8th Grade Academics
8th Grade English, using different texts and with different levels of mastery in mind, will both stress close reading, annotating, critical analysis of canonical texts and learning to seamlessly transfer the fruits of such analysis to fluent, formal critical writing.
Students will also engage in more subjective, imaginative and informal writing which will take the form of poetry journals, spoken word poems, and ekphrastic interpretations of texts.
Vocabulary and grammar concepts will be presented weekly, internalized via creative assignments, and memorialized in aggregate in a grammar/vocabulary notebook so that they might be pressed into intentional and accountable service in future writing assignments.
The 8th grade curriculum covers Algebra 1 topics defined by NYS Common Core Standards. These topics include:
- Linear expressions, equations, and inequalities
- Linear functions and arithmetic sequences
- Systems of linear equations and inequalities
- Quadratic functions
- Roots and Irrational Numbers
Science – Earth Science
The 8th grade curriculum covers Earth Science topics defined by NYS Common Core Standards. The topics the students will cover in this course include Earth’s materials (minerals, rocks, resources); The Earth’s layers; Forces within the Earth (volcanoes, plate tectonics, mountain building); Historical geology; Oceanography; Meteorology; Astronomy. The textbook is used in class on a daily basis and the lessons are supplemented with other activities, skills practice, or enrichment.
Social Studies – Modern United States History
Eighth grade social studies focuses on modern United State history picking up after the Civil War and tracing the development of modern day society. To finish the year, students write a research paper on a topic of their choice from the 1960s-early 2000s. The project focuses on building student’s historical knowledge, research skills, and ability to plan out larger projects in preparation for high school and beyond.
Eighth grade Spanish focuses on the active development of listening and reading comprehension, speaking and writing skills, and cultural knowledge. Using the Santillana textbook series, students build vocabulary and learn basic grammatical structures, creating a solid foundation of the Spanish language. The vocabulary topics covered include parts of the body, the senses, habits, hobbies, sports and pastimes. Grammatically we focus on conjugating irregular present tense verbs, reflexive verbs, forming commands, and the present progressive tense. Additionally, students partake in a variety of hands-on, student-led projects with a cultural focus, culminating in a school-wide showcase at the end of the year.
The 8th-grade visual art curriculum explores the work of 20th century and contemporary artists Elizabeth Murray, Wayne Thiebaud, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, and Kehinde Wiley. There is a strong emphasis on art history as well as conducting in-process critiques during which the students use appropriate vocabulary.