Students are currently working on the first standard for trimester two: "describes major developments and achievements of Islamic history." This year, the eighth grade Social Studies department is working on integrating more current events into this unit and how some of the issues today in the Middle East are tied to the history of the Islamic Empire. 8 Blue students have been examining current conflicts in the Middle East today and connecting them to the rise and development of the Islamic Empire in the early 700s CE.
By doing this, students have been learning about the history and development of the Islamic Empire while also addressing misconceptions about the history behind Islam in today's world. Working more current events into the curriculum has had a great effect on classroom discussion, as the students have been very active in asking questions and sharing relevant stories they have seen in the news.
Along with our day to day classwork, students have been individually researching a topic of their choice to include in an 8 Blue Magazine that we will be putting together after the break. Their topics range from the study of algebra and the concept of zero, to calligraphy, to the history of Islamic architecture in the 8th century! Please ask your son or daughter about the topic they have chosen to work on - their enthusiasm and curiosity has been overwhelming.
More info to come on the magazines as their research continues to take shape!
As always, please email me if you have any questions or concerns.
This week's blogger spot light is on... drum roll please...
ISABELLA MARCELLO! Bella's blog, B's Soccer and Nutrition Tips, gives amazing tips for athletes of all sports, not just soccer. She provides information about how to dress for sports, training tips, and recipes and nutrition. Here's an example from her blog.
Check out her blog! You'll be glad you did!
Link to Bella's blog
Information About the New Unit
This week in ELA, we started a new unit centered around the concept of the truth. The essential questions of the unit are:
So far this week, we've learned how and why false news spreads, and we read an article about the First Amdendment to the Constitution and students formed opinions about whether it should protect false news. Students also learned about the format of the novel and started to read.
Today, I asked the students to make a "Week in Review" document, to help tie together the two concepts. Check out these examples of excellent work!
How You Can Help at Home
As always, contact me with any questions or concerns!
In November, the students began using a new web based program called NoRedInk as part of our warm up activiites in class. This site allows the students to pick topics that they like, for example their favorite TV shows and music. It then creates sentences based on their interests which they then use to improve their written language skills. Right now we are working on parts of speech. The students enjoy using it and it is a great tool to kick off our class. Students are also working on identifying 3 different types of sentences and what the components are for each sentence. We are looking at simple, compound and complex sentences. We have completed lessons on simple and compound sentences and should be finishing the unit before the holiday break.
As always, please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns.
The 8 Blue TEam