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Update from October 21, 2016

posted Nov 3, 2016, 3:45 PM by Rebecca Tapley   [ updated Nov 3, 2016, 3:45 PM by Benjamin Moss ]


8th grade students completed a “refresher” on rational numbers and integers. They then learned how to approximate square roots of irrational numbers. Working with exponents has been the recent focus in 8th grade math. Students have learned how to multiply and divide exponents and have also learned how to work with negative bases. The overall goal is to generate equivalent expressions with exponents.

Students who are learning algebra have also worked with exponents and have applied that to monomials. Coming up, some students will be venturing into the land of polynomials while others will be focusing on linear equations.

All students worked on a problem where they had to calculate the number of styrofoam cups it would take to reach the top of Mrs. Tapley’s head. This involved algebra along with problem solving and communication. Some students also calculated how many cups it would take to reach the top of Mr. Elkington's head. It was a few more, as you can probably guess!


We are reading “Out of Nowhere” by Maia Padian.

This week we have read up to Chapter 13. We discussed the Mayor’s open letter in the local Enniston newspaper. Students were asked to provide a written response to the Mayor’s letter.

The greater discussion surrounded how immigrants impact a community including schools, housing and jobs. Questions such as: 1)How many immigrants should be allowed in Enniston? 2)How should or could immigrant children be served in schools? English vs. native language in the classroom? 3)How do/can we best help immigrant and/or refugee families?

This week, in our daily poetry reading, we read “Different” by Clere Parsons. There was a great discussion about the need, desire, importance, reality of being/looking/acting different in our society.

Next week, we will read “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost, “Infant Joy” by William Blake, and “Dedication” by JIm Natal. All of these poems were selected by students using poetry books in the library.


Students were asked to respond in writing to questions/issues which arose from our reading.

For example, Why might an older person (in our story, a grandmother) not want to be a patron at an upscale bistro which was formerly a mill?

Is it appropriate or desirable to mandate an “English only” policy in school where significant numbers of students are immigrants with little or no ability to speak English?


Students will receive their vocabulary book today, Friday. Over the weekend students are expected to look at the words for the upcoming week. There are 4 pages per week. Monday will be discuss, the first 2 pages in class. Tuesday students will complete the third page. Thursday they will complete the 4th page. Friday there will be an assessment of the week’s work. That result will become part of the grade for the trimester.

Social Studies

Students will to work on their several ongoing assignments for the next few weeks.

History: Library of Alexandria / Ancient People biography

Geography: Country presentation / PenPals

Current Events: Viking News article writing


Students recently completed a unit on how we classify living things. They learned about the six kingdoms (animal, plant, fungus, protist, bacteria, archaebacteria). Last week, they started projects to illustrate the different types of symbiosis. We’ll be practicing our naturalist skills in the coming weeks that will include studying the writings of Henry David Thoreau. Students should bring a piece of fabric that is about 10” by 13” for making the covers of their nature journals that we’ll be making.