Some suggestions - How to help your child with media bias and fake news
During this unit, students are learning about the difference between "fake news," satire, propaganda, and media bias. Here are a couple resources that I've found to be helpful.
The chart below shows where many news organizations fall on the bias spectrum. It's helpful to look for news sources that fall in the middle of the chart, or to use information from both sides of the spectrum for comparison purposes. For more information about the chart and how it was created, check out www.adfontesmedia.com/
Another helpful source is the website allsides.com. It labels news sources as Left, Center, or Right, and it shows many issues presented from all sides. It's a great tool to check for bias, as well as a great place to find information.
As always, please contact me with any questions!
Information about ordering yearbooks is attached. The sale will go from January 21 - February 1. The cost is $28 until January 28 and it goes up to $35 after that date. If the cost is an issue for your family, please contact your child's homeroom teacher or Scott Yonker. We want to be sure that every student who wants a yearbook is able to get one.
Our current math unit is called, “Say it with Symbols.” It involves simplifying expressions and solving equations. The family letter from Pearson can be found here.
One way to help your child with math is to encourage them to take responsibility for their own learning. If they seem to be struggling with homework you can suggest that they:
Math is Fun
Happy New Year! It was a busy end of 2018 for the students; they worked very hard during Skills class to finish their business plan projects and get ready for their presentations. I was able to see many of the students do their presentations and they did an excellent job! I know that several of them were nervous about presenting but they rose to the occasion and were very professional.
We are starting the New Year with a new team member. Mrs. Fourcade our team aide resigned her position as of December 21 and has moved to France with her family. I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Sandra Thornton has been hired to fill the position and she began working with us this week.
In class, we continue to review current concepts and preview new concepts when new units begin. I have found that although the students know that they have tools/resources available to them (some that are team based, some that are part of their IEP accommodations) they do not consistently use them. I have asked for their input as to what they would like to have me change/redesign. I am hoping that I will begin to see more consistent use of these tools as the new materials are created.
I continue to be available for after school help on Monday and Wednesday until 3:30.
What does this map tell us about the weather today? tomorrow? Where is our weather coming from? What factors influence the weather and how it changes? These are some of the questions we will investigate and answer as the month progresses. Suggestions: watch a news weather forecast with your student, talk about changes in the weather, or talk about changing factors (like wind, temperature, precipitation).
New trimester and new time period in Social Studies! While we spent T1 looking at the development, fall, and continuation of Rome into the Byzantine Empire, T2 focuses primarily on the Middle Ages. Students have been spending time looking at major themes throughout the Middle Ages like war, religion, and power struggles.
This unit is unique in that it is broken into different simultaneous (as well as chronological!) geographic areas. For example, we will look at the Franks, the English, Vikings, the Islamic Empire, and other groups that have had a lasting legacy on our world. We will also explore how Rome has endured through this time period and into today as well as things like the English language, beginnings of religious freedom, and other lasting impacts.
This unit is fairly long and does include a lot more names, vocab terms, and dates than T1. This is introduced gradually, but some students can get overwhelmed and forget that our priority is still the big picture. Feel free to remind your son or daughter that the details are less important than the themes and 'big picture,' and feel free to email me with any questions or concerns. Stay tuned for student work as we dive deeper in the next couple of weeks.
New year, new unit!!!
The new unit we started in ELA focuses on the concept of truth in the media. Specifically, the unit explores the essential question why does news matter for the health of our democracy?
Students will be reading the novel Nothing But the Truth, by Avi. In this book, a student gets suspended for supposedly singing the National Anthem during class. The media gets ahold of the story, and the situation gets out of control. The novel brings up the idea of biased news, truth in the media, and first amendment rights.
I think the most exciting and meaningful part of this unit is the connections to the media in today's world. In addition to the novel, students will be reading and researching current events, in particular the current "fake news" phenomenon and the issue of media bias. During their research, students will answer the questions:
At home, any discussion about fake news, truth in the news, and media bias would be great! If you see any fake stories shared on your social media, share them with your child. Check out the unit essential questions and goals below!
Students in ELA and math are working on an exiting project! Students are creating their own businesses, writing a business plan, and creating a shopping plaza presentation! See the attached images for more information.
We have been learning about Energy and Energy Transformations. Recently we have made model roller coaster and will be calculating the gravitational potential energy of the marble AND its kinetic energy as it sails along.
Ask your student about the model roller coaster they built and what the challenges were!
Monday will be the final day for 8th grade t-shirt orders. These team t-shirts fund the end of year activities for the 8th grade.
The order form can be found in the 8 Blue Team Schoology Materials.
If your family cannot afford the team t-shirt, please contact Mr. Yonker.
The 8 Blue TEam