Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24

We have officially began end of the year state testing. Over the next couple of weeks our schedules will be a little mixed up due to ACT and SBAC testing occurring in the mornings. With that being said, please be sure that your kiddo gets plenty of sleep and a healthy breakfast each morning. They are welcome to bring snacks, mints, gum, and water to help keep them going strong.

Much time will be spent in the dungeon this month as we work on WW2 group projects. I am really excited to see what this group comes up with. They have some awesome ideas and game plans on building their 3D artifacts. I also want to take a second to thank everyone for finding, buying, and bringing in materials for this project. Oasis families ROCK!
We are continuing with our WW2 Reading Book Clubs this week. The kids have made some great connections to the material we have been learning in Projects. I love listening to them talk about their books using format matters and habits of discussion as well as having meaningful conversations.

In writing this week we will be practicing our sentence diagramming and grammar skills. There will be a little more review this week as we prepare for SBACs.

8th grade reading has been working hard on the memoir, Night. During the next couple of chapters, author Elie Wiesel, uses language related to death, darkness, night, and decay to convey the horrors around him. The class will find and discuss examples of this recurring language the images this language evokes.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday, April 18

Projects= We have been furiously working through the Holocaust, and this week will touch on important leaders and battles of WWII. So many of the topics we have studied have been intense and wearisome, but this class is relentless. They know how important it is to learn and understand our history. I am so impressed with how mature my kids have been with our discussions and class meetings. This week they were finally able to meet with their groups and will continue to do so for the next couple of weeks as they begin working on their projects. Thank you in advance for helping supply the materials to make their museum artifacts great!

7th Reading= The kids will continue working in their WWII book clubs this week. They have had some wonderful group discussions and responses. I love how well they work together and seem to be enjoying their novels.

8th Reading= 8th grade has started Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night. We will read the first chapters this week to learn the story of Wiesel's experience and survival of a Nazi concentration camp. The class has really been working hard on their format matter and habits of discussion.

Writing= This week we are honing in on our grammar skills and practicing responding to a couple prompts, being sure to use text based evidence and answering to the question completely. Next week we will begin testing. Please be sure to check out the email that was sent out to review testing dates for each grade level.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tuesday, April 4th

I would first like to thank all of our families that came to parent conferences last week. The kids are super proud of themselves for all of their hard work and we appreciate you taking so much interest in what they have learned and are working on.  I would also like to send a shout out to the kiddos that have been inducted into our National Juniors Honor Society. The induction ceremony is tonight, Tuesday, April 4th @ 7:00 at the Convention Center. I an looking forward to seeing our members representing Oasis NJHS tonight!

On Monday in Projects we had a presenter, Mr. Slonaker, share his knowledge and experiences traveling around Europe studying events and locations dealing with WWII. We will also explore the life and background of Adolf Hitler this week.

We are choosing books this week for our book clubs. The class will read summaries and reviews on The Promise, We Fought Back, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Boy Who Dared, and Number the Stars to help them choose their top three books. Once we have the groups sorted out, the kids will work on Tuesday and Thursdays on their club activities.

In writing we are using two articles, “The President Has Been Killed” & “The Night Before the Invasion” to analyze how they address similar themes. Then we will compare the approaches the authors take.

8th Grade Reading has been full of studying, arranging and formulating discussion points in preparation for our To Kill a Mockingbird Paideia Seminar. I have been conferencing with students over the last couple of days and they have their discussion points ready to go. On Wednesday and Thursday the kids will finally get to their chance to share their skills. I am looking forward to the discussions this group will have!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday, March 28

Welcome to the 4th Quarter! I hope that everyone had an awesome Spring Break, and from the stories I have heard from your kiddos, it sounds like most of you did!

Just a quick reminder, we have Student-Led Parent Conferences this Friday. Please see the email I sent on the 16th for more details and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

In projects this quarter we are moving on in our Social Studies curriculum to World War II. This week we will focus on recapping the Treaty of Versailles and the end of WWI, then we will move into more causes that led the world into our second huge war.

In reading this week we will continue mastering root words, touch base on current events with Flocabulary, and work on some figurative language. The class is getting better and better at identifying these types of literary devices.

Writing this week has been so fun! The kids are practicing their evaluation skills by reading and writing their own reviews on books and films that they have recent experience with. They will also practice identifying propaganda techniques used in print ads.

Our 8th grade reading class finished up To Kill a Mockingbird just before we left for Spring Break. Yesterday we viewed the film and for the next week or so the kids will spend each reading block studying, arranging and formulating discussion points in preparation for our Paideia Seminar.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday, March 7th

Hello March! 

We sure are busy as we finish up this third quarter. The class has so many huge projects that they have been giving their all. I am extremely proud of each and every one of them. 

In projects we are finishing up our Great Depression websites this week. The last day to work on them will be the 14th, then on the 15th & 16th each student will have an opportunity to share their site to the class. Their pages sure are coming around, each kiddo has been working diligently on a collection of pages for their website that includes the causes of the Great Depression, daily life, the Dust Bowl, the role of government, as well as art and culture. I have been lucky enough to be keeping tabs on the sites along the way, but I am really looking forward for the kids to publish and share their hard work. 

Reading has been full of studying, arranging and formulating discussion points in preparation for out Outsiders  Paideia Seminar. I have been conferencing with students over the last handful of days and they have their topics of giving advice, theme, teen problems, and movie vs. novel down solid. On Wednesday and Thursday the kids will finally get to their chance to share their skills. I am looking forward to the discussions this group will have on one of our favorite books of the year! 

This week in writing we are powering through another state task. This time around it is an argumentative essay. The class will work together in groups on a collaborative essay this week, then an unassisted one next week using the skills we have practiced. A couple key ideas that we are honing in on with argumentative writing include making a claim, sticking to it, and supporting it with reasons and evidence. Another skill that they are asked to include in 7th grade is adding a counterclaim. So far they are rocking the assignment. 

8th grade reading has just about finished the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The class is getting better and better with having class discussions using habits of discussion. I am always impressed with the ideas and conversations they have about the topics of the book. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday, February 21

Hello and welcome back. I hope that you had a fabulous four day weekend. 

We jumped right back into business today and have a packed week ahead of us. 

Projects- Our websites are coming along. I am so pleased with the skills these kiddos are picking up. They are so good about asking each other for assistance in adding new pages, pictures, menus, and buttons. This week we will continue plugging in facts about the dust bowl and begin researching FDR and The New Deal. 

7th Reading- We completed The Outsiders today! I can’t decide whether to be excited or saddened at this statement. This class has had some amazing conversations about the characters and issues from the book. Tomorrow we will view the movie to compare and contrast the film to the novel.  Then,  starting Thursday we will begin to prepare for the class paideia seminar. 

8th Reading- This week we will continue reading To Kill a Mockingbird. The class has been working hard to learn about the characters and make predictions about Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. 

7th Writing - Today we completed our group informative newspaper article about the Greinheim Heist. This class is full of such talented writers. Tomorrow and Thursday the class will work individually using informative/explanatory techniques to practice writing (unassisted) to a prompt provided by the Nevada Department of Education. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday, February 14th

Good morning and Happy Valentine's Day! 
The kids know that if they want to bring in something small to exchange today, that would be great (not mandatory). We have music this afternoon, so our time to “party” is limited. 

Projects- Monday the class worked in a banker/investor partnership to complete a stock exchange simulation from 1929. Even knowing the future (Black Tuesday Market Crash) we had a hard time knowing which stocks to purchase and when to sell. We will continue to touch on the stock market crashing and the roll president Herbert Hoover had during the Great Depression. The student’s websites are coming along nicely, I am always so impressed with the fearless creation they have. 

Reading- We studied Flocabulary’s Week in Rap and will work on a couple more chapters of The Outsiders this week. We are getting into some heavy topics that they group is handling very well with excellent conversations. I am so proud of these kiddos. 

Writing- This week we will be working as a group on a new writing assignment that includes taking two testimonies from security guards and creating and informational newspaper article. They have to be sure to include details from both security guards’ accounts, without taking a position as to which account is true. 

8th Reading- We are continuing with To Kill a Mockingbird this week. As we get further along with the novel, the class is beginning to see deeper into the characters and realize that their first impressions may not have been as accurate as they expected. I am loving the discussions this group has had as they delve through the story, they are not afraid to speak up or share their thoughts, even if they go against the grain.