Literacy Update 2/20/18
We are officially more than half way through the school year, and we are confident that your child is getting prepared for the rigor of high school! In literacy, students are nearing the end of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. We are currently drafting literary essays about William, analyzing his character traits and how they are a reflection of his everyday actions. Prior to beginning our next unit: The Perils of Indifference, we will focus on PARCC prep and strategies for successfully navigating this upcoming test.
It's hard to believe, but we are already in to October and nearly wrapping up our first unit of the year. Students took a short stories assessment on Thursday where they had to analyze theme, tone, conflict and irony. They had to identify plot elements and make inferences and support those inferences with background knowledge. Additionally, they were asked to define unfamiliar words using context clues. Graded tests will be returned on Tuesday, 10/10, so ask your child how they performed on this test! Students are working hard this week on their "Define My Success" Essays where they are reflecting on their goals for the future and how they will achieve those goals. These essays will be presented at the 10/25 Cookout and Demonstration Night. Hope to see you all there!
Last week was short because of Monday's holiday and Thursday's excursion to the reservoir (which by the way was AMAZING), but we are cruising along in our Short Story Unit. Students read and analyzed the theme of a Ray Bradbury story titled "The Last Night of the World" and they wrote ACE responses about the setting and mood of "All Summer in a Day". This coming week we will be studying irony and reading one of my favorite short stories, "Lamb to the Slaughter" but Road Dahl. While studying inferences and discussing theme last week, we watched two short films: Kiwi and Alma. I'm sure your child would be happy to tell you about the films or even show them to you!
Though we lost two days this week, students are quickly pushing through our first unit and continued their work on learning the distributive property and on solving equations. Next week we will be finishing our first unit and taking our Unit Assessment on Friday. Things are trucking right along:)
We have been off to a great start in math this year! Students have been defining their group behavior expectations and have started working on 8th grade math standards related to volume and surface area. Here is a link to the reading which started our unit on the Distributive property. Make sure to check ClassDojo for more updates:)
We're off to a great start in Literacy this year! It has been such a pleasure working with your students and getting to know them better. They all bring such important experiences and knowledge with them that continue to form our classroom community into something wonderful.
Our first unit of the year is a short story unit where we read, analyze and write about various short stories and their elements. So far, we have reviewed many literary terms, discussed and explored a traditional plot map and learned about inferences and evidence. Ask your child about the animated short film, "Zero" and how this film followed the traditional plot map formula. Yesterday, we read a short story by Ray Bradbury called "All Summer in a Day" and today we will make inferences about that story and support those inferences with textual evidence.
It is hard to believe that there are only 12 weeks left in the school year, but we are confident that your child is prepared for the rigor of high school! Yesterday in literacy, students took the end of unit Boy Who Harnessed the Wind assessment. For the remainder of this week, they are continuing their drafts of the perseverance essays, reflecting on two speakers who came and shared their stories with them while exploring their own adversity and perseverance. Prior to beginning our next unit: The Perils of Indifference, we will focus on PARCC prep and strategies for successfully navigating this upcoming test.
As we begin this next sememster, I am excited for our upcoming thematic unit about what it means to persevere in the face of adversity. The students will be reading William Kamkwamba's non-fiction novel, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. This is an amazing story about a teen in Malawi who built a windmill to bring electricity and hope to his small, struggling village. During this unit, we will hear from many members of the Denver community about their own struggles and how they were able to overcome tough times with tenacity, persistance and resilience. Our first speaker is Jason Romero, a blind ultra-runner who recently ran across America. I can't wait for the kids to be inspired by these true stories of struggle and success!
I had so much fun this week teaching the kids some background information about Animal Farm, allegory, The Russian Revolution, and the three economic and political systems: Communism, Socialism and Capitalism. Because so much of this information was new to them, they were so engaged, offering a unique perspective and making TONS of connections. Ask your child about the simulation we did today using Starburst candy!
Animal Farm books will be distributed Monday, and reading homework will begin that night. Please make sure to ask your child if they have completed their nightly reading homework and questions and engage them in discussions about the book.
Thanks to all who came to Demo night last night! It was great seeing you and watching you and the students have meaningful conversations about what they have been learning. :)