Grade 8

Course title: English 8

Course description: The study of English in grade 8 continues to focus on the four basic areas of the language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The purpose of the course is to support a solid foundation in each of these four areas. To do so, we will examine early North American writings in the form of essays, letters, anecdotes and myths. Novel studies will explore various themes including race, society and cultures, gender, power, human rights, and freedom. In this course students will discuss and write about the literature we have read. Students will also write, revise, edit and rewrite what we have written. While students will take a lead role in some of the debates, others will also be teacher lead. The student´s responsibility is to be prepared for the discussions otherwise they will not be able to write. There is also a continual focus on refining the student´s mastery of the steps in the Writing process, and the 6 + 1 Traits of Effective Writing.

Course title: Social Studies 8: United States History 1

Course description: An examination of early forces and influences in the development of the United States and it’s neighbors becoming more focused as we progress in time. This examination of human endeavor will set the stage for further investigation of US and World History.
Four themes will guide our exploration: Exploration and “Discovery”, Revolution and Constitution, Growing Pains, and Rebellion.
As students read, discuss, and write, they will begin to incorporate the lessons and perspective that history gives to current events and the history of other countries with which they are familiar.

Course title: Math 8: Algebra 1

Course description: 8th grade is a key stage in the mathematical preparation for high school. Complex algebraic and geometrical concepts are taught which will be the basis of future more advanced mathematical work. The demands on students rise steadily: their maturity is put to the test by increasing demands of independent work and reflection.

Course title: Science 8: Physical Science 1

Course description: In Physical Science students learn a basic form or structure for being successful in all of their coming science classes. Note taking, vocabulary and annotation are stressed. In this course we study all of the natural process that occurs in the skies, on the surface and below the surface of the Earth. This includes but is not limited to weather, astronomy, topography and map reading, oceanography, plate tectonics, weathering and erosion, and the dominant global biogeochemical cycles on the planet.

Course title: Physical Education

Course description: Our hope is to help students enjoy and continue an active, healthy lifestyle, and to realize their potential as athletes. Through physical activities they will challenge themselves as individuals and as a team member. Students should be able to demonstrate basic skills presented in the sports and fitness units during the year. These are referred to as the fundamental movements of each sport. Instruction, application, and transfer time will be given for learning and evaluation.

Course title: French: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Course description: Students taking this course will learn basic French with conversation, grammar, writing, and discussion. Students are placed at the appropriate level by the teacher. This class is available depending on the numbers of students interested.

Course title: Portuguese: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Course description: Students taking this course will learn basic Portuguese with conversation, grammar, writing, and discussion. Students are placed at the appropriate level by the teacher. This class is available depending on the numbers of students interested.

Course title: Middle School Exploratory: Art (one quarter)

Course description: The middle school art program is designed to open the students’ minds to the world of art by providing art experiences so as to foster an ever broadening understanding in the various aspects of art. In Exploratory Art students work on the elements and principles of design by getting their inspiration from the most relevant artists and art movements of all times. The program involves hands-on learning experiences in the visual arts. Students are directed to assume responsibility in completing their individual project requirements at their own ability level and pace. They learn art techniques using a variety of media and equipment.

Course title: Middle School Exploratory: Computers (one quarter)

Course description: This course will build on previously learned computer skills. Skills learned previously will be reinforced and the next level of skills will be introduced including database skills and the development of spreadsheets and charts, graphics and presentation software. In addition, students will explore digital imaging, audio, video, graphic design, and a mixture of multi-media applications. In this hands-on course, students will create various interactive multimedia projects using Moviemaker, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel and Word. This course will prepare students for the advanced level of technology in high school.

Course title: Middle School Exploratory: Drama (one quarter)

Course description: In drama, the artists create an imagined world about human beings; it is the role of the actor to lead the audience into this visual, aural, and oral world. To help students in grades 6 – 8 develop theater literacy, it is important that they learn to see the created world of theater through the eyes of the playwright, actor, designer, and director. Through active creation of theater, students learn to understand artistic choices and to critique dramatic works. Students should, as this point play a larger toe in the planning and evaluation of their work. They should continue to use drama as a means of confidently expressing their world view, thus developing their person voice.

Course title: Middle School Exploratory: Music (one quarter)

Course description: This course is designed to develop and improve students´ musical abilities and skills. Our approach to achieve this goal is working directly on one or more instruments as a part of a band. At the same time, students´ creativity will find a fertile field and support throughout the course. Music theory will also be provided in order to consolidate practical knowledge. No previous knowledge of music is required. Each student will have the chance to make progress according to his/her potential and previous knowledge. Assessments are based on: 1) Active participation in class is 80%, 2) Final performance is 20% of grade. Enthusiasm, perseverance and patience are important values that every student must cultivate. Practice at home may often be required.

Course title: Spanish as a Second Language (SSL) Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Course description: The study of Spanish as a second language focuses on the four basic areas of the language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The goal of the course is to facilitate acquisition of the skills and knowledge necessary to communicate, read, and write at the intermediate levels. Units of study will include reading and writing projects, vocabulary development through activities in which students will read, write, listen, and converse formally and informally in Spanish. We will also try to strengthen the written language with units of study in grammar and spelling.

Course title: English Language Learners (ELL)

Course description: ELL is a pullout program designed to meet the needs of Non-English speakers as well as Low Limited speakers. Classes are taught by ELL teachers. Students are assessed to ensure the correct level of English support where they concentrate on vocabulary, basic grammar skills, and confidence. The small class sizes allow students varied opportunities to use the English language in a low risk environment. When students have mastered basic interpersonal skills (BICS) they are ready to be mainstreamed in content areas for more demanding academic tasks. Students usually complete this level in one or two years.

Course title: English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

Course description: English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is designed for Limited and Intermediate English speakers to ensure academic success in the core curriculum. Core courses teachers collaborate with EAP teachers in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. This allows the EAP teacher to continue to assess student strengths and weaknesses and to assist teachers and parents in the development of a plan to meet individual student needs.

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