Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade Homeroom Teacher:  Mrs. Valerie Parry (English and History)

Mrs. Eva Peak (Science and Math)

Mrs. Cookie Vosbikian (Advanced Math)

In both seventh and eighth grades the students are guided by two main subject teachers, one specializing in literature, language arts, and history; the other in math and science. The two teachers work seamlessly and cooperatively to stimulate the children’s desire to learn, to foster their love of learning, to impart information, and to learn processes that will help them find answers to their questions and communicate their ideas to others.

The eighth grade literature curriculum fosters independent critical thinking; students continue to develop analytic skills as they interpret the challenging literature read in class as well as the novels they select for independent reading. Student blogs, in addition to the discussions held in class, offer a variety of perspectives and often lead to a good deal of creative thinking. Expectations for written expression become increasingly sophisticated as students are prepared for the rigors of an advanced high school curriculum. Our eighth grade also enjoys our “Shakespeare Festival” during which they dramatize “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” celebrating both the serious and the ludicrous aspects of the drama, often with considerable hilarity. The final written project of the year is a highlight of the eighth grade; students write and deliver a speech to an audience of faculty, parents, and guests as part of their graduation ceremony. This is truly a moving event that reflects the strength of our students’ emotional, spiritual, and intellectual development as they give one last parting gift to their school.

The eighth grade history curriculum is a continuation of the previous year’s material; students begin with an intensive study of the Constitution, then focus on the physical and political growth of America through the Civil War period. Research skills become more sophisticated as students learn how to write compelling and comprehensive reports. The curriculum culminates in an independent study project designed by each student focusing on an aspect of American history of particular interest. Our trip to Washington, D.C. allows the students’ studies to come to life.

Algebra I is the focus of the eighth grade math curriculum. Students who completed Pre-Algebra in seventh grade continue to develop their understanding, use, and application of algebraic skills and concepts in Algebra I. As they progress through the program, they are introduced to increasingly more complex applications of the skills and concepts to real life situations. Students in Algebra I during seventh grade continue their more independent based comprehensive study of the algebra skills and concepts. More challenging and complex applications of the skills and concepts are undertaken at a quicker pace by these students. All students are encouraged to develop their critical thinking skills through problem solving, decision making, reflection, and making connections between algebra and its application to actual life situations.

Eighth grade science emphasizes the study of Chemistry and the process of scientific experimentation. Topics include atomic history, the Periodic Table and the wealth of information it includes, physical and chemical properties of matter, and the interactions of atoms. The lab based program is based on standard and student generated procedures that support and explore the scientific concepts. Lab reports are written in order to communicate data, observations, and analysis. Students are encouraged to think about advances in science and technology and the social responsibility they entail.

8th Grade Curriculum Overview:

Reading/Language Arts

  • Provide students with interesting and challenging materials across a variety of genres.
  • Provide opportunities for developing higher level thinking skills by reading multiple types of material across the curriculum.
  • Analysis of literary devices used to create setting, characterization, theme, rising action, climax and resolution.
  • Writing focused on precise and descriptive writing; development of different tones; adaptation of style to suit nature of assignment; character diaries; essays; reports and poetry.
  • Vocabulary and spelling focus on expanding vocabulary and retaining work meanings.
  • Grammar focuses on use of colons and semi colons; identification of simple, compound and complex sentences; correct use of verbs; transient and intransient verbs; accurate use of modifiers; and voice.

Mathematics

    Algebra I – Basic

  • Review of the usage of the order of operations to evaluate variable expressions and expressions containing exponents.
  • Review of algebraic expressions for problem solving.
  • Evaluation and simplification of variable expressions organization of data in a matrix, and the addition and subtraction of matrices.
  • Solving linear equations, exploration of functions, and formulas that use algebraic procedures and rules.
  • Drawing of diagrams, tables and graphs.
  • Solving decimal equations, formulas and rewriting equations in function form.
  • Writing and graphing of linear equations.
  • Solving and graphing of linear inequalities.
  • Problem solving.
    Algebra I – Advanced

  • Solving and modeling a system of linear equations and linear inequalities.
  • Use of exponents and exponential functions.
  • Solving quadratic equations and graphing quadratic functions; including real life application.
  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and factoring of polynomials and solving of polynomial equations by factoring.
  • Solving of rational equations.

Science

  • Chemistry – and scientific processes.
  • Characteristics and classification of atoms; historical models of atoms; sub-atomic particles.
  • Laboratory safety, metric measurement, data analysis and writing up of lab reports reviewed.
  • Motion of and attraction between particles.
  • Thermal energy.
  • Behavior of fluids.
  • Introduction to the periodic table; physical and chemical properties of elements; and electronic configurations Ionic and covalent bonds compared and contrasted; Lewis diagrams created.
  • Types of chemical reactions identified, described, and balanced equations written.
  • Experiments covering comparison of various substances and element identification.

History

  • The Constitution and the development of the United States federal government.
  • Washington’s administration; John Adams’s presidency.
  • The development of the two-party system.
  • President project- reports on individual’s favorite President.
  • The war of 1812 – events, effects, the Peace of Ghent; the Monroe Doctrine.
  • America from 1790 to the Civil War – physical, social and political growth; The Industrial Revolution; the age of Jackson; Manifest Destiny; Slavery and Abolition.