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Eighth Grade Core Curriculum

All 8th grade students will automatically be enrolled in the following classes:

Language Arts 8 (Full Year)

Language arts curriculum consists of the following units of study: literature, writing, and grammar/usage. Students will continue to improve their reading skills by reading and studying a variety of literature forms: short stories, novels, poetry and drama. Students will analyze stories, apply the elements of literature, identify figures of speech, and develop critical thinking skills. The language arts curriculum will provide students with an opportunity to improve writing skills in sentences, paragraphs, short reports, essays and poetry. Reviewing and applying proofreading skills, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar and usage  will be included. 

Advanced Studies Language Arts (Full Year)

This course extends units in the 8th grade language arts course. It is an in-depth approach which emphasizes literary analysis and  composition. Units of study will include persuasive writing (a literature-based persuasive essay); expository writing; literary analysis of drama; study of elements of non-fiction; poetry analysis; whole class novel study; extensive vocabulary and grammar/usage  study; a research essay. Differences from language arts 8 will occur in novel & poetry selections and level of independent work. All students will be expected to complete independent reading and self-selected reading projects, and they could work  independently on blogs/podcasting. Higher expectations through inquiry-based learning, critical thinking strategies, and creativity  will also differentiate this class. Enrichment opportunities are building specific and may include oration contests, spelling bees,  culture trips, outside speakers, creative writing, and writing contests. Students are expected to embrace a more rigorous curriculum  and must demonstrate above grade level reading and strong proficiency as writers. 

8th Math (Full Year)

Students are placed in this class based on their achievement and previous successful experience with mathematics. 8th Math topics include real numbers, the Pythagorean Theorem, integer exponents, scientific notation, solving multi-step equations, graphing equations, functions, bivariate data, systems of equations, angle relationships, and problem-solving strategies. Remediation of mathematics skills will be provided for selected students. Daily homework will be assigned. 

Algebra I (Full Year)

PREREQUISITE: Semester grades of B- or better in Accelerated Math recommended. This course parallels high school Algebra I with a more rigorous and in-depth focus on selected topics. Algebra I encompasses abstract ideas; the use of patterns and generalizations; solving linear, quadratic and rational functions; simplifying radicals; and solving word problems. Projects are required. Work includes independent study. Daily homework and projects will be assigned. Students successfully completing the Algebra I course will earn a high school elective math credit towards graduation. Students are still required to earn three additional math credits in high school. The grade earned in Algebra I will appear  
on the high school transcript and the high school GPA. 

Science 8 (Full Year)

This course is designed to investigate science using an integrated approach. The focus is to instill sound investigative and critical thinking skills in our students so they will be able to design their own experiments. The Science and Engineering Practices are a  significant, embedded part of this course, and integrated units will include the following topics: Temperature and Heat, the  Elements, Forces, and Waves and Magnets. 

Advanced Studies Science 8 (Full Year)

PREREQUISITE: Strongly recommended semester grades of B- or better in Advanced Studies Science 7; concurrently enrolled in Algebra 1. This course parallels the content of 8th Science with a more rigorous and in-depth investigation of selected topics in science and technology with an emphasis on the Science and Engineering Practices. Creative thinking is useful in problem solving as well as the decision-making processes used in higher level science processes. Projects will require independent study and time management skills. 

Early American History (Full Year)

This course will survey our nation's early history from 1492 to 1890. The course is designed to provide an understanding of and appreciation for our national heritage. Correlations between past and present events are examined, and cultural literacy is cultivated, through the study of the formation of our national "character." In addition, emphasis is placed on the growth of basic American principles, the contributions of various ethnic and cultural groups, and the development of democratic traditions. Furthermore, thinking skills such as problem solving, cause and effect, and analysis are a focus. 

Advanced Studies Early American History (Full Year)

This course parallels the content of the 8th grade Early American History course with a more rigorous and in-depth focus on selected topics. This course will prepare students for Advanced Studies courses at the high school level. 
 

Course Descriptions

Core Curriculum: 

All 8th grade students will automatically be enrolled in these classes.

Required Electives:

All students take this elective.

Elective Options:

Students select electives that equal a total of two and a half units of credit.