I would like to extend a warm welcome back to our Grade 8 students. I am very excited about meeting all of my students and getting to know them throughout the course of this year. Going forward, I just wanted to give you an idea as to what my expectations are, what my teaching style will look like, and how most of the communication will occur.
Students are expected to follow the Acadie code of conduct, which can be found at the front of our agenda. (Agendas will be offered for free) In general, this means that students are expected to treat their peers and the Acadie staff with respect. Students are also expected to fulfill their obligations with respect to homework assignments and major projects. Participation in extra-curricular activities is contingent on their ability to manage their time and fulfill their academic obligations.
I am typically a teacher who favours the use of problem-solving, group or team work, and project-based assignments. I do not assign homework usually, as research has shown that this does not result be higher student achievement. However, when students do not complete classroom work, this will be sent home to be completed, and my expectation is that it will be completed on time. Late work will be noted and reflected in the learning skills section of the report card, with the exception of mitigating circumstances that are communicated to me by the parent or guardian. This year, I will be teaching History/Geography, Francais, and Mathematics.
Parents are encouraged to use the agenda to communicate with me with regards to minor issues. For issues that are more serious, please feel free to call Acadie and leave a message or ask if I am free to take a phone call. I will be using the Remind App to communicate homework and deadlines. Students will be required to join the service, and parents are also welcome to join. You may join by texting (613) 707-1620 with the following message: @8eacad or by searching for 8eacad on the App. Newsletters will also be posted on the website on a monthly basis to outline field trips, special events, and the curriculum areas being covered.
I will be encouraging the students to use their French skills in ALL of our activities. I will be rewarding the use of French in and out of the classroom with chances to win monthly rewards. Very soon I will begin my reading program wherein the students are required to read 10 books over the course of the year, and complete a project to make them accountable for their reading. We will also begin using Tour de Piste as my comprehensive literacy program. Students may come home with work to complete for this from time to time, however most of the work is completed in class. Going forward, they will be asked to use their oral French skills to communicate the main and secondary ideas in a variety of texts. They will also begin to use oral debating skills to argue their point of view effectively.
Students will be completing an initial evaluation to assess what number sense concepts were remembered from last year. Results of this evaluation will be sent home for parents to review. Our first unit of the year is Number Sense: ratios and proportional reasoning. In this unit, students will learn how to compare numbers using ratios, how to construct equivalent ratios, and how to solve for missing numbers using proportional relationships. We will also explore how ratios are used in measurement to determine rates, and apply these concepts to real life problems. Students will also be working on NetMaths, an online math program offered to Ontario schools. Students will be asked to complete assessments online in class or for homework throughout the year.
Our class will begin the year with Human Geography. This year we will begin with settlement patterns. Students will explore why populations establish themselves in certain places. They will ask themselves the guiding question: “Why do some places become very populated while others do not?” We will try to answer this question by exploring measurements that are used by human geographers to determine why some regions experience population growth, while others may see their populations shrink. Students will be asked to use these statistics when presenting a project on humanitarian work around the world.
In Physical Education, we will be focusing on cross-country running, fitness training, soccer, and volleyball. For all sports, we will learn the rules of the game, strategies, and required skills. Assessment will focus on active participation, skill development, sportsmanship, and safe play. As for our extra-curricular teams, we are already busy with our two soccer teams, as well as a dedicated group of cross-country runners. Tryouts for our volleyball teams will occur during the week following Thanksgiving day. If you are interested in assisting with our sports teams this year, feel free to call me at the school. Merci! Mr. Jacques
Students have now registered and are using their Limestone Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts. We have spent lots of time learning how to use Ms Benn’s 'Google Classroom'. Some of the things we have done: learned to ask Ms Benn questions in the 'private comment' section, shared comments that classmates can view and respond to, completed and sent a Science activity using the 'Forms' app, and edited a book report template. Since this is an activity they’ll use for their independent reading, students changed, added, and deleted questions and instructions to meet their personal learning needs and interests. They then digitally shared their improved template with Ms Benn.
As we proceed this month in both subject areas, students will generate inquiry questions that will guide our learning. The inquiry questions will be generated based this theme: how social interaction and behaviour has/can positively and negatively impact individuals and groups on a community, national, and/or global level.
In English, will be reviewing and practicing the key reading strategies used to understand and gain meaning from text. Our special focus in reading will be on ‘summarizing text’, and while writing, students will work on the trait of ‘word choice.’
Our first Science focus for the year centres on Cells, Tissues, Organs and Systems. We will investigate how living things and their structures are sustained through their interactions with their surroundings. Students will use microscopes for some activities- this is a learning opportunity the many students have mentioned they’re looking forward to!
Assessment methods may include: knowledge/application questions, biological drawings, quiz, informal debate, test, and ‘show what you know’ conferences.
Music and visual arts will be taught by Mme Sorensen. Students will continue their study of music through flute, clarinet, trumpet and trombone, with some additional instruments as well. After doing a review of theory, we will be continuing to learn new notes and perfecting playing technique.
In Visual Arts, students will be looking at the Principles of Design, and will be creating pieces of art that demonstrate their skills. We will be also studying Canadian art, and students will complete a project based on the work of a Canadian artist.
In Drama, we will be engaging in various Drama games/activities to practise using voice, gestures, and expression to convey a message.
I look forward to meeting with all of you in the near future and working with you in a collaborative partnership to insure your child’s success at Acadie and beyond. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns you might have.
Grade 8 French Immersion.