and applying concepts of teamwork, strength training, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and putting forth their best effort. They will learn fitness activities and concepts designed to enhance self-confidence and improve their overall fitness level. This will be consistent throughout the school year. This will be accomplished with personal challenges and small group activities. The emphasis of each class is personal fitness development with exercise routines each class, and developing and improving game/sport tactics and skill. Additionally, we will engage in a variety of teamwork/team building activities that emphasize active listening and effective communication.
Mary Waldhorn, Art Teacher
Eighth graders are starting out the year trying to get an understanding of line drawing. They first drew portraits of each other without looking at their papers! These images displayed some very interesting line quality and at times were also very humorous! Some of the drawings were turned into cartoon caricatures. Next they tried to do line drawings of a partner by looking at each other and also line drawings of their shoes. This is all in preparartion for self-portrait line drawings that they will turn into caricatures of themselves. Eighth graders also had fun designing their names using graffiti techniques. This lesson related to their summer reading of The Outsiders. Upon completion of the caricature unit we will start our social issues poster design and painting unit. Our theme this year will deal with bullying.