Thursday, October 27, 2016

Twelfth Night Casting

Orsino                           Helena
Sebastian                      Allison              
Antonio                         Josiah                               Caroline
Captain                         Jordan
Valentine                      Danny                                 Jake
Curio                            Gabby V                              David
Sir Toby Belch               Rachel
Sir Andrew Aguecheek  Max
Malvolio                          Makana
Fabian                            Meiling
Feste                               Gabby A
Olivia                               Eva                          Eva           
Viola                                Autumn                    Autumn           
Maria                               Lilly                          Lilly
Priest                             Sedona                      Isaiah
First Officer                   Dylan                         Elijah
Second Officer              River                          River

Monday, October 24, 2016

Class Election Results

Everyone did a fantastic job on their campaign speeches and in our class debate! 

Image result for white house
After careful examination of the evidence, our class president is Helena Brinker. Our vice president is Autumn Prisel. Speaker of the House is Makana Stores. 

Each of their job descriptions will be determined this week during a class meeting! 


Twelfth Night Casting Requests

Image result for twelfth night

This Thursday I will be making final decisions about the Twelfth Night casting. Students that would like input as to their role may submit a half page request to me before Thursday. It should indicate what role they want (or don't want) and why. If they are not sure about specific roles, but would like to give me an idea as to how large a role they feel capable of taking on may do that as well in the same way.

To review parts visit:

The final cast will be posted on the blog Thursday evening.

This Week's Writing Assignment

Today we introduced four types of figurative language; personification, similes, metaphors, and alliteration.

Image result for Fall metaphors
Students were asked to use these four types of figurative language in a 1 page paper describing something about autumn. The rough draft will be written in class tomorrow and then final drafts will be completed Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chinese Culture Field Trip

Image result for dragon boat

Our next field trip is this coming Friday! We're very excited to experience some of the traditions and culture of China, which relates directly to our current literature book. It is going to be a full day of outdoor fun. 

When: October 21st, 2016
Time:  Regular school day. The bus leaves at 9:00 and returns at 3:00

Uniform: Regular uniform with short sleeves. ***2*** sweatshirts or jackets. The idea set up would be a warm vest and then a long sleeve jacket or sweatshirt to put on after dragon boating. If they wear long sleeves in the boat, they will end up cold and wet. Also, pants should not be tight, as they will need to sit low in the boat and be able to walk all over downtown. 

Schedule: (Subject to change)
9:00 - Load bus
9:30 - 11:30 - Dragon boating
11:45 - 1:00 - Lunch - No forks allowed! (Even for chaperones)
1:00 - Walking tour of China Town lead by Laio Shi
2:00 - Load bus
2:30 - Thank you notes, wrap up, etc

Mrs. Ashcraft
Mrs. Dodson
Mrs. Prisel
Mrs. Masterson
Mrs. Brinker

I need one more chaperone please! All chaperones must be dressed for boating as well, since they require all adults to be in the boats! 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Volunteering for Ashland ***Updated with drawing results***

Image result for ashland

The drawing for Ashland Volunteers will be Monday afternoon (10/17/16) . If you would like your name in the drawing, please fill out this form before then, even if you have sent me your name previously. 

I will be drawing 4 names to go and 2 back up names in case one of the drawn names finds themselves unable to go. Good luck!

The drawing was held Monday afternoon at 4:30. Everyone who had filled out the form was placed in the randomizer. 

And then with Ms. O'Malley there to witness it, the list was randomized. The final results are: 

So Mrs. Kiesz, Mr. Hodson, Mrs. Shepard, and Dr. Currey will be joining us. The rest of the list will stand as alternates in case any of the first 4 can not attend. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Cascade Heights will be hosting Letterfest, a large calligraphy workshop, on October 22nd. We are in need of four 8th graders to be help host. They will be helping set up, clean up after lunch, give directions, help get document cameras working, etc. This is a paid opportunity. Students may choose to donate their earnings to the 8th grade Ashland trip or keep it for themselves. They will need to be available from 7:30 until 5:30. 

Please let me know if this is something your student would be interesting in doing. 

Social Development of Teenagers

Good Evening 8th Grade Families, 

8th grade is a year of change. Students are not only making academic gains but also looking ahead to who they want to be as human beings. This is an exciting process which at times can be uncomfortable for them and for you as parents. 

Personal development during this time takes many avenues. For some this means exploring friendships and what it means to be a friend. People who have been friends for years may find themselves drifting apart as interests develop and change while those who have not spent much time together may suddenly find themselves sharing new interests and thus more time together. In class my expectation is that all students welcome everyone and work with others  respectfully. This particular group of young adults has done that on a daily basis. I have touched bases with the other teachers and they assure me that they are open and welcoming with each other. They keep an eye out for classmates who are hurting, alone, or in need. When placed in groups they welcome their partners and work effectively with them. This does not mean they never get frustrated with each other, but it means they deal with it appropriately and don't hold grudges. As students are exploring new friendships there will be times that individuals invite one or more others to spend time together outside of school. As parents we may question their choices. That is a great time to ask questions which may help students to think through their choices, but in the end, it is time to let them see what comes of their decisions. 

Another outlet for social development is social media. Some students are using 10 - 12 apps or forms of technology on a daily basis. These can be powerful tools that put all of the knowledge of the world at their fingertips. It can also allow them to communicate with each other at all times of the day and night. In 8th grade these communications can be silly, funny, educational, friendly, and appropriate. They also can be the converse. Now is a great time to have honest conversations about what type of communications your family considers appropriate. What are appropriate hours? What are appropriate topics? What should they do if they are being appropriate but someone they are talking to isn't? Taking time to talk these things through when it isn't a problem allows your teen to react appropritately when they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. These topics will be addressed again when we get to FACTS class later in the year, but there is no reason to wait until then. 

This is an exciting time in your family's life. It is emotional, exciting, scary, and joyous. The entire staff of Cascade Heights is here to walk this journey with you, through the ups and downs. Conferences are coming up in two weeks and is the perfect opportunity to discuss your hopes, dreams, and concerns. 

Fundraising Survey

At our 8th grade night we discussed a variety of possible fundraisers for Ashland. In order to do everything we'd like to do, we need to raise about $5000. Please take a moment to fill out this short survey. It will help us decide where to focus our efforts.

I'll close the survey on Tuesday evening. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

8th Grade Shirts

And the votes are in!

Congratulations to Josiah and Rachel for designing the winning looks. These will be submitted to the printer and ordered soon. Students may begin wearing them the first Thursday in January!

Friday, October 7, 2016

What's Happening 10/10 - 10/13

Special Events:
10/11 - PTA pizza night - See flyer for details
10/13 - Curling field trip - Waiting for confirmation on bus

On Monday we will discuss the executive branch of the government. Students will be assigned a week long project to help them experience the process of running for president.
In one week, they are expected to complete the following items:
1. Campaign Speech    - 3 - 5 minutes    - Addresses at least two issues they will take on during their presidency
2. Campaign Poster     - 11 x 17 (paper provided in class)     - full color     - contains campaign slogan
3. Campaign Budget     - each student starts with $1000     - budget must show what every dollar is spent on (actual figures need to be looked up)     - if students want additional funding, they may write a business letter to a particular business or organization requesting support. These letters will be turned in to me and will be returned with a yes or no.

  • State which  factors affect buoyancy, and which do not. 
  •  Use scientific instruments to determine the relationships between buoyancy and pertinent factors 
  • State the nature of the relationship between the various pertinent factors and buoyancy.
  • Use basic formulae to calculate volumes of different standard forms (sphere, cylinder, etc.) 
  • Construct a hypothesis 
  • Use background research to construct a fair test
  • Start a word processing document containing science fair information

  • Continue A Good Earth
  • Use specific evidence from the text to examine characters
  • Engage in class conversations specifically about how the role of women in the book differs from student's personal experiences

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Weekly Reading Assignment

Beginning this week, 8th graders have a new reading assignment. This is intended to give them practice in reading short non fiction text and answering comprehension questions about them. 
For now, it is only one article a week and should take no more than 15 minutes. They will be assigned on Monday and are due the following Monday. 

To access their assigned reading material: 
Image result for readworks

1. Go to
2. Click on "I'm a student"
3. Enter class code - G775YK
4. Choose student name
5. Type in password
6. Click on assignments
7. Read the article
8. Answer the questions. The last few questions are open ended questions, which means it will need to be typed as a complete sentence with the question embedded. 

I will be able to see the results on my end. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

8th Grade T Shirt Writing Assignment

Persuasive Writing - T Shirt Design
This week's writing assignment is a persuasive piece. Students are to design a t shirt that represents our 8th grade class. After designing their shirt, students will write a 30 second commercial selling their shirt. The commercial must contain all of the dress ups and sentence openers.

Due Date – Monday, October 10th, 2016

Required Materials - Students may use their own filming equipment if they would prefer, or we will film in class on Thursday, October 6th. The finished project must be a wmv or mp4.

Expected Time Requirement - 1 - 2 hours including t shirt design, KWO, rough draft, final draft, and filming. Writing should explain your design and convince people to buy it.

The final products will be shared in class to help decide the winner of the official 8th grade shirt. 

Ways for parents to be involved:
  • Please ask them about their design. "How does your design represent your class? How did you come up with your ideas? What color do you think this would look good in?" 
  • Offer to help with filming. Parents make great camera operators or props. Post editing (if any) should be left to the student.
  •  Review the final product and laugh with your student. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

What's Happening This Week 10/3 - 10/8

Special Events This Week:
  • Picture day this Wednesday. Students should wear their regular uniform but a nice tie or scarf is appropriate. 
  • Field Trip this Thursday. We will be leaving school by 8:15. Students must be wearing their regular uniform. No skirts please. Everyone will want a warm jacket and a sack lunch. 
  • Jog A Thon is also this Thursday. Because we will be on our field trip during our assigned time, 8th grade will run their laps during our PE time. Students may bring a change of clothes. The Jog A Thon is the only fundraiser the PTA is hosting this year. The proceeds from it are used to fund hands on projects in the classroom, so please take a few minutes to ask family and friends. 
  • Book Fair - Book fair begins this Thursday. Stop in for some great discounts. 
  • Harvest Festival is this Thursday as well. Come enjoy a fun family evening beginning at 6:00. Please take note of the new earlier time. 8th graders will be working several booths so I would really like to see them all there. 

Students will be able to...

  • Explain the structure and powers of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. 
  • Describe the legislative process in the U.S. Congress.                                                   
  • Identify the legislative branch's role in the system of checks and balances/separation of powers.                                                                                                                        
  • Analyze a primary source (excerpts of Article I).
  • Model the lawmaking process by participating in a role-play activity to design a school cell phone policy.
  • Model the effect of unicameral and bicameral voting systems by participating in a series of votes about the cell phone policy.
  • Determine the effect of a single-house system by analyzing data about state populations and the number of representatives in each house. 
  • Identify the constitutional powers of Congress.
  • Describe the factors members of Congress weigh when voting on bills.
  • Demonstrate how members of Congress weigh factors by voting on hypothetical bills.
  • Evaluate information in order to apply each factor to real-life issues in the hypothetical bills.

Students will: 
  • describe friction as a force that impedes motion and generates heat
  • distinguish between static friction and kinetic friction
  • explain why friction occurs
  • describe common occurrences of friction, including those in which friction can be used to advantage in everyday life
  • describe ways in which friction can be reduced

Course 3 Math: 
  • Lessons MAP test and lessons 16 - 19

Literature: The Good Earth, Chapters 1 - 4
Students will: 
  • understand how to use specific literary terminology 
  • demonstrate comprehension of historical background concerning Pearl S. Buck 
  • develop an awareness of historical background concerning events taking place in China during the time Buck wrote her novel 
  • read critically and analytically to draw comparisons, make inferences, trace plot development, and evaluate theme

Students will: 
  • Give their first book talk

Writing: (Topic of the week: Education: Past, Present, and Future)
Students will:
  • write a final draft that shows significant changes from the rough draft

Study Skills:
Students will:
  • Get their planner signed nightly
  • Plan ahead for needed supplies
  • Turn in work on time ***** Homework return rates have been less than ideal. Please ask your student if they are turning in their homework. 
  • Use flashcards to improve vocabulary scores