Hope you all had a lovely holiday season and are ready and raring to go in 2017
We are moving on to a new project which will cover resistance to slavery in the 19th century. Students will produce and perform plays in teams.
Time-crucial info: I would like students to see '12 years a slave' and will host a movie watching session after school this Friday. Details on the letter. Thanks!
Math and Science:
We will be kicking off Space Exploration in math and science this week! Our project will run from January 3 through February 3 and include a field trip to the Palomar College Planetarium in Vista and an optional field trip to Borrego Springs Palm Canyon campground to look at the stars.
Field Trips (our dates are tentative right now but will be finalized by the end of the week):
Palomar College Planetarium in Vista Thur Jan. 12 or Tues Jan. 17 (need parent drivers)
Optional Borrego Springs campout, hike and star party (weather permitting) Friday Jan 13 after school - Saturday mid day. Cost is only $5! Sign up here (need drivers!)
2nd 8th grade trip payment of $75 due Tuesday Jan 17.
Specials continue (Spanish, Art) until the end of the semester
Speak to you all soon!
This Friday, students will be voting in our mock election. Some students in 8th grade have been making videos to explain candidate messages / prop information to show to all students before voting. Students have had to register to vote before hand to make it that much more realistic. Will the IA Election be an accurate predictor for Tuesday the 8th????
Project: This week we will be peer critique collaborative work on our Democracy Infographics (Iteration 1) based on the rubric , followed by incorporating the feedback into the final iteration, due by the end of the week. The final piece will be to complete a written reflection on their inquiry and showing / explaining to some younger students at IA.
Vocab: We have ceased making vocab comics a deliverable. After a test week where one was not required, and students chose their own way of studying for the assessment, an 8th grade class average of 89% was achieved on Friday (albeit on the basic version only). From now on students will study and prepare for the weekly assessment in the way that suits them best. This is going to free up inquiry time and reduce assignment stress on the students = good.
The list has already been shared with parents of students needing to complete work on Monday pm. We are striving to get this list out earlier for your convenience.
Last week our math unit, Integers and Rational Numbers was focused on operations with rational numbers, properties of real numbers and converting between fractions, decimals and percents. We practiced those concepts by playing various math games. As explained in class, these concepts are the building blocks for a solid foundation in algebra. Students can practice the concepts we have learned on iXL.com. Sections C,D, and E.
This week, we will learn about variables, terms, and combining like terms.
SOS Save Our Seas Project news:
In science we continued our investigation into ocean pollution and conservation. Students completed the activities that accompanied the Kure Waste Chase online game, and started reading the epic poem, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner".
This week we will continue reading "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and investigate the interconnectedness of the ocean and Earth's physical and human systems through videos, discussions, writing and mapping. We will also learn about Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Students will make personal connections to their own lives and ways humans are connected to the ocean.
Have a wonderful week!
Democracy Infographic Rubric
Use this rubric to guide the creation of your democracy infographic, and the critique of peers’ infographics.
Reminder: The remainder of 8th graders who did not get pictures taken will do it Thursday Oct 27.
- Democracy Infographics are going to be finished this week, which is exciting: First major product of the year, and the prospect of moving on to Project 2!
- The guiding question which the infographics will address is 'To what extent is the USA a 'true' democracy? '. Students should have all chosen their approach to this question already. Now it's time to get creative in a career-relevant way!
- The guidance sheet giving students ideas for a focus is here, and there are tons of resources on www.gooru.org in my democracy collection which they all know how to access. Everything is there for them, and they've all practiced using www.piktochart.com to build infograhpics for free from templates.
- It would be awesome if you could take a little time to check out your kid's work this week and encourage them / lend ideas and advice.
And here is the 6th vocab list on our 8th grade info website
In our math unit, Integers and Rational Numbers. During the past week we reviewed adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing integers and practiced those operations by playing various math games. This week we will work on operations with rational numbers with a focus on fractions. Students can practice the concepts we have learned on iXL.com. Sections C,D, and E.
In science we continued our investigation into Ocean Pollution. Students played Kure Waste Chase, an online game based on the Kure Atoll, a remote spot in the Northernmost area of the Hawaiian Islands whose only inhabitants are animals. Unfortunately it is also a resting point for trash that comes from thousands of miles away. Students played the game to learn about marine debris and how it affects marine life.
Lisa and I are working on getting the list of students and missing assignments to you earlier in the weekend so you can make arrangements for Monday OR encourage your kids to choose to finish the missing tasks from home on Sunday, thus removing them from the need to attend the make up sessions!
This week's list is here with assignments noted. All tasks are possible to complete online at home fyi. Thanks for supporting us on this.
Here are some pictures of students enjoying the hand-weights which many of you contributed to...we're getting fit!
Hello 8th grade families,
Thanks to all those parents who took part in SLCs last week we had a lot of very productive meetings. The school does expect 100% of families to have an SLC at this point in the year so if you were unable to make it last week, please contact us directly to arrange a suitable time before or after school.
Monday Make-Ups will continue, and we've put together a list of students here on this document who we ask to stay after school tomorrow to complete some unfinished assignments. PLEASE CHECK THE DOC for your student - we have a large number requested to stay. If your child cannot be there please contact us to make other arrangements to get the work completed.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, only half our class got their photos done last Friday. The remainder of students will get theirs done on Thursday October 27.
Pizza Update: In just three weeks of pizza sales, we have made over $600 toward our 8th grade trip fundraising! Every dollar lowers the total cost of all students' $500 total. If you have any availability to help on a Friday during, we would love an extra hand! We could use volunteers to (1) pick up Costco pizza and (2) help coordinate shifts of 8th grade pizza servers. Please contact us if you can help.
We'll be back to work on vocab. The list of words is on the vocab page here, on our info site. After SLCs, I'd like to request that parents feel empowered to work with their kids on the vocab words before they are quizzed on Thursday (Keith's class) or Friday (Lisa's class). I will also be encouraging the students to do more study at home.
I will now, as you'll see on the vocab list, be adding the etymology of each word, the Latin or Greek root words, similar words, and synonyms. Research suggests this is important to really understanding each word and expanding language mastery generally.
We'll be working on completing our democracy infographics in the next two weeks to wrap up this first project / unit of study.
I had another Donor's Choose project funded last week - pls come by to check out the calm learning environment the resources helped us build.
We would like to thank all families who attended SLCs last week. We are still shooting for 100% attendance, so if you were not able to attend, please contact us to set up a time for your student to showcase their work.
We started our new math unit, Integers and Rational Numbers. Last week we concentrated on what it means to have number sense. We classified Real Numbers into two families: rational numbers and irrational numbers. Students practiced how to put whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals, and square roots in numerical order on a number line. We talked about the inequality symbols: greater than, less than, greater than or equal to and less than or equal to. We also defined absolute value. This coming week we will be playing math games to learn about, come up with some rules and practice operations on integers.
In science we started our investigation into Ocean Pollution. We started with a discussion about the causes of ocean pollution, the victims and the possible impacts on us and our earth This week students will discover and begin research on ocean topography, chemistry, ecosystems in the ocean and the human impact on ocean sustainability.
Have a wonderful week!
Keith & Steph, Lisa & Nathan
Dear 8th grade families
- Our camping trip went off without a hitch, and the students really benefited from and enjoyed the challenge of the ropes course. Many truly confronted and conquered their fear of heights. Thanks again to all who contributed food / tents / transport etc. Couldn't have done it without you all. Here are just a few of the many photos we took.
- We have 11 parents still to sign up for a Student Led Conferences slot this week. The SLCs sign up doc is here. Please remember that we have half days all week in order to accommodate the pm conferences so school is out at .
- Fall Fest is going to become Spring Fling as this October wasn't possible in the end. Keep a look out for updates
- There will be no pizza sales this week due to no lunches
- Picture day ismorning.
- The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) is going to be administered this week, which will give us as accurately as possible each student's current reading level.
Here's to a great week,
Keith, Steph, Lisa, and Nathan
*Our Ropes/San Clemente trip is this week! Please check the list to help with shared supplies such as tents, cookware and some food items, click here. Look at the field trip tab on our Class Information Page for packing list or click here for more details.
*Picture Day is Friday morning October 14
*Our 2nd Pizza Friday was another success! We can add another $250 to our total fundraising. This coming week, the 7th graders will help us keep the momentum since we won't be back to school in time for lunch on Friday. I created a signup for the rest of the year. If you are available to pick up pizzas on any Friday from Costco at 11:00 and deliver to school, please sign up here.
All assignments on the Math/Science Google Classroom site (except the Geographical Silhouette and Family Tree) are due Tuesday Oct 4.
We will have a sub on Monday and Keith will return Tuesday. If you have any questions about the camp out, please contact Lisa,firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's to a wonderful week!
Students were far more successful with our vocab assessment this week: I decided after conferencing with students (and some parents) to begin making TWO tiered assessments for each week; students opt to take the one(s) that suit them best: A 'basic' version, and a 'rigorous' one which will test the same words but in a way that requires knowledge of the words and some critical thinking skills.
Student-Led Conferences are fast approaching (October 10th - 13th). Please use this document to sign up for a slot. If you are new to this aspect of our program feel free to email your kid's homeroom teacher for more information.
This is some data on this week's BASIC test:
And this is from this week's RIGOROUS test:
Which is a big improvement on last week's RIGOROUS test:
It appears that starting with the basic test kind of warms up the neural pathways, gives a boost in confidence, and leads to greater success in the rigorous version (also, more students studied the words this week).
We also studied our First Past The Post electoral system, comparing it with the various forms of proportional representation as used by a number of other countries. Some students chose to study on Gooru beforehand, and discuss / debate in a small group while those who did not choose this spent that time studying and making notes. This was our first flipped classroom attempt.
The first presidential debate is tomorrow evening and this week's optional flipped learning element will be to watch and evaluate the debate using a graphic organizer I will provide.
Fitness schedule is now set: Basic Weights 101 workout (using donors choose weights) every Tuesday after lunch, Zumba every Wednesday after lunch, PE with Coach Curry every Friday for 45 minutes first thing in the morning.
Thanks as always
Lisa and Keith
Student Led Conference Sign-Up
we got our Donor's Choose project fully funded so we have a class set of hand weights on their way to us which is awesome.
Thanks to Ashley Parker's dad Roger for coming in on Thursday with DJ gear and cupcakes to help celebrate Ashley and Steph's birthday on that day. The whole school had fun dancing in the sunshine. What a wonderful moment it was.
Local lawyer Meredith King came in on Friday to educate the students in one hour lessons on to honor Constitution Day. We learned a lot about the 'Charters of Freedom' - please ask your kids which three documents these are!
We also launched our first project whereby we'll be making infographics covering our inquiry into the driving question 'To what extent is the USA a 'true' democracy?'
we'll carry on our vocab learning , link to vocab words here on the 8th grade info website. We use Gooru.org for our humanities studies learning resources and our vocab assessments. In the spirit of transparency, please feel free to log in and join the humanities class (and even take the assessment!) so you can see exactly what your students are required to learn.
This week (Keith's class on Thursday, Lisa's class Friday) begins the optional flipped (home learning) element of the class: We will have ourfirst debate in class on the electoral system for which students can choose to prepare at home by watching/reading the first three resources in the Democracy USA collection on Gooru.
Fitness Reminder: Tuesday is Insanity / Weights workout: Wednesday is Zumba. Kids need to bring exercise gear (water, deodorant, workout attire, spare shirt).
Keith and Steph, Lisa and Nathan
Hello 8th grade families,
We had another fantastic week! Students are getting into the groove and finding their place in our 8th grade community.
8th Grade News
During our past week we continued with classroom agreements, set up more classroom routines and jobs and had our first class councils. We started our Spanish, Art and PE classes and got used to our class schedules. For Keith's Homeroom Class Schedule, click here . For Lisa's Homeroom Class Schedule, click here. Thank you to the parents who came out to hear about our overnight trips and fundraising possibilities.
Some important announcements:
Students continued to practice 3 types of symmetry: reflection, rotation and translation. We will begin math assessments this week and start using iXL for daily practice.
We started the first activity of our "How I See Me" project by creating a personal Lifeline of 10 highs and 10 lows. Due to internet difficulties, the originaldue date has been extended to tomorrow by . All students know this!
Parents: Students need your help this week collecting personal history information. This information will be used to complete the activities included in our project
-How did you get your name?
-At least 3 generations of your family tree if possible
-Geographical history: Where did your ancestors come from?
-Culture and traditions: Ideas include food, music, stories, dances or games, clothing
-Family structure: What is your role in the family? Only child? Firstborn? Youngest?....-What makes your family unique? Stories, traditions, preferences, family sayings….
Have a wonderful week!
Keith, Lisa, Nathan and Steph
9.4.16Weekly Email September 4th 2016
Have a great week!
The 8th Grade Team: Keith, Steph, Lisa and Nathan
Weekly Email, August 28th 2016
Hello 8th grade families,
We are so excited to start back to school tomorrow! This year, we will be sending a joint weekly email instead of separate homeroom classemails. We also have one 8th Grade Class Announcement page that can be accessed through the Innovations Academy website under the "Class News" tab. Here you will find archived emails, a monthly calendar, a link to photos and field trip information. (Just an fyi, The class links are currently not working but we will notify you as soon as they are with the link attached to our email.)
Remember, school begins atnow and release time is on Monday and the rest of the week.
Welcome to our 8 new families to IA! This week our plan is to get acquainted and set a positive intention for serious learning. We will be coming up with class agreements, goals and expectations for an amazing year. We will practice routines for keeping a safe and organized learning environment and include mindfulness throughout the day.
Please note: students may well be doing team building activities outside on any given day in the next couple weeks and should come prepared with hat / sunscreen.
Remember, our doors are always open, if you need to reach either of us please email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org We will get back .
Lisa and Nathan,
Keith and Steph