End of the Year Newsletter

8th grade Newsletter

End of the Year!

It is hard to believe that the end of the school year has arrived! 9 months have passed very quickly here at Otto Middle School.

This year’s end always brings with it a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Our students have been involved in an extraordinary number of activities. Of course, we should not forget the great amount of learning which has taken place during the year. The 8th grade students have demonstrated great character and will be truly missed.

We will spend the last month preparing for high school and finishing up on top level for our final exams and STAAR testing.

Otto Middle School Accolades

Communication with Teachers

The Otto staff has been working hard to find productive ways to interact with parents and students about upcoming assignments and due dates. A few of the formats frequently being used by the Otto teachers and staff.

1. Remind 101 - Find out from your child's teacher what their classroom code is and receive communications about upcoming assignments and due dates via email or text.

2. Mypisd - The districts website is available to all parents. This site is a great way to access your child's grades and attendance throughout the six weeks.


3. Google Classroom - Check out this link to get started on Google classroom and to help your child get signed up to his or her classes.


Growth Mindset and Testing

With STAAR right around the corner, it is important to maintain a growth mindset. The article below elaborates on how students perform when they are learning versus during a summative assessment.

Check out the website below for more information.


Otto students are proud to be Organized, Mindful, and Scholarly. Teachers incorporate these values throughout their lessons and interactions with students. The article linked below provides great ways for parents to help their children develop self-discipline and effective focus strategies.

6th Six Weeks in a Glance

English 8

The 4th [and final] unit of the 8th Grade Middle School English curriculum is a fun-filled one titled, “Powerful Young Voices.” Throughout this 8-week unit, students will be engaged in a study of texts that have been written by “powerful young voices” - that is, by writers under the age of 18. We'll explore the ways in which these young voices have impacted the world through their perspectives and ideas, and students will be invited to consider what their own ideas are that could impact the way that others view the world.

Rita Attuquayefio



Courtney Langdon



Sarah McVay



Erin Kerry



Stephanie Parker



Science 8

Our final six weeks in 8th grade science covers plate tectonics, geologic features and activity, and topography and contour mapping. The semester will come to an end with Science STAAR on May 11th and semester exams the last week of school.

Torrey Gragg



MaryAnn Cowley



Elizabeth Jacobsen



Math 8, Algebra and Math Rocks

Honors Algebra:

Students will be finishing the quadratics unit by solving quadratics using completing the square and the quadratic formula. We will spend some time reviewing for the Algebra EOC that will take place on Wednesday, May 4. After the EOC, we will wrap up the year with a radicals units where the students will learn to simplify, add, subtract, multiply, and divide radicals.

Math Rocks 8:

Students will be working with 3-dimensional figures solving for surface area and volume. We will then finish up the year with a unit on probability where the students will determine probability of a variety of events. Students will use permutations and combinations along with other methods throughout the probability unit.

The Math 8 students will start the six weeks off learning about linear, non-linear, and inverse relations in the book Thinking with Math Models. The year will conclude with a unit over algebraic representations and properties in the book Say it With Symbols.

Rosie Coleman



Kaci McDaniel



Bonny Pan



Caresir Gonzales



Elizabeth Jacobsen



US History 8 and PACE

History 8 -

The lessons in this unit were organized to help students understand the causes of the Civil War, the major events of the war, and the significance of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. The unit unfolds with an emphasis on the sectional differences of the North and South before the war. Through lessons designed to engage the students, teachers have an opportunity to develop the students’ understanding on the political dilemmas and the compromises of the times. By probing deeply into the sectional differences, students are challenged with analytical thought through primary source document analysis. Later, the documents are used as a part of the document-based essay on the final exam. Many activities throughout the unit focus on the military campaigns, political and military leaders, and the strong convictions on both sides.

PACE 8 -

In this unit students will identify and analyze issues of civil war and its effect on society by examining the major events of the American Civil War, and the post-war reconstruction. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the political and social dilemmas of the period through the analysis of primary source documents, and the creation of fictional letters in the voice of Civil War era characters.

Rob Keahey



Brent Truitt



Zeshan Khan



Otto Middle School - Organized, Mindful and Scholarly!

Otto Middle School, namesake of Superintendent Dr. Douglas Otto, opened its doors in August 2010. Otto is a comprehensive Plano ISD middle school that offers a variety of honors level courses in the core subjects, as well as PACE, Math Rocks, Spanish III Honors and Spanish IV AP. Elective courses include band, choir, orchestra, theatre, journalism, art, athletics, Gateway to Technology, French, Spanish, AVID, and more.