Grade 8

Religion

Students in Eighth Grade will explore the 2000 - year old faith journey of the pilgrim people of God, our Catholic Church. Their study of Church history will enable them to learn from the challenges, mistakes, and triumphs of our ancestors in faith so that they might be inspired to become courageous and responsible stewards of the Gospel. Students will be encouraged to recognize themselves as vital members of the Mystical Body of Christ in the world today, nourished by His Sacraments, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and entrusted with the mandate to make God’s kingdom come. The Eighth Grade continues to partner with the younger Faith Partners as the younger students prepare to make their First Holy Communion. Students have use of personal iPads to support them in their studies.

Language Arts and Literature

While the foundational curriculum in Language Arts and Literature are the same throughout the middle school grades, the concepts become increasingly challenging at each grade level, this includes reading levels (Lexile ranges) and vocabulary words, among others.

The middle school Language Arts curriculum’s focus is on strengthening skills in a variety of areas. Specific attention is given to vocabulary acquisition through the usage of the Vocabulary Workshop textbook. Students master synonyms, antonyms, spelling, and new words in context. Grammar is also an important component of the course through the examination of parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, and diagramming. Emphasis is placed on writing as students integrate the new vocabulary and grammar skills learned. A variety of pieces are composed in the genres of creative, expository, research based, literary analysis, and persuasive writing.

Students in middle school study a variety of literary genres. These include short stories, poetry, nonfiction, drama, myths, and legends. Through studying these pieces, literary elements are introduced and reinforced. These elements are used as a main focus in class discussion and literary analysis writing. Novel study is an important component of the course as students read together as a class as well as independently. Through novel study, students apply a variety of critical thinking skills through analyzing the author’s message, historical context, social influences, and the effects of literary elements. Furthermore, general reading comprehension strategies are emphasized across all genres discussed in the course. Students also present a variety of projects with a focus on improving public speaking skills.

Mathematics

Eighth Grade mathematics makes use of two different sections to offer a range of curricula from Pre-algebra to Algebra. Students are placed based on their retention of math concepts from previous years as demonstrated on several measures. The goals of all junior high math classes are to build skills, confidence, and habits to enable success in high school math no matter the level. The students work toward mastery and retention of concepts in the following courses:

  • 8th Grade Math or
  • Algebra

Students currently use the Carnegie Math program for both levels. The students have a digital textbook on their individually assigned iPads. This creates a hands-on environment that provides instant feedback.

Social Studies

Students in Eighth Grade build upon their knowledge, thinking, and critical thinking skills, basic and “higher-order” skills such as analysis and interpretation, through the study of the founding, development, and history of the United States of America. During the course of study the students will be studying about the European colonization of North America through Modern American Democracy. The students will study the role of immigration in the U.S. and the struggle of minorities. Students have use of personal iPads to support them in their studies.

Science

In Grade 8, students study physical science and how the universe works. The students use the Holt Science and Technology textbook to learn about matter, motion and forces, how machines make work easier, the atom, how matter interacts, and astronomy. The students learn about the scientific method and practice this skill through hands-on investigations that include, but are not limited to, balloon race cars, paper rockets, egg in the bottle, Rube Goldberg machines, liquid density, and the amazing egg drop.

Physical Education

In Eighth Grade, the emphasis is on working cooperatively to achieve a common goal, meeting challenges and making decisions, and working as a team to problem solve. At this level the focus is on individual and team sports. Students activities include volleyball, soccer, flag football, basketball, hockey, paddleball, tennis, frisbee, wiffleball, track and field, as well as, a variety of rhythm and dance and team building cooperation activities at a deeper level. Students participate in P.E. twice a week for 45 minutes. In addition, students may participate in our after-school sports program.

Spanish

Students in Grade 8 participate in Spanish class twice a week. Their classwork, including participation, and homework earn a letter grade.

Music

Eighth grade students apply all the music concepts they have learned in previous grades as they continue their piano studies, which include interpreting and playing in various key signatures. They study the circle of fifths and chord construction for tonic, subdominant, dominant, and dominant seven chords in all major key signatures. Eighth grade students are relied upon as experienced members of our school choir.

Technology

Students in 8th grade are each assigned an iPad that they may take home throughout the school year. They may use the iPads for their math texts, to build multimedia presentations, or to use Google Classroom, among others. Technology is fully integrated into the classroom learning. In addition, we use a program that allows teachers to closely monitor each student’s iPad and internet use.