Mrs. Aileen Albertson
- 7th Grade Homeroom/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 twenty 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.
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What's Happening in Middle School
This spring, the 8th graders studied American reform movements and reformers of the mid-1800’s and also evaluated how they think America is doing in terms of reforming itself in this century to live up to the ideals in our founding documents. They have also studied the course of the Civil War, as well as the speeches of Abraham Lincoln. We’ll see who is up for the Gettysburg Address challenge (reciting the speech from memory for an added ‘A’ factored into the final Social Studies/History grade AND a Starbucks treat)!
The 7th graders just got back from a whirlwind trip to Florence where they studied the advances made in the Renaissance. Prior to heading to Italy, they curated a Museum exhibit for younger students about the civilizations of Meso-America as well as comparing the culture of Samurai Japan to American culture today. They have really worn out their passports this year!
The 6th graders are currently in Athens. They have participated in putting together a broken sculpture in a marble workshop, designing a temple to Athena for the Acropolis, acting out a scene from Sophocles’ Antigone, and will soon participate in the Panathenaic Games. They are thoroughly enjoying their time in Greece!
Confirmation on Sunday, May 6th was a great celebration! Congratulations candidates!
Who won the ‘best colony’ ad? Georgia, with runner up Pennsylvania as the colonies the 8th graders would most like to move to (these two beat out Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia). The 8th graders did gather that no matter which colony you lived in, most colonies were mostly self-governing, and were not too keen on Great Britain asserting its control in the form of taxes after the French and Indian War. The 8th graders have also done a close reading of the Mayflower Compact as well as some fiery Great Awakening sermons. They have analyzed political cartoons like the famous ‘Join, or Die’ one by Ben Franklin , and categorized the persuasive language of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.
Up next: The Declaration of Independence and why we celebrate July 4th not July 2nd!
We are bidding goodbye to Western Europe for a time, and traveling east to the Byzantine Empire. Although the seventh graders have loved creating skits about peasants and knights and lords and ladies, and have enjoyed visiting many holy sites like Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket is buried, and liked investigating the cause of the Bubonic Plague and discovering how the Hundred Years War helped lead to the decline of feudalism, and of course hearing stories about the extremely harsh criminal justice system, they are excited to travel someplace new!
Up next: fighting between the Blues and the Greens at the Hippodrome!
From studying hominids and cave paintings to studying the achievements of the Mesopotamian empires like the sundial, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the strategy of siege warfare and Hammerabi’s Code of laws, the sixth graders have truly become distinguished archaeologists and historians.
Up next: the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt and a falucca boat trip down the Nile River!
In 8th grade Religion, we are continuing our study of Church history. The eighth graders did a great job on their most recent project-they created amazing skits and text messages imagining what Jesus’ reaction to the Crusades and Church corruption in the Middle Ages would be. In general, the students felt Jesus would not be happy about this period of Church history because it did not reflect his true message.
Up next: a rosary project with our kindergarten buddies!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.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 (email@example.com), 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), choosing the program “The United States through Industrialism,” and using their unique username and password (which should be written down in their planner).
History/Social Studies standards for the state of California: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/histsocscistnd.pdf
History/Social Studies curriculum standards for the Archdiocese of San Francisco : http://sfarchdiocese.org/docs/default-source/dcsdocs/our-curriculum/curriculum-guidelines/history_social_science.pdf?sfvrsn=4
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 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.
Using your SF library card, there is a wealth of resources available through the SF Public Library: