8th Grade Course Description

SOCIAL STUDIES (modified block schedule with Science)

This course will focus on historical events from 1492, with Exploration to 1877, Post Civil War. Students will connect and compare past events with present events and have an understanding of the importance of individuals and groups through environment, interactions, economic and government processes. Students will be given a variety of assessments, including test, quizzes, homework assignments, projects, document based, free response & research essays, and interactive analysis of historical events.

MATH (See Math Placement Criteria)

  • Course 3

Course 3 curriculum is designed to expand the mathematical foundations of

students. The course will follow the textbook chronologically, from chapter to chapter,

with limited omissions. In addition, students will engage in enrichment activities which

are designed to heighten and strength indirect math capabilities. The students will also

use Prentice Hall’s Success Tracker online software to enrich their core study.

  • Pre-Algebra (Advanced)

Pre-Algebra has curriculum with comprehensive content coverage that meets all appropriate curriculum standards.  It is designed to expand the mathematical knowledge foundation of each student.  Textbook work will follow chronologically.   The course will include a separate SuccessNet Internet component that will be used extensively.  SuccessNet may be accessed at home through the Internet.

  • Honors Algebra (Advanced-one high school credit)

Honors Algebra I is a course in which students explore fundamental algebraic concepts. Topics covered include equations, inequalities, functions, systems, exponents, polynomials, factoring, rational numbers, and data analysis. As Algebra is the beginning of the study of advanced math, the fundamental and challenging/rigorous topics of Algebra will require focus and dedication on the part of the student. Students are provided the opportunity to develop the ability to solve non-routine problems, extending and applying what they have learned. Geometry is incorporated in an effort to further strengthen students’ algebraic skills, as students are expected to apply these skills when presented geometric situations.  The course will include a separate SuccessNet internet component that will be utilized.  SuccessNet may be accessed at home on the internet.

  • Honors Geometry (Advanced-one high school credit)

Honors Geometry is a course in which students explore geometric concepts through an in-depth study of proofs, parallel and perpendicular lines, congruent triangles, quadrilaterals, coordinate geometry, similar polygons, right triangles, circles, and area & volume, along with rigorous algebraic problem solving. A solid background in Algebra is essential for success in Geometry.  Students are expected to know how to solve equations with one and two variables and are expected to be able to complete proofs, applications, and in-depth problems as they develop high level logical thinking and problem solving skills.

RELIGION

Finding God: Celebrating Church acts as a vehicle for students to explore the ancient teachings and Tradition of the Catholic Church. At a higher level than in previous years, students will revisit the ways that God has revealed Himself to His people and what He intends to show us through Scripture and the life and teaching of the Church. Students will focus on the Person of Christ and the meaning of His Incarnation and Gospel. The History of the Church will be studied, and in the process light will be shed on the often confusing subjects of the Crusades, the Inquisition, and other controversial and important times in the history of the Church. The causes and effects of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation will be addressed. The Church in our modern day and her critical and unique role in the world will be assessed and contemplated. The importance of the Sacraments and of forming a strong conscience and living a moral life in imitation of Jesus Christ will also be addressed.  In-depth Bible study, participation in the Liturgy, and education in chaste living round out the student’s faith formation.  Spirituality is enhanced through a grade level retreat, school reconciliation, opportunity to altar serve participate in grade level liturgy preparation as well as participation in other Catholic traditions.

LANGUAGE ARTS

English Language Arts consists of several components centered around an overarching question from each unit in the Prentice Hall Literature textbook. Students will study various genres from both fiction and non-fiction from a variety of texts. Students develop literacy skill sets through a variety of tools such as Silent Sustained Reading (SSR), annotated readings, text connections, vocabulary, embedded grammar, open ended responses, literature circles, and critical reading. Assessments are made to benchmark progress several times per year using Pearson SuccessNet tracker and other diagnostic instruments. Students will do one major piece of writing each quarter and will learn the process of writing from inception to the revised final draft. A writing portfolio is one of the major products that will chronicle their development from the beginning of 7th grade through their transition into high school.

SCIENCE (modified block schedule with Social Studies)

In Grade 8 the study of science focuses on Physical Science and developing the student’s understanding of the chemical and physical processes that affect their daily lives.  Topics of study relating to chemical processes include atomic theory, the periodic table of the elements, chemical bonds and reactions, solutions, acids, and bases.  Students will use math skills to predict the outcome of physical processes including the mechanics of motion, force and energy, wave theory relating to sound and light, and electricity and magnetism.  Students will conduct laboratory investigations to expand their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.  They will use a variety of data collection tools including temperature, pressure, force, pH, and conductivity probes with data loggers to collect, graph, and interpret information.  Students participate in a school and Diocesan Science Fair.

WELLNESS/PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Students attend physical education classes 3 times per week in 6th through 8th grades.  An emphasis is placed on strong physical fitness and sports skills.  Students also receive training in various sports as determined by the season.  Athletics is divided into three seasons.  The fall season offers Flag Football for 5/6 boys, Tackle football for 7/8 boys, and Volleyball for 5/6 and 7/8 girls.  The winter season offers Basketball for both boys and girls in 5th through 8th grades.  The spring season offers Soccer, as a co-ed team either at the recreational or competitive levels, Track and Field, Tennis and Golf.  Fees are collected for each sport to pay for league fees.  We encourage parents to get involved as coaches, score keepers and/or team coordinators.

7th/8th GRADE FOREIGN LANGUAGE DESIGNATION

Students in 7th grade designate a foreign language which may be taken in 7th and 8th grades for one high school credit or as an exploratory course.  Designations are made at the beginning of the 7th grade year.

SPANISH (7th/8th)

The completion of this two year course is equal to the first year of high school Spanish. This course will focus on developing the four communicative skills in our students: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Students will be able to engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. Students will understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics. Students will present information, concepts and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics. They will also get an insight into cultures of other countries.

LATIN (7th/8th)

The completion of this two year course is equal to the first year of high school Latin.  The course will develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, and will explore concepts in a multisensory and interdisciplinary fashion. Focus will be on language acquisition with supplementary cultural units to provide context about the peoples of the Roman world.