Classroom News

Classroom Updates

Mr. Glassner - Middle School Math Teacher
Math Updates   (09/07/2017)
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Ms. Ikhnana - Student Services
Language Arts News   (09/14/2016)
Students successfully presented their Buy My Book projects last week. We are currently completing a writing assignment which focuses on one event they did over the summer. They will use sensory details, descriptions and maintain sequence in writing their autobiographical events. We have analyzed several mentor texts from published authors, teachers and students as a model of how to write with an abundance of detail. Students will work through the writing process to complete their writing work. Also, they were introduced to a weekly assignment, Blog Post, which is found on schoology. It will be assigned at the beginning of the week and will be due on Friday. As a reminder students should read daily for 30 minutes.
Language Arts News   (09/01/2016)
Students are off to a great start in 8th grade language arts class! I have enjoyed getting to know students and learning about their reading interests. Students used one of the books they read over the summer to complete their first book chat called Buy My Book. In this project, students take on the role of an author to convince readers to buy their book. We will continue to use reading rewards to track your child's reading at home. The daily reading homework is to update the number of pages read, minutes read and submit a comment using specific sentence starters. If you have any questions, please email me at
Elizabeth Lundgren - Student Services
Social Science Discovery, September 2016   (09/08/2016)
Welcome to Social Science Discovery!  We have had an exciting three weeks.  For the first half of Trimester 1, we will be studying Physical Science.  We began our exploration with states and properties of matter.  We rehearsed making observations, in preparation for using the scientific method.  We will continue to use hands-on approaches in our labs; we observe, we measure, and we draw conclusions! 
File Attachments:
Lundgren LA (April 26, 2016)   (04/26/2016)
Lundgren Language Arts is wrapping up our Holocaust unit with an argument essay that directs students to evaluate the classroom discussion, articles, primary sources, and Daniel's Story.  Students will then draw conclusions and synthesize evidence to support their claim.  Following this unit, we will begin our final novel study of the year.  We will be reading Maniac Magee, and studying themes of family and race.  In System 44, we are finishing up Module 2: Special Forces.  Our SMART goal was possessives, and we will begin Module 4 following our Special Forces research project.  All students should continue to read and log nightly.  Our final IR book project will be due at the end of May.
Lundgren LA (February 18, 2016)   (02/18/2016)
In System 44, we are currently in Module 1, School Matters.  We will read, evaluate, and synthesize three non-fiction texts and use text-based questioning strategies.  The unit culminates with an argument writing assignment with mini lessons in conventions, and revision.  In Block 3, we are using a writing workshop model to complete short story narrative writing assignments.  All students should read and log in Reading Rewards every night.
Lundgren LA (January 8, 2016)   (01/08/2016)
This week we completed much of our System 44 implementation preparatory work.  We completed the Scholastic Phonics Inventory to identify targeted skill gaps, accessed the leveled online software system, previewed the 44 Book, and are set for full implementation after NWEA next week.  During Block 3, students have completed a mini-lesson on culture, and chose countries to research for the children's book narrative writing project.  We had review lessons on theme, plot structure, and will begin researching after NWEA testing.  All students should continue reading and logging nightly. 
Lundgren Language Arts (November 17, 2015)   (11/17/2015)
Hello!  We will begin our second IR project the week of 12/7.  All students should be finishing up an IR book, and bring it to class.  We will focus on characterization, so be sure to know your main character well.  Additionally, our Seedfolks study is underway, and we will be finishing up the book this week.  We have had mini lessons in figurative language, direct and indirect characterization, and point of view.  In grammar, we will continue our work with prepositional phrases.
Mr. Pagac - Social Studies Teacher
Social Studies   (11/02/2016)
This week we took a brief break from our Africa unit to focus on a timely DBQ (Document Based Question).  The DBQ workshop experience is a rigorous process, but it prepares students well for expectations in high school.  It requires students to read and analyze primary and secondary source documents, form a thesis (claim), and argue for their position with support from the documents.  It includes a well written introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.  We teach students all aspects of the DBQ process and provide them feedback throughout.  So in many ways this is a guided writing experience.  This fall our DBQ answers the question:  What caused the Salem witch trial hysteria of 1692?  While this topic doesn't directly link to world geography, it was selected because it is a very high interest topic that students are fascinated with.  After a few weeks of the DBQ we will turn our attention back to our study of Africa.
Social Studies (Glim/Pagac/Beauregard) September 10, 2015   (09/10/2015)
The last few weeks students have been busy with the start of our challenging Constitution Unit.  Students have learned an excellent strategy for taking notes from their textbook.  They have explored several great documents including the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the first ten amendments (Bill of Rights).  Next week we will have our first substantial quiz of the year (40 points).  The quiz will cover all the great documents previously mentioned.  The quiz will take place on Tuesday (Blocks 1-4) or Wednesday (Block 5) of next week.  All students have a detailed set of notes we created in class to assist them in their studies and also had a chance to make notecards on their iPads during class this week.  
Mr. Ristow - Science Teacher
Follow the science classroom on Twitter!   (03/02/2018)
Want to know more about what is going on in science class?  Want to see pictures of our new classroom pet?

Follow the science classroom on Twitter @RistowSciClass
Mrs. Sandiford - 7th Grade Jigsaw Math Teacher
7DA - Algebra - Week of February 22nd   (02/19/2016)

This week we began working on Chapter 5 which focuses on linear equations.  Students are learning about different forms of writing linear equations and the meaning of slope and intercepts.  Our mid-chapter quiz will be on Friday, February 26th.

We have flipped the classroom! In short, a “flipped classroom” switches around the traditional order of teaching with the purpose of creating a more in depth and supportive environment in the classroom when the teacher is present and able to help students. It allows for students to receive a more individualized math education where my actual face-to-face time with them is being used effectively. This results in them understanding the content at a higher and deeper level than before. In addition, it challenges students to learn how to take charge of their learning and manage their time, becoming resourceful learners. Lastly, it provides time for more “Higher-Order Thinking” discussion and questioning during class time, helping students to become reflective communicators and to think more deeply about the subject. 
7DA - Algebra - Week of January 25th   (01/25/2016)
This week we are finishing up Chapter 3.  
Monday:  Lesson 3-8: Unions and Intersections of Sets
Wednesday: Chapter 3 Review
Thursday: Chapter 3 Test
Friday: Begin Chapter 4 on Functions
7DA - Algebra - Week of January 19th   (01/19/2016)
This week students will be learning how to solve and graph compound inequalities.  They will also be working on solving equations and inequalities involving absolute value.  Our next test on Chapter 3 will be Wednesday, January 27th.  
Mrs. Tracz - Math Teacher
Ciske - Tracz - Nash Math update   (04/06/2017)
Algebra - We hope you had a great spring break!  Our study of quadratic equations has continued into Chapter 9.  We have learned how to solve quadratic equations by graphing, square roots, factoring, completing the square, and the quadratic formula.  Students should take time to decide which method is best for each problem.  The Chapter 9 Test will be on Monday 4/10.  Chapter 10 will take us into radical expressions and equations.

8CC - We hope you had a great spring break!  Topic 13 will take us into surface area and volume of cylinders, cones, and spheres.  Before we enter into those difficult skills, we thought it would be a good idea to review surface area and volume of rectangular prisms with a Cereal Box Project.  These projects have been mostly completed in class.  We will also take some time to review circumference and area of a circle.  Due to the time constraints of PARCC, the Topic 13 Test is anticipated to occur at the end of April or beginning of May.
Ciske - Tracz - Moon Math update 2-6-17   (02/09/2017)

Alg - Our new chapter is entitled "Polynomials and Factoring".  We will learn how to add, subtract, and multiply polynomials.  This chapter is rich with new vocabulary.  We will take a quiz on those skills on Tuesday 2/14.  Next we will learn how to factor trinomials.  This is one of the hardest lessons of the year, but it does not take long for students to master it.  The chapter 8 test will most likely occur sometime during the week of 2/27.

8CC - We have begun our geometry unit which spans several topics.  Topic 9 covers congruence and students are learning about translations, refections, and rotations.  Our test on topic 9 will be on Monday 2/13 for Blocks 3 and 4, and on Tuesday 2/14 for Block 5.  The next topic will explore similarity.  In this chapter we will add dilations to our list of transformations.  Our test on topic 10 will occur on Wednesday 2/22 for Block 4 and Thursday 2/23 for Blocks 3 and 5.

Ciske - Tracz - Moon Math update 1-11-17   (01/18/2017)
Alg - We are kicking off the new year with a unit on exponents and exponential functions.  We will review many properties of exponents but expand our knowledge to include fractional exponents.  There will be a quiz on 7.1-7.4 on Friday, January 20th.  We will then cover rational exponents, radicals, exponential functions, exponential growth and decay, and geometric sequences.  The test on chapter 7 will be on Tuesday, January 31st.

8CC - We survived systems!  We are very proud of our students for sticking with us through those difficult algebra skills.  We are kicking off the new year with a unit on functions.  We will learn how to recognize a functions, learn several ways to represent a function, learn how to distinguish linear and non-linear functions, explore increasing and decreasing intervals, and learn how to sketch functions.  The test for topic 7 will be on Wednesday, January 25th for Block 4 and Thursday, January 26th for Blocks 3 and 5.
Ciske - Tracz - Moon Math update 11-30-16   (11/30/2016)
Alg - Chapter 6 is all about systems of linear equations.  Again, we've done some exploring with and our Nspire CAS calculator app.  We have learned how to solve systems by graphing, substitution, and elimination.  There will be a Quiz on 6.1-6.4 on Thursday, December 8th.  Common Core has us solving word problems all the time, but after the quiz we take a day to focus even more on word problems involving systems.  After which, we will learn how to graph linear inequalities (one at a time) and then systems of linear inequalities (two or more).  The Chapter 6 Test will be on Monday, December 19th.  Have a great winter break!

8CC - Before Common Core, students would not see systems of linear equations until a traditional high school algebra course.  So if math seems more difficult during Topic 6, it's because it is more difficult.  We spent a good deal of time exploring what a system is and how a system can have one, none, or infinitely many solutions.  We are now moving on to solving systems by graphing, substitution, and elimination.  The Topic 6 Test will be on Wednesday, December 14th for Blocks 3/4 and Thursday, December 15th for Block 5.  Students should take advantage of extra help during Xblock throughout this unit and not just the days leading up to the test.  Have a great winter break!    
Ciske - Tracz - Moon Math update 10-21-16   (10/21/2016)
Alg - While we have been working in chapter 5, we have enjoyed some great discovery activities using  In one case, students were assigned partners electronically and they typed questions to each other to describe lines.  Vocabulary came out of necessity and the students enjoyed working with a student in another classroom in some cases.  We described chapter 5 in our last post and the test will be on Monday, November 7th.

8CC - Topic 5 is about proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations.  Students should be able to express these relationships using tables, graphs, and equations.  We will explore slope, unit rates, intercepts, and slope-intercept form.  The topic 5 test will be on Wednesday, November 9th for Block 4, and Thursday, November 10th for Blocks 3 and 5.  Students are always encouraged to come in for Xblock help and come to the review sessions during Xblock which are held right before each test.