8th Grade Weekly note

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

Thank you for coming to conferences this week! It was inspiring to see our eighth graders lead these discussions with such honesty, humor, and thoughtfulness. It is difficult to realize that this is the last of many years of conferencing with you, and it is a pleasure to see how ready the students are for their high school adventures.

The Penn Relays were a big part of the day. Our girls team participated, cheered on by all our track and field athletes. Congratulations to all who participated in the trials, as well as the final race.

It is impossible to believe that next week we are in May! The students are counting the days (some the minutes) until graduation (conversations seem to center on what to wear and how high the heels can be). Lois West came this week to share the graduation rehearsal schedule; speech writing and performance work will begin in ernest next week. For Wednesday, May 4, each student needs to come up with three themes or topics that could work for a graduation speech. Students will work with Lois, Ashley, and Emily on speeches and performances. We want to make sure that students are in school all day after the Memorial Day break as these rehearsals depend on full attendance. With Shannon Coulter, the students are choosing the music for their anthem, processional, and recessional. Today a packet with invitations went home with each student; it includes invitations and a sheet with graduation-related information (here is a link to it).

In language arts, students are about a week into The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, writing nightly reflections and learning about Mark Twain, the time period, and the history of the book's critical reception. They are continuing to work on their poetry anthologies both at the Schuylkill Center and in class on Fridays. In Latin they were proud to realize that they have completed most of the book as we embark on the final few chapters. In cultural studies, students are reading Melba Pattillo Beal’s memoir Warriors Don’t Cry and relating her account to primary source documents that reveal the story behind the desegregation of Central High School in Arkansas in 1957. In math class, students explored some outside-of-the-box Math Olympiad problems to start the week before continuing their study of rational expressions and equations. Students were asked to create visual challenge problems based on what they saw in the Olympiad samples, challenging one another's problem-solving skills. They then created rational expressions of their own, which are to be compiled in a google form and used to assess one another's knowledge at the beginning of next week! In science work on the Native Plant book as well as the chemistry textbook continue to be the focus.

Spring Fling is fast approaching (Friday, May 13). Permission slips to attend this event are due no later than May 9 so final preparations can be made. This is a TPS-only student event and promises to be lots of fun.

This afternoon we hope to see many of you at our Earth Day celebration in the play yard. Student Council has been working hard to plan activities, displays, and craft sales.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Emily, Ashley, Ethan, and Wendy