Eighth Grade Curriculum

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The eighth grade academic curriculum will be delivered by a team of five teachers. All students in eighth grade will receive the following academic courses: Communication Arts, Foreign Language, Social Studies, Science, and Math.

Teachers in an academic team cooperate by meeting during common planning times to discuss the instructional needs of the students, plan upcoming activities, plan on how to best utilize instructional time, and design learning experiences which emphasize the interdependence of curricula through projects, common skill instruction, or thematic units.

Communication Arts

The purpose of the eighth grade communication arts curriculum is to have all students develop and refine skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, understanding, interpreting, analyzing and synthesizing information. The eight grade communication arts curriculum enhances and expands upon those elements presented in the seventh grade communications arts curriculum. The student is taught to interpret and analyze a variety of literary materials within fiction, non-fiction, biography, and informational writing. Emphasis is placed upon increased use of reference materials and study skills. Report writing and research skills are presented to aid the student in the completion of a research paper reflective of a student who is prepared to move to the high school. The research paper is a substantial part of their final grade during the marking period it is assigned.

Major units covered in this curriculum include, but are not limited to:

Writing Language Literature
Narrative Writing Grammar Nonfiction
Informative Writing Vocabulary/Spelling Short Story
Persuasive Writing Speaking/Listening Drama
Descriptive Writing Novel
Humorous Writing Poetry

Important pre-requisites to note for ninth grade English:

When moving into the high school English classes, students are required to have a passing grade in eighth grade Communication Arts in order to schedule Applied English or English I. Students who wish to schedule Honors English must have at least a 90% average in eighth grade Communication Arts, have the recommendation of their Communication Arts teacher, and achieve a satisfactory evaluation on the Honors English exam.

Library Instruction

During the eighth grade year, students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in utilizing library materials, skills, and procedures. This is accomplished through the successful completion of a formal research paper in their Communication Arts class, as well as through integrated projects with the other core subjects.

Reading

The purpose of the eighth grade reading program is to offer students who can benefit from an additional year of sharpening their reading skills. The eighth grade reading program is team taught by a reading teacher and the reading specialist. The program is designed to enhance and expand upon the critical elements presented in the seventh grade curriculum. This course is taken in place of foreign language.

Major units covered in this curriculum include, but are not limited to:

Word Recognition Vocabulary
Literal Comprehension Interpretive Comprehension
Critical Comprehension/Thinking Creative Comprehension
Content Area Comprehension Reference Usage/Study Skills
Literature

Reading Clinic

Reading clinic is available for all students who require additional reading support. Support can range from an occasional review before a test, to in-class assistance, or small group instruction. Students who are not receiving support through Special Education, but require more individualized instruction in reading should schedule for the eighth grade reading class.

Middle Level Foreign Languages

The eighth grade foreign language curriculum is designed to have students move from working with individual words and memorized material to dealing with sentences and using the language creatively and meaningfully. Listening, speaking, reading, writing, and study of the culture are integrated. Emphasis is placed on listening and speaking. Students may select either French or Spanish.

Major units covered in this curriculum include, but are not limited to:

World Language Concepts Describing Self and Others
School and Classes School Activities
Family, Home, and Neighborhood Food Establishments
Food and Shopping

Important pre-requisites to note for ninth grade foreign language:

Students who earn a minimum final average of 80% may elect French/Spanish II in ninth grade. Students who successfully complete Middle Level French/Spanish with a minimum final average of 93% and teacher recommendation, may elect honors level French/Spanish II in the ninth grade. Students who earn less than an 80% in middle level French/Spanish will begin their high school foreign language sequence at level I.

Mathematics

The goal of the eighth grade math curriculum is to help students continue the transition from the concrete experiences of arithmetic to the abstract reasoning of algebra. During the eighth grade year, classes are designed to reinforce basic skills. Extensive work is done with rational numbers, ratios, proportions and percents. In addition, students continue with their studies of ratios, proportions, percent, informal geometry, measurements, graphing, probability, and statistics. Calculators are used to reinforce skills and assist in problem solving. Students showing exceptional ability receive additional instruction in Algebra I.

Major units covered in this curriculum include, but are not limited to:

Mathematics Pre-Algebra Algebra I
Problem Solving Equations Introduction to Algebra
Integers Inequalities Real Numbers and Fractions
Geometry Graphing Solving Equations
Rational & Real Numbers Metric Conversions Polynomials
Percents Ratios & Proportions Systems of Linear Equations
Area & Volume Permutations & Combinations Quadratic Functions
Intro to Algebra Factorization

Math Clinic

Math clinic is available for all students who require additional math support. Support can range from an occasional review before a test, to in-class assistance, or small group instruction. 

Important pre-requisites to note for ninth grade Mathematics:

Students wishing to move into Pre-Algebra or Algebra I are required to have the appropriate middle level math course and obtain an 80%. Students who obtain a passing grade but not an 80% may schedule Pre-Algebra or Integrated Mathematics I. Students who wish to schedule Honors Algebra II or Honors Geometry must have a 93% in their middle level math course and teacher approval.

Science

The goal of the eighth grade science curriculum is to introduce and provide students with a meaningful overview of matter and energy. The course includes laboratory exercises that investigate how matter and energy interact with each other and the environment.

Major units covered in this curriculum include, but are not limited to:

Motion Energy The Structure of Matter
Changes in Matter Wave Motion Electricity & Magnetism

Important pre-requisites to note for ninth grade Science:

Students who wish to schedule Earth Science may do so as long as they have passed their 8th grade science course. Students who wish to schedule Honors Earth Science must have a 93% in seventh grade Life Science and eighth grade Physical Science or permission of the Honors Earth Science instructor.

Social Studies

The purpose of the eighth grade social studies curriculum is for students to build a foundation of the physical geography of the world and make connections to the political boundaries and divisions that still impact people today.  

  1. Students will apply skills to learn how each civilization developed worldwide.
  2. Students will define and demonstrate an understanding of the physical geography systems within each civilization.
  3. Students will make connections to the political relationships that evolve as the early civilizations develop into the modern nations of today.

Students will examine the geography, history, political systems, economic activities, and religious influences of the Medieval Times, early West Africa, Imperial China, Medieval Japan, early America, The Renaissance, and the beginning of the Modern Age.

Important pre-requisites to note for ninth grade Social Studies:

Students who wish to schedule American History I may do so as long as they have passed eighth grade World Cultures II. Students who wish to schedule Honors American History I must have a 93% in World Cultures II and permission of their 8th grade social studies teacher.