ELA: Students finished their critical analysis of personal narrative/memoir mentor texts and have begun to draft their own personal narratives. In the coming weeks, students will workshop their narratives with other classmates and focus on revising their narratives so that they are incorporating the elements of author’s craft and the qualities of strong narrative writing we analyzed as in our mentor texts into their own writing.
Social Studies: Students took a quiz on cultural regions of early Americans. We will spend the next week deciding whether European colonization brought civilization to the Americas or whether it was already here. We will start looking how we define what a civilization is, the useful and not-so-useful applications of the term, and look at some of the ancient societies of the Americas and decide whether they should be categorized as civilizations.
Have a wonderful weekend,
We are continuing to begin most of our Israel classes with a current events discussion. In a recent class the 8th graders had a meaningful discussion about Beacon High School’s treatment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The students have continued to work on creating their own “Crash Course Histories” about different parts of Israel’s history on topics that range from Palestine in WWI to the rise of Palestinian nationalism and the PLO. This past week, in commemoration of the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin we learned about Rabin’s life and discussed how and why he changed from a military man with a strong defensive policy to a man who took great risks to achieve peace. Next week, we will examine different opinions within the Jewish community about Rabin’s efforts towards peace, with a focus on the question of what happens when a society loses the ability to have objective/respectful discourse?
Phyllis and Andreea
To celebrate completing our study of the book of Devarim/Deuteronomy, 8th graders learned there is a mitzvah that each person write his or her own Torah. Since writing a whole Torah is a bit daunting, each student chose one pasuk/verse to write and include in a creative “pass it on” project. This tied in to our theme of Legacy — what will you do with the gifts you have been given? — and well as led us straight into our next unit: laws governing the relationships between parents and children. 8th graders translated a section of Talmud that explained the obligation to treat parents with reverence: they are not supposed to sit in your chair, contradict you, or put you down! How would having more “reverence/fear” for parents change our relationships with them?
Please remind your child to sign up for babysitting during parent teacher conferences! And just a reminder — on Tuesday, October 30th, the 8th graders will be visiting Holocaust survivors through Selfhelp Community Services.
P.S. Here are photos of 8th graders posing with the farewell gifts they designed for Moshe to give Bnai Yisrael. I also took photos of a “chalk walk” conversation on the white boards about different phrases that appear in our tefilot/prayers because I thought your children had such interesting things to say.
The 8th Grade is coming up on the end of Unit 2; Solving Simultaneous Linear Equations in Two Variables. The graphical, substitution, and elimination methods and when they are best utilized have been explored and applying them to real-world problems is in the works. We’re finding mystery numbers, prices of items, dimensions of shapes, and capacities of fuel tanks all by solving systems of linear equations. Who knew linear equations had so many practical uses? Financial Analysts, Engineers, Architects, Healthcare Professionals, Research Scientists, and Math Teachers all around the world, that’s who!
In science these past weeks we have finished up our unit about atoms and the periodic table. For our final project students created an element brochure. They made a creative and informative bi-fold or tri- fold brochure of their element. After this brochure students started their exploration of molecules and bonds. Their first experiment was building a device that introduced electricity to salt water in order to break up the molecules of water into the basic atoms of hydrogen and oxygen. Students were excited to see bubbles being produced and logical figure out what were the bubbles. In the following weeks we will continue to explore molecules and chemical bonds.