Thursday, March 19, 2015

8th Graders Explore Game Design

On Thursday, March 12, 8th grade students met with Sabrina Culyba, a game designer at Schell Games. Schell Games is based in Station Square, and has focused on developing educational games for the last five years. Sabrina talked with the students about playtesting (or the process of playing a game to see if and how it works), how game-like thinking can benefit learning and other important gaming principles. The students showed her theirgames-in-progress, which are modified versions of Monopoly. The students' games integrate information they researched during their Pittsburgh Project, which is a research paper that they've just completed over the last six weeks. The students will take their information and apply it to the Monopoly board, pieces and rules, and will ultimately develop a working boardgame (including game pieces printed on the district's 3D printers) that they'll be able to share and play with each other.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reading Tasks due for Next Week

Reading Literary Terms Review

Literary Terms Packet
due Monday, 3/23

Literary Terms Test
due Wednesday, 3/25

Layered Curriculum Begins in Science

A layered curriculum is a way to allow choice and differentiation in the classroom.  Students can choose activities from a menu of assignments. Assignments can be modified to increase rigor or help a student struggling with the content. The daily “mini-lessons” teach specific topics and skills. The lessons range from ten to fifteen minutes which offers students ample time in class to conduct lab activities, complete worksheet activities, or plan a project. Students should choose assignments that interest them. They should also turn in activities on a regular basis.

Many resources for the layered curriculum are available on the internet.  Students will have a choice of assignments from a menu of activities. Students are to start with “Level C – Basic Knowledge” assignments and move to “Level B – Advanced Practice” and then on to “Level A – Assessment” assignments. Each class period starts with a mini-lesson and concludes with time to work on layered activities.

Scores for the layered curriculum will be tracked by the students in their layered curriculum activity guides (folder created in class). Copies are available from the internet.

Some assignments have specific due dates. There is a special layered curriculum calendar on the menu of assignments.  The online tutorials and assignments require a computer with internet access. All Unit G layered curriculum assignments are due by Friday, 4/17/15.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Calendar Update!

Thursday, March 19
[Event] Courthouse Field Trips

Friday, March 20
[SCI LC] Checkpoint 8 pts due
 [SCI LC] Parent signature for 2 pts {C10}
 [SCI LC] Word Wall due {C7}

Monday, March 23
[Reading] Literary Terms Packet Due
 [SCI LC] Word Wall Quiz open to all {C7}

Tuesday, March 24
 [SCI LC] Quiz- Atomic Structure in class {A4}
 [Social Studies] STUDY for Judicial Branch Test

Wednesday, March 25
 [SCI LC] Week One Question due {B13}
 [Social Studies] STUDY for Judicial Branch TEST

Thursday, March 26
 [SCI LC] Checkpoint 38 pts
 [SCI LC] Quiz: Radioactivity & Nuclear Reactions {A5}
 [SCI LC] Strange Symbols Poster due {B6}
 [SCI LC] Vocab TV due {C8}

Friday, March 27
 No School for Students - Schools closed due to previously scheduled parent conferences
 No School for Teachers

Monday, March 30
 School closed (inclement weather forgiveness)

Tuesday, March 31 - Friday, April 3
 Spring Vacation - No School

Monday, April 6
 [SCI LC] Flashcard quiz {C6}
 School in Session (Inclement weather make up day)

Tuesday, April 7
 [SCI LC] Atomic Scientist Presentation due {B10}
 School in session

Wednesday, April 8
 [SCI LC] A-2 Periodic Table Presentation due
 [SCI LC] Critical Thinking Question Week 2 due {B14}

Friday, April 10
 [SCI LC] Checkpoint 48 points
 [SCI LC] Quiz: Elements & their properties {A6}

Monday, April 13 - Thursday, April 16

Friday, April 17
 [SCI LC] Critical Thinking Question Week 3 due {B15}
 [SCI LC] Last day to turn in LC - all assignments due
 [SCI LC] Unit Test (ALL STUDENTS) {A7}

Tuesday, April 21 - Thursday, April 23

Monday, April 27 & Tuesday, April 28