The Pike Road Bulletin

Community 8 : January 17

Respect Diversity Project

Last week we kicked off our C8 Respect for Diversity Project with a community-wide meeting. Lead learners shared their passion for the topic and the project's guiding question of, "How can we promote respect for the diverse cultures we have here at PRS and within the Pike Road Community?" Within our concept of diversity, we are including differences in nationalities, genders, races, religious beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, obstacles faced throughout someone's lifetime, etc. The learners then brainstormed ways to carry out this mission. Some of their amazing ideas included exploring various cultures through their arts and evaluating how different cultures are portrayed in movies, commercials, in song lyrics, and on social media. The learners also expressed a desire to organize and host a multicultural expo to showcase the various cultures represented throughout the Pike Road community as one way to spread their Respect Diversity campaign. One of the groups is working on a slogan and artwork for a poster to display in windows of businesses around the community. If you own a local business, be expecting some of our PRS learners to get in touch with you.

Many of the students are unable to tell us about their family history, so we hope you will find time to speak with your child about your family's cultural heritage. If you are willing to come speak to a small group of students about your cultural heritage, that would be even better!

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All About Me Commercials

To help develop a climate of respect within our collaborative groups, the students were challenged to create a commercial to show their classmates why they would make a good team member for future projects and problem solving tasks. It was also a great way for the new lead learners to get to know the students. All projects should have been posted in Edmodo and on Fresh Grade. Below are pictures of the students "Speed Sharing" their presentations. Instead of sitting still through 30 individual presentations on the projector, small groups of students traveled around the room in 5 minute intervals. After viewing each presentation, peer audiences provided the presenter with stars (something they really liked about the presentation) and wishes (some suggestion for improvement). Learners were also asked to provide specific feedback to at least two other students in Edmodo. Learners were instructed to use the feedback to guide revisions. These activities are all working towards mastery of ELA standards SL.8.1 and W.8.6 which involve using technology to collaborate with diverse partners. For a closer look at your child's assignments and a peak at who your child's classmates are, check out all of the videos on their Edmodo page.

Research Basics

Small groups of learners worked collaboratively to conduct short research projects on copyright laws, plagiarism, fair use, public domain, or piracy. Each group created presentation tools to teach their classmates about the topic they researched and generated reference sheets for their peers to use as future research/writing resources.

Student Spotlight

Pike Road Patriots Picnic Tables Project

The need for picnic tables at Pike Road School has been met with a large collaborative effort from members of Community 7 and 8 over the last couple of months. Learners determined the design and list of materials necessary to build the tables. They initiated correspondence with Home Depot (Chantilly Pkwy) who provided a discount on the order. Finally, they organized the actual building team and procedures upon delivery of the materials. The first of many tables was completed this past week by the dedicated team of Angel Ruiz-Sanchez, Javier Lopez, Foster Ingram, and Bankston Barfoot. It will provide a place to sit and gather near our bus lane. Be sure to tell them how much you appreciate all the extra time and work that went into the designing, planning, and building of our new table.
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Upcoming Learning Objectives

English Language Arts/ History

Beyond the Glass Slipper: Learners will analyze a variety of Cinderella tales from around the world to determine how culture influences literature. Through the examination of story elements and cultural features such as shelter, clothing, language, religion, transportation, food, economy, arts, government, and traditions within the story, learners will acquire a better understanding of various world cultures. Wrapping up the unit, learners will attend a live production of the fairytale at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and write their own Cinderella themed narratives.

  • RL.8.1- Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RL.8.3- Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  • RL.8.5- Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.
  • RL.8.7- Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.
  • W.8.3- Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.


8th Grade Math Standard

[8.G.9] Know the formulas for the volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Algebra I Standard - Percent of Change

[N-Q.1] Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multistep problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays.

Geometry Standard - Similar Polygons

[G-SRT.2] Given two figures, use the definition of similarity in terms of similarity transformations to decide if they are similar; explain using similarity transformations the meaning of similarity for triangles as the equality of all corresponding pairs of angles and the proportionality of all corresponding pairs of sides.


As we move farther into math, learners are becoming familiar with the different calculator functions. It is not required that the learners have an actual calculator, but it is recommended for them to have a version that they will be able to become comfortable using. Most learners like the TI-30x style (about $10-$15).


Physical Science Energy Standard 13:

Create and analyze graphical displays of data to illustrate the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass and speed of an object

  • define motion, speed, and velocity
  • Use the formula speed= distance/time to to calculate average speed
  • use the formula KE= 1/2 mv^2to measure the kinetic energy of moving objects such as tennis balls, golfballs, and marbles
  • create a bar graph and analyze data to determine the effect of mass and speed on the kinetic energy of an object
  • design, construct and race fan cars

Instructional Tools

Edmodo is our learning management system where assignments are posted. Here, you will see assignments, due dates, late notifications, tutorial and resource links.

Parents may access this through a unique code found on your student's Edmodo home page. Signing up is easy-just go to, sign up as parent, enter your access code and fill in the required information.

Composition Notebooks

While our learners have laptops, we continue to use Composition notebooks for notes, assignments, practice work, lab work and journaling.

Please make sure your child has a composition notebook for their respective classes.

FreshGrade is the reporting tool used to communicate what skills are being introduced and how our learners are performing on these skills. As lead learners, we continue to attend professional development opportunities and collaborate with our peers on the most efficient ways to use FreshGrade and ensure that you are provided with a clear and accurate view of what your child is learning. One thing we have recently discovered is that parents are not seeing the lesson descriptions and additional resources that teachers are adding along with the title of the activity or standard being assessed. To view these, just click on the blue "show" in the top right hand corder of the box. We hope you will find this information to be helpful.

While learners may not have formal homework assignments other than reading nightly, there my be times when your child will need to continue working on an assignment they didn't complete in class or work on a project which will span over a longer period of time. Learners are also encouraged to identify skills that "have not met expectations" and review the learning notes, tutorials, and practice activities. Once students believe they have a better understanding of the concept/material, they should speak to their lead learner about the best way to reassess that particular standard.

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All learners should be reading daily. Find something your child is passionate about and fuel that passion by encouraging them to read about it. Get them to describe what they've read to you in detail. You might even want to read the same book and discuss it.

Some of the many benefits of reading daily include...

  • increased knowledge
  • vocabulary expansion
  • exposure to a variety of quality writing styles
  • improved writing skills
  • mental stimulation
  • stress reduction

*Get your child's account information and check to see what information and resources are being sent daily. Accounts to check: EDMODO/ GMAIL/ FRESH GRADE

*Ask your child SPECIFIC questions about their learning.


"I read in the Smore newsletter that you are learning different world cultures through the reading of Cinderella. What are some of the versions of Cinderella you have read in class, and in what ways have you learned about other cultures?

I read that you are analyzing the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass and speed of an object. What activities did you do to learn about this? Which activity did you enjoy the most? Can you tell me how speed and energy are related?"


A Day in the Life of an 8th- Grade Patriot

8:00- 12:30 Direct instruction in math, science and ELA/ history

12:30-1:00 Lunch

1:00- 2:00 PE, art, drama, or music elective

2:00-3:00 Project time

Classroom Wish List

  • pencils
  • electric pencil sharpeners
  • Loctite fun-tak mounting putty to hang posters to walls
  • double-sided tape
  • construction paper of various sizes and colors
  • higher level fiction and nonfiction books for classroom libraries (new and used)

Upcoming Events

On Thursday, January 28, we will be taking our field trip to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to see the performance of Cinderella. Afterward, we will travel to Eastdale Mall to have lunch. We will leave the school around 8:20 and return around 1:00. Make sure you have money for lunch. If you have requested a sack lunch from the lunchroom, Mrs. Harp will make arrangements to have it ready the morning of the trip.
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