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Eighth Grade 2016-2017 Blog

Week 20: 5/22-5/26

Humanities: This week, we finished Fitzgerald’s poignant, but tragic novel, The Great Gatsby. For me, the week was immensely satisfying, as each component of our Humanities classes merged together as a cohesive, cross-curricular study. In History, we studied the Roaring 20’s, as students moved through stations to learn about various topics, including flappers, the Lost Generation, Modernist literature, and the 1920’s economy, to name a few. In Literature, we discussed important  themes and symbols from the novel, particularly my personal favorite topic, color symbolism (is Gatsby’s car yellow because yellow is a fake gold, like his fake wealth? What does Fitzgerald want to show...
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Week 29: 5/13 – 5/19

Humanities: Literature: This week, we continued our study of The Great Gatsby. We’ve been conducting close reading using excerpts from the novel and writing annotations, a skill that they will definitely need for high school. While many students have shared that the novel has been challenging for them, they are definitely getting more into it, and you should feel free to discuss it with them this weekend! Writing: We’ve started working on our graduation speeches…how time flies. At this point, nearly every student has chosen a quote and started drafting. We’ll continue work on this next week. History: We continued learning about WWI, focusing...
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Week 28: 4/3/17-4/7/17

Humanities: Literature: This week, we finished our study of Night, which complemented our reading of The Book Thief, and culminated our unit on the Holocaust. Students were so engaged and moved by this memoir, and we spent some time on Friday discussing how lucky they are to be able to attend Jewish Day School, and very soon, go on a trip to Israel. When students return, we will begin on our final novel of the year, The Great Gatsby. History: We wrapped up our study of the Civil War. Topics included important figures in the war, major battles, the Gettysburg Address, and the...
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Week 27, 3/26 – 3/31

Judaic Studies: We have reached a turning point in Sefer Shoftim/the Book of Judges: the cycle of events has turned into a downward spiral with the stories of Gidon and Yiftach. What makes a society shift and begin to go downhill? That is a question we will be looking at as we study the second half of Sefer Shoftim. In literature class with Lindsay, 8th graders have been learning about different types of characterization: direct/indirect and flat/round. We applied these categories to the first 3 verses of chapter 11 in Sefer Shoftim and students noticed that direct descriptions are rare...
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Week 26: 3/20/17-3/24/17

Purim/Passover Sock Drive: Friday, March 10th – Friday, April 7th Our Senesh Sock Drive is the grassroots way to fulfill an unmet need of homeless men, women, and children. All sizes of new socks needed! The socks will be delivered to CAMBA’s Flagstone Family Center. Humanities: Literature: This week, we continued our study of The Book Thief. Since many ninth grade teachers require students to annotate assigned literature, we practiced on this skill this week by close reading sections of the text. I continue to be amazed by the rich and thoughtful work that students have been doing with this challenging piece of literature,...
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Week 24: Monday, March 6th – Friday, March 10th

Hebrew Dear parents, HAPPY PURIM! This week we really started our pre-Israel trip preparations! We learned four new songs and practiced how to order various foods in Hebrew. I wish you a relaxed and happy weekend, Andreea Judaic Studies To prepare for Purim, 8th graders studied a wild and crazy story from Talmud Bavli Masechet Purim. They discussed the story and made it into short films! Hebrew Heritage: Dear Parents, This week we started a new unit on the topic of “Impotent characters” which shaped Israeli society in a variety of topics like politics and culture. This week we talked...
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Week 23: Monday, February 27th-Friday, March 3rd

It was great to welcome students back after February break! On Monday, we kicked off the month of Adar with Pajama Day. Check out this cute picture of the eighth grade class:  Read on to learn about what students did this week: Humanities: Literature: This week, we continued our study of The Book Thief, with a focus on various types of symbolism that appears in literature. Specifically, students learned how symbolism can be portrayed through numerous modalities, including colors, seasons, weather, animals, and body parts. Later in the week, they applied this learning by finding and analyzing examples of symbolism in The Book Thief....
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Week 22: Monday, February 13th – Friday, February 17th

Humanities: Literature: This week, we continued our study of The Book Thief, paying particularly attention to the many uses of figurative language employed by author Marcus Zusak. Students defined several styles of figurative language and identified them within the text. Later in the week, we discussed tone, and how figurative language can be used as a way to identify an author’s tone. Additionally, we briefly studied some of the historic backdrop of the novel. Rudy, a young German boy, cannot understand why his father disapproves of his admiration for black American athlete Jesse Owens. To gain context, we watched clips from the 1936 Berlin...
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Week 21: Monday, February 6th-Friday, February 10th

Hi everyone! Between the Read-A-Thon, a visit from the Jewish Museum teaching artist, STEAMfest, and of course, the snow day, it was an exciting week for 8th graders! Here’s an overview of what we did this week: Humanities: Literature: This week, we began our next novel, The Book Thief. We kicked off the week by acquiring some background knowledge on the Holocaust, which serves as the backdrop for this novel, by reading about the history of anti-Semitism, and studying a piece of propaganda that was used to teach young German children that Jews were a “dangerous race.” The Book Thief, which tells that...
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Week 20: Monday January 30th- Friday February 3rd

Hebrew: Dear parents, This week Kvutza Aleph started the second chapter in the unit. We read texts about dreamers and how society accepts them and we learned new vocabulary in the unit. Kvutza Beyt continued to discuss shapes and colors in our world. The students read texts about the symbolism of various colors and wrote a similar text. I wish everyone a relaxing weekend, Andreea Humanities: Literature: This week, we wrapped up our reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a creative project. Students were able to pick from a list of choices, and it’s been so much watching their ideas...
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