September 25, 2021
We had a busy week and worked hard, including taking a religion and social studies test and MAP testing. Perhaps because of the pressure the kids were feeling, their other teachers and I saw an increase in behavior issues from the kids — issues I hadn’t yet experienced this year. These include disruptive behaviors in the classroom, loud talking when walking through the hallways between classes, laughing at others’ mistakes, questioning or complaining about the things they are being asked to do, and showing disrespect to one another and to teachers. I really want to nip this type of behavior in the bud early on, so the teachers and I met with the kids Friday morning and talked about the issues we have been experiencing. This was a difficult conversation to have, and while not all are involved, I felt that all could benefit from it so that they can support one another in following expectations. Please take some time to talk with your child this weekend about expectations at school. I hope the kids will be back to their old selves next week. I truly think these kids can exercise self-control if we have high standards and ask it of them. As I told them in our meeting, it will help them in all aspects of their lives. If I continue to see these same behaviors, please expect an email or call from me or Mr. Anderson. And, of course, I welcome any feedback from you, if you have suggestions about how I can better support your child.
On the academic front, in science last week, students learned the definitions of Force (measured in Newtons), Acceleration, and Velocity. They also learned how to draw free-body diagrams to model collisions in physics. Next week, they will revisit these concepts in a quiz on Wednesday, followed by a lesson describing Newton’s laws. Students will develop their understanding of Kinetic Energy transfer in collisions through several lab activities and simulations.
In literature, we continued reading The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. We are about halfway through the book and are focusing on the various types of conflict found in literature. Students should have brought home a reading log so that they can record this week’s reading. The reading log is due each Monday morning. If they forgot to grab one, they can print one from the eighth-grade web page under the “Resources” tab to the left of the page. Keeping track on a piece of binder paper also works for me. Please remind them that they must turn in two book reports by Thursday, September 30th (the last school day of the month). Most have turned in their first, although there are a couple who have not turned in either.
Social studies lessons focused on the rising tensions felt by colonists from the increased demands of their English homeland. Kids studied and gave group presentations about the different colonies, the Triangle Trade, the Mayflower Compact, and the economic influences on life in the colonies. This week we also began making our U.S. history timeline, adding a placard about the Stamp Act, the Townshend Act, the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party, and the Intolerable Acts. This timeline will be a reminder of all we study throughout the year and will be a handy resource for our continued studies.
Religion lessons focused on Jesus’ commissioning of the apostles to go out and spread the Good News. The eighth graders will be doing their share to that end by leading Mass next Friday, October 1st. They will be practicing the readings this week and will then lead this celebration. They will also continue to sit with their Kindergarten buddies during Mass to guide them. You are welcome to attend Mass on Friday, but we ask that you sit in the transepts (the side pews) rather than with your student. Finally, in religion Friday I played a song by NeedtoBreathe – “More Heart, Less Attack”. This is an excellent song that gives some great words of wisdom. I felt we could really use it. Enjoy!
The students seem to be managing their homework and assignments and are diligently checking their FACTS to be certain that everything is turned in. Please remember to sit with them on weekends to check FACTS. They are also working hard to improve their learning by re-doing work that doesn’t meet their (or my) expectations, and I am so proud of them for that.
I post students’ daily homework assignments on the webpage under “Homework” so that they (and you) can see what they may have forgotten to write down. Again, if you can get a planner for your child, that would make keeping track of multiple classes and teachers’ assignments and projects with extended due dates that much easier to keep track of.
We have our final MAP test (language) on Tuesday morning. Please be sure that your child brings a charged laptop for this. Also, if any of you are still having any type of trouble logging in to FACTS or your student’s email, please let the office know so that we can get you fully operational.
Have a great weekend,