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Grade 8

8th Grade Curriculum

Eighth grade is an exciting year as students prepare to transition to high school.  Students continue to develop their self-advocacy skills, their independence, and their stamina in all subject areas.

Religion

Areas of study include: the Bible and everyday life, traditions and values of the Catholic Church, and Catholic identity.

Reading

Through the use of the My Perspectives reading program from Pearson education students are engaged in a balanced literacy approach to reading instruction. The curriculum includes spelling, comprehension, vocabulary development, decoding strategies and listening skills. Students study various genres of text including: realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, myth, drama, poetry, biography, narrative non-fiction, and expository text. The daily reading block includes direct reading instruction, small group/whole group instruction, and guided reading.

NOTE: Daily independent reading both at home and in school is a very important part of the total reading program. Reading at home, both independently and aloud, and annotating the texts is greatly encouraged.

Writing

Utilizing Judith Hochman’s Basic Writing Skills, students improve the linguistic complexity of their sentences and improve the overall organization of their expository writing. Students use outlines from the Hochman Writing Method including the quick outline, transitional outline, and multiple paragraph outline to organize their writing. Students engage in writing multiple paragraph essays that are descriptive, persuasive, cause and effect, and compare/contrast in nature.

Math

The eighth-grade math curriculum prepares students to enter Algebra 1 in high school. As such the curriculum delves deeply into pre-algebra. Eighth grade math students study functions, real numbers, rational and irrational numbers, solving and graphing linear equations, finding the slope and the y-intercept.

Science

Units of study include: Earth’s structure and movement, cells, matter, the laws of motion, energy, ecology and the environment, and heredity.

Social Studies

Areas of study include: Reconstruction, westward expansion, industrial development and immigration, World War I, World War II, and the Postwar era.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
  • Homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday. Homework should take approximately 60-90 minutes.

JCOS has a wonderful system for updating students’ homework assignments and upcoming tests. It is a web-based system called SchoolNotes. You can access the system at www.schoolnotes.com. Once you access the system, you need to sign up as a parent. You should scroll down to the bottom of the web page to the part that indicates parent sign up. You should “Search by School” for JCOS. There is a drop down menu that asks for the country, state, district (private for JCOS, regardless of your district of residence), and the school’s name. Once you have completed this registration process, you will then be able to locate your child’s homeroom, reading, and math teachers. You can subscribe to each teacher’s page so that you will receive emails directly from SchoolNotes to let you know when the teacher has updated his/her page. There is also a link on each teacher’s page where you can email the teacher directly.  JCOS faculty and staff are most willing to respond to communication from parents. Your expectation for a response should be within 24 hours during the school week between the hours of 3-6 pm. If you need immediate assistance, you should call the office directly. SchoolNotes is wonderful communication tool between families and the school.
In addition to SchoolNotes, the children also write their homework down in their planners each day. It is important to check your child’s planner each day as well as to check his/her folder for any handouts, flyers, or other important information.