In The 8th Grade Classroom
*Notes From The Teachers Desk:
In 8th Grade Religion class, the focus is on preparing students for Confirmation. Candidates prepare by reflecting on the life of Jesus, the mission of the church and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Students learn that Confirmation strengthens us to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ and encourages us to evangelize and give lifelong service to others. Students use the textbooks – Chosen by Ascension Press and Confirmation by Sadlier. The class also focuses on Church history. Students will study about the early martyrs, the early struggles of the Church and how the church continued to grow and evangelize the world. Students use the text We Live Our Faith by Sadlier.
Grade 8 American History is a general survey course charting America’s development from a group of loosely organized colonies into the most advanced nation in history. The text is American Nation and the publisher is Prentice Hall. Emphasis is based on drawing comparisons between past and current events showing how cause and effect relationships shape our society. The unit study includes the Revolutionary War, building our nation, an examination of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, westward expansion, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. A brief overview of 20th Century historical events will be introduced. Students will also complete a unit on Economics and Career Exploration.
In grade 8 English class, we review and expand on all that has been taught in the previous years: the eight parts of speech, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Students focus on content, organization, voice, word choice, style, and mechanics in both creative and expository writing. A research paper is required and due at the end of the year. The text used is Houghton Mifflin English. Vocabulary is also a part of the English program, and we use Sadlier – Oxford Vocabulary Workshop.
In grade 8 Literature class, we cover various literary elements, authors, genres, and reading skills. Students read short stories, plays, poetry, and novels and study story elements and writing devices. The structure of the course will consist of both whole class reading and individual, independent reading. We will frequently use the text, Prentice Hall Literature, along with other supplemental materials. Reinforcement of English writing skills, mechanics, grammar, and creativity are all emphasized in literature writing assignments.
Grade 8 Math program includes both standard and advanced. Both texts cover the topics of operations involving integers, the order of operation, simple equations and inequalities, absolute value equations, multiplication and factorization of polynomials, and linear equations with graphing. The advanced Math program incorporates the same concepts at a 9th-grade level as well as quadratic equations, using Larson Algebra I text and the standard Algebra I text, Prentice Hall Algebra I.
Grade 8 Science program focuses on Physical Science. The text used is Holt Science and Technology, Physical Science. The first semester consists of an overview of Chemistry with emphasis on matter, atoms, elements, and the compounds formed from them. The second semester is an overview of Physics. The emphasis here is on motion, forces, energy, and electricity. Where possible, students will learn and review/reinforce concepts by completing lab activities. They will learn the proper techniques for using lab equipment, as well as safety procedures used in a lab activity.
The 8th-grade Computer class is to provide students with the skills they will need to be successful in high school and college. 8th graders attend computer class 2 times a week. In addition to teaching the Office 2010 applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Keyboarding), we will also teach effective Internet search techniques, Internet safety, and we will focus on copyright and plagiarism issues. All work for computer class will be performed on the St. Hugo computer network. We have also developed an Internet Use Policy for the St. Hugo Computer Network and technology equipment usage. You and your child will be asked to sign and return this form before they will be allowed to access the Internet.
8th grade Spanish students continue to develop their skills toward language acquisition but at a more advanced level. Students are introduced to the linguistic requirements needed to complete a beginning level high school course. They practice writing short essays, listening to dialogues and information presented in Spanish, and talking and reading about themes related to the course. Students continue their cultural awareness by looking at specific topics relevant to Spanish speaking countries and studying the contributions of the Hispanic people and culture.
Elective classes are optional:
Academic Seminar: This elective is where the student has the time to work on homework or see a grade level teacher for extra help.
Yearbook: This course is designed to develop students’ skills in yearbook production by providing experiences in selected aspects of yearbook production. Students learn basic principals of yearbook production and develop skills that include digital photography; desktop publishing and using appropriate technology tools for media production.
Lego Robotics: Lego Robotics students meet twice a week, in class the students use STEM skills through coding to program their robot to complete the week’s challenge. In robotics students use their independent problem-solving skills to complete the task at hand either through collaboration with another student or independently.
Band: Our top performing instrumentalists, 6-8th grade, can join the St. Hugo Jazz Band & Wind Ensemble. Students rehearse during electives and after school. The bands are featured multiple times throughout the year: Woodward Hills Nursing Home, Christmas Concert, Open House Performances both in January & March, and the Spring Concert/Awards Ceremony in May. As instrumental students progress into 7th & 8th grade, they can participate in MSBOA (Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association) sponsored Solo and Ensemble and Band Festivals on an annual basis.
Jr. High Musical: Each year students in grades 7 and 8 have the opportunity to stage an extracurricular musical play. While participation in the play is optional, the play is a highly-anticipated tradition, with the majority of the Jr. High students taking roles both onstage and behind the scenes. Previous plays have included The Little Mermaid, Shrek, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie, The Sound of Music, Seussical and many others. The students give four performances in mid-May.
Vocal Vikings Glee Club: elective class made up of 7th and 8th-grade girls and boys. The class meets twice a week and is designed to rehearse and perform pop and musical theatre selections with choreography. The group performs several times a year, at Christmas, Catholic Schools Week, Open House and other concerts and charitable functions.
Personal Finance: class meets once a week for 2 quarters. During our time we focus on themes and material that includes what to look for in a savings account, how to manage your finances and make better financial decisions, the value of time and its impact on money, basics of the stock market and investments and the importance of saving for retirement sooner rather than later.
Public Speaking Seminar: Students will learn and review the fundamentals of public speaking. Each session will focus on a specific skill or technique and include video examples, practice drills and weekly impromptu and/or planned speeches. Students will learn how to constructively critique one another as well as how to increase their confidence when speaking in front of others.
Quiz Bowl: Quiz Bowl Elective prepares students for an online trivia competition between other schools. The completion consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Areas covered include math, geography, government, sports, spelling, science, literature, English, history, general information and just plain fun trivia. It is a team activity. The online competition score is based on accuracy and how fast questions are answered by the team.