This first week of 8th grade in Humanities was really so wonderful! We started off the year by discussing what “shape” we think the planet is in. What makes it in good shape, what makes it in bad shape? In their discussion, the 8th graders named the major issues that the world faces today: global warming, poverty, income inequality, the oppression of women, xenophobia, homophobia. Students collaborated to make poster representations. Here’s one example from Isaac, Zephyr, Dov, and Ilan.
I was so happy to see all of your wonderful children on Tuesday. I missed them over the summer! We began class by thinking about a major theme of the year: Identity is complex and changing. We made collages to express our Jewish Identity:
Students shared what parts of Judaism they connect to most easily. Here are some excerpts — I was amazed by the variety of points of connection students shared:
Ilan: I connect to the traditions my family has passed down to me.
Ruby: I connect to Shabbat and Israel because I think both are a good way to explore Judaism and bring people together.
Nomi: I connect to the people of Judaism.
Ronit: I connect to the Jewish community because we are all so different yet so similar at the same time.
Aya: I connect to not eating pork because I am veggie.
Cy: I connect to going to synagogue.
Antonia, Dov, Gabe : I connect to the sense of community.
Abbey: I connect to the singing in Judaism.
Saul: I connect to the food and camp.
David: The easiest part of Judaism for me to connect to is the sense of community and togetherness especially on Shabbat.
Aviyah: I connect to many of the laws and traditions. Keeping kosher is one. I especially connect to the humane way of killing animals and keeping hechsher kosher.
Gila: I connect to celebrating Shabbat every week because it’s with my family and good food.
Sasha: I connect to celebrating Jewish holidays with my family and friends, especially Hanukah and Yom Kippur.
Jonah and Shai: I connect to the music of Judaism!
Abigail: I connect to the arguing with God part because I like debate.
Anabella: I connect with celebrating holidays because I can spend it with my whole family!
Tamar: I connect to going to shul because that tradition is part of my entire family’s identity.
Zephyr: I connect to the sense of community and connection to the past that’s present on Shabbat.
Isaac: I connect to the holidays and Shabbat because they are things in my family that we do more than others.
Ali: I celebrate holidays with my family. We usually celebrate Hanukah at my house, but my extended family likes to switch off whose house we celebrate certain holidays at.
It’s been a great week catching up with the 8th grade and delving right back into math. This week, we’ve started working on The Laws of Exponents and Scientific Notation; next week we will build on those skills by working with Fractional Exponents and Solving for Exponent Variables. Algebra I is a course that provides foundational knowledge for many different branches of mathematics and other areas of STEM. The students are going to have a great year learning about Algebra and all its real world applications!