Cluster E

Cluster E Parent Information

Dear Cluster E Parents,


We are excited to welcome you to a part of our 8thgrade family.  The information below will help you understand the programs we’ve put in place at KMS to support your child’s learning. 


Notebook System – We embrace the master notebook organization and study skills system.  Your child has a master binder where they keep their daily planner to record their nightly homework.  It should be utilized to bring home daily homework as well as including their allied arts classes and science.  Math and reading will be sharing a binder.  Social Studies and English each have their own binder. 


Developmental Designs is a community building, social curriculum that begins in morning advisory and continues throughout the school day.  The focus is to empower students to support one another through their actions and their language meeting the Social Contract that they’ve built.  Key language of the program include circle of power and respect, Do First, and Take a Break. 


Differentiated Instruction - As a way to help every student achieve their greatest potential, we will be implementing standard practices to support and challenge your child.  We will be asking them to learn through their strengths as well as helping them to develop areas of learning in which they struggle.  This may look like group work, individual interest projects, demonstration of mastery through art, written language, and oral discussions.


Period 9 Homework Club – All students are invited to stay after school for extra help or just stay to get their homework done in a supportive environment.   It is a great tool for struggling students to use, especially when they feel behind.


Homework Web Site – Homework will be posted daily on the KMS website.  This should be a back-up option to writing in their planner.  Please check in with your children and ask them about their homework every night.  The average homework an 8thgrader should have is around 90 minutes a night.


Parent Portal – Grades will be updated at various times by each teacher.  Our goal is to update grades on a bi-weekly basis.  Please read the class prospectuses posted with each class to find information on the classes grading policies. 


Communication – The best way to contact us is via email.  If you have to call, please leave a message with guidance or the front office and we’ll call you back at our earliest convenience.


We look forward to working with you to make this a successful year for your child.

English and Reading:  In English and Reading classes, students will spend Quarter 2 asking the question, "How does Historical Fiction teach us about the past?" They will study the genre, reading the novel, Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson, as well as listen to an interview with famed Young Adult Historical Fiction novelist, Laurie Halse Anderson, to develop their own original historical fiction writing. This ties in with the Social Studies unit on the Early American Industrial Revolution and our cluster field trip to the Lowell National Historical Park at the Boott Mills. Students will develop understanding with literary theme and present quotations from the novel that support a theme they identify in Lyddie.

English FSG: Students in Writing FSG will be practicing good writing habits and developing skills with elaborating and grammar. Students may be using current writing assignments to do this work, but additional writing samples may be developed to show learning.

Reading FSG:  Students in Reading FSG will be working with the online reading fluency and comprehension program, Reading Plus. This program assesses each student periodically, in addition to a baseline assessment, allowing each student to work at their own level on vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Students have access to readings in a variety of subjects and topics. Each reading selection is supplemented by text-dependent questions which require students to think critically about the passages read. Students access this program two to three times a week and are expected to read a minimum of three selections per week.


Math 1267 (8th grade math):  This quarter, students will continue to explore transformations in the coordinate plane:  translations, reflections, rotations, and dilations.   The unit will culminate in each student creating a film-strip to demonstrate their understanding.   They can turn that film-strip into a cartoon, graphic "novel", animation, clay-mation, video, etc.  Chapter 3 will follow with an exploration of angles and triangle relationships.   We will finish the quarter with an exploration of linear functions and slope.

Math 8 (Algebra):  Quarter 2's focus will continue our journey on studying linear relationships.  We will build on students understanding of slope to solve rate of change problems to include inequalities, and systems of equations and inequalities.  
FSG:   Quarter 2 FSG will center around mobymax.   Students will have the opportunity to further their understanding of concepts learned in class as well as fill in gaps in their learning in elementary school.   Students have access to mobymax at home as well to complete extra practice in math.





Social Studies


Special Education

Language Live!: Language! Live is a comprehensive and research based literacy program that provides students with the opportunity to learn, and eventually master, the literacy skills needed to succeed in classroom instruction at their grade level. Students in the Language! Live program blend personalized, online learning with teacher directed instruction.  The lessons improve students’ word analysis, spelling, grammar, comprehension, vocabulary, writing and language skills while being exposed to high interest, complex text and vocabulary through teacher directed instruction.
Students in Language! Live will also be assessed regularly to monitor their reading fluency and reading comprehension.
In addition to Language Live! students will participate in reading literature from the 8th grade curriculum; including The Adventures of Ulysses, Lyddie, and excerpts from The Diary of Ann Frank


Transmath:   Students in Transmath will be exploring whole numbers and fractions, working with mixed numbers and the concepts of decimal numbers.  In addition, we will be problem solving with the metric system, working with data, and the metric system. In addition to working in the Transmath program, students will work with MobyMax, an online intervention program aligned to the Common Core.  Students will have the opportunity to master concepts taught in class, and explore areas determined on an individual basis.

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Homework Club - Period 9

Cluster E teachers offer assistance to students for organization, assignment clarification, assignment completion, study skills, and test/quiz prep after school each day.  Teachers rotate on a daily basis for Homework Club in their repective classrooms.  Homework Club is provided from 2:22 - 3PM.  All students are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Our schedule rotation is posted in each classroom - and listed below for your convenience.

Monday - Mrs. Mann

Tuesday - Mrs. McKeon

Wednesday - Mrs. Grove

Thursday - Mr. DiBenedetto

Friday - Mr. Pierce

In addition to Homework Club being offered by Cluster teachers, assistance is available every day in Mrs. Alther's room.

Alther, Mary Lou Grade 8 Special Education

DiBenedetto, Dominic Grade 8 English

Grove, Mary Grade 8 Science

Mann, Eliza Grade 8 Reading

McKeon, Kristen Grade 8 Math

Pierce, Benjamin Grade 8 Social Studies

Cardinal Pair