8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

Private school materials will go next week with the progress reports. We wish those taking the SSATs this weekend our best wishes and those who presented at Science Leadership Academy and CAPA this past week good results. We miss having a full complement of students here and are looking forward to uninterrupted academics in January!

Tuesday’s trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art focused on 19th and 20th century American art. Discussions and activities centered on both Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer as exemplars of a new psychological and narrative style. Our final visit is next Tuesday to focus on contemporary American art and the artist as social critic. Students will have a chance to see Cy Twombly’s Shield of Achilles as part of his Fifty Days at Ilium installation, which will remind them of their work this fall in language arts. It is impressive how well students are able to pull from their experiences in language arts, in cultural studies, and in art to appreciate the museum experience.

In language arts classes we continued our first read-throughs of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night with opportunities to audition for larger roles on Thursday and Friday. Students completed a survey that will help Ashley and Wendy cast both plays and organize production groups to meet during art and music times on Mondays and Thursdays (props and scenery, costumes and makeup, lighting technology and program, and music and dance). Students will be informed of their roles right before they leave for winter break.

Wednesday morning, December 16, is our Winter Concert at 9 am. If your child is performing that day, he or she will need to come to school with his or her instrument. Concert dress is red on the top and black on the bottom. Solids are preferred, and red dresses are fine for girls (no black dresses). TPS t-shirts are ideal.

Winter break assignments have been posted on Edmodo! There is a book project (so everyone should have a good book to read over the holidays; see SSR tab) and also folks should be thinking about the cultural studies research project which will begin when we get back. The topic needs to be about some aspect of the Bill of Rights (issues, people, institutions). If your child needs to get or to renew his or her library card, the winter break is a great time to get that done. We will be going to the Central Library when we get back from the vacation to work with their resources, so students with cards will be able to take books out. The card also allows access to the variety of databases for research the Library system affords. Students will also need a three-ringed binder in which to keep their research materials (dividers—at least eight, note cards, and plenty of pencils).

If we don’t see you before winter break, have a wonderful vacation!

Emily, Ethan, Ashley, and Wendy