U.S. History In the 8th grade, students explore the history of the United States from PreRevolutionary America to the growth and industrialization of our nation during the 19th Century to the maturation of the US as a world power at the turn of the 20th Century. The theme of our studies focus on the “Rights and Responsibilities” that our forefathers conceived, created and nurtured (and sometimes neglected/ignored), throughout our nation’s history. Furthermore, students will also study how Washington State’s history and government parallel and compare to our national heritage and political structures. During the year, students will also complete the state classroom-based assessment (CBA). The focus of the CBA is U.S. Constitutional Issues. Through this assessment, students will demonstrate their understanding of how a current event or issue relates to the Constitution and other foundational documents. Critical reading, thinking, and writing skills are emphasized in this course, as well as students’ ability to analyze the relationship between, and importance of, historical and current events. Language Arts The theme of the 8th grade language arts curriculum is “Challenges”—such as the challenge of heroism and real-life challenges. Using the SpringBoard curriculum, students will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in high school, AP classes, and future college-level work. Students will have many opportunities to refine and master strategies that will enhance their ability to understand and analyze challenging texts, to write with clarity and voice, to speak and listen in order to communicate and work effectively with others, and to view media with a critical intelligence. Students are expected to read in SSR and independently outside of class. At the 8th grade level, students will read a variety of genres over the course of the year to broaden their reading experiences. Furthermore, students are asked to periodically complete one page reflections to verify what they have read and demonstrate how their reading and literature skills are progressing. Students should expect to read at home for at least 25 - 30 minutes every night. Science Our science curriculum introduces students to a new level of rigorous hands-on science. The 7/8 curriculum is a two-year program that is taught to both grades simultaneously even though the students are separated by grade level. Working extensively in teams, we will explore Properties of Matter, Electrical Energy and Circuit Design, Organisms, Catastrophic Events, Light, and a unit on Energy, Machines and Motion. State standards are aligned to each unit and by the end of 8th grade students are prepared to take the Science Measurement of Student Progress from the State of Washington. Math The 8th grade math year focuses on algebra. We build off of the pre-algebra foundation in 7th grade to develop the following concepts: linear equations and inequalities, functions, systems of linear equations and inequalities, exponents and polynomials, factoring, and quadratic functions. In addition, we finalize the development of middle level statistics, probability and geometry. Students who took Algebra in 7th grade and met algebra proficiency expectations will take Geometry in 8th grade at the High School. Physical Education/Health The PE/Health curriculum is designed to enhance self-confidence and encourage effort while striving to teach the importance of health and physical fitness. PE classes are 6th, 7th and 8th graders, so a three-year program of activities has been developed. The three-year program introduces a wide variety of physical activities including those recreational in nature, team and individual sports, and demanding fitness tests. Health components include instruction in human growth and development, heart fitness and healthy life choices, nutrition, and drugs. The students will be graded daily on a ten point scale. Factors affecting grades are life skills such as: effort, attitude, basic skills, cooperation, listening skills, following directions, attendance and being prepared for class. Special Education All students receiving special education services must have an I.E.P. (Individual Education Plan). A continuum of services including resource classes and mainstream assistance is available for qualified students. This year-long elective is for students who are interested in learning more about the design process and how automation and robotics are changing lives. It will start with teams of students creating a product such as a playground, using the design process including CAD software. The class will then focus on automation and robotics diving deep into building and programming mechanisms and analyzing their solutions. This class has limited space. One hour of the students’ day is dedicated to an elective course. Course selections include exploratory classes, service assistantship classes or music. Music classes are the only year-long elective courses and the rest are one trimester. Elective courses are designed to enrich student experience through a variety of arts, science and computer classes. Students rotate through three exploratory or service assistantship classes throughout the year. Exploratory classes are subject to staffing availability. Past offerings include subjects such as art, woodworking, computer literacy and keyboarding, cooking, forensic science and environmental science. Project Lead The Way, Design, and Robotics classes are offered to 7th and 8th graders. Library Assistant Library Assistants must have excellent attendance and work habits. They need to be independent workers and able to work well with other students. Students need to have above average alphabetizing, spelling and mathematical sequencing skills. Students who have above average or excellent computer skills are encouraged to apply. See the Librarian if interested. Evaluations will be based upon a combination of quality of work done, dependability and attitude toward work. Office Assistant Answering phones and delivering messages are a few of the duties Office Assistants perform on a daily basis. These assistants have become invaluable to both the Main and Attendance Offices. All office TA's are required to have an excellent attendance record. Assistants may have some free time for independent reading and study. Teacher Assistant Teacher Assistants need to be responsible and have a good attendance record. They may correct student assignments. Assistants may have some free time for independent reading and study. Music classes are yearlong classes and replace Exploratory Classes. Beginning Band (Open to all grade levels!) No previous experience is required to join this class. This class is for students with an interest in learning a wind or percussion instrument. Students will begin on flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and melodic percussion with opportunities to move to Bass Clarinet, Alto and Tenor Saxophone, French Horn, Baritone, and Tuba. Emphasis is placed on fundamentals. Proper posture, note and rhythm reading, hand technique and tone production are stressed. Students will be expected to provide their own instruments and mouthpieces (This offering will be determined by registration numbers and may be combined with the regular band class pending auditions.) Orchestra (Open to all grade levels!) No previous experience is required to join this class. This class is for students with an interest in learning a string instrument. Students will begin on violin, viola, cello and double bass. Emphasis is placed on basic music fundamentals. Proper posture, note and rhythm reading, hand technique and tone production are stressed. Students will be expected to provide their own instruments. Attendance at group performances is required. (This offering will be determined by registration numbers and may be combined with the regular orchestra class.) Concert Band This class is for band students with at least one year of experience on a wind or percussion instrument. Students learn proper rehearsal techniques, scales, basic rhythms, and care and respect of their instruments and those of others. This group averages three performances a year as well as providing support and encouragement for individual solo contests and ensemble performances. Attendance at group performances is required. Private instruction is highly encouraged in preparation for the annual solo and ensemble contest as well as audition based participation in local and state honor groups. Symphony Orchestra This class is for band students with at least one year of experience on violin, viola, cello or double bass. Students learn proper rehearsal techniques, scales, basic rhythms, and care and respect of their instruments and those of others. This group averages three performances a year as well as providing support and encouragement for individual solo contests and ensemble performances. Attendance at group performances is required. Private instruction is highly encouraged in preparation for the annual solo and ensemble contest as well as participation in local and state honor groups. Choir No previous experience is required. Students will learn proper vocal technique with a strong emphasis on fundamentals using standard choir literature written by a wide range of composers from the classical period and beyond. The second Trimester is devoted to the Musical Theater Genre and the class auditions for, learns, and performs a musical. There will be a one time $20.00 lab fee for all students participating in the musical. In addition to performances of the musical, this group will have three performances a year as well as a competition in which they will perform for judges who will offer feedback for both personal and group improvement. Attendance at group performances is required.