Welcome Eighth Graders
In eighth grade, students focus on church history. We begin by discussing the four marks of the church (i.e., One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic) to fully understand the meaning behind each mark. We discuss the decisions, struggles, and circumstances of the early Christians who followed the teachings of Jesus Christ illegally and faced harsh consequences for doing so. The contributions of the popes throughout the centuries are discussed as well as the reasons why Christianity has branched off into so many directions over the years. In Family Life, we discuss many important contemporary issues that young people and society face in today’s day in age and how the Church responds and directs Her followers in regards to these issues. The students also attend one morning Mass each week.
The new Study Sync Language Arts program is used for seventh and eighth grade instruction in literature. The program is online which gives students access to reading materials and videos that highlight the literary concepts and comprehension strategies that correspond to students' current selections. One highlight of the program is that it is useful for giving students instant feedback on their classwork. The program has content for students in grades six through twelve. It encourages students to work at a level that will encourage growth. We analyze a different work each week, having a discussion about topics, techniques, and the intentions of the author.
In the eighth grade, students learn about sentence structure and how each word has a distinct role in a sentence. In terms of writing, we strive to master several genres including response to literature essays, narratives, persuasive essays, technical documents, career building documents, research reports, and public speeches.
Students in eighth grade math build on their knowledge from the previous years. In the area of number sense, students learn to differentiate between rational and irrational numbers, use scientific notation, calculate the percentage of increases and decreases in quantity. Students will understand negative and whole number exponents. They will explore the meaning of the absolute value of a number. In algebra, eighth graders will use variables and appropriate operations to write an expression, equation, inequality or a system of equations or inequalities that represents a verbal description. Students will be able to graph linear functions, plot the values of quantities, and calculate vertical and horizontal changes. In the area of measurement and geometry, students will use formulas routinely for finding the perimeter and area of basic two-dimensional figures and surface area and volume of basic three-dimensional figures. Vocabulary regarding basic elements of geometric figures is introduced. Students will identify and construct basic elements of geometric figures using a compass and a straight edge.
The focus of eighth grade science is physical science. The structure of matter including the elements, atoms, and compounds are explored. Students study the organization of the Periodic Table of Elements and learn how to identify the different areas based on the properties of those elements. Chemical reactions and the properties of acids and bases are also studied. Motion and forces are studied and students will solve problems using distance, time and average speed. Students study balanced and unbalanced forces. Studying the elements and forces all relate to the study of the Earth in the solar system. Students study the structure and composition of the universe. Students learn how to use astronomical units and light years as measures of distances between the Sun, stars, and the Earth.
In the Spring, junior high students participate in the school Science Fair. Students work individually on an original scientific experiment. The project will include a written report and all of the components of a scientific experiment. Projects allow students to experiment, form and re-form hypotheses, test hypotheses, make conclusions and most importantly, learn more about themselves and the world.
Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America’s role in the war. After reviewing the development of America’s democratic institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions.
There is a ratio of one to one Chromebooks on which the eighth graders take notes, complete online homework assignments, assessments, and classroom projects. The teacher is able to view their work, monitor their progress, and communicate easily through these devices. Many assignments are completed collaboratively through the use of the Chromebooks, and because everything they do is online, students are able to access their work from any computer.
Students in Grades 4-8 receive 1 hour of Art instruction per week with an Art teacher. There is a weekly music class taught by the school music teacher and two annual music concerts.