8th grade Literature
- Books read in the 8th grade include The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, A Day No Pigs Will Die by Robert Newton Peck, Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley, and Monster by Walter Dean Myers. We will also look at short stories and poetry.
- Students continue to focus on comprehension materials in class, discussion of story meaning, and noticing details of the authors writing. Students are given a variety of genres to experience and explore throughout the year.
- During the year they will participate in discussions, small and large group reading, as well as reading independently. They will write at least one book report along with multiple smaller papers.
8th grade Language Arts
- Students understand the varied forms and structures of the English language through a heavy emphasis of capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and cursive writing.
- Students create writing projects: personal narratives, opinion writing, research papers, summaries, and other works by planning, revising, editing, and publishing their ideas.
- Students utilize technology to research and publish projects (Chromebooks, Promethean board); additionally, students use traditional reference materials (dictionary, encyclopedia, etc.)
- Students complete a speech/public speaking unit, creating and delivering speeches (impromptu, informative, persuasive, debate); if time permits, a mock trial may be done.
- Students get further prepared (from seventh grade) for high school writing and research expectations.
8th grade Math
- Two leveled paths are offered consisting of Math 8, our regular 8th grade math course, and Algebra, our advanced math course.
- Skills covered in Math 8 include algebra basics, translating, solving and graphing equations and inequalities, relations and functions, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, exponents, consumer math, volume and surface area, triangle relations and Pythagorean Theorem, probability of multiple events, and data analysis.
- Skills covered in Algebra include algebra basics, translating, solving equations and inequalities, relations and functions, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, systems of equations, linear and system application problems, exponents, factoring, radical and rational equations, and graphing parabolic functions.
- Students keep detailed notes and practice examples to help them retain and build their math knowledge. Math class contains lectures, group or partner practice work, as well as some games and projects. The use of Algebra Tiles and other manipulatives are used as often as possible.
- Most practice problems are done using an online math program called IXL.com which prevents students from repeating the same mistakes and explains how to solve a problem if they get an incorrect.
8th grade Science
- 8th grade science is concentrated in the Earth Sciences. Students will learn about the properties of rocks and minerals and how to identify them, how plate tectonics work, the cause and effects of earthquakes and volcanoes, the study of meteorology, and astrology.
- Students will take notes, participate in discussions, vocabulary, interactive labs, activities, and projects to help provide hands-on and in-depth learning.
- Projects will include building seismographs, earthquake safe houses, and volcanoes. They will also do some research and have the chance to participate in STREAM night.
8th grade Social Studies
- Student begin with an intense unit on the U.S. presidents, learning and practicing not just their names and chronological order, but also a great variety about them and the events the occurred during their presidency. This unit serves as a strong segue to the “U.S. History” course itself.
- As for this course, students re-live U.S. history backwards; beginning in the present and going backwards in eras/units, they get to experience (first-hand) the current history that they are living in, followed by eras of their parents, grandparents, and beyond. The thrust of this format is to allow students to have an understanding of current history, and then seeing and understanding the “cause and effect” of earlier history.
- Topics covered include the current political and economic conditions, immigration, wars (War on Terrorism, immigration, Persian Gulf War, World War II, World War I,
- Spanish-American War, Mexican-American War, Civil War, War of 1812, American Revolution, French-Indian War), American foreign policy, The Great Depression, and the Holocaust.
- Additional focus is spent on the U.S. Constitution, Washington, D.C., and civics.
- On occasion, a “Mock Trial” (in conjunction with language arts) is done in an actual courtroom with an actual judge.
- An optional extension of U.S. History is the annual eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C./Virginia. I (Mr. DuBois) have been running or co-running this trip for the past eighteen years; it involves four days in D.C. and northern to southern Virginia. Participants are eighth grade students who have just graduated.
- Food Shelf – monthly food shelf collections
- Guthrie Theater
- Environmental Learning Center (E.L.C.) in Finland, MN
- The Phipps – annual three-day theater performance at The Phipps (in Hudson, WI)
- Student Council Events – various student council-run benefits/fundraisers for local/community needs
- STREAM night – an annual event that allows all students to participate and learn about areas related to Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Math
- 8th graders transition to a more rigorous academic level and become more independent by learning to manage their time on their own, prioritize their workload, and manage long term projects.
- An emphasis is placed on being a good role model for the younger students as well as beginning to prepare for the demands of high school.