8th Grade Newsletter

January 4, 2019

Subject Specifics

Guidance and Counseling - Brandt

8th Grade Parents: Make Plans to Attend Curriculum Night - Monday, January 14, 6:30 p.m., PCHS Wilson Auditorium

As we reach the mid-point of the 2018-19 school year, PCHS is planning for the 2019-20 school year and is inviting parents and students to attend Curriculum Night. The purpose of Curriculum Night (formerly known as Parent Night) is to allow you to learn about each core class (English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies) from the department's perspective.

We encourage both the student (current 8th graders) and parent(s) to attend so that all can receive the information about courses which are offered at Platte County High School. This will greatly assist you and your student in the planning process and in course selection for the 2019-20 school year. If you would like more information, please contact your student's counselor: Becky Brandt

Physical Education - Baker/Milne

Please remind your child to bring a combination lock and PE clothes on Monday. Students need to have a separate set of clothes for PE than they wear to school. This is important for sanitary/health reasons, and is also a part of their grade. They also need to be wearing deodorant every day and we encourage them to bring a stick to have here at school to reapply during PE. If you are having trouble acquiring clothes, deodorant, or a lock, please email Coach Milne or Coach Baker and we will make sure to get whatever is needed for your child...thank you! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Math - Baskerville

Welcome back! We are starting the semester off with Topic 3: Functions. Please be on the lookout for homework several times per week. Also, in order to build fluency and confidence with basic math skills - fractions, integers, and single step equations - we will begin Workout Wednesdays. This will be a day filled with timed tests for students to record their growth each week. These fluency tests will not be part of a grade, but will help immensely in improving students' skills that support better understanding of the 8th grade content standards. Lastly, please be aware that I will be updating my Assessment Retake Policy in the coming days. I will send home the updated policy for your review soon.

Science - Gunther

The first semester ended with students studying the stages of the cell cycle: interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telephase, and cytokinesis. Our study of cells continued into the second half of the school year as we began comparing the stages of mitosis with the stages of meiosis. Next week, we will continue to explore genetics and heredity by investigating Gregor Mendel's pea plant experiments which will lead us to creating and analyzing punnett squares. By the end of the week, students should be familiar with and be able to explain the terms heterozygous, homozygous, purebred, hybrid, dominate, recessive, genotype, and phenotype as they relate to genetics. To go along with this unit I am asking that each child bring in a picture or send me a digital picture of themselves as a baby or toddler, if possible. Pictures need to be turned in by January11.

ELA - McCarty

Dear Families,

It's that time of year again! Debates! We are looking forward to the topics this year, which are:

*Should the United States keep birthright citizenship?

*Should the United States move to a popular vote in presidential elections?

*Should vaccinations be made mandatory for all children?

*Should college/post-secondary education be free for all?

*Should screen-time be restricted to people 13 and older?

Throughout the unit, we will receive lessons to help students develop skills and understanding that will hone their research, writing, and presentation skills. Some of these include:

) Working/communicating as a team and problem solving

2) Credible sources (does it pass the CRAAP test?)

-Recognizing bias

3) Argument, evidence, and warrants

4) Types of evidence and how to use it (ethos, pathos, and logos)

-varying types of evidence and how they affect a listener

* Digging deeper using 5W's --anticipate audience's questions

5) Mini-debate --strengthening an argument and practice effective speaking (projection, tone, and body language)

6) Rebuttals - Developing rebuttals in advance by anticipating opposing side's arguments and how to come up with rebuttals on the fly during debates

7) Debate strategy

8) Mini-debate #2, effective speaking (where to pause, tone, card order)

9) Opening statement - Strong essays including transitions, strategy, ethos, pathos, logos, hooks, thesis, and conclusion

In an effort to help families support their students through this process, the ELA department is excited to host a Parent Night Wednesday, January 9th, from 6-7 in the Barry commons. This will be lead by current and former Barry students who have been through debates 3 times. They will guide you as you practice each step of the debate process (creating research questions, fact/info cards, and opening statements). These students are also there to answer your questions from a student perspective. Miss Cook, Mr. Ruiz, and I will also be there to support parents as we would students in class and answer questions about debates in general.

I have attached a Parent Information sheet to this email as well as the debate process scoring sheet each student will receive. One of the best ways you can support your child is by engaging with them about their topic --they love to show off what Below you will find a list of standards that are met during this unit. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Email is generally best. I am looking forward to a great debate season and hope to see many of you at Parent Night next week!

Parent Information

Debate Scoring Guide

Automation and Robotics - Eastep

We are kicking off the new semester with establishing group norms. Many of the students design ideas and builds are completed by working in a group together. We spent significant time discussing the importance of group norms while sharing examples of appropriate communication techniques and strategies that can help teams be productive and successful when working together.

Looking Ahead - Students will be responsible for learning the different robotics part names / tools they will be using to build different mechanisms in class. I will share approximately 50-75 parts they will be working with and responsible for learning. I will supply them with pictures, text, and have a chance to complete a part scavenger hunt to begin being able to not only identify buy correctly name the parts.

Choir - Rolls

Spring Middle School Musical: Annie Jr.

This spring we will be combining with PCMS to put on the musical Annie Jr.!! If your student is interested in auditioning to be a part of Annie Jr., here is all of the info that you'll need to know about auditions, rehearsals, and performance dates.


Who: ANY 6-8th Grade student may audition for the musical, they do NOT have to be involved in music at school

What: First round musical auditions

Where: Barry School choir room

When: Tuesday, January 15th 3-5 p.m.

Transportation: The activity bus will be running if students need it. Otherwise, students must be picked up from Barry by NO LATER than 5:00 p.m.

Callbacks: Callbacks are our second round of auditions to take a second listen to a few students. Not all students will be called back, however, just because a student isn't called back does not mean they didn't make it. We will be posting a list of students that are being called back on Friday morning, January 18th. These students will need to take the activity bus up to PCMS right after school. The bus will bring them back down to Barry and students need to be picked up by NO LATER than 5:30 pm that night.

Who: Students on the call back list that will be posted the morning of Friday, January 18th

What: Callbacks

Where: PCMS Choir Room, NOT BARRY

When: Friday, January 18th 3-5 p.m.

Transportation: Students will take the activity bus to and from PCMS but must be picked up from Barry by NO LATER than 5:30 p.m.


-The cast list will be posted on Tuesday, January 22nd

-Our first rehearsal will take place on Monday, January 28th

Who: Annie Jr. Cast Members

What: Musical Rehearsals

Where: PCMS Monday-Friday from 3-5 p.m. (a concrete schedule will be given to students once they make it, and they may not be asked to come to rehearsal everyday, but their schedules need to be available for everyday rehearsals)

When: Beginning January 28th and lasting through April 13th M-F (No rehearsals during Spring Break, PLC days, or days without school)

Transportation: Students will take the activity bus to and from PCMS each day but must be picked up from Barry by NO LATER than 5:40 p.m. Students that are picked up later than 5:40 p.m. more than 2 times are subject to release from the cast. It is imperative that students have the proper transportation available each day in order to audition for the musical.

Musical Performances:

Where: Platte County High School - Wilson Auditorium


-Friday, April 12th @ 7:00 p.m.

-Saturday, April 13th @ 7:00 p.m.

I know this is a lot of info, but please contact Miss Rolls if you have any questions! Thank you!

Algebra and Geometry - Cerutti

Algebra will have a test over the chapter on Writing Linear Equations on Thursday the 11th.

Geometry will have a test over the chapter on Similarity on Thursday the 11th.

Art - Wolfe

This week we spent time going over our course syllabus and designing our portfolio covers for the year. Next week we will kick off the semester with a mixed media piece that allows us to visualize our thoughts and emotions while placing them in a box.

NOTE: If you are able to contribute we are in need of a few items in that art room. We will gladly accept donations of pencils, erasers, sharpies,

and masking tape. Thank you.

Social Studies - Marshall

Happy New Year! Our second semester is now underway!

My 8th graders have learned about the causes of the American Revolution and are now moving toward learning about the war itself...battles, key historical figures, etc. We will also be analyzing the Declaration of Independence and completing our next DBQ-Valley Forge-Would you have quit?
The Pre-Revolution Propaganda Poster Project is DUE FRIDAY, JANUARY 11. Students were given this assignment before winter break, and I have given them 2 work days in class. I've attached the assignment for your review.
We are continuing to read the novel "My Brother Sam is Dead."

I will continue to update you on due dates and deadlines. And as always, should you have a question or concern, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Propaganda Poster Project Guidelines

Band - Holtzscher

Happy New Year!!

The 8th grade band is currently working on recruitment music for our 5th grade recruitment concert that happens during the day. We are about 2 weeks out from our in class performance. Students should

be working on some of their step off songs and their sections songs

that they've selected.

Jazz Band has an upcoming competition on February 22nd in Maryville, Missouri. It will be during the school day and we will return home after awards. We will do a pre-contest conert on February 19th at 6:30PM in the Barry gym. This will be with PCMS jazz band, and we will have a few clinic judges to help us get better before we perform on that Friday. Our next concert after that will be on March 3rd, at PCHS. This is a joint concert with PCMS Jazz and the Platte County Community Band. It is a great opportunity to play on a stage and share a concert with the community. We hope to see you there!!!