*Welcome to the 2017-18 school year!  Here's to a year of collaborative learning!*
     Class page
    ***From Mrs. Casaday:
    This is my nineteenth year as a Special Education teacher here at Pinole Middle, and I was a SPED aide here before that. I live locally, and my two children (who are grown) went to, and graduated from WCCUSD schools. I graduated from Cal Berkeley with a BS degree in Environmental Science. As an adult, I went back to school to get my SPED teaching credentials - proving that "it's never too late to learn" and you can always change your mind to follow your passion...
    I am proud to be part of the Pinole Middle School team - Go Knights!  (and Go Bears!)
    ***Here is how to contact me:  PBaker-Casaday@wccusd.net    231-1436 ext. 26364
    ***Classwork is not shown on this site, due to the fact that assignments are modified curriculum, and the dates that assignments are worked on in class are fluid.
    ***Here are some websites that may be fun/helpful:
    kidshealth.org     (students can ask questions and get responses, play games)
    codefred.org     (body systems games)
    coolmath4kids.org    (games)
    wccusd.net - WATR    (adaptive technology- has typing lessons)  Math-has example lessons for concept assistance from 1st grade through 12th grade
    ****What follows is a copy of the letter that explains what we will be studying, when homework is done, and how grades are done. 

    Pinole Middle School

    Mrs. Casaday   Room A8


    Students are expected to:

    *** Be in their seat, with all materials (pencils, planner, I.D. on, homework), and ready to work, before the bell rings.

    *** Behave in a manner that guarantees learning for all. Time spent on reminders for appropriate behavior is better spent on learning.

    *** Students are to raise their hand and wait to be called on during instruction, to be cautious and considerate during discussions.



    Students may receive consequences that will progress from:

    1.) Copying the related ‘tardy’ or ‘talking’ paragraph at home, and returning it with a parent signature the next day;

    2.) Phone call home / detention;

    3.) “Circle” discussion with the class or a counselor;

    4.) Referral to the office, reserved for severe (such as a fight) or repeated inappropriate behavior.




    There will be a daily “warm-up” word problem for a group discussion to gain experience in how to think through and represent a solution in different ways. Math fact skills will be reinforced in silent time test drills. Calculation skills will be taught and reinforced, although calculators may be used for complex problem solving and new concepts.

    Group work will include gaining skills in place value, decimals, fractions, and percentages. We will be obtaining information from various types of graphs. Eight graders in particular, will be solving for a variable in an algebra equation, using concepts such as order of operations and inverse operations. We will be plotting points, and gaining skills in exponents and integers.  We may also work on “real life” math such as money skills and time.



             7th grade Life/Health Science lessons will primarily develop knowledge in body systems: skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and reproductive. We will gain information in plant and animals as well. If time allows, we will learn about health issues such as diseases and substance abuse. Work is done primarily as a group. The students will be exposed to the scientific method to understand concepts such as hypothesis and observations with simple experiments. Science may also include some “character” education with discussions on issues such as bullying, communication skills, and decision-making.


             8th grade Physical Science curriculum includes chemistry concepts such as: structure of atoms, and chemical changes. We will discuss physics lessons that include: motion, transfer of energy, and forces such as magnetism and electricity. Lessons later in the year will be concerned with the Earth itself, such as earthquakes, minerals, and the rock cycle. We may also study the Solar System. We will be performing simple experiments to learn about related lessons in a “hands on“ way.



    Reading will be drawn from a variety of sources from short passage to chapter books. Students will also access classic literature in a modified form. Skills will be gained in not only fluency and vocabulary, but comprehension and decoding (particularly multi-syllabic decoding) as well. Work will be done as whole group lessons, in a small group, or with a partner.


    Homework will be given in Math on Tuesdays and Thursdays, is due the next day, and will be at a level that the student should be able to take personal responsibility for. The homework is usually calculation practice that may also include following directions to solve a coded message, or color a pattern, and work must be shown. This part of the homework is to help the student self-check for errors. Science homework will be given on Wednesdays, and is a two-sided paper that is written at an accessible reading level, or may be a “current event”. Reading homework is given on Mondays and Wednesdays. Monday is a parent initialed reading log. The students are expected to read for a minimum of fifteen minutes, and write a one-sentence summary of what they have read. Wednesday is a “5 W’s” comprehension assignment. Important: late homework will be given half credit, and will not be accepted after one week.



             Grades will be based on daily points for group and/or individual work, homework submission, and includes behavior and participation.  Punctuality and preparedness (pencil/planner) count as well.  Planners will be written in daily by students to note homework, or no homework (“No HW”) to demonstrate personal responsibility, and communicate with home. Grades will be available on the computer in Power School.


    * Students: Please come see me after school for extra help with work or if you have questions. It is your responsibility to get any homework or makeup work if you are absent.


    * Parents: Please check your child’s planner for my homework stamp, and check for understanding of the homework. We can communicate briefly in the planner as well.


    * As we make progress on our academic standards, we will be working primarily from grade appropriate supplemental materials that teach grade level standards, as well as learn from grade level texts when appropriate.


    * Please feel free to email me at PBaker-Casaday@wccusd.net, or call me at 231-1436 (ext. 26364) with any questions or concerns that you may have.  Here’s to a great year!


    * Donations of Kleenex and paper towels would be greatly appreciated!



    I have read this, and understand what is expected:




    Student ____________________________________________________



    Parent _____________________________________________________

Last Modified on August 20, 2017