October Newsletter

Posted by Kathleen Marshall on 9/26/2018

Greetings and welcome to the PGT October Newsletter!



- Students are preparing for Student-Led Conferences (Wed. Nov. 14th). Your Cloud 10'er will be bringing home a sign-up sheet for you to select a time that works for you. Please return ASAP.


- Students are preparing for our first PARENT NIGHT!


What: Media Matters Night

When: Thursday, November 29th: 6 - 8 p.m. (arrive 5:45)

Where: Pine cafeteria & classrooms








8th Grade ELA: We are hard at work on our yearly Media Literacy study (media & gender) and will soon begin reading The Jungle. Students should be prepared with their "Lit Circle" jobs each Monday. We are also gearing up to begin our yearly bound-book project. This year they are called "Stand Up 8," and will be a collection of personal and family stories of resilience. You will receive ordering info for optional extra copies. Essential Question: What techniques can authors use to influence or change society?


7th Grade ELA: We are hard at work on our yearly Media Literacy study (merchandising) and will soon begin reading Chains. Students should be prepared with Socratic Seminar "prep sheets" each Monday. We are also gearing up to begin our yearly bound-book project. This year they are called "This I Believe," and will be a collection of reflections on personal beliefs. You will receive ordering information for optional extra copies. Essential Question: How can fiction shed light on historical events?




Physical Science: Our 7th grade students are starting the Separation of a Mixture Challenge as they continue to explore the Essential Question: Why is it important to understand interactions? This challenge will allow the teams to study physical properties of matter as they design mini-experiments to separate a heterogeneous mixture. The team who is able to collect the 4 purest components will win an ice cream sundae after break. After our challenge we will continue our Chemistry unit to explore states of matter, phase changes and will even attempt to separate a pure substance, water, into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Please have a discussion about all they have learned about the states of matter. Our second unit in Chemistry will cover atomic structure, the periodic table and chemical reactions. 


Honors Biology: Our 8th graders have completed their Bottle Biology projects and presentations. I was so proud of all of their projects. We were invited to visit UNR’s Natural History museum where we learned about the Great Basin, Riparian vegetation and had graduate students share their research on a co evolutionary relationship between a garter snake and an toxic newt. Students are working on projects where teams will research and present different biogeochemical cycles to the class before we head out to the Reno area wetlands for a field study after break to learn more about the ecology of the Great Basin. I would very much like to thank the parents who have helped and will help chaperone these field trips.




The sixth grade will be going to the Nevada Museum of Art on October 11 for a STEAM lesson about light. We will leave after lunch and return before the end of the day.


6th Grade ELA: We have begun working on our Media Lit presentations. The 6th graders study persuasion and propaganda techniques and will be creating their own advertisements using those techniques. This month we begin reading Watership Down and working on the drafts for our books of poetry. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to make this project possible. Essential Questions: How do myths, fables, folktales, and poetry communicate an author's perspective on life? How can writers use poetry to explore aspects of their own identities?


6th Grade Math: We will be finishing up our study of the Number System and will spend most of October exploring fractions.


Science/ History: This month, we are discovering how the stars and elements were formed in Unit 3 of Big History. We will create a comic about the birth of stars. Essential Questions: How can looking at the same information from different perspectives pave the way for progress? How and why do theories become generally accepted?


Art: We are finishing up paper engineering and will continue into origami. We will then do some practice in digital art in preparation for illustrating our poetry books.  


  1. ROMO


7th Grade U.S. History: We are knee-deep into Unit #1: The American Revolution and will be getting into Unit #2: Forming A New Nation. Some of the key concepts we will examine include slavery issues, the disputes over land use, taxation, Federalism, The Bill of Rights, the United States Constitution, separation of powers, and checks and balances. Universal Essential Questions: What does it mean to be an American?  How does history shape identify?  How can political power be limited or expanded? How do resources affect cooperation and conflict? Why do inequalities and oppression exist and how should it be addressed? How do cultural and physical geography shape decision-making? 




8th Grade Social Studies: Students will be studying American Imperialism and World War I this month. They will look at the explosion of the USS Maine and its role in United States declaring war on Spain, the building of the Panama Canal, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, trench warfare, the Zimmermann Telegram, and many other relevant events. Essential Questions: Why did the United States expand abroad? How did the United States gain overseas territories and build an empire? Why did the U.S. end neutrality and enter WWI in 1917? Was the Treaty of Versailles a fair and effective settlement for peace?




Integrated II: We just wrapped up bivariate data and are moving on to exponents and radicals. We will be starting our Geometry units in October as well. Essential Question: How can interactions be transformative? 


Integrated I: We just wrapped up solving equations and will be moving on to Basic Geometry and applying solving equations to geometric problems. Essential Question: How do we describe geometric relationships algebraically?


Algebra 2: We are in the middle of Radical Operations and our introduction to complex numbers. Next we will be building on our knowledge of Quadratics by adding in our new knowledge of the complex number system. Unit Goal: Develop fluency in operating with radicals and complex numbers.