8th Grade Content Update | September

Each month, we will update you with what is going on in Crew, Math, Science, & Humanities for 8th Graders. If you have any questions, please reach out directly to your child's teacher.


Crew & Social Emotional Development


“The more a piece of information is repeated or relearned, the stronger the neurons become, and the connection becomes like a well-worn path through the woods...the more frequently and the more recently we learn something and then recall it or use it again, the more entrenched the knowledge”

Frances Jense, MD The Teenage Brain


The habit of the month for September is Executive Skills. As you have likely gathered, explicitly teaching Executive Skills to Middle Schoolers is pertinent to their growth and success. We hope you can find ways to reinforce our instruction around responsibility, time management, impulse control, and organization at home. Students will be working on Executive Skill lessons during crew, and receive an additional 15 minutes a day focusing on organization and planning after Block 3.


Here are a few resources for you regarding Executive Skill development:


Second Step

All middle schoolers are working through their first unit within Second Step - Mindset & Goals. Students learn how to develop a growth mindset and apply it to their social and academic lives.


Family Discussion Prompts:

  • Ask your child to describe their own personality. Describe how you see them, how their personalities have changed, and the good that can come from that.

  • Ask your child about an adult they have met at school that they connect with. Tell them about an adult who has impacted your life growing up.

  • Ask your child if there is something new they would like to try, even if they are scared. Share something new you would like to try.


MATH

8th Grade:

In our opening unit this year we’re learning about transformations - how figures move on both coordinate planes and isometric grids. We’ve taken our first NWEA test of the year to get baseline data so we can continue to track our growth in math over the course of 8th grade. We’ll continue this unit into September and have our first assessment around the 20th. Next we’ll move into similarity among figures, connecting back to what we learned about scale drawings in 7th grade and bringing us into an understanding of slope.


Math 1:

In Math 1 we’ve hit the ground running, taking on complex patterns and sequences and discussing how these visuals or situations connect to functions. These topics will segue into our upcoming unit where we’ll analyze linear and exponential functions to expand our mathematical and critical thinking skills. Our first performance assessment will be around September 10th.


SCIENCE

In 8th Grade, students are learning to effectively work in groups. Many of our activities this year will involve group work. Students are learning: how to effectively question team members without giving them answers, how to listen and pay attention to team members, help others help themselves, and be concise in their answers and explanations. Hopefully, this ground work will help students be more successful all year.


HUMANITIES

In 8th grade we are analyzing the fundamental aspects of narrative texts. The students will apply these concepts to their own narrative writing. Our main novel, Inside Out and Back Again focuses on character development, and how specific incidents shape who the main character becomes throughout the story. In order to blend reading and writing together, we are currently discussing how inference and analysis skills can be applied to the characters we are reading about, and the characters that the students are developing within their own writing.


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