Thursday, October 10, 2013

Veterans Day Experience essay due soon!

A reminder to students who signed up to participate in the Veterans Day Experience Field Trip on November 8:

Your essay response and questions for veterans is due to Mr. Smith on Tuesday, October 15 if you would still like to attend the event

PSSA Testing

Students in the 8th grade will be taking state PSSA tests this school year.

March 17-28, 2014
Reading/Math PSSA Tests
March 31 - April 4, 2014
Writing PSSA Test
April 28 - May 2, 2014
Science PSSA Test

Read more from the State Department of Education.

PSSA Reminder:

Avoid scheduling doctor appointments, vacations or other out-of-school activities during testing times.

Participation in PSSA exams is a state requirement. Making up tests pulls students from their regular classes. As a result, they will miss valuable class time. It will be students' responsibility to make up any classwork you miss. Of course, if students are genuinely ill, please stay at home and take the necessary time off to get well. Students will perform better on a test if they are healthy.

Events and Dates

Friday, October 11
 [Social Studies] Current Events 2 DUE
7:00pm [Event] Halloween Social

Monday, October 14
  No School - Teacher In-service ACT 80

Friday, October 18
 [Event] Outsiders movie
Tuesday, October 22
 [Reading] AR Due
Wednesday, October 23
 2-Hour Delay - Teacher In-service
November 4 - 6
Parent-teacher conferences

Thursday, November 7
 [Event] Electronic Field Trip
Monday, November 11
 No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, November 27
 No School - Teacher In-service ACT 80
November 28 - 29
 No School - Thanksgiving break

The 8th grade calendar is available on Edline.


8th Grade Advisory

The 8th grade team is starting their academic advisory program this week. Part of the advisory sessions is planning the student-led conference in the spring. Learn more about advisory at the following website:

Science layered curriculum

A layered curriculum is a unit of study designed to allow students to choose activities from a bank of possible activities. The daily mini-lessons teach specific topics and skills. The layered curriculum’s assignment sheet, a menu of possible tasks, indicates all of the offered activities and their value. Most of the assignments are available on the class website,

Only a single grade will be on Edline reports for each category such as “C1, C2, etc.” The weight will be as indicated on the assignment sheet.

When your child has completed an assignment, the teacher will sign the assignment sheet (menu) in the science notebook. All graded work should be glued, taped or stapled into science notebook on a left hand page after it has been graded. Here are some helpful websites to guide you through the layered curriculum:

What is a layered curriculum? 
Assignment and Assessment Choices
Tutorials and Videos

AMS Grade 8 Parent-teacher conferences

Our parent teacher conferences for November 4 through November 6 are full. If you have an academic concern for your child that you would like to address, we welcome you to meet with us during our Tuesday morning team planning times during the months of November and December. 

If you have any questions or would like to make a request for a conference, please feel free to contact Doug Haskins by email or phone,
(412) 366-9650.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ISS to pass over tonight

Science homework: 

Tonight at 8:30 PM - I.S.S. to flyover Pittsburgh.
You should be able to see it starting southwest at compass 231° and moving toward E, 106°. It should appear as a slow moving, bright star and take at least 3 minutes to pass.

From ISS Spotter App

Monday, October 7, 2013

This week...

Today's text alert message... 

October 8
Science: test
Reading: Outsiders 10-12

October 10
English: ad presentation
Electronic field trip

October 14 
No School