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8th Grade

Super Powered PowerPoints

posted May 10, 2013, 11:48 AM by   [ updated May 10, 2013, 4:05 PM ]

Watch this video for instructions on downloading video from Discovery Ed Streaming:

(coming soon)

Click on this link for PowerPoint Game Templates

In 20 Years

posted Mar 26, 2013, 9:31 AM by   [ updated Mar 26, 2013, 9:46 AM ]

Your assignment is to design a magazine cover that characterizes where you see yourself in 20 years.  This should reflect the same ideas as the essay you wrote on the subject.  Here is an example:


Your design must consist of a minimum of:
  •  two photo layers:
    • A picture of you (your face must be recognizable)
    • A background
  • some text explaining your future position
Your design must be submitted as a JPG or PDF.  Photoshop, Word, or Pages files will not be accepted.

Submit Links to Your Image


Here is a video series on Photoshop skills that you will need.  It walks through a different project, but the ideas are the same:

Human Trafficking Project

posted Jan 11, 2013, 11:14 AM by   [ updated Mar 18, 2013, 10:18 AM ]

Gallery of Completed Videos

In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we're going to explore some concepts from this site:

Before the lesson, go to and do the following:
  1. Read the information under "What?  Slaves work for me?"
  2. Take the survey to calculate your slavery footprint.  For some questions, assume you are your parents.  Count your parents' cars, homes, or other property as your own.


In order to spread awareness about this international problem, we will be creating videos discussing specific topics in human trafficking.  A specific topic covers:
  • A specific type of human trafficking, such as forced labor, sex trafficking, organ trafficking, debt bondage, or child labor
  • A specific group of people who are regular victims of human trafficking, such as the rural poor in China or inner-city teenage girls in the U.S.
  • A specific industry in which human trafficking is rampant, such as precious metals or electronics manufacturing
  • A specific place where trafficking is occurring, such as California, China, or another part of the world.
  • A specific company that is benefitting from using human trafficking.


Each student will create a Google Doc containing their research and video script, and shared with Mr. Dreyfus.  The title of this document should be:

Student# - Topic title
ex: 801 - Child Labor in India

While researching, you should formatting your document in this way:
Site Title (bold)
URL (linked)
research notes

This is an example of a well-organized research document:

800 Slavery in Bosnia


Your video must include the following:

  • Minimum 5-10 facts about your topic
  • Minimum 5 sources
  • 2-4 minutes in length
  • Draw a connection from victims to your audience
  • Emotional appeal
  • A call to action - something your viewers can do to help in the fight against human trafficking
Due Dates:
  • Script First Draft: 9AM Tuesday, February 5th
  • Script Final Draft (including media): 9AM Tuesday, February 12th
  • Video Complete: Friday, February 15th

Grading Rubric

Submit your Topic

Finding images with Creative Commons Licenses

When you do your Google Search, do an advanced search

In your search, look for images that can be reused.

When you find an image, check the website for a description of when and how you can use that image.

Public Domain Resources

Public domain resources are music, photos, and videos owned by the public.  They are either created by government employees or donated to the public.  You can use them in any of your projects in any way, without fear of copyright infringement.

Uploading to Youtube

  • In iMovie, go to the Menu and select Share --> Youtube
  • Username is
  • Category is Nonprofits and Activism
  • Title is your number and then the title of your video
  • Description should list links to all your resources
    • Sources:
    • Images:
    • Music::
    • Action links (organizations that viewers should support)
  • Tags are anything that describes your project, separated by commas
  • Size is largest available
  • Check "Make this movie person"

Exemplary Video Description

Evolution Activities

posted Dec 7, 2012, 11:37 AM by   [ updated Dec 7, 2012, 11:37 AM ]

Below are a few games that review concepts of evolution, heredity, and life sciences.  Spend a few minutes on each.

Making a Political Ad

posted Oct 17, 2012, 1:43 PM by   [ updated Oct 17, 2012, 1:43 PM ]

Before you make your own ad, you should watch a few examples.  Check out the three ads below...

Questions for this project:

  1. What strategy will your ad employ?
  2. Who is the audience for your ad?
  3. What media resources do you have access to?

The Paranoid's Guide to the Internet

posted Oct 12, 2012, 11:03 AM by   [ updated Oct 12, 2012, 11:17 AM ]

Who Won the Vice Presidential Debate?

Does it even matter?

The bigger question in all this is how much something like a debate even matters.  To get a full picture, we need to step backwards a little bit.

How does the Internet work, anyway?

How Does Google Work?

What else aren't they telling you?

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is a psychological phenomenon.  It describes how people, when confronted with facts that oppose their existing beliefs, disregard those facts and seek out sources that confirm their existing beliefs.

Understanding Telecommunications Responsible Use

posted Sep 7, 2012, 10:27 AM by   [ updated Sep 9, 2012, 10:26 PM ]

This year, our 8th Graders are turning 13.  Not only does this mark the start of their teen years, but it also is the cutoff age for many social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Today the 8th Graders discussed social networks, how they work, and how students can navigate them safely.  First, they took a survey to find out what social networks our students are using.

Most of the "Others" were the 5 students who were not on any social network.  There were also 2 students who listed Tumblr.

Next, we viewed a few student profiles online.  Some of them were surprised that they could be found.  Following was a wide-ranging discussion about reasonable precautions and possible consequences for social networking online.  Here were the key ideas:
  • Know how to find the privacy settings on any site you join.  Make sure you know exactly who can see what about you.
  • Keep passwords private.  There are many reasons why people might want to share passwords, but it is a trust that should be granted very carefully, if at all.
  • Even if you limit posts to just a few friends, treat anything you post online as public.  If you wouldn't be okay with the world seeing it, you shouldn't post it.
  • Be wary of other people's posts about you and remember that they reflect on you. 
  • Remember that anything you put online is permanent!  It's like a digital tattoo that can follow you for years.

Setting Up Khan Academy

posted Sep 7, 2012, 10:01 AM by   [ updated Sep 7, 2012, 10:01 AM ]

This year we'll be using Khan Academy to practice our math skills.  To get set up, follow these directions:
  1. Go to
  2. Click Log In
  3. Click the  Button
  4. For email, enter your whole address
  5. For password, enter your email password
Now you're signed in to Khan Academy!  This will let you save your progress, earn badges, and review topics.  Use the steps above to log in from now on, even from home!  Next we're going to add me as your coach so I can see your results.

  1. Click on your username 
  2. Click Coaches
  3. Enter Mr. Dreyfus' email address and click Add Coach
Now I can see your results!  Let's get practicing!  Click on PRACTICE to check out the Exercise Dashboard.


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