Eighth Grade

NFS Curriculum Update :: January, 2016


Students did a lovely job playing two songs at the Holiday Meeting for Worship last month. I am so proud of them! We are going to be working on a small selection of new songs as we finish up quarter two. We are excited to learn some new techniques!


Students are currently working on a furniture design piece. Students were asked to redesign or reinterpret a classic, the chair, after learning about design greats like Charels and Ray Eames. After coming up with a concept and design, students will be building mini prototypes. Later we will return to the lab where we will complete a few quick Photoshop tutorials and will choose between several options to create a final design piece. We will finish the quarter with a design review and presentation.


In January, eighth grade English students will use their in-depth exploration of Elie Wiesel’s Night as a jumping off point for further exploration of the time period surrounding World War II and the Holocaust. Early in the month, students will tackle their first formal in-class critical essay, a thesis-driven close reading of selections from Wiesel’s memoir. Next, readers will break into book clubs to explore characters, storylines, and writing styles of their preference. Among others, selections include Annexed, a retelling of the events that occurred in Anne Frank’s Secret Annex from the perspective of Peter van Pels, the young man in hiding with her; The Berlin Boxing Club, which explores the connection between the fictional character of Karl Stern, a young Jewish boy, and his hero, real-life boxer Max Schmeling; Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys’s novel based on the true stories of survivors of Lithuania’s invasion by the Soviet Union; and Markus Zusak’s acclaimed novel The Book Thief, the story of how Liesel Meminger’s love of books defines her survival of Nazi Germany.


This month the eighth grade Latin students will complete their work with Lesson XVIII, wrapping up their exploration of different types of questions. We will then move on to Lesson XIX, which introduces two new concepts: third conjugation verbs and apposition. We will learn how to conjugate third person verbs in the present and future tenses and how to give commands in the imperative mood. We will also learn how to rename or identify one noun using another noun. This work will keep us busy until the end of the month.


On Level

Now that the eighth graders have learned how to solve linear systems, the students chose between three topic choices to apply their knowledge. The topics are being an entrepreneur and comparing various start-up companies, making a band and determining the revenue and expenses involved, or creating their own idea. The cooperative groups will construct scenarios, linear systems, and a conclusive report that will be shared with the class. Next up, students will be learning linear inequalities and real-life scenarios that involve an array of possible solutions.


Eighth graders are working on their linear systems projects. Some groups are working on real life scenarios comparing cars and cell phone for their consumers’ needs. Meanwhile, other groups are applying the linear systems concepts to authentic topics, such as Hunger Games, Harry Potter contests, and anime characters. The cooperative groups will construct scenarios, linear systems, and a conclusive report that will be shared with the class. Next up, students will analyze the similarities and differences between graphs and their parent functions as well as graph absolute value functions and families.

On January 19th, all eighth graders will have a cumulative midterm. Study guides and study session times are posted on the NFS website.


January begins with the continuation of our basketball unit, as students will participate in a three on three basketball tournament. Each student will be placed on a team based on skill level and teams will compete against the other teams in the class. Standings will be kept as well as playoffs and a championship game. This month the fitness challenge will be the shuttle run. Each class will use the rock wall again this month. We will also start to focus on jump rope in class as we prepare for the fifth annual Jump Rope for Heart event in February.


Eighth graders will continue their study of forces in fluids as it relates to flight in our atmosphere. Student will apply Bernoulli’s Principle for a better understanding of flight. Students will also understand why airplanes fly using terms such as airfoil, ailerons, elevators, yaw, pitch, roll, drag, thrust, and lift. After this, the 8th graders will move into the study of rocketry.


In January the eighth grade social studies students will complete their World War II unit. The unit will culminate with an FRQ (Free Response Question) Paragraph test. The children will be expected to select four topics from our World War II and Holocaust units and write one paragraph about each. This skill will be useful if they take Advanced Placement class in high school. This month we will begin our exploration of civil rights movements throughout our nation’s history. We will begin with the African-American civil rights movement. The students have shown remarkable progress thus far this year and I look forward to a lot of success in the new year.


The second batch of Service Learners will wrap up the quarter by actually carrying out the projects they have worked so hard to plan! These projects cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from illiteracy to bullying to the Pacific Trash Vortex. They also feature different formats—some groups are writing children’s picture books and sharing them with Lower School classes, some groups are preparing hands-on activities to teach to primary grades, and some groups are creating informative brochures and writing letters to newspapers or politicians. Once students have carried out their projects, they will complete a culminating reflection about their service experience. This will conclude the Service Learning elective for the year!


Eighth grade Spanish students have completed research of their Inca topic. They will join with other classmates and learn other customs from Inca civilization for oral discussions. Each student will then begin to prepare for the final Paper Slide Inca presentation. Students will organize their pictures/drawings and speech to present to the class . For our next unit of study, students will read Agentes Secretos y el Mural de Picasso by Mira Canion. Students will examine Pablo Picasso’s 1937 anti-war mural, Guernica, and acquire useful vocabulary to discuss events of the period and interesting artistic sites from the beautiful city of Barcelona.


Thursday 1/7 - Bucks County IU Drug and Alcohol Assembly

Friday 1/15 - SPICES Day & TASC Laser Tag Friendraiser @ Ultrazone

Monday 1/18 - MLK Jr. Day; School Closed

Tuesday 1/19 - Friday 1/22 - Education Week

Friday 1/22 - End of Second Quarter

Friday 1/29 - Ski Club Trip #1