Curriculum

Eighth Grade Curriculum Overview

English/Language Arts
Eighth grade students use oral language, written language, and other media and technology for expressive, informational, argumentative, critical, and literary purposes. They continue to refine their study of language and grammar in order to speak and write effectively. Although emphasis in eighth grade is placed on using information for a specific task, students also:
  • Express individual perspectives through analysis and personal response.
  • Refine understanding and use of argument.
  • Critically analyze print and non-print communication.
  • Use effective sentence construction and edit for improvements in sentence formation, usage, mechanics, and spelling.
  • Interpret and evaluate a wide range of literature.
Writing
Teaching in the argumentative environment does not end after the StateWriting Assessment. Students in Grade 8 continue to evaluate argumentative works with more sophistication. Instruction focuses on identifying the social context of argumentative works; understanding counter argument; and, by judging the effectiveness of tone, style and the use of language. In other words, students learn to use language to convince or persuade an audience. Students will use these skills as they prepare research presentations that are a major focus in Grade 8.

Mathematics
Beginning in August 2012, we will begin using the Common Core State Standards.  The following is the link to the adopted standards.  Below is a brief overview of the mathematics we will study.
One major difference is that there are Standards of Mathematical Practice that all mathematics educators will teach the students to promote better problem solvers.  These will also be used on the Assessments.
Students will:
1.  Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2.  Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3.  Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4.  Model with mathematics.
5.  Use appropriate tools strategically.
6.  Attend to precision.
7.  Look for and make use of structure.
8.  Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
In Grade 8, 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.
The Number System
• Know that there are numbers that are not  rational, and approximate them by rational numbers.
Expressions and Equations
• Work with radicals and integer exponents.
• Understand the connections between  proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations.
• Analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations.
Functions
• Define, evaluate, and compare functions.
• Use functions to model relationships between quantities.
Geometry
• Understand congruence and similarity using physical models, transparencies, or geometry software.
• Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.
• Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving volume of cylinders, cones and spheres.
Statistics and Probability
• Investigate patterns of association in bivariate data
 
 
Social Studies
Eighth grade students examine the roles of people, events, and issues in North Carolina history that have contributed to the unique character of the state today. Building on the fourth grade introduction, the timeframe for this course emphasizes revolutionary to contemporary times.The organization is primarily chronological and reference is made to the key national phenomena that impacted North Carolina throughout these periods. Although the value and methods of historical study as away of learning about people are stressed, key concepts of geography, civics, and economics are incorporated throughout the course for a fuller understanding of the significance of the people, events, and issues. Inherent to the study of North Carolina history is a continuing examination of local, state, and national government structures.

Science
Learners will study natural and technological systems. All goals should focus on the unifying concepts of science defined by the NationalScience Education Standards: Systems, Order, and Organization;Evidence, Models, and Explanation; Constancy, Change, and Measurement;Evolution and Equilibrium; and Form and Function. The skills of inquiry and technological design are targeted for mastery.
The concepts for which in-depth studies should be designed at 8th grade level include:
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Technological Design
  • Hydrosphere
  • Chemistry
  • Evolution
  • Cell Theory
Health/Physical Education
Eighth grade students are instructed on the health-related benefits of health and physical activity and how these benefits can be acquired and maintained.

Major focuses in 8th grade include:
  • Behaviors related to health risks
  • Accepting responsibility for personal behavior
  • CPR and Heimlich maneuver
  • Awareness of global environmental health issues
  • Body image
  • Potential impact of substance abuse
  • Relationships between physical activity, nutrition, and body management
  • The purpose for sports, dance, activity and gymnastics in modern society
  • Consequences of behavior
  • Critical elements of movement
  • Monitoring heart rate
  • Fair play and sportsmanship
  • Working cooperatively
Computer/Technology Skills
The strength of technology is that it provides an excellent platform where students can collect information in multiple formats and then organize, link, and discover relationships between facts and events. An array of tools for acquiring information and for thinking and expression allows more students more ways to enter the learning enterprise successfully and to live productive lives in the global, digital, and information-based future they all face.

The focus for 8th grade Computer/Technology Skills includes:
  • Responsible and safe use of online resources
  • Using Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines
  • Using spreadsheets and databases relevant to classroom assignments
  • Choosing charts/tables or graphs to best represent data
  • Conducting online research and evaluating the information found
  • Using word processing/desktop publishing for classroom assignments/projects
  • Selecting and using a variety of technological tools to develop projects in content areas
Prior to completion of Grade 8, students will:
  1. Apply strategies for identifying and solving routine hardware and software problems that occur during everyday use. (1)
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of current changes in information technologies and the effect those changes have on the workplace and society. (2)
  3. Exhibit legal and ethical behaviors when using information and technology, and discuss consequences of misuse. (2)
  4. Use content-specific tools, software, and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research. (3)
  5. Apply productivity/multimedia tools and peripherals to support personal productivity, group collaboration, and learning throughout the curriculum. (3, 6)
  6. Design, develop, publish, and present products (e.g., Web pages, videotapes) using technology resources that demonstrate and communicate curriculum concepts to audiences inside and outside the classroom. (4, 5, 6)
  7. Collaborate with peers, experts, and others using telecommunications and collaborative tools to investigate curriculum-related problems, issues, and information, and to develop solutions or products for audiences inside and outside the classroom. (4, 5)
  8. Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems. (5, 6)
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of concepts underlying hardware, software, and connectivity, and of practical applications to learning and problem solving. (1, 6)
  10. Research and evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and bias of electronic information sources concerning real-world problems