I am really excited about the coming year. Each grade has something special to which they can look forward. For example, 8th graders will get to learn about the presidential election and, in particular, the primary and caucus systems. In addition, we will be debating some of the freedoms and rights "guaranteed" in the Constitution.
The 7th graders will get to learn about a wide array of cultures as well as current events as they unfold across our planet. During the course of our current 7th graders' lifetime, 5 new countries have come into existence. The most recent became independent just over three years ago. In addition, there are events unfolding across the Middle East and Europe is in the middle of an economic crisis.
The elective is being jointly taught by Ms. Mallon, Mrs. Rainone and me. We are allowing students to explore inventions from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. They will then research their invention, sketch it out and build it. Hopefully, the invention will work. If it does not, they still will have learned a very valuable lesson.
Finally, I view the middle school grades as an opportunity to learn a great deal. That means that every student must keep up with her or his assignments and be ready to be challenged and push himself or herself in order to excel in high school and beyond. Having one child who has gone through middle school and another currently in middle school, I understand the need to balance school, sports, music, scouting and the many other activities that pull 6th, 7th and 8th graders in a hundred different directions. I do not bury my students with work; but the work they are assigned must be done. Generally they will have 3-4 pages of reading per night out of a book which has lots of pictures and charts. There will be several projects during the year - each assigned with adequate time to get the project done and keep up with all their other work and activities.
The goal of the class is to make you think! History is not about memorizing names and dates. It is about discovering different views of the past -- what really happened. It is about how the past has led to events taking place in today's world. It is about learning from our past mistakes and trying to use that knowledge to make a better world. It is about applying technology to help us better imagine what we are studying.We will debate, discuss and discover. Another goal is that by the end of 8th grade your child knows that he or she is ready for any challenge presented once they get to high school.