Weekly Update

Cluster 5 - Week 5

Cluster Announcements

Weekly Science quiz every Friday

Thursday Math Assessment

No School 10/11

English/Language Arts

This week, students completed their first personal narrative- writing about a time that they had made a poor choice as a child. Students shared their stories in small groups, having another group member read their story so that they could listen to their own writing. Students reported that this was an effective way to notice small or unintentional errors in their writing or message. Finally, students analyzed their pre and post-assessment for narrative writing by comparing a hard copy of each with an abbreviated narrative writing rubric. As a way to reflect on our own teaching, students completed two short google forms to validate and improve on the writing unit. For enjoyment, ask your student to share their fantastic story with you!

Next week, students will begin their first whole-class novel, Warcross by Marie Lu.

The novel focuses on 18-year-old Emika Chen who, after losing her father and being expelled from high school, turns to Warcross to escape from her hardships. To make a living, she becomes a bounty hunter—an individual who tracks down perpetrators of crimes related to Warcross, such as gambling.

Please encourage your student to independently read each evening- with the start of our new novel, there is no excuse not to.


Take a look on Google Classroom to see how your child is doing with our work so far!

We will continue to have quizzes on Fridays so we have all week to practice our new skills and content understandings.

Weekly Learning Targets for 10/12-10/15:

  • I can explain how the spreading of the ocean floor has created new crust and contributed to plate movement.

    • I can construct a model to show the process of seafloor spreading.

    • I understand that oceanic trenches are areas where old crustal plates are remelted into the mantle.

    • I can explain how mid-ocean ridges are locations where tectonic plates move apart and create new crust.


This week in Civics we reflected on our excellent work on our US Identity Maps - they came together beautifully and students were very proud of the finished products! We then launched our mini-unit on elections and voting, starting by learning and working with some key vocabulary (voter registration, ballots, primary elections, general elections, etc.). Students also thought about and wrote about why voting is a core democratic value, and learned how to register to vote.

Next week, we’ll be learning about how local government works in Watertown, and taking a look at our nonpartisan local elections. We’ll work with more election vocabulary related to political parties and the political spectrum, and we’ll continue with “What in the News?” Wednesdays.



Students will be having their first math test on Unit 1 next week on Thursday. They will be given a practice packet in class on Wednesday. This will help them study for their Unit 1 assessment on Thursday.

Students also have the option to complete test corrections on their first quiz for Tuesday. The directions for the test corrections are on google classroom and allow the students to earn back 1/3 of the points they lost back on their assessment.

Next week, we will be starting Unit 2 on Friday. In Unit 2 the students will be learning about dilations (making shapes bigger and smaller), Similarity between shapes and slope.

If your student is in the Algebra class we will be starting Chapter 2 next Friday.

English Language Development classes

Entering ELD

This week we began our Imagine Learning competition! Ask your student for details and encourage them to participate. They can make good progress over the long weekend.

The program is easy to do at home and when it is used regularly (40-60 minutes a week), it rapidly increases learning the English language.

This week we welcomed new students to our class!

We used personal pronouns and the verb “to be” to describe ourselves and our classmates.

Next week, we will continue learning the English numbers from 0-1,000,000,000 to explain the date, the time, and use the verbs “to be” and “to have” to describe quantities.

Emerging ELD

This week we will begin our unit on feelings and family. We will start with the vocabulary of feelings and expressions that happen when we have those feelings. Towards the end of the week we will be talking about our families and their corresponding titles (Mom, Dad, Stepmom, Cousin, etc.).

We also have our ongoing Imagine Learning competition! Ask your student for details and encourage them to participate. The program is easy to do at home and when it is used regularly (40-60 minutes a week), it rapidly increases learning the English language.

Developing ELD

This week we have learned about cause and effect. We read a myth and will discuss how the different events in a story are connected. Next week, we will be drawing plot diagrams and read more myths.

Expanding ELD

Students learned and practiced comprehension strategies with the America Street story “Sixth Grade,” by learning the literary terms “conflict,” “climax,” and “resolution,” as well as using a Plot--Story Arc chart. Also, students did some more practice on verbs on noredink.com, and Independent Reading book checks.

Transitioning ELD

This week, we began our short story unit with a rousing start, annotating our (many!) reactions to Gary Soto’s “Being Mean” and arguing for our own interpretations of the characters’ behaviors.

Next week, we will analyze the elements of narratives as students identify them in short stories preparatory to writing their own narratives.


This week we are beginning Unit 2 which focuses on differentiating between a digraph and a blend, but also digraph blends. We will be advancing to blending and segmenting four and five sound words this week, after previously only working with three sound words.

Sheltered Social Studies (Grade 8 only)

Students got more practice using and applying geography terms related to U.S. geography. They also recorded a “Hello, I am …” video on Flipgrid, and commented on each other’s videos.