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8th Grade

Writing Update

posted May 7, 2017, 1:39 PM by Rebecca Tapley

All students need to learn how to study, which is why we took some time to learn about learning strategies supported by cognitive research. In the process of learning about learning, students shared their understandings with teachers in the school. They wrote letters to various teachers about what they learned, making sure to compose a clear thesis and topic sentences. If you'd like to learn about these learning strategies, take a look at or view the video below. Or, better yet, pull aside an 8th grader and ask them to explain what they learned!

Learning Strategies video

Math update - Systems of Linear Equations

posted May 7, 2017, 1:33 PM by Rebecca Tapley

Have you ever been stymied when comparing two cell phone data plans? Which is a better deal? Before long, the 8th grade students will be able to help you discover how to approach complex situations like this. We are learning all about systems of linear equations - those scenarios when you have two competing functions. Students have already learned to manipulate equations to put them into slope-intercept form and learned to identify solutions to an equation. Next up will be graphing to find solutions to a system and then exploring the substitution and elimination methods. Challenging experiences are ahead, which lead to incredible growth!

Reading Update May 2017

posted May 1, 2017, 12:08 PM by

Today we began a new book, The Rock and The River by Kekla Magoon. Set in Chicago in the 1960's, this book follows a family through  the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement. Each member of the family assumes a particular role and opinion which represents a variety of constituents in the struggle for freedom of all Americans. 
In this book, the rock and the river represent characters in the book. We began by sharing opinions on the differences and similarities of an actual and metaphorical rock and river.  

Skyscraper Puzzles

posted Apr 10, 2017, 6:03 AM by Rebecca Tapley

Students in grades 6-8 scratched their heads as they used spatial reasoning to solve the Skyscraper Puzzles.  It's a bit like Sudoku, but in 3D. It was great to see the progress they made in this challenging activity!

Voice 2 Voice Poetry Declamation

posted Apr 10, 2017, 5:26 AM by Rebecca Tapley   [ updated Apr 10, 2017, 5:46 AM ]

A community meeting was held on March 30th where the classroom finalists in the Voice 2 Voice program performed their poems. They all did an incredible job! Hannah, Adam, and Franklin earned a spot on the stage at the Voice 2 Voice Finale at the Stonington Opera House on Friday, April 7th. They did a spectacular job there, as well.

Please take a moment to appreciate the hard work that that these students put into this project. Bravo!







Do I have a right!?

posted Apr 7, 2017, 11:19 AM by Benjamin Moss

Students in grade 8 have been learning all about the Bill of Rights and other constitutional amendments. As part of that process they have been playing the 'Do I have a right?!' game on This is an entertaining way to learn which amendments are which.  


posted Mar 19, 2017, 8:08 PM by Amy Bebell

Everyone's favorite part of the chemistry unit is Slime Week. This week, we made a new slime in middle school every day.

We started out with a super absorbent polymer called sodium polyacrylate. It can absorb up to 300 times its own weight in water!

YouTube Video

On day 2 of Slime Week, we demonstrated a chemical reaction and the formation of a polymer with the classic borax and glue recipe, but we added shaving cream to make if fluffy and fragrant.

YouTube Video

Next was our only edible slime--instant pudding! The chemical reaction that allows instant pudding to thicken is similar to the reaction that makes cement harden.

YouTube Video

We ended Slime Week with Oobleck, the classic corn starch and water slime. It is a non-newtonian fluid, which means that sometimes it acts like a liquid, and sometimes it acts like a solid, depending on how you handle it. The students kept testing this slime in creative ways to see what it could do.

YouTube Video

Math update

posted Mar 19, 2017, 1:02 PM by Rebecca Tapley

8th grade math has continued to go full speed ahead! We've learned about functions, the Pythagorean Theorem, and even found time to celebrate Pi Day! 

To wrap up our study of solving equations, we were greeted by the Equation Queen. She would let students know if their visual representation, steps in solving, and solutions were correct. Students worked incredibly hard to present their work to the Equation Queen! They worked well in partnerships, helping each other to understand and learn.

Math Update

posted Feb 11, 2017, 3:03 PM by Rebecca Tapley

Impressive learning has occurred in 8th grade math! The students have worked very hard solving all sorts of equations - those with one step, two steps, multiple steps, variables with like terms - you name it, they've solved it. Their perseverance has been impressive. On top of solving equations, they have shown great support for one another, helping each other out when someone needs a hand with a tough equation. 

Math Update

posted Jan 29, 2017, 6:29 AM by Rebecca Tapley

8th grade students definitely got the hang of graphing linear equations. Well done, mathematicians! We are now moving on to solving equations, starting with modeling linear equations. It's exciting to see skills coming together. All of that hard work with integers and fractions will come into play in the coming weeks.

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