8th Grade Core Classes

English / Language Arts 8 (0134)

The language arts curriculum is a literature-based program designed to develop students’ abilities to read critically and write confidently in all subject areas. Students will focus on reading comprehension of both literary and informational text, literary response and analysis, writing strategies and conventions, oral language, and research skills. Active learning and higher level thinking skills are incorporated through hands-on experiences, which include word processing, cooperative learning, and project-based learning.

Math 8 (0332)

In grade eight, instructional time should focus on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. Students also work towards fluency with solving simple sets of two equations with two unknowns by inspection.

MS Enhanced Math 1 (0316)

In Enhanced Math I, students master functions, systems of equations, Pythagorean Theorem, and statistics. They build on their understanding of proportional and linear relationships to develop a robust understanding of functions and slope, use function notation, and move beyond the idea of input and output and begin to view functions as objects that can be combined with operations. Students revisit proportional relationships as a part of linear functions and compare them with exponential functions as they can analyze increasing and decreasing rates of change as well as arithmetic and geometric sequences. Students isolate variables and solve algebraic equations before exploring the solutions to systems of linear equations and inequalities. Students explore the best ways to represent given data sets and compare the shape, center and spread of univariate data sets. They also study regression as a means to determine a line of best fit with bivariate data. Using tools and technology, students explore constructions and transformations as a way to understand congruence of figures, and particularly, triangles. Students use the Pythagorean Theorem and apply it to solve problems involving right triangles. They build on transformations and apply them to coordinate geometry and show congruence of figures through rigid motions.

Science 8 (0511)

Eighth grade science is a year-long required course that covers content from the integrated version of the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS) for grade 8. The topics covered consist of Motion and Forces, Energy, Waves, Heredity, Evolution, Earth’s Place in the Universe, Earth and Human Activity, and Engineering Design.

US History (0622)

This course will cover the political, economic, social, cultural, geographical, and technological changes that occurred during Early Colonization, Revolutionary War, Constitution/Government, Westward Expansion, Civil War, Reconstruction, and beyond. Emphasis will also be placed on practicing digital citizenship as the course is mostly paperless. The course integrates technology into a variety of experiential learning activities such as simulations, skits, creation of visual representations, and a curriculum-based approach to current events. Formal and informal public-speaking, seminars, and debates will also be a part of the curriculum. Students will be encouraged to work both individually and collaboratively throughout the units of study. Emphasis in these courses will be placed on “coaching” students to engage their minds, by formulating and pursuing essential questions with the goal of becoming independent and competent researchers, strategic learners, and critical thinkers.