Saturday, December 26, 2015

Reminder! AR Due January 5!


AR Points are due Tuesday, January 5.

Don't wait until Holiday Break to read your books!

Parents, you can check your child's reading progress!  Click on the link below and login with your child's login information.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

AR Due Soon!


AR Points are due Tuesday, January 5.

Don't wait until Holiday Break to read your books!

Parents, you can check your child's reading progress!  Click on the link below and login with your child's login information.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Student Articles Printed in the School Newspaper

The AMS newspaper club printed the second issue of The Herd. Check it out online:

The newspaper club meets after school on Tuesdays.
The next meeting is January 5, 2016.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Children's Hospital Free Care Fund!

Greetings! Every year, the Avonworth School District comes together to raise money for the Children's Hospital Free Care Fund. One of our biggest fundraisers for this drive are the auctions organized by the High School and Middle School Student Councils. The Middle School auction will take place on Wednesday, December 23rd. Each year we rely on donations from local businesses, families and individuals in order to have a successful auction. If you would like to make a donation or have any questions about the Middle School auction, please contact Emily Hickman ( We are happy to accept donations during school hours in the Middle School office. Thank you in advance for your generosity on behalf of the children who receive services through Children's Hospital's Free Care Fund.

Second nine-weeks Grading Period to End Soon

Second nine-weeks grading period to end
January 12, 2016

Report Cards to be published to Edline January 19. 

Scholarship Information

Each year the Carson Scholars Fund offers a chance to win a $1000 scholarship investment towards your attendance at a four-year college or university. Unfortunately, Avonworth Middle School can only offer one name to be recognized each year.  The application requirements and our deadlines are listed below.

Application Requirements:
  • The student must be a positive role model for his or her peers.
  • A 3.75 or better on a 4.0 grading scale is required. Core classes of Mathematics, English, Reading, Social Studies, and Science are the only classes calculated for this requirement. (An “A” in all five core classes or four classes at an “A” level and one class at the “B” level will meet this requirement).
  • Completion of the packet of interest is explained below.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Book Club

Eighth graders just finished the American Revolution Book Club Project in Mrs. Galecki’s reading class.   Each book club had four scheduled reading and literary analysis assignments to complete over a four week period.  After completing each assignment, students shared their prepared analysis and response to the text during a scheduled, structured book club discussion session.   Students proved that they can engage in student-led, higher-level critical discussions about literature.  They shared their analysis of their texts' literary techniques, historical facts, conflicts, point of view and themes. 

Students will continue their study of the American Revolution in reading class by analyzing The Declaration of Independence.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Waves Menu Assessments in Science

 waves checkpoints
Students are currently working on self-selected assessments as we learn about waves in the current learning unit. Through a menu, students can pick and choose which assessments they would like to complete. 

Here are a few menu highlights:
- Waves "TIC-TAC-TOE" menu sheet describes each assessment activity
-  Students must complete three assessments (10 points each) 
- Assignments available on the science website  
- Full credit (100%) is 30 points and there is no extra credit
 - Grading checkpoints will be posted to science grade reports on 12/14, 12/16, & 12/22 
- Watch the Wave Assessment YouTube video
Tic-Tac-Toe Assessment area in Lab 110. Students can pick three assessments from nine choices.
Make-A-Rubric Station allows students completing a Free Space (Freestyle) activity the chance to also create a rubric for grading the project. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

2015 Advisory Games

On Tuesday, 11/24/15, students in the 8th grade participated in the 2nd annual AMS 8 Advisory Games! Students used cooperation and teamwork skills to solve problems and earn points!

Read the newspaper article written by Sara C. for the AMS The Herd

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! 

No School for students  Wednesday, November 25 (ACT 80 Day) through Friday, November 27
School is in session Monday, November 30.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Veterans Experience

On Wednesday, November 18, thirty-six 8th grade students traveled to the Heinz History Center for the annual Veterans Experience Workshop.  

These students spent the school day with local veterans who shared their personal stories of service in our nation’s military.  Students earned eligibility for this field trip by completing an essay and creating questions for the veterans.  

While at the History Center, students first toured the “World War II – We Can Do It!” exhibit with local Vietnam War veterans and History Center volunteers Larry Woods and Jack Sheehan.  

Later, students rotated through four stations, each featuring a veteran from a different war.  Students listened to first-hand testimonials, examined primary source artifacts, and asked questions to veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.  Each student left the experience with detailed notes about the lives and stories of the veterans.  Students are encouraged to share these testimonials in print, online, or with family and friends.

In addition, the students participated in a panel discussion with all of the veterans where they discussed topics such as following orders in the military, the difficulty in returning home after combat, changes in communication technology, and their favorite memory from their time overseas.  Students took detailed notes from all of the veterans’ stories and were encouraged to share them with others in the future.  

Thanks again to veterans Walter Patton (World War II), Dave Borland (Korea), Gordon Lam (Vietnam), and Cynthia Davis (Vietnam) for spending the day with our students.

Mock Trial

In English, students are gearing up for the Flowers for Algernon Mock Trial!  Students are acting as lawyers and witnesses to decide whether or not Charlie Gordon should have had the surgery to make him intelligent.  The trial will take place on Monday

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

IM1 Students to take Keystone Exams in May

Mark your calendars!  The 8th graders who are enrolled in Integrated Math I (Algebra), will take the Keystone Exams the week of May 16.  For more information on the keystone exams, please go to or see the page on the AMS Grade 8 Blog.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Daily Text Messages to End 11/30

Starting Monday, 11/30, the 8 grade team will be sending students a weekly preview via Remind text messages. From that day forward, there will no longer be daily reminders. Students are encouraged to use their assignment books. 

The AMS Weekly Planner can be seen at the following webpage:

The 8th Grade daily homework calendar can be found on the 8th Grade Edline page:

Science Experiment Digital Badges

Congratulations to the 8th graders who earned a digital badge during the first nine-weeks grading period! Digital badges were processed this week and emails sent to students and parents.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

No School Friday, 11/13/15

No School for students & staff
Friday, 11/13/15
due to previously held
parent-teachers conferences

Read more here about Grade 8 Parent-teacher conferences.  

Changes to Daily Text Messages to Start Soon!

Starting November 30, 2015, the eighth grade team will transition from daily text messages to a weekly preview to be sent on Monday afternoon. Only big projects and assessments will receive a special update text during the week.

Students are encouraged to use their assignment book each class period to record homework. Also, the Grade 8 Team Google Calendar found on the 8th grade page will be a resource for students to use. The calendar can be found here:

Every student can access the Google Calendar through their log-in. By going to the webpage, students can enter their school Google Account information. 

8th Grade Students to take PSSA Tests

Students in Grade 8 will take PSSA tests in April and Keystone Algebra Exams May. The 8th Grade Team will post more information to the AMS 8 Blog in early 2016.

Below are the testing windows published by the PA Dept of Education. During these time periods, students will be completing each of the required 8th grade PSSA subject tests.  


Avoid scheduling doctor appointments, vacations or other out-of-school activities during testing times. Participation in PSSA/Keystone 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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Plastic Materials Needed

We need clean plastic recyclables! Students are learning about energy in science, and they will need materials for their model waterwheels.  

- 2-liter pop bottles 
- whipped topping containers
- coffee canisters
- plastic cups

Plastic recyclables make great building materials! We will recycle the waterwheels after the project ends. 

Read more about the waterwheel project online.  

A waterwheel constructed using plastic recyclables.

Veterans Day - 11/11/15

Let us remember all the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces so that we could have a safer life. 


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Math News

In math, we just finished up our unit in graphing linear equations.  This is a very important topic in the Pre-algebra and Algebra class.  Our adventure in linear equations will continue in Algebra with systems of equations in November and Inequalities in December.  Pre-Algebra will move into their number sense unit, beginning with exponents and scientific notation.   This unit will continue through mid-December.  

There is currently a study island assignment that is due November 13th.  The assignment is a great review of our unit in graphing linear equations, reinforcing many topics completed in the past 6 weeks.  All students are encouraged to do at least 10 questions to earn at least a 60% overall grade.

Waterwheel Models for Science

Students are learning about energy in science, and they will be using materials from home to build their waterwheel models.  Construction will occur in class and students will use what they learned about energy to guide the design of the wheel. They will need cylindrical containers that can serve as their wheels. If folks have any 2-liter pop bottles, whipped topping containers, or coffee canisters, please send them to Mr. Haskins's lab! Plastic recyclables make great building materials! Students will have access to many other materials in class to build their wheels. Read more about the waterwheelproject online.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy Halloween!

 Happy Halloween! 
 Saturday, October 31, 2015 

Reading Class - Theme Analysis Workshop

Ask your students to show you their Theme Analysis Organizer on Google Classroom.  See how students are making great gains in their literary analysis and essay writing skills.  This past week students worked hard in their reading class's Theme Analysis Workshop.  Throughout the workshop, students developed top-notch thesis statements, found best evidence within the text, practiced using MLA parenthetical documentation, and developed analysis to support their claims.  While building their essay-writing skills, they also developed the ability to find a text's implied meanings. 

First nine-weeks grading period ended October 27, 2015

First nine-weeks grading period ended
October 27, 2015
Learn more about the grading periods
from the AMS Parent Academy

Report Cards to be published to Edline November 3

Students Exploring Energy in Science

Students will be learning about energy through the next learning unit. Resources for the lessons, homework, and practice can be found on the science webpage.

Students will have nightly tasks during the unit. Students may work ahead by looking at the contents of this page. 
  • Notes  
    Notes from class, videos or simulations
  • Study Guides
    Prepare for a quiz or test

First Edition of the Newspaper

The AMS newspaper club printed the first edition of The Herd. Check it out online:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Grading Period Ends Oct 27

First nine-weeks grading period to end
October 27, 2015

●  Civics: last day to turn in work is Tuesday, 10/27

●  English: last day for make up work is Monday, 10/26

●  Reading: last day to take AR quiz and turn in work is Tuesday, 10/27

●  Math classes: last day to turn in work is Friday, 10/23

●  Science: test Monday,10/26 (period C) and Tuesday, 10/27 (periods A, D, F & G) and last day to turn in work is Tuesday, 10/27

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wrapping Up Motion in Science

Students are concluding their work on motion next week. A unit test is scheduled as the last grade for the first grading period. Period C will take the test Monday. Periods A, D, F, & G will take the test Tuesday.

Click here   to access the online study guide. 

Vocabulary Reviews
Math Quizzes
Short Quizzes

Watch a Brain Pop Movie

This animated movie from BrainPOP defines acceleration and how it relates to speed and motion.

Newton's Laws of Motion
Newton's three laws of motion are demonstrated in this animated movie from BrainPOP.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

AMS Environmental Club issued its first digital badges!

AMS Environmental Club

Last week, three eighth graders earned the Wet Weather digital badge through the environmental club! Students explored the impact of water pollution due to run-off from rain and snow melt and the impact to our environment. Since Pittsburgh uses combined sewers, much of the water during such events mixes with household and commercial waste water which pours into our watersheds. Students learned about methods and solutions to combat wet weather through observation and modeling! Thank you to Julie M., Julianna K., and Mara B. for your participation and congratulations on earning the badge!

Copy of the Wet Weather Digital Badge
Mara B. and Julianna K. observing a model filtration system.

Julie M. working on a filtration model for Wet Weather