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    email: jgrossman@rochellepark.org

    Mission For The Class

    I am really excited about the coming year.  Each grade has something special to which they can look forward.  For example, 8th graders will get to learn about our nation's history.  The focus will be on key historic events, important documents such as the Constitution, and how these relate to modern times.  In addition, we will be debating some of the freedoms and rights "guaranteed" in the Constitution.
    The 7th graders will get to learn about a wide array of cultures as well as current events as they unfold across our planet.  During the course of our current 7th graders' lifetime, 5 new countries have come into existence.  In addition, there are events unfolding across the Middle East and Europe is in the middle of an economic crisis.
    The 6th grad students will look back at some of the early civilizations that dominated the Mediterranean region.  They will also get to see how major religions developed, how language has changed, what different types of governments have existed and they will get to meet some of the greatest minds in recorded human history (unfortunately they cannot meet these people personally as they lived centuries ago).
    Finally, I view the middle school grades as an opportunity to learn a great deal.  That means that every student must keep up with her or his assignments and be ready to be challenged and push himself or herself in order to excel in high school and beyond. Having one child who has gone through middle school and another currently in middle school, I understand the need to balance school, sports, music, scouting and the many other activities that pull 6th, 7th and 8th graders in a hundred different directions.  I do not bury my students with work; but the work they are assigned must be done.  Generally they will have 3-4 pages of reading per night out of a book which has lots of pictures and charts.  There will be several projects during the year - each assigned with adequate time to get the project done and keep up with all their other work and activities. 
    The goal of the class is to make you think! History is not about memorizing names and dates. It is about discovering different views of the past -- what really happened.  It is about how the past has led to events taking place in today's world.  It is about learning from our past mistakes and trying to use that knowledge to make a better world.  It is about applying technology to help us better imagine what we are studying.We will debate, discuss and discover.  Another goal is that by the end of 8th grade your child knows that he or she is ready for any challenge presented once they get to high school.