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Eighth Grade Blogger

October in the 8th Grade

Humanities This month in ELA, students are hard at work on their personal essays. They have studied model texts from expert professional writers as well as student writers, and they are now putting their learning to practice in their own stories. A reminder that students can use these essays in their applications to private schools. They follow the ISAAGNY prompts exactly! In Social Studies, students are learning about the geography, agriculture, and economy of the antebellum United States. As part of this, we learned about the history of cotton and indigo in the New World, a commodity that was fostered...
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Hello and welcome, Class of 2023! (Can you believe it?!)

Humanities I am so very excited to begin my fourth year at Hannah Senesh (and my 9th year in education) with this group of 8th graders! I look forward to engaging students in new and challenging content that will solidify the work they’ve already been doing in previous years. As students read books from contemporary and historic American authors in their ELA course, they will also learn about the rich American legacy in their Social Studies course. Students will explore the questions “What is the American legacy and how do I contribute to our future?” “What is the impact of...
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Goodbye, 8th Grade!

Science In the final weeks of science this year, we conducted our final project. We explored the morality of science. Students selected a science concept that could morally be argued against. For example, cloning, nuclear weapons, or self-driving cars. Students decided if they were pro or con and presented the class with their arguments.    We have explored so much science this year and I know these students will face high school with a strong sense of confidence. This has been an amazing year, and I am so proud of all their achievements this year.   Good Luck Class of...
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May in the 8th Grade

Humanities Between play rehearsals, the 8th Grade is hard at work drafting their Israel reflections and their graduation speeches. Heritage Hebrew להורים שלום, אני מקווה ששלומכם בטוב. לפני הנסיעה לישראל עבדנו על יחידת שורשים וזהות יהודית של תלמידי הכיתה שהייתה מאד מעניינת ומאתגרת. השבוע נעבוד על מבחני אוואנט שבודקת מיומנויות למידה, המאפשרת לנו להעריך ולעזור לתלמידים. שבת שלום, אילנה Judaic Studies We are beginning a new unit, themed to the play! 8th graders will be reflecting on the obligations between children and parents through Torah, Talmud, modern sources, and their own thoughts. What, if anything, do children owe to their...
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8th Grade in April

Happy April and Happy Spring to everyone! Humanities Over the past few weeks, 8th Grades have concluded their study of the nonfiction novel Just Mercy, in which lawyer Brian Stevenson defends his clients on death row. The students ended the unit with a discussion-based Socratic Seminar that they led completely independently. Students did a wonderful job questioning and dialoging with each other in a respectful manner on a contentious and controversial topic! Students are now reading Maus by Art Spiegelman and we are studying the Holocaust in history class. Using curriculum from Facing History’s Holocaust and Human Behavior unit, students...
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8th Grade in January

Hello, families!   Humanities Students are midway through their ELA unit on Gothic Literature. Reading Edgar Allen Poe, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, and Mary Shelley has proven to be a productive challenge to the 8th graders, and they are excited by the mysteries of the stories they are reading. We are discussing author’s use of literary elements like setting, plot, and characterization, and how their choices impact suspense and horror. In Social Studies, students have just wrapped up their study of antebellum America–examining the lead-up and causes of the US Civil War. Looking at a wide array of texts, they...
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8th Grade in December

Hello, parents!   8th graders are looking forward to the break starting next week, because they have been working hard in all their classes. Humanities In ELA, students have almost completed their poetry unit, in which they analyzed more than 25 poems over the course of a month! Now students are constructing small poetry chapbooks/zines in which they collect their own original poems, their favorite poems they read, and at least one analysis of a poem (their PRJ). They are creating beautiful pieces that I know they will keep for years to come! In Social Studies, students are learning about...
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October in 8th Grade at Senesh

Humanities Students have been working hard to write their own creative personal essays throughout the previous two weeks. In order to prepare, students have been doing intensive studies of both “master” texts from writers such as Jazmine Hughes, Alice Walker, George Orwell, and E. B. White, as well as from adolescent writers. The first drafts of their essays are due this Friday! Science Science has started strong with the discovery of what is an atom. Students created 3D models using beads and pipe cleaners. They needed to correctly position the three basic particles within an atom, namely the electron, proton,...
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Week 1 as 8th Graders!

HUMANITIES I am so very excited to begin my third year at Hannah Senesh (and my 8th year in education) with this group of 8th graders! We are beginning this year by writing personal essays in preparation for the high school process. Ask your children about E.B. White’s “Death of the Pig” and hemorrhagic infarcts!. As students read books from contemporary and historic American authors in their ELA course, they will also learn about the rich American legacy in their Social Studies course. I look forward to all the curiosity the students bring! Joseph, jhayden@hannahsenesh.org   JUDAICS !ברוכים הבאים /...
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