The eighth grade literacy program is designed to improve each student’s reading and writing skills and to further develop a love of reading and writing. They develop deep understanding of more complex texts and build higher-order thinking skills through weekly routines and Close Reading. Weekly and unit instruction is built around science and social studies concepts that connect each piece of literature, vocabulary, and writing allowing students to build deep knowledge. Independent reading is also expected and encouraged as students select reading-level appropriate books in a wide variety of genres. Their genuine love for reading is encouraged and cultivated by acknowledging their achievements during a school wide AR party.
Writing is an integral part of fourth grade language arts. Children grow as writers as they learn to communicate and support their ideas in organized paragraphs. A Writer’s Notebook gives students the chance to learn the basics of writing conventions as they analyze the writer’s craft, explore various genres, and grow in mastery.
Eighth grade curriculum provides a strong conceptual understanding of mathematics through the use of effective learning experiences that promote communication, reasoning, and problem solving. In Grade 8, math instruction focuses on three critical areas:
• formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations,
• grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships, and
• analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and
• understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.
Eighth grade utilizes core ideas from sixth and seventh grade; for example, using a hereditary approach in seventh grade to examine natural selection in eighth grade. The focus of eighth grade science is on how forces and motion drive objects in our solar systems, move lithospheric plates, and how nature’s driving forces of geology impact ecosystems via environmental selection for a species.
Group activities, projects, hands-on lab work, individual research, and curiosity-driven inquiry are hallmarks of all middle school science classes. Students use the science and engineering practices to gather information from reliable sources and construct evidenced-based arguments.
Eighth grade curriculum focuses on United States history and geography with an emphasis on colonization of North America to reconstruction. Students study the European settlement of North America and the role geographic features played in the early settlement of Thirteen Colonies. Students examine the political, cultural, and economic influences that led to the American Revolution as well as the major events and outcomes. As students follow the development of the United States and its government, they analyze the impact of the expansion and sectionalism of the U.S. on domestic and foreign policy. Finally, students examine the major events and issues leading up to the Civil War, individuals and events that were significant during the war, and the resulting era of Reconstruction. Throughout the course, students develop the skills of a historian as they research and analyze primary sources, organize information, and form logical arguments.
The middle school curriculum emphasizes a balance between academic skills and soft skills. It is designed to prepare students for high school in terms of content knowledge as well as essential life skills such as work ethics and time management.