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8th Grade Curriculum

English/Language Arts

English 8 1 credit

English 8 emphasizes the connection between reading and writing to promote the development of thinking skills. This course provides students with a thematically arranged study of the essay, short story, poetry, the novel and drama. Students read and respond to four novel-length works, at least two of which are individually selected. In addition to reflecting on literature, the students develop written pieces in the narrative, informative, and persuasive modes. Technology, research, and language skills are taught in conjunction with the reading and writing processes. In addition, the course reinforces the skills identified in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening, preparing the students to achieve Proficient to Advanced performance scores on the 8th grade PSSA Writing Assessment and the 8th grade PSSA Writing Assessment and the 8th grade PSSA Reading Assessment. English 8 emphasizes the connection between reading and writing to promote the development of thinking skills. This course provides students with a thematically arranged study of the essay, short story, poetry, the novel and drama. Students read and respond to four novel-length works, at least two of which are individually selected. In addition to reflecting on literature, the students develop written pieces in the narrative, informative, and persuasive modes. Technology, research, and language skills are taught in conjunction with the reading and writing processes. In addition, the course reinforces the skills identified in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening, preparing the students to achieve Proficient to Advanced performance scores on the 8th grade PSSA Writing Assessment and the 8th grade PSSA Writing Assessment and the 8th grade PSSA Reading Assessment.

Literacy Arts 8 1 credit

Literacy Arts 8 is designed for students to refine their reading and study strategies. These courses are designed to stimulate interest in reading by motivating students to become independent, life-long readers. These goals are achieved through the use of novels, projects and various prescriptive reading strategies. Furthermore, a variety of nonfiction materials are used to enhance the student’s skills in reading comprehension. Literacy Arts 8 is designed for students to refine their reading and study strategies. These courses are designed to stimulate interest in reading by motivating students to become independent, life-long readers. These goals are achieved through the use of novels, projects and various prescriptive reading strategies. Furthermore, a variety of nonfiction materials are used to enhance the student’s skills in reading.


Mathematics

Math 8 1 credit

Math 8 is a bridge to Algebra 1 and a continuation of the math program taught in grade 7. Emphasis in this course will be on the use of rational numbers, geometry and probability concepts, inequalities, polynomials & algebraic manipulations. Students successfully completing this course will enroll in Algebra 1 in grade 9. The students will need a scientific calculator with fraction capabilities. Math 8 is a bridge to Algebra 1 and a continuation of the math program taught in grade 7. Emphasis in this course will be on the use of rational numbers, geometry and probability concepts, inequalities, polynomials & algebraic manipulations. Students successfully completing this course will enroll in Algebra 1 in grade 9. The students will need a scientific calculator with fraction capabilities.ng comprehension.

Algebra I 1 credit

Algebra 1 is the first course of the Algebra 1-Geometry-Alegebra 2 sequence. Concepts taught in this course include topics from algebra, statistics, probability, and logical reasoning. A graphics calculator will be used during problem solving activities.

Prerequisite: Students are enrolled into this course using collaborative discourse, local assessment scores, state examination data and must have received an “A” or “B” in Pre Algebra. Algebra 1 is the first course of the Algebra 1-Geometry-Alegebra 2 sequence. Concepts taught in this course include topics from algebra, statistics, probability, and logical reasoning. A graphics calculator will be used during problem solving activities.

Prerequisite: Students are enrolled into this course using collaborative discourse, local assessment scores, state examination data and must have received an “A” or “B” in Pre Algebra.

Honors Geometry 1 credit

Honors Geometry is the second of three academic courses in the math program. In Honors Geometry, students will develop reasoning and problem solving skills as they study topics such as congruence and similarity, and apply properties of lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles. The students will also develop problem solving skills by using length, perimeter, area, circumference, surface area, and volume to solve real world problems. Students will use a graphics calculator in the course.

Prerequisite: Algebra 1 (7th grade course) with a “B: or higher Honors Geometry is the second of three academic courses in the math program.


Science

Science 8 1 credit

The modules that 8th grade science students explore include the following; astronomy, weather and climate, and geology (plate tectonics; earthquakes and volcanoes; rocks and mineral; mapping; weathering and soil formation; erosion and deposition; and geologic time periods. Students will be provided with quantitative laboratory experiences that allow for accurate and precise data collection and analysis. A differentiated instruction approach, incorporating both extended and additional learning opportunities will help to ensure student proficiency in science.


Social Studies

Social Studies 8 1 credit

Eighth grade social studies examines the history of the United States, beginning with the discovery and exploration of the western hemisphere and finishing in the early 1900’s. Areas of focus are: colonial living, The French and Indian War, the separation of the United States from England, the origin and development of our governmental system, the expansion of the United States politically, economically and geographically, economic and social differences between the north and the south leading up to the Civil War and detailed coverage of the Civil War. The role of Pennsylvania in the development of the United States will be a new area of emphasis in this course. Eighth grade social studies examines the history of the United States, beginning with the discovery and exploration of the western hemisphere and finishing in the early 1900’s. Areas of focus are: colonial living, The French and Indian War, the separation of the United States from England, the origin and development of our governmental system, the expansion of the United States politically, economically and geographically, economic and social differences between the north and the south leading up to the Civil War and detailed coverage of the Civil War. The role of Pennsylvania in the development of the United States will be a new area of emphasis in this course.


Health

Health 8 .5 credit

Eighth grade Health is designed to give each student the opportunity to develop and maintain one’s health through the acquisition of sound knowledge, appropriate attitudes, decision-making skills, and mature behavior in the areas of mental/emotional and physical health, care and maintenance of the body system, human growth and development, drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and abuse. Eighth grade Health is designed to give each student the opportunity to develop and maintain one’s health through the acquisition of sound knowledge, appropriate attitudes, decision-making skills, and mature behavior in the areas of mental/emotional and physical health, care and maintenance of the body system, human growth and development, drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and abuse.


Physical Education

Physical Education 8 .5 credit

Eighth grade Physical Education is primarily a continuation of the program begun in the seventh grade. This includes emphasis on individual skills as they relate to team sports. A swimming unit is included in the curriculum.


World Languages

Spanish I 1 credit

The Spanish 1 students will be introduced to the basic sound system and spelling patterns of the Spanish Language. They will know and use common vocabulary and grammar in basic speaking and writing. Basic common vocabulary terms will be recognized through listening and reading. Students will study the Hispanic world’s geography, customs and culture. A variety of materials, including textbook, handouts, flash cards, pictures, DVDs and multi-media tools, in addition to on-line resources will be used throughout the course. The Spanish 1 students will be introduced to the basic sound system and spelling patterns of the Spanish Language. They will know and use common vocabulary and grammar in basic speaking and writing. Basic common vocabulary terms will be recognized through listening and reading. Students will study the Hispanic world’s geography, customs and culture. A variety of materials, including textbook, handouts, flash cards, pictures, DVDs and multi-media tools, in addition to on-line resources will be used throughout the course.

French I 1 credit

The French 1 students will be introduced to the basic sound system and spelling patterns of the French language. They will know and use common vocabulary and grammar in basic speaking and writing. Basic common vocabulary terms will be recognized through listening and reading. Students will study the Francophone world’s geography, customs and culture. A variety of materials, including textbooks, handouts, flash cards, pictures, DVDs and multimedia tools, in addition to on-line resources will be used throughout the course.

While there is no prerequisite for this course, it is recommended that students have a “C” or above in literacy arts to enroll in this course. The opportunity to enroll into the first level of a World language course is also available in grades 9-12. The French 1 students will be introduced to the basic sound system and spelling patterns of the French language. They will know and use common vocabulary and grammar in basic speaking and writing. Basic common vocabulary terms will be recognized through listening and reading. Students will study the Francophone world’s geography, customs and culture. A variety of materials, including textbooks, handouts, flash cards, pictures, DVDs and multimedia tools, in addition to on-line resources will be used throughout the course.

While there is no prerequisite for this course, it is recommended that students have a “C” or above in literacy arts to enroll in this course. The opportunity to enroll into the first level of a World language course is also available in grades 9-12.

German I 1 credit

German I focuses on developing skills in pronunciation, grammar skills, grammar structures and vocabulary. Oral practice (via Voice Tools), homework assignments, games, songs, watching videos, quizzes, tests, projects and other activities such as writing wikis and journal entries, will be emphasized to accomplish this goal. The different cultures of the German-speaking world are emphasized through readings, videos and other activities. German I focuses on developing skills in pronunciation, grammar skills, grammar structures and vocabulary. Oral practice (via Voice Tools), homework assignments, games, songs, watching videos, quizzes, tests, projects and other activities such as writing wikis and journal entries, will be emphasized to accomplish this goal. The different cultures of the German-speaking world are emphasized through readings, videos and other activities.

Latin I 1 credit

Latin I Part 1 will introduce students to Latin through stories about the adventures of atypical Roman family. Students will read along while listening to the stories, which will help them practice correct pronunciation. They will discover grammatical patterns by reading the stories, and will practice applying these patterns in guided exercises. Excerpts about Roman life and the Roman world, as well as popular Roman myths, will give students a glimpse of the historical and cultural background of Rome and how it relates to our world today. Students will become familiar with more dative and ablative noun uses, as well as noun-adjective agreement. They will thoroughly review regular verbs, and they will learn future, perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect verb tenses and the forms of irregular verbs. Students will correctly use and translate various types of pronouns, and they will recognize 4th and 5th declension nouns. Latin I Part 1 will introduce students to Latin through stories about the adventures of atypical Roman family. Students will read along while listening to the stories, which will help them practice correct pronunciation. They will discover grammatical patterns by reading the stories, and will practice applying these patterns in guided exercises. Excerpts about Roman life and the Roman world, as well as popular Roman myths, will give students a glimpse of the historical and cultural background of Rome and how it relates to our world today. Students will become familiar with more dative and ablative noun uses, as well as noun-adjective agreement. They will thoroughly review regular verbs, and they will learn future, perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect verb tenses and the forms of irregular verbs. Students will correctly use and translate various types of pronouns, and they will recognize 4th and 5th declension nouns.


PSSA Enrichment

Standards of Language Arts—PSSA Reading 8 .5 credit

PSSA Reading 8 is designed to give students the skills necessary to succeed on the PSSA Reading exam. Students will read, interpret, analyze and evaluate fiction and nonfiction passages and various texts. There will be interactive exercises, discussions, and PSSA-style quizzes designed to improve a students comprehension. Students will learn to apply newly learned decoding skills to various texts, the PSSA exam, and other classes. Proficiency (and beyond) is our goal! PSSA Reading 8 is designed to give students the skills necessary to succeed on the PSSA Reading exam. Students will read, interpret, analyze and evaluate fiction and nonfiction passages and various texts. There will be interactive exercises, discussions, and PSSA-style quizzes designed to improve a students comprehension. Students will learn to apply newly learned decoding skills to various texts, the PSSA exam, and other classes. Proficiency (and beyond) is our goal!

Standards of Mathematics—PSSA Math 8 .5 credit

This course is designed to assist in achievement on the PSSA (Pennsylvania State System of Assessment) for 8th Grade Mathematics. It includes lessons aligned with the state anchors that include interactive activities, videos, games, and images. Students are asked to write and explain work in a variety of situations that include blogs, open-ended assignments, journals, and Unit Projects. Quizzes are designed in a multiple-choice format, to mirror the questions on the state exam. Use of a scientific calculator is encouraged.

This course is designed to assist in achievement on the PSSA (Pennsylvania State System of Assessment) for 8th Grade Mathematics. It includes lessons aligned with the state anchors that include interactive activities, videos, games, and images. Students are asked to write and explain work in a variety of situations that include blogs, open-ended assignments, journals, and Unit Projects. Quizzes are designed in a multiple-choice format, to mirror the questions on the state exam. Use of a scientific calculator is encouraged.


Computer Technology

Computer Technology 8 .5 credit

Moving from basics to more advanced material, we'll be diving into and discussing various applications, online tools, and even a bit of programming. Everything studied will generally be useful and fun to learn, but if one section grabs your attention, you'll have plenty of opportunities to go further in depth. Each section will ask you to be creative and use what you've learned to build several projects geared toward the environment and how to protect it. In this course, we will cover: computer basics, the Internet, Internet resources, and multimedia. Moving from basics to more advanced material, we'll be diving into and discussing various applications, online tools, and even a bit of programming. Everything studied will generally be useful and fun to learn, but if one section grabs your attention, you'll have plenty of opportunities to go further in depth. Each section will ask you to be creative and use what you've learned to build several projects geared toward the environment and how to protect it. In this course, we will cover: computer basics, the Internet, Internet resources, and multimedia.


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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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