8th graders have spent the last two weeks learning about electricity! We’ve explored electron configurations, built simple circuits, and tested various objects and liquids for conductivity. After taking a quiz on Friday, we will dive into magnetism and explore the connections between it and electricity. Students will then learn about how generators and renewable energy, and place themselves in a role of an electrical energy supervisor for an underdeveloped country. Students will explore the economic and environmental benefits and risks of energy production while they design an electrical energy plan for their country.
Our classes have really begun to dive into the history of the Cold War. This is a great opportunity for students to make connections to history that is pretty close to their lives. This is also an opportunity to make connections of the events of the 1950’s and 1960’s with today. As we look at the fear caused by the Red Scare with dictators such as Stalin and Khrushchev and the idea many believed that communism may infiltrate or take over our country. We can make comparisons to the current uncertainties of Russia and Vladimir Putin that are making many Americans uneasy. Unfortunately, there are also comparisons to the fears of nuclear weapons. This time, instead of the dictatorships of Russia there are fears of the totalitarian state of North Korea and their leader Kim Jong-un testing nuclear capable missiles.
The students are exploring these ideas and looking at the broad history of this era and creating websites to present their information. We have just begun the construction of the sites but they are looking great already and students are having fun learning how to create websites and how best to present information to their audience. Be sure to ask your student to show their site to you along the way.
Be aware of an interesting show on NBC currently – Timeless. This science fiction show brings in great American and world history in an interesting and unique format; time travel. Each week they travel back to attempt to make changes to a group that may be controlling the direction of America. This part is a bit tough to follow but the times they travel to are often connected to history we have or will study. Just last night, they traveled to the 1950’s and interacted with Joseph McCarthy. I suggest you view the show and determine if it is appropriate for your student, some themes are adult in nature and there is violence. The premise of the show gets you thinking, connecting history, and considering may “what if?” moments.
So I had a whole other (or as we say in my hometown, “whole nother”) highlight planned for this week, but I just finished scoring the 8th graders’ personal narratives and literally cannot do anything but brag on the kids. The focus of the essays was to write about a person who’s made a difference in their lives, but in doing so, the students revealed so very much about themselves. While reading them, I alternated between laughing and getting all weepy because they were just so beautiful and authentic and well-crafted. I thank students and parents for their patience as I scored them: I think this is the longest I’ve ever taken to return papers, but I just couldn’t rush through these–they were too special. Please see the Canvas gradebook for scores and “big picture” comments, but also check the students’ actual Google Docs for more specific feedback.
Congratulations to the Seven Peaks Math Team for taking first place this past weekend in the annual Mathcounts competition held at Crook County Middle School in Prineville. SPS sent one team of four students and one individual to compete in the competition. The members of the SPS math team were Stefanie Bartels, Kira Gilbert, Cameron Zipper, and Jimmy Plumleigh, and our lone individual competitor was Myles Sanchez. These students did a fantastic job working diligently through three rounds of math covering concepts from probability and statistics to geometry. This is the 6th title Seven Peaks has won in the competition and the second title in two years. The team will travel to Wilsonville in March to compete in the state competition. Great job Mathletes!