Grade 8

The eighth grade year is extremely important as a transitional year between the middle school and the high school.  During the eighth grade year our students are encouraged to become independent thinkers capable of taking responsibility for their learning and to become increasingly self-motivated. Emphasis is placed on academic excellence and respect for learning. Various learning strategies are used to develop student success, and technology is appropriately infused into all classes to enhance the learning experience.

Course Code:  C=College Prep, H=Honors

Academic Computer Skills

This course introduces the student to various computer skills, including keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, drawing tools, presentation software, sound editing, video editing, and Internet resources. Students learn to use Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Garage Band, iMovie, and are introduced to Adobe Photoshop.

*Completion of this course in grades 7 or 8 fulfills the graduation requirement.

Algebra 1

This course teaches students to reason abstractly and quantitatively. Students learn to use expressions, linear and quadratic equations and inequalities to represent situations involving variable quantities. They use tables, diagrams, and graphs as tools to interpret expressions, equations and inequalities. They simplify expressions in order to solve equations and inequalities. Topics covered include linear, quadratic, exponential, rational, square root, and absolute value functions. Students use the TI-84 Plus graphing calculator.

Algebra 1-H

This course offers a rigorous and in-depth study of Algebra I topics. It teaches students to reason abstractly and quantitatively. Students learn to use expressions, linear and quadratic equations and inequalities to represent situations involving variable quantities. They use tables, diagrams, and graphs as tools to interpret expressions, equations and inequalities. They simplify expressions in order to solve equations and inequalities. Topics covered include linear, quadratic, exponential, rational, square root and absolute value functions. At the end of the course, students will demonstrate a high level of understanding of the concepts covered. Students use the TI-84 Plus graphing calculator extensively.

American History and Geography

Eighth grade students study the founding and forming of the United States. This course covers the time period from settlement and colonial development to the end of the mid-nineteenth century. The study of government, economics, politics and geography as it relates to the development of the United States is included.

Art

This course is an introduction to visual art. Students are initiated in the fundamentals of art through a variety of media and techniques. Students learn about the elements of art, principles of design, and are acquainted with historically significant artworks and artist. This class is excellent preparation for those students planning to take Art I at the high school level.

English 8

This course focuses on expository writing and analytical reading. The expository writing program begun in the 7th grade is reinforced; creative writing is also a component of this course. The curriculum includes novels, a Shakespearean play, and literature units in the genres of short story and poetry. Students continue the study of grammar, usage, vocabulary, speech skills, and research skills.

English 8-H

This course is a more rigorous study of the curriculum as outlined in English 8-C, with a stronger emphasis on analytical writing. This course focuses on expository writing and analytical reading. The expository writing program begun in the 7th grade is reinforced; creative writing is also a component of this course. The curriculum includes novels, a Shakespearean play, and literature units in the genres of short story and poetry. Students continue the study of grammar, usage, vocabulary, speech skills, and research skills.

French 1B

In this yearlong course, students continue to build upon the course work of level 1A. The curriculum includes additional vocabulary and advanced grammatical concepts that prepare the students for the successful transition to the high school foreign language experience.

French I-C

Students in French I begin to develop oral-aural skills in the written and spoken language. Basic French grammar is introduced. Students also gain a better understanding of French culture and customs.

Physical Education

Students are instructed in the SPARK Middle School Physical Education Program that has been proven to significantly increase student MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity level) during physical fitness classes. It boasts more than 400 research-based, field-tested activities that integrate team sport skills with a variety of activities involving hand-eye and foot-eye co- ordination. Nutrition is also a focus. Presidential Fitness Testing is administered. The student’s grade is not based on athletic ability, but on her effort and participation.

Religion

The students learn about the formation of the early Church as a faith community and what it means to be a member of the Catholic Church. The second semester focuses on how members of the Church are called to worship God through the sacraments, how we express our faith in God by putting it into action, and how the Church calls us to live out our faith in our daily lives.

Science 8

Students engage in the Middle School program with an exciting series of inquiry modules that relate Physical, Earth, and Life Science to Next Generation Science Standards. Through the study of the physics of falling objects and structures,students build statistical and scientific argument skills to learn how scientists answer big questions and solve big problems. This is followed by modules that introduce Newton’s laws through construction of coaster cars and propeller-driven cars, followed by in-depth engineering design while making machines to solve problems. Students wrap up with a study of astronomy and the rotational motion of large objects. Students develop models to answer the question of whether a near-Earth object is likely to cross our orbit. A final examination will be administered in preparation for high school.

Spanish 1B

In this yearlong course, students continue to build upon the course work of level 1A. The curriculum includes additional vocabulary and advanced grammatical concepts that prepare the students for the successful transition to the high school foreign language experience.

Spanish I-C

Students are introduced to the basic elements of Spanish grammar and begin the development of basic reading, writing, speaking, and aural comprehension. In addition, students are introduced to the history, culture, and customs of Spanish speaking countries.

Speech-C

This course is a graduation requirement. It teaches skills that help students become more effective communicators. The course covers the methods of proper research, speech structure and style, editing skills and delivery techniques. Students practice outlining, writing and delivering speeches. Through introduction to the logical fallacies, students are encouraged to be more discerning consumers of information. The effective creation of presentation aids is explored. A video portfolio completes the course.

*Completion of this course in grades 7 or 8 fulfills the graduation requirement.

Theatre

Students are introduced to the basic elements of Spanish grammar and begin the development of basic reading, writing, speaking, and aural comprehension. In addition, students are introduced to the history, culture, and customs of Spanish speaking countries.

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