8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents, 

We are happy to be back after the Cuba trip and spring break adventures.

In language arts students have begun to collect poems for their anthology project as well as launch a study of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after we return from Washington. In cultural studies we are digging into civil rights, beginning with a look at the effect of Brown v. Board of Education on schooling in the United States with particular focus on the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock in 1957.

In science we are applying the introductory chemistry we explored in the fall to all we learned about earth systems this winter in our new sustainability unit. This week we started off with the four rules of creating a sustainable system to prepare for our deeper focus in on the topics of waste and climate change. In mathematics, students have started a new unit exploring quadratic functions, their graphs, and their applications. This week is building the foundation for a project in which students will write their own stories incorporating components of quadratics.

We began this morning in Family Circles and worked on our projects to share in June related to the all-school theme, "From Surviving to Thriving in the City, Country, and Classroom." It is such fun working with students of all ages; those kindergartners are particularly talented!

We are all set for our trip to Washington on Thursday and Friday, April 13 and 14!  Students have permission slips for you to sign this weekend due Monday, April 10, which includes an order form for supper Thursday night.

  • We leave TPS promptly for Washington at 7:30 a.m. (students must be here by 7:15 am so we can depart on time). Students should bring lunch with them.  We ask that students dress comfortably but professionally. No shorts, flip-flops, revealing tops, or clothing with holes. We will be meeting with people in business attire.
  • Our first stop in DC is the CNN studios to meet with Jake Tapper (TPS alum) for a discussion of fake news, the First Amendment, and other issues related to journalism today. In preparation, we encourage you and your 8th grader to watch some segments of Jake's show on CNN - many are available online.  
  • We will also have the opportunity to meet with members of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s staff, who will take us onto the House floor and meet with us to discuss the issues our students researched for their cultural studies reports. 
  • Later in the afternoon we will visit the Newseum, devoted to the celebration of the First Amendment, to explore a variety of exhibits that make clear the power of the media. After an early dinner, we will tour several monuments, including the Vietnam Memorial, in preparation for the final monument project in cultural studies. Overnight we will stay at the 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
  • Friday will begin with a visit the Folger Shakespeare Library to view their extensive Shakespeare memorabilia and perhaps a peek at the replica of the Rose Theater; after lunch at the Capitol we will go to the Smithsonian American Art Museum to enjoy a tour called "We the People."
  • We expect to leave DC at around 2:30 p.m.; we should arrive back at TPS around 6:30 p.m.

This spring promises to be busy with athletic events, final projects, and preparation for graduation. We teachers have noticed a dramatic slippage in the completion of homework lately. Please help us by ensuring that there is a two-hour block of time each night devoted to homework. Some students continue to need support getting their work into the backpacks to bring to school; others need our help making sure they have the materials needed to do that work. Please check assignment books to ensure that homework is being written down. Together we can work to keep this last two months positive and productive.

We are hopeful that all yearbook ads and artwork have been sent in. Let us know if there are any problems or delays.

Reminder: Permission slips for Washington and for the trip to see "The Marriage of Figaro" on April 26 are due on Monday, April 10.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Emily, Ashley, Ethan, and Wendy