The 7th and 8th grade students have spent the week learning how to login to their Google Classroom accounts. Each student in the middle school has a Chromebook for classroom use. In addition to using them to complete writing assignments, the 7th and 8th graders also used their Chromebooks to assist in their chapter reviews, by playing an online game called Kahoot! The students use their Chromebooks as “buzzers” in a trivia game to prepare for their tests. It keeps track of their accuracy and speed in answering the questions. The students got very competitive in their Kahoot review. In 8th grade social studies, students are just beginning to study the Civil War. In addition to their normal classwork, the 8th grade will also begin an in-depth study of photography during the Civil War, searching an online depository and the Library of Congress, for pictures of soldiers and battlefields. Then, the students will reproduce their own photographs in the style of Civil War photojournalist! The 7th grade social studies class is finishing up their Chapter 1, the Roots of American People. In this section, we studied the migration of early humans to North America, including a review of Native American groups living here in Western Pennsylvania. The students were shocked to learn about McKees Rock Mound, a Mound Builder burial site right here in our own community! Next week, we will be moving into the age of European colonialism of the American continent. Students will study Columbus’s journey to the New World, as well as other explorers. For Reading, both 7th grade and 8th grade started their novels. The 7th grade started The Giver, by Lois Lowry, while the 8th grade began To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The Giver contains many themes of a supposed “utopia” which allows the students to discuss difficult moral questions while also allowing us to incorporate our Catholic faith into the classroom discussions. To Kill a Mockingbird depicts life in a Southern town and deals with issues such as injustice and equality. Students will be able to make many connections between this novel and our study of the Civil War. All in all, the 7th and 8th graders are excited to be back in the classroom and we are looking forward to an incredible first year at Guardian Angel Academy!