Mrs. Aileen Albertson

7th Grade Homeroom/6th & 8th Religion; 6th-8th History
I have had some very inspirational and influential teachers in my own life: from exacting Mrs. Kafka to hilarious Mr. Lippi to kind Professor Hughes. And over the past eighteen years as a teacher, I have tried to recreate the same open, engaging, respectful classrooms for my own students. I never get tired of greeting my students in the morning, of seeing their faces light up with understanding, of watching them accomplish more than they thought they could. I am happy to be your child’s teacher this year. I love working at NDV and I hope to help middle school students uncover and share the unique gifts they bring to our community.
Email  albertson@ndvsf.org

What's Happening in Middle School

Middle School Visits the deYoung and the Legion of Honor!

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The 8th Graders visited the deYoung Museum in November.  They looked at the early American art collection, and then created their own art, inspired by some of the paintings they saw.

The 7th Graders created their own African Cultural Museum here at NDV for younger students in early January, so it was fun for them to explore the African art gallery at the deYoung a week later, and see some of the African masks and everyday objects that had inspired their exhibits.

The 6th Graders got to play the role of archaeologist, curator, and artist at the Legion of Honor last week.  They investigated ancient artifacts from Greece and Mesopotamia, they drew their own images in the galleries, and they got to create their own exhibits of Egyptian art.

7th graders, inspired by the African art they saw. create their own take on it...

7th graders, inspired by the African art they saw. create their own take on it…

8th graders at the deYoung, inspired by American paintings they saw...

8th graders at the deYoung, inspired by American paintings they saw…

Creating art at the deYoung is so fun for seventh graders!

Creating art at the deYoung is so fun for seventh graders!

7th grade working in the studios at the deYoung

7th grade working in the studios at the deYoung

SIxth graders as archaeologists at the Legion of Honor!

SIxth graders as archaeologists at the Legion of Honor!

Sixth graders pondering a Greek urn at the Legion of Honor...

Sixth graders pondering a Greek urn at the Legion of Honor…

6th graders investigating ancient Greek art at the Legion of Honor

6th graders investigating ancient Greek art at the Legion of Honor

Drawing in the galleries at the Legion of Honor

Drawing in the galleries at the Legion of Honor

6th graders hard at work in the gallery at the Legion of Honor

6th graders hard at work in the gallery at the Legion of Honor

8th Graders listening intently to the docent at the deYoung!

8th Graders listening intently to the docent at the deYoung!

What we’re working on as we head into October!

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In 6th Grade Religion, we are studying the Bible stories of Genesis, and are becoming experts at looking for symbols and deeper truths in these stories.

In 6th Grade History, we are studying the world’s first civilizations and empires in Mesopotamia.

In 7th History, students are creating their own Medieval village ‘voices’ to show what life was like in a town in the late Middle Ages-I can’t wait to see what this creative group of 7th graders comes up with!

In 8th Religion, we spent a few days creating a monastery-like experience in the classroom. Students/monks illuminated a quote from one of the Gospels while listening to soothing Gregorian chanting.

In 8th History, we are continuing to ponder when it is necessary for citizens to rebel against their government…the colonists are getting pretty close to being angry enough to rebel against King George…!

Welcome back to school!

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7th Graders-I’m excited for the year to begin (see above panoramic picture of our classroom)!  We will begin the year with a project about where in the world you would love to travel, and what you would do and see in that place.  We also will test our world geography knowledge!

6th Graders-welcome to Middle School!  I’m looking forward to getting to know you and starting off the year with a History scavenger hunt.

8th Graders-I can’t believe you guys are already eighth graders!  It seems like just yesterday we were going over how to change classes and juggle the Middle School schedule, and now here you are in your final Middle School year.  I’m looking forward to our first Religion project where we’ll discuss what spirituality means, and of course I’m thrilled to dive into our study of U.S. History.

Parents-I look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night on September 8th!

I will miss you class of 2016!

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As the year comes to a close, and we work on our last project in 8th Grade History about the Immigration and Industry in the late 1800’s to the turn of the century, I am preparing to send you off to your high school history classes, hopefully armed with essay-writing skills, critical thinking skills, and a love of history!  I will miss you guys!

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Curriculum

6th grade Social Studies : Ancient Civilizations

In sixth grade, students learn about the early societies of the Middle East and Africa, and the classical civilizations of India, China, Greece and Rome.  Students draw connections between geography and the development of civilizations.  They learn about the everyday life of ancient people; their problems and accomplishments; the social and political structures in their society; the tools and technology they developed; the role of trade; the art and architecture they created and built; the literature produced by their poets and writers; and the development of ideas that changed their worlds.  For all these societies, emphasis is placed on the major contributions, achievements, and belief systems that have endured across the centuries to the present day.

Social Studies class is a combination of class discussion, note taking and reading; group and individual projects; assessments to help show learning and check for comprehension; creative class work and assignments intended to incite curiosity, use critical thinking, and deepen understanding.  The final grade is comprised of 10% participation, 25% class work and homework, and 65% tests and projects.

Textbook : History Alive! The Ancient World , published in 2011 by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute

Online go to www.teachtci.com and open a student account by  using my email (albertson@ndvsf.org), choosing the program “The Ancient World,” and entering their unique password and username (should be written in their planner and bookmarked on their home computer)

7th grade Social Studies : Medieval and Early Modern Times

In seventh grade, students examine the social, cultural, and technological changes during the period 500-1789 CE.  They begin by studying the expansion and fall of the Roman Empire and closely examine Medieval Europe; they analyze the civilizations of Islam, and the spread of Islam through Africa; they learn about imperial China and Medieval Japan; they study the rise of the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations; they return to Europe to analyze the age of the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution.  Students focus on great civilizations that were developing simultaneously over these years, and observe the spread of ideas, beliefs, scientific developments, and economic trade throughout this period of history which ushered in the Enlightenment and the modern world.

Social Studies class is a combination of class discussions, reading and note taking; group and individual projects and assessments that show learning and help comprehension; class work and assignments intended to use critical thinking skills and creativity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the material. The final grade is comprised of 10% participation, 25% class work and homework, and 65% tests and projects.

Textbook : History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond, published in 2011 by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute

Online go to www.teachtci.com and open a student account by  using my email (albertson@ndvsf.org), choosing the program “The Medieval World and Beyond,” and using their unique username and password (which should be written down in their planner).

8th Grade Social Studies : United States History Through Industrialism

Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events beginning with the framing of the Constitution and ending just before World War I.  They work to understand the development of American constitutional democracy, analyze the political principles underlying the Constitution, compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government, and know the ways in which citizens participate in the American political system. Eighth grade students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences in the 1800’s to mid-1800’s, as well as analyze U.S. foreign policy during this time.  Students learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, key events, and consequences of the Civil War as well as Reconstruction.  Finally, students make connections between the rise of industrialization and the changes in social, economic, and political conditions in the United States.

Social Studies class is a combination of reading, discussion and note-taking; group and individual projects and class work; critical thinking and writing; assessments to check for understanding; and class activities to help deepen understanding and engage students in learning. The final grade is comprised of 10% participation, 25% class work and homework, and 65% tests and projects.

Textbook : History Alive! The United States Through Industrialism, published in 2011 by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute

Online go to www.teachtci.com and open a student account by  using my email (albertson@ndvsf.org), choosing the program “The United States through Industrialism,” and using their unique username and password (which should be written down in their planner).

6th grade Religion

Sixth graders study the Bible and explore the readings of the Old Testament, and try to connect the meaning of the stories to their own lives. Students study the creation stories in Genesis, learn about God’s covenant with Noah, Abraham as the father of God’s people, how Egypt became home to the Israelites, how Moses helped guide God’s people to freedom, about the land of Canaan and kings David and Solomon.  Students read and discuss the Psalms and the Song of Songs.  They learn about the prophets who shared God’s message, and Mary and Elizabeth’s special roles in God’s plan.  Sixth graders discuss Jesus and his life, as well as the meaning of the Liturgical Year.

Religion class is a mixture of journal reflections, group projects, assessments to check for understanding, and participation in class discussions.  Students also show on a daily basis that they are living out Jesus’ message by working hard to be kind and compassionate to one another. The final grade is comprised of 10% participation, 25% class work and homework, and 65% tests and projects.

Textbook: We Believe : We are God’s People, published by Sadlier.

Prayers : Sixth graders continue to practice the prayers they've learned as well as write their own original prayers which we then use to lead the class in prayer at the beginning of religion class.  We also compare and contrast the Nicene and Apostle's Creeds, examine the Magnificat and the Canticle of Zechariah, and pray the Rosary during the months of October and May.

8th Grade Religion

In eighth grade, students study the history of the Church, prepare for the sacrament of Confirmation, and continue their study of Family Life.  Students learn about the Church’s history from Pentecost to the present-day, with an emphasis on social justice and the teachings and Tradition of the Catholic Church.

Students will also talk about their own decision-making and morality, their hopes and dreams, and how Jesus and their faith fit into their lives.  Eighth graders experience a Confirmation retreat together in the spring at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos.  Prayer is continued throughout the curriculum, and students pray traditional prayers as well as create their own prayers and prayer experiences. The final grade is comprised of 10% participation, 25% class work and homework, and 65% tests and projects.

Textbooks: We Live Our Faith As Members of the Church published by Sadlier

Confirmation: Gifted with the Spirit published by Pflaum Publishing Group

Prayers: Eighth graders continue to pray the prayers they've learned, as well as learn the Nicene Creed, use scripture to pray and meditate, and create original prayers to lead simple prayer services and celebrations.  They also pray the Rosary in the months of May and October, and help their kindergarten buddies learn about prayers throughout the year.

 

Homework

Homework is assigned in middle school on a regular basis, to reinforce material taught in class, to prepare for the next day's lesson, and to foster good independent study habits.  Middle school students should be spending roughly 90-120 minutes on homework each night.  It may vary with each child, but if your child is spending an excessive amount of time on homework each night, please let his or her teacher know.

Middle School Homework page

Resources

Using your SF library card, there is a wealth of resources available through the SF Public Library:

http://sfpl.org/

 

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