Course Descriptions

Science:
Eighth grade science is an introduction to physics, chemistry, weather, climate, and man's impact on his environment. We will build on some of the concepts you have learned in earlier grades and add many new ones.  We begin the year learning what science is all about and reviewing experiments, how to record and analyze data and how to communicate those results.  We will also review metric measurements and use them throughout the year.

As we move into physics, we will introduce the concepts of weather and climate and how energy moves through these dynamic systems.  We will also discover how weather affects the forces acting on moving objects.  Embedded in this unit is rocket building and launching.  We will also cover the types of energy available to us, and how energy is transformed from one form to another.  This will lead us into wave behaviors, properties, and types of waves.

Energy in the form of waves moves through types of matter at different speeds, and this allows us to segue into the states of matter, what matter is made of, and the basics of chemistry.  We will learn the unique characteristics of elements and how they form compounds to make everything in our vast universe.   We’ll carry what we learn about chemistry into carbon (organic) chemistry, or the chemistry of life.  We’ll have a few food chemistry labs in the kitchen to explore how chemistry relates to our every day lives.


Social Studies:

 For the 2014-2015 school year, eighth grade U.S. History covers the time period from Colonization through the Civil War. The Colorado Content Standards cover history, geography, civics, and economics.  My class uses inquiry learning and 21st century skills while promoting a personal connection to history.  Literacy (reading and writing) and critical thinking skills are practiced daily.

I.  Intro - What is history? Why do we study it?
II.  This year we are starting with the Constitution!!  The basis for U.S. history!
III.  Colonization
IV.  Path to Self-government
V.  Causes of the Revolution
VI.   Revolutionary War
VII.  Beginnings of a Nation
VIII.  Manifest Destiny
IX.  Causes of the Civil War
X.  Civil War

Math (Core Connection 3):
This math course prepares students to be confident and competent in Algebra. Students will use real-life situations to develop their abilities to problem solve using variables and multiple representations of algebraic equations. Students will work with systems of equations, both linear and exponential functions.  Students also dive into geometric topics such as transformations, similarity, Pythagorean theorem, volume, and surface area


Algebra (Core Connections Algebra):

This algebra course builds on topics covered in previous grades, taking students deeper into key concepts.  Students work in depth on linear, exponential, and quadratic functions.  Fixed costs, starting points, and rates of linear functions are studied in the context of multiple representations.  Students develop greater conceptual and procedural proficiency in solving systems of equations.  Properties of exponents, geometric sequences, compounding interest, and exponential decay bring exponential functions to life.  Scatter plots, a topic covered in 8th grade math, is also covered in greater detail, looking at r values, lines of regression, and the equations of those lines of regression. 


Geometry(Core Connections Geometry):

Students hone their skills in logic and geometry to prepare for Algebra 2.  They will delve more deeply into logical analyses of claims, evidence and reasoning to more precisely describe and solve problems using shapes, angles, measurement, similarity, circles, arcs and probability.  Students use the trigonometric functions of sine, cosine and tangent when analyzing right triangles.  They will create flow-charts and two-column proofs.  Students will use constructions to draw various geometric concepts (like lines, angles, bisectors and midlines) without traditional measurement tools, like rulers and protractors.  They will develop skills in probability involving: permutations, combinations and conditional probability.  Finally, students will explore conics, circle equations and graphing a parabola using the focus and directrix.


Language Arts:
     *Link to our curriculum doc.

Advanced Language Arts:
     *Link to our curriculum letter.