Tangerine Times

End of the 1st Semester

Is it already halfway over?

As the 1st semester comes to an end, it's easy to get caught up in grades and finishing work. We have all enjoyed working with each and every student on our team. We also can't believe that the year is HALFWAY over?!

We hope everyone has a great break!

Social Studies Updates!

Tangerine students have been busy learning all about civics! Students recently delved into the Constitution and formed study groups to prepare for a “Bar Exam” testing their Constitutional knowledge. Now students have started to work on their I-Search research projects where they have chosen a topic to research using carefully crafted questions to guide their process. An I-Search is unique from other research projects in that students will also be asked to reflect upon the strategies they used to get the information for their topic. There will additionally be a media component to the project where students will be able to creatively and visually display what they learned from their research. We have only just started, and students are showing amazing critical thinking skills as they formulate their guiding questions.

Looking ahead into the future, information letters and permission slips (due December 8th) have gone home with students for the upcoming Alcatraz and Exploratorium field trip. Did you know that Alcatraz served as a military prison for Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War? Your student will have much more information about this time period to share with you after this field trip! All of Tangerine Team is looking forward to a great day of learning and team bonding together.

What's happening in English

During the 2nd quarter in English, students read several survival stories as we explored the question, What character traits does it take to survive in the wilderness? We read and discussed To Build a Fire, by Jack London and viewed the film Cast Away, then compared and contrasted the two protagonists' traits and how well they navigated their situations, both emotionally and mentally. After this unit we studied the play Twelve Angry Men, by Reginald Rose, and read the novel Monster, by Walter Dean Myers. Students did a great job engaging in rigorous discussion about all the characters, various roles in the justice system, and the power of prejudice to influence people's perspectives. It's a been an excellent semester overall!

No School on January 18th!

Math Updates

The first semester of 8th grade math was great! We learned so much math and all students did a fantastic job. I continue to be impressed by the work ethic, motivation, and character of all of our students. Everybody continued to develop their math skills and study skills; I have no doubt that this will continue into the second semester and beyond.

The first semester focused primarily on “linear things.” We reviewed and expanded upon our knowledge of the number system and operations. Using these basic skills, we learned about solving equations with one, zero, or infinitely many solutions. This was built upon in the systems of equations unit where students not only solved systems, but used Algebra to solve complex word problems. We graphed lines and focused on slope, y-intercept, and parallel and perpendicular lines. Obviously, we learned much more than this, but I thought that I would just give a brief summary.

The second semester will build upon what we learned during the first semester. We will also delve into some non-linear topics such as exponents, quadratic equations and more! I am very much looking forward to this. As always, please contact me if you have any questions about the curriculum, materials, class routines, or anything else.


Josh Spira

Tangerine Teachers

Feel free to contact any of the Tangerine Teachers if you have a concern, question or just a comment :)