RISE AGAINST HUNGER
SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORY
Eighth grade students have studied the events leading to the American Revolution. Students learned that Great Britain imposed many taxes on the colonists to pay for the French and Indian War. "No taxation without representation," rang loud throughout the colonies and sparked the colonists to join together and fight for their independence. The students researched the many battles of the American Revolution, focusing on the important battles that were fought in South Carolina. They were tasked with creating an informative and engaging visual to present to the class, and teach their peers about the battle. Using our big idea "balance," they had to find a balance between teaching the information to their classmates in a creative and engaging way, and providing a visual that included the information. The presentations were creative, original, and informative!
Students are wrapping up their study of forces and motion. They have learned about Newton's Three Laws of Motion. They have also learned how gravity and friction affect motion. They have developed experiments to test how mass affects motion and how force affects motion. Eighth grade science students will wrap up the unit by designing and building iterations of paper stomp rockets and explaining how the different designs result in longer flights for the rocket.
Geometry students wrapped up their third unit of study this week and tested their comprehension of parallel lines, transversals, and the angle relationships formed when they all converge. One might wonder where and how this knowledge could be applied in a real world setting! Many cities are designed on a grid with parallel streets. If another street runs across the parallel lines, it is a transversal. Special relationships exist between parallel lines and transversals. We have a perfect example of these types of intersections right here in Port Royal with Depot Rd. and all the parallel roads it intersects (ask your child to explain the angle relationships on the map below)
Algebra students have finally concluded their second unit of study: Multi-Step Equations and Inequalities. Projects were turned in last week - below you can see some pictures of the kids working on those projects as well as some of the finished components. This has been a vital unit of learning as it sets up procedures that will be used in all future upper level mathematics. With equations and inequalities, students use inverse operations to BALANCE both sides of an equation of inequality containing a single variable in order to find the value of that variable.
Students have moved on to a new unit! To better understand the characters and issues presented in George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion, students spent time learning about the impact of the Industrial Revolution on England during the nineteenth century. Students learned about the rise of the middle class, the increase in social mobility, and the general views and values ascribed to the time period. One of the general views held, which serves as the Enduring Understanding for this unit, is that each person has a responsibity to better themselves, others, and the society.
8TH GRADE ELA
Students will soon read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens! To better understand the characters and issues presentend in Dickens' piece, students spent time learning about the affects of the Industrial Revolution on England During the nineteenth century. Since Dickens was especially concerned with the hardships felt by the children of the working class, our study focused on learning more about the undesired consequences endured by those living during the time period who found themselves vulnerable to values at odd. As a result of experiencing (first hand) the advantages and disadvantages the period presented, Dickens wrote a Christmas Carol. Our Enduring Understanding for the unit (a belief Dickens held) is that we have a responsibility to use our wisdom and our abilities to better ourselves and others.
Field Trip to Caw Caw Interpretive Center
Eighth grade students had a wonderful learning experience at Caw Caw Interpretive Center! They saw first hand how the indigo plant was harvested and the early process of using the plant to make indigo dye. The students each got to tie dye a t-shirt using the indigo dye. Students walked through the beautiful plantation and learned how important the land and natural resources were to the Native Americans in South Carolina. The Native Americans were able to find a BALANCE in trading excess crops with other tribes in the Upstate to gain supplies not found in the Lowcountry. Students took turns making fire and discovering the challenge of living off of the land. A huge lesson learned was that the Native Americans did not waste anything.
8th graders have had a great time getting to know their Kindergarten buddies so far the year. Would look forward to working with them even more after our Fall Break.
We have had a great start to our school year so far! We spent the first few weeks learning all the basics of Geometry and how to properly label and name these building blocks. After completing the unit, we spent a week working on an in class project (pictured above) where students were tasked with the creation of their own geometric land with a theme of their own choosing.
Since the start of this school year, Algebra students have invested their time thus far learning how to solve equations and inequalities and how to classify numbers in the number system. Students have learned the importance of keeping an equation BALANCED by performing inverse operations to each side of an equation in order to derive a solution. We have worked on a number of skills individually, with partners (as pictured above) and with whole class activities.
Mrs. Kolb's Pre-Algebra students have successfully completed our second chapter on equations and are now quite proficient at solving for x and BALANCING the equation. We will be moving on to more graphing related content after Fall Break.
PLEASE NOTE: All math students are required to have a calculator (with their name on it) as part of their required materials.
South Carolina History
Eighth grade students have learned about the early exploration of South Carolina by the Europeans, and how important the Carolina Colony was to Great Britain. South Carolina's plantation system produced many cash crops which strengthened Great Britain's hold on the colony. Students learned about the 13 colonies and the different characteristics of each colony including natural resources, economy and the immigrants that settled in each area. Using this knowledge students created their own ideal colony. They were challenged with creating a colony that was successful due to a balance with the economy, government, natural resources as well as a cohesive group of people.
Since the start of the school year, English I students have investigated the impact that different archetypes have on literature. Students have used their study on archetypes to independently identify emerging topics, host discussions, and make alternative interpretations supported by examples and explanations . Ultimately, the understanding that we wish to endure is that a fair and balanced perspective is strenthened throuhg thoughtfull inquiry, balanced research, and rich discussion.
8th Grade ELA
Since the start of the school year, Eighth Grade ELA students have investigated how details shape meaning. Students engaged in thoughtful, analytical reading and writing that focused on exploring the coming of age theme that is found in literature. Students have used the coming of age archetype as a framework for relfecting on their own lives, too.
Students have developed their understanding of the relationships between forces and motion. They have learned how to collaborate and communicate like scientists by using the claim-evidence-reasoning method for presenting critical thinking. They have designed independent investigations to find the answers to the questions "How does force affect motion?" and " How does mass affect motion?" Students are in the process of presenting their findings to their classmates and receiving feedback on their reasoning and use of scientific vocabulary.
We have come to the end of another great school year. We want to thank you all so much for all your hard work. Please enjoy some photos below and we hope you all have a great summer and come back to visit often.
Great Depression Black Out Poems
Trip to Boeing South Carolina in Charleston
Students participated in the DreamLearners program at Boeing in Charleston to learn how they could be a part of the next generation of aerospace leaders at Boeing. The mission of the DreamLearners program is to enhance student and teacher awareness of Boeing South Carolina through experiential learning and exposure to business and industry. The program took place in the tour balcony overlooking the production floor of the 787 Final Assembly building and included the following: an explanation of what happens at Boeing South Carolina, an introduction to the 787 Dreamliner and aerodynamics, a visual tour of the 787 production process, and a engineering challenge aimed at producing the most accurate, farthest-flying paper airplane.
English Language Arts
How can the voices of the past provide wisdom for the problems of today? Recently, students learned that context can shape meaning and build our perspective of events and people. Students in English I and Eighth Grade Language Arts transitioned into each of their units with an introduction to a wise voice from the past, Martin Luther King, Jr. After listening to King's speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop" , students were provided with additional context. The first piece of context was that the speech became the last public address King would ever give and the other piece of context was that King's assassination took place the very next day. Although the speech is presented powerfully and riddled with rhetorical strategies, it is the context (the conditions and circumstances) of the speech that makes it appear more meaningful and relevant to an audience. Maintaining an accurate and balanced understanding of topics, people, and problems requires readers, writers, and speakers to responsibly use context to build connections between the audience and themselves. Effective communication happens as a result of making ideas meaningful and relevant to listeners.
Soon, English I students will give Keynote presentations about influential individuals they feel have intellectually and morally helped to shape our world and make it a better place. The presentation are designed to enhance the students' development of content, use of rhetorical strategies, and presentation skills. During this unit students have researched biographical information, viewed engaging presentations, received feedback, and learned ways to effectively strengthen presentations with content (choice of graphics, intentional transitions, meaningful leads, rhetorical strategies, thoughtful text features, etc.). In addition to enhancing each students communication skills, the unit has been designed to give students a more accurate understanding of the individuals they esteem by learning about the conditions and events that contributed to shaping the individual and ultimately, our world.
In addition to reading and listening to the speech King gave on April 3, 1968, Eighth Grade Language Arts students listened to Newton Minow, the Federal Communication Commission Chairman in 1961, address issues and concerns about the state of television during a convention for the National Association of Broadcasters. Minow's speech and King's speech, both given during the 1960's regarding different topics of concern, were incorporated into the unit to provide students with a more balanced portrayl of the issues that colored the conditions of the 60's, introduce students to rhetorical strategies, strengthen their previous understanding of context, and demonstrate how adding context or leaving context out, shapes the accuracy and sophsitication of our perspectives. Students will continue to use inquiry and research strategies to monitor their thinking, add context to topics they write about, and use context to evaluate topics they read about.
South Carolina History
Eighth grade Historians have used the big idea balance to navigate through the Civil War, and specifically the impact the Civil War had on South Carolina. The North and the South struggled to balance their policies on politics and the economy, thus causing South Carolina to secede from the Union. Students worked on a video project for the unit on the Civil War. They had to create a commercial, short movie, or documentary about an event during the Civil War. The students enjoyed dressing up as Civil War characters and using their iPads to video their presentation. Their creativity and cinematography were outstanding!
Students have written a DBQ (Document Based Question) during this trimester. The students worked hard on the process of writing a research paper, and using non-fiction text to support their claim. They were given several documents to analyze prior to writing the paper. The DBQ title was North or South: Who Killed Reconstruction? The students had to group the documents according to whether or not the document supported the North, South or possibly both. Next, they had to take a stance, and choose the documents that would support their claim. The students worked hard on their DBQ papers. They peer edited their rough drafts and gave each other some great feedback. This process was challenging for many students, but I am thrilled that the students had this writing experience.
Students continue to explore the ideas of balance and stability as they learn about how matter moves in predictable ways from place to place in our universe. We are wrapping up our study of forces and motion. We have learned about the different forces: gravity, friction, applied forces, the normal force, and tensional forces and have analyzed how these different forces can interact to affect the motion of an object. We have also learned how we can use position vs time and velocity vs time graphs to describe the motion of an object. We have learned about Newton's Laws of Motion and have reflected on how our new knowledge has changed some of our initial beliefs about the how matter moves in the universe.
Within the past few weeks, Algebra students worked on creations of their own design and then used linear binomials polynomials to calculate perimeter and area of the designs they came up with. Their hardworking was documented and can be seen in the photos above.
Most recently, they finished their study on factoring the polynomials they learned to create in the previous chapter. This is a very big skill which can be used in finance: a common polynomial equation that comes up is the calculation of present value. This is used in accounting when the present value of assets must be determined. It is used in asset (stock) valuation. It can further be used in bond trading and mortgage calculations. The polynomial is of high order, for example, with an interest term with exponent 360 for a 30-year mortgage. This is not a formula that can be factored. Instead, if the interest needs to be calculated, it is solved for by computer or calculator.
Geometry students have been very busy this past month. After completing their study of proportions and similarity, pairs of students worked together to create "Dream Homes". They had to work with each other to design all aspects of a home and adhere to a specific set of codes and criteria. As pictured above, they worked methodically to create detailed drawings similar to what an architect or interior designer might do when hired by a client.
Most recently, students finished their study of Right Triangles and their trigonometric properties. Airport meteorologists keep an eye on the weather to ensure the safety of the flights. One thing they watch is the cloud ceiling. The cloud ceiling is the lowest altitude at which solid cloud is visible. If the cloud ceiling is too low the planes are not allowed to take off or land. Further, one way meteorologists can find the cloud ceiling at night is to shine a searchlight that is located a fixed distance from their office vertically into the clouds. Then they measure the angle of elevation to the spot of light on the cloud. The angle of elevation is the angle formed by the line of sight to the spot and the horizontal. Using trigonometry, the cloud ceiling height can be determined.
Students in Mrs. Cooler's class have just completed the first of the four chapters which will focus on 8th grade level Geometry. Since completing lessons on the Pythagorean Theorem, Distance Formula and Interior and Exterior angles of polygons, we have now started a multi-part partner project. For the next two months, students will add on to a "town" they will create with various geometric elements and answer questions in order to write about the town they have created. Above are pictures of the beginnings of these collaborative projects.
Field Trip to The Giver at