The study of grammar in eighth grade begins with a review of writing mechanics and continues with more complex structures of verbs and clauses, emphasizing the development of more sophisticated writing. Literature embraces the study of the various literary genres: the short story, Shakespearean drama, poetry and novel. Students continue to work toward mastery of the five-paragraph essay and apply their knowledge of grammar concepts to their writing. Middle School English also includes a systematic study of vocabulary in the context of the literature selections plus continued emphasis on pleasure reading. The PACE class offered in eighth grade moves at an accelerated pace.
Eighth grade mathematics is an introductory algebra class, including the metric system, properties of numbers, scientific notation, basic number concepts, operations with real numbers, equations and inequalities, problem-solving with equations, ratio, proportion and percent, polynomials, radicals, relations, functions, graphing, systems of equations and factoring. Algebra I and Honors Algebra I are available for eighth graders, offering them the opportunity to earn high school credit. Both courses emphasize the basic properties of the real-number system and applications to solving problems that can be analyzed algebraically. The course begins with operations of real numbers and solving equations and inequalities. Other areas include polynomials and their factors, rational expressions, functions and their graphs, systems of open sentences, irrational numbers and radicals and quadratics.
Eighth grade science reinforces and builds on chemistry and physics concepts introduced in earlier grades. In both the regular and honors sections longer term projects such as the “Pringles Project”, “Mousetrap Powered vehicles” and “Keep the Heat” show real life applications of scientific principles while teaching students how to properly conduct longer term experiments. Students are expected to apply their knowledge in new and creative ways on all forms of assessment. Units of study include, but are not limited to: Motion and Forces, Energy, Matter, Reactions, and Applications of Chemistry.
Eighth grade history is a survey of the ancient world up to the 16th century. This course starts with the earliest evidence of humans and continues through the European Renaissance, incorporating art, architecture, literature, science, philosophy and politics. The students utilize a number of projects and individualized learning techniques to better aid them in grasping the overarching themes of history. The year culminates with an intensive unit on the Elizabethan Age, which includes a five-page paper, presentation, and an entire day dedicated to all things Elizabethan.
During 8th grade students continue their study of either French, Spanish or Latin. In Latin, students continue to explore the fundamentals of vocabulary, grammar, reading, and translation along with key elements of Roman history and culture, including government, mythology, societal dynamics, the Roman Empire, and the spread of = classical influence throughout the world. 8th grade Latin concludes with the composition and illustration of original short stories in Latin. The 8th grade Spanish and French program build upon the skills of previous years. Continuing with the AIM approach students increase both oral and written skills through the use of gestures, literature, and increased writing activities.
In eighth grade students continue their examination of the bible as they study the Old Testament prehistory stories and the patriarchal families.
In eighth grade, students gain a deeper understanding of personal and social responsibility, healthy relationships, effective communication, cyber-bullying, peer and societal pressures, decision-making, goal-setting, problem solving, conflict resolution, emotional regulation, substance abuse prevention, and suicide prevention.
In 8th grade students continue their development in one of the four offered courses: visual arts, instrumental music, drama or film.