Grade 8 Update: March 10, 2020

Grade 8 Update: March 10, 2020
Posted on 03/10/2020
If you would like to schedule a conference with your child’s teachers to discuss their progress so far, please contact your child’s advisor or 
Ms. Sammy to arrange a time. We encourage all families to arrange a meeting before the end of the school year to discuss your student’s progress.

Important Dates:
Student Portfolio
: Due Tues. 3/31/20
9th Grade Course Selection: 
Mon. 3/16 - Fri. 3/20

MCAS Test Dates
 Tues. 4/28, Wed. 4/29; 
Thurs. 4/30 (make-ups)
 Mon. 5/11, Tues. 5/12; 
Thurs. 5/14 (make-ups)
Tues. 5/19, Wed. 5/20; Thurs. 5/21 (make-ups)

Academic Updates


We are almost done with our unit on Exponents and Scientific Notation. Students have been working on representing large numbers with scientific notation and converting scientific notation back to large numbers. Students are learning to compare numbers in scientific notation using the concept of powers of 10. Students are viewing these numbers in real world contexts to determine when scientific notation & exponents will be the most useful representation.


Students are nearing the end of our unit on physical science by exploring Newton's First and Second Laws of Motion through a variety of engaging lessons that allow students to apply their learning to real world scenarios. They will investigate the role of gravitational forces on orbital patterns. They will review for their second common assessment for this unit by participating in activities such as a card-sort of Newton’s Laws, a Q&A session, and writing constructed response on forces.


We are more than halfway through Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We began the unit with background information about the controversy over his plays’ authorship and assessed the arguments for and against the suggestion that he didn’t actually write them (most likely he did!). We have been reading the play in class through drama circles and exploring how Shakespeare develops both comedy and the theme of “control” throughout the play. Students are writing about this theme and citing the best evidence from the text in preparation for our upcoming writing assessment.


Students are in the middle of a unit that focuses on the essential question, “How do I decide if, when, and how to engage in social action?” In order to address this question, our learning has focused on a man named Prince Hall who was a freed slave and used the power of voice to help abolish slavery in Massachusetts. This unit will culminate in a project where students write a petition about an issue that they think is in need of attention.

In math, we are beginning our fourth reasoning routine: Recognizing Repetition. In this routine, students will be building and constructing models, recognizing the repetition in this process, producing a shortcut, and translating it to algebraic form. Students continue to work on executive functioning skills, especially time management. In ELA, they are developing skills in reading comprehension and writing.

 Students are learning about the framework of “Loyalty, Voice, or Exit: Philosophical Foundations of Democracy,” applies to Prince Hall’s efforts to end slavery in Revolutionary Massachusetts. Students will explore the philosophical foundations of democracy that inspired Hall’s petition. nit by stepping into the shoes of Prince Hall’s allies through a two-day simulation activity that confronts black Bostonians’ dilemma in the wake of abolition: to pursue exit by founding a colony of free African-Americans in Africa or to continue using voice to fight for equality in the United States.
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