Eighth Grade Curriculum Overview
Eighth grade students use oral language, written language, and othermedia and technology for expressive, informational, argumentative,critical, and literary purposes. They continue to refine their study oflanguage and grammar in order to speak and write effectively. Althoughemphasis in eighth grade is placed on using information for a specifictask, 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.
Teaching in the argumentative environment does not end after the StateWriting Assessment. Students in Grade 8 continue to evaluateargumentative works with more sophistication. Instruction focuses onidentifying the social context of argumentative works; understandingcounter argument; and, by judging the effectiveness of tone, style andthe use of language. In other words, students learn to use language toconvince or persuade an audience. Students will use these skills asthey prepare research presentations that are a major focus in Grade 8.
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.
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.
• Define, evaluate, and compare functions.
• Use functions to model relationships between quantities.
• 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
Eighth grade students examine the roles of people, events, and issuesin North Carolina history that have contributed to the unique characterof 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 tothe key national phenomena that impacted North Carolina throughoutthese 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 afuller understanding of the significance of the people, events, andissues. Inherent to the study of North Carolina history is a continuingexamination of local, state, and national government structures.
Learners will study natural and technological systems. All goals shouldfocus 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 inquiryand 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
- Cell Theory
Eighth grade students are instructed on the health-related benefits ofhealth and physical activity and how these benefits can be acquired andmaintained.
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
The strength of technology is that it provides an excellent platformwhere students can collect information in multiple formats and thenorganize, link, and discover relationships between facts and events. Anarray of tools for acquiring information and for thinking andexpression allows more students more ways to enter the learningenterprise 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:
Prior to completion of Grade 8, students will:
- 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
- Apply strategies for identifying and solving routine hardware and software problems that occur during everyday use. (1)
- Demonstrateknowledge of current changes in information technologies and the effectthose changes have on the workplace and society. (2)
- Exhibit legal and ethical behaviors when using information and technology, and discuss consequences of misuse. (2)
- Usecontent-specific tools, software, and simulations (e.g., environmentalprobes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) tosupport learning and research. (3)
- Applyproductivity/multimedia tools and peripherals to support personalproductivity, group collaboration, and learning throughout thecurriculum. (3, 6)
- Design, develop, publish, and presentproducts (e.g., Web pages, videotapes) using technology resources thatdemonstrate and communicate curriculum concepts to audiences inside andoutside the classroom. (4, 5, 6)
- Collaborate with peers,experts, and others using telecommunications and collaborative tools toinvestigate curriculum-related problems, issues, and information, andto develop solutions or products for audiences inside and outside theclassroom. (4, 5)
- Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems. (5, 6)
- Demonstratean understanding of concepts underlying hardware, software, andconnectivity, and of practical applications to learning and problemsolving. (1, 6)
- Research and evaluate the accuracy,relevance, appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and bias of electronicinformation sources concerning real-world problems