8th Grade

8th Grade Wellness…

Positive Comments

Our society is in the habit of cutting people down, whether it’s as individuals or as whole people groups. If we listen to those messages unchecked long enough, we start to internalize those messages. The voices inside us start to agree and has a hard time believing the positive and supportive messages that try to make their way through the din.

For over a month now 8th graders have been working on contradictions to the negative messages that are out there about us. Students have been participating in group discussions and watching videos in an effort to develop body positivity and a habit of self affirmation. This assignment is called Positive Comments to Myself. Students are asked to follow simple prompts, such as “I am”,  and write statements that are true about themselves or they which they could believe were true about themselves, such as “I am brilliant and can make big things happen in my life!”

Check out some of these videos and get inspired to give yourself a little pep talk today!


Winter – 8th Grade

This winter has been action packed so far! In the 8th grade we came back from the break to continue our sex ed unit, healthy relationships, consent, and answering questions from the anonymous question box. We’ve also been in Mission Mode for many of our classes while working on developing the physical strength and endurance that is useful for Mission. Students are also practicing communication and team work skills that will come in handy during their mission.

8th wod

Parent Education: Let’s Talk About Sex! Sex Education Part 2

Do you have concerns about talking with your student about sexuality?  The good news is you’re not alone.  This is a time of curiosity, confusion and exploration for middle school students.   It’s also an important time for the trusted adults in the lives of students become prepared to talk openly, honestly and directly about their beliefs and hopes and to start one of many conversations about sexual health, intimacy and safety.

Please join our A&W Teacher, Hannah McHugh, on Wednesday, February 7th from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the Community Meeting Room at SGS for a safe space to share your worries and receive support, learn how best to support your student and hear what the students want you to know.  If you plan on attending, please RSVP to djohnson@sgs-wa.org by 2/5/18.  You may also submit any questions you would like to have addressed.

Sex Ed Info Night

This week I had the chance to meet with parents and guardians of many of our students at Sex Ed Info Night. We began the evening by thinking back to when we had sex ed (or didn’t) and what we were taught (or weren’t).

From there we looked at the broad overview of what’s taught in 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade sex ed. Throughout the evening thoughtful and engaging questions were asked and discussed. I’m really excited that my students have such informed, curious, and supportive adults on their side! Adult involvement is so important in the lives of young people (even as the pull for independence).

Please check out the slide show (linked below) and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts!

Sex Ed Info Night Slide Show



8th Grade A+W Fall Term


Welcome to Adventure + Wellness (A+W)! We’re off to a great start so far this year. It was great to see those of you I could at Back-to-School Night, and hello again! I am continue to grow, learn, and adventure right along with the students. I grew up in West Seattle, went to Northern Arizona University, and love being active. I compete in Crossfit, enjoy snowboarding, and will do any sport I’m invited to play. My hope for our students is that they learn to love their bodies, their minds, and use both to engage in the world.

Fall Term Units

We began this term by doing games, workouts, and activities to help them get to know one another and re-familiarize them with what A+W will be like at SGS. Students were given an opportunity to nominate sports/activities they’d like to learn about this month. One core will be learning dance and the other will be learning orienteering. Throughout this month they will be practicing and developing basic skills and vocabulary. We will also be learning the functions and locations of the muscles. In November we will begin our Sex Ed unit. 8th graders will be studying healthy relationships, goal setting based on core values, consent, and STI prevention and protection. If you have not come to Sex Ed Information Night in previous years, join me Oct. 24th from 6p-8p at SGS.

Workout of the Day

Injury, Illness, and Adventure + Wellness

Injuries and illnesses happen. Please check the family handbook for our illness policies and how to determine if/when your student should come to school versus staying home. If a student is injured and able to come to school, they will still attend A+W. When a student comes to class and are ill or injured, they should check in with me. Depending on what we’re doing I will have your student be engaged in class as meets their needs for that day. I encourage students to listen to their bodies, participate when they can, modify activities as they need, and rest. If your student has been to the doctor with specific instructions, please send a copy of those instructions to me, email works too. If your student uses an inhaler or has an epi-pen, please make sure they bring it to school or is stored at the front desk.

Head injuries happen and should be taken seriously. When a student has a head injury, such as a concussion, adjustments to their daily routine (including how they should engage in their classes and school work) should be made. Please take a few minutes to check out this informative video to learn more about concussions and care.

Choose Your Own Adventure

8th graders are in the middle of their Choose Your Own Adventure Unit (CYOA)

Students started out by nominating activities they wanted to do. Everything from parkour to stand up paddle boarding to roller derby was suggested. After narrowing down this list I did a bunch research to  determine which options could actually be feasible for our time frame and budget. From there students ranked the ten finalists and were given one of their top choices. Boxing was VERY popular this year! So we have two boxing groups, a kickboxing group, and a swimming group.

Each Tuesday students get a one hour lesson at either Cappy’s Boxing Gym, Alpha Martial Arts (Madison), and the Meredith Mathews YMCA. While there students work with professional instructors to gain skills and get a good workout in. After each class students reflect on their experience, how their body felt, what they’re proud of, and what they’d like to learn next time.


IMG_4761 Kickboxing at Alpha Martial Arts.

IMG_4766The Y’s pool was out of order the first week so we walked down to the lake. Though tempted, no one swam.