8th Grade Weekly Note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

We are happy to be back after the Puerto Rico 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 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 students are involved in a native plant project focused at the Schuylkill Center and environmental chemistry in the classroom. In mathematics students have reviewed key concepts in algebra in preparation for taking placement tests for high school mathematics courses.

We spent a fascinating morning in Family Circles at The Philadelphia Museum of Art; we enjoyed a specially designed mystery tour. Many thanks to Ah-Young Kim, Manager of School Visits at the PMA (and mother of Jillian Yum), who worked with us to plan this amazing event for grades one through eight. Each Family Circle, numbering 17 to 20 students with two teachers, had a special object to find during an individually tailored tour. This was a perfect culminating event for our all-school theme What is a Mystery?

We are all set for our trip to Washington on Thursday and Friday, April 14 and 15! We leave TPS promptly at 7:00 am (students must be here by 6:45 so we can depart on time). We will arrive Thursday morning at the Capitol; students will tour the Library of Congress. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with House Leader Kevin McCarthy, followed by a visit to the House and Senate galleries. After lunch in the Capitol Visitors Center we will participate in a panel discussion with government interns, staffers, and special guests that focuses on insights about working in Washington. 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 for a workshop focused on The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night; after lunch we will tour the International Spy Museum as a celebration of the all-school theme of mysteries. Students have permission slips for you to sign this weekend due Monday, April 11, which includes an order form for supper Thursday night. 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.

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.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Emily, Ashley, Ethan, and Wendy