Friday, January 19, 2018

Science Fair Next Thursday

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We are just over a week away from the 8th grade and friends science fair. I've been very impressed with everyone's work and their ability to manage a large project with a high level of independence. 

Yesterday I gave everyone a final checklist for editing their project and the final timeline. It is posted below for their convenience. 

The biggest piece of news is that the actual presentation of the projects will be NEXT THURSDAY, January 25 , 2018, AT 12:30 - 3:30 PM.  

Dress code for the day is regular uniform but students are allowed to bring dress clothes for their judge interviews. 

Science Fair Boards

This is the layout for the science fair presentation board we will discuss in detail in class on Wednesday, focusing on how to make the material stand out and look professional. Quality workmanship is critical. Crooked papers, smeared glue, etc will give the wrong first impression. Break out those rulers and line things up. Take your time and make it look good! 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Friday Field Trip

I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend and got outside to enjoy the sun. I spent quite a bit of it out letterboxing and it was wonderfully refreshing. 

This Friday is our January field trip day. We will be on campus due to a misplaced reservation form, BUT, that does not mean we won't be working hard while engaged in highly motivating and fun hands on experiences. Our day will be jam packed from 8:00 - 3:30. 

We do need a little help to make our day highly successful. 
1. We need gallon jugs, a lot of them. To be specific, we need about 480. If you have any empty gallon size jugs (think milk jugs) please send them in. Ask your neighbors, ask your coworkers, and post of Facebook. We'll take any and all gallon size squarish jugs. These can come in at any time during the week. 

2. Lunch on Friday will be the first in a series of high school readiness cooking projects. Students have been asked to find a recipe and cook a pasta dish. It can be anything they want as long as they do ALL the work themselves. You are welcome to stand over them and give explicit instructions, but they must do all of the work. They will bring these dishes on Friday and we'll taste test everything at lunch. Students should bring a copy of the recipe they used to be shared with their classmates. The hope is that they will start to build a recipe book of easy to make and delicious meals. 

3. Uniform of the day is jeans and class t shirts. We'll be working with hot glue and paint and getting messy, so we'll take it the dress code down one notch to allow everyone to work freely. 

I think that's it for now! Please let me know if you have any questions. 

To recap: 
Uniform: Clean jeans with class t shirt, or regular uniform. 
Bring: Pasta potluck dish, ENTIRELY MADE BY STUDENT, with recipe
Hours: 8:00 - 3:30

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Study Skills

An important question question came up this week in 8th grade, one that became the central focus of everything we did. Who is ultimately responsible for mastering content presented in a classroom or job site? 

The answer of course is the student. While teachers, bosses, and mentors will work with the student to help them understand, when it comes right down to it, they are responsible for understanding the material. With that answer defined, we set off on a journey to discover how to go about making that work. 

Here are a few of the things we are working on: 
1. How to identify what you need to know
2. What methods of studying work best for you
3. What presentation methods work best for you
4. How to study material so it sticks
5. Who to talk to when it's not working
6. Study resources

This will be an ongoing topic throughout the second half of the year. If you see your student struggling, I encourage you to use some of these questions to guide them toward finding an answer. Also, it is often helpful to share what works for you, so they can see that we are all individual and learn differently. 

Thank you! 

Winter Parent Conferences

It's hard to believe, but it's time for conferences again! That means we are half way through the year, which is a perfect time to reflect on successes, challenges, and goals. Please visit www.SignUpGenius.com/go/60B0D4FA5AF23A20-winter1 and sign up for a spot. We will be discussing academic progress towards promotion, social readiness for high school, and handing out report cards. I look forward to meeting with each of you! 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Battle of the Books Q&A and Official List

Battle of the Books has begun! Third through eighth grade will spend the next six weeks reading and strategizing before going head to head with the other classes in fast paced battles that test comprehension. Tuesday the official list of 30 books was released. Classes will work together to not only read these books, but master them. Because each student can answer only three questions per battle, it must be a team effort. Which class will come out on top? It's anyone's game at this point. Be sure to ask your student what BOB book they are reading. You are more than welcome to read it with them or even to them! 


How are books chosen?

The Battle of the Book list is chosen by a team of teachers and administrators. They review the National Librarian’s Association recommendations, Newberry Medal winners, Caldecott Medal winners, and other notable award winners. From these lists they find books that range from the lowest reading level participating to 3 years above the highest grade participating. From there they ensure that we have fiction and nonfiction, historical fiction, classics, sports fiction, animal fiction, adventure, and a biography. The last consideration is a balance between female and male characters. The idea is to have at least one book in the list that appeals to every child participating.


What if I think a book is over my child’s head or is inappropriate for them?

The beauty of Battle of the Books is that it is a team effort. No one child is expected to read every book. In fact, it’s best if they don’t read every book. Choose 2 or 3 from the list that you are OK with and read those.


Can my child listen to the book/watch the movie/have it read to them etc?

YES! The idea is for children to be exposed to literature and to understand the story. They can have it read to them by an adult or older sibling, listen to it on tape, or read it themselves. They can watch the movie, but be careful; often the movie is not the same as the book.

Official List
Battle of the Books 2018
Battles Begin: February 20th
·        Uglies by Scott Westerfield
·        El Deafo by Cece Bell
·        The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
·        Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
·        The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Shindler
·        The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman
·        Gentle Ben by Walt Morey
·        The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff
·        The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
·        Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
·        Hidden Figures Young Reader's Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly
·        Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-li Jiang
·        June Peters, You Will Change The World One Day by Alika R Turner and Naafi N Rohm
·        George by Alex Gino
·        I Survived: The Eruption of Mount Saint Helens 1980 by Lauren Tarshis
·        Dirt Bike Racer by Matt Christopher
·        Profiles: Tech Titans by Carla Killough McClafferty
·        Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
·        The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
·        Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 1 The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
·        Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff and Iacopo Bruno
·        Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
·        The Apple Tree: Bilingual English and Mandarin Chinese Books for Kids by Ms Jane C. Thai
·        Martina Una Cucarachita Muy Linda by Carmen Agra Deedy
·        The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
·        Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists by Jeannine Atkins
·        Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
·        The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco JimĂ©nez
·        The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
·        Chocolate Milk, Por Favor: Celebrating Diversity with Empathy by Maria Dismondy
·        No Summit Out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits by Jordan Romero

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Important January Dates

Mark Your Calendar! 

2nd - Welcome back
          Battle of the Books Begins!
          Raven book report
          Elena book report
          Aniela book report
3rd - Aiden book report
8th - Mrs. Adams gone, Mrs. Kyles subbing
9th - Maggie book report
10th - PTA Meeting (6:30)
11th - Oliver book report
15th - NO SCHOOL
17th - Esenyia book report
18th - Kyler book report
           Ben book report
           Christina book report
           Brad book report
19th - FIELD TRIP
22nd - Board of Directors meeting (6:30)
24th - Abby book report
           Applebee's fundraiser ticket money due
25th - Science Fair
26th - Conferences
27th - Applebee's Fundraiser 
29th - Dawsyn book report
           Scott book report
           Erika book report
           Abram book report
30th - Khelen book report
           Kennedy book report
          Kenny book report
          Mathias book report
31st - Ocean book report
           Lily book report
           Atticus book report
           Dani book report