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Solon Middle School - Academic Programs - Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade Teachers

  • Mr. Cocking (Language Arts)
  • Mrs. Cromer (Language Arts)
  • Mr. Cusick (Social Studies)
  • Mr. Harnack (Science)
  • Mr. Thompson (Learning Center)
  • Mrs. Trow (Math)

Language Arts 8

Language Arts 8 is an integrated approach to the many areas of the subject: literature, writing, reading, discussion, viewing and drama. Emphasis is on strengthening analytical skills as we read, write, and discuss. Like Language Arts 7, Language Arts 8 is built upon thematic units, which include:

  • Moves & Masks/Civil Rights: Moves Make the Man/Glory Field
  • Sci Fi/Fantasy: Ender’s Game
  • Poetry
  • Graphic Novels/Superheroes
  • Two Worlds
  • Anne Frank/Holocaust: Diary of Anne Frank/The Wave
  • Fairy Tales & Parables: The Pearl, Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Classical & Modern Mythology: Greek Myths
  • Shakespeare/Tolerance: The Merchant of Venice
  • American Revolution: Johnny Tremain
  • Mysterious & Eerie: Edgar Allan Poe Author Study
  • Detection: Arthur Conan Doyle Author Study
  • Civil War
  • Relationships: Peak
  • School Pictures

While literal comprehension is reinforced, in seventh and eighth grades, students move toward interpretation, analysis, evaluation and synthesis. Novels read aloud to students are utilized to develop critical listening skills and to enhance interpretation and analysis skills.

Grammar Units include:

  • Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Verbals
  • Clauses & Complex Sentences
  • Special Usage
  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Work Study: Spelling, Vocabulary, Etymology, Morphology
  • Supplemental units as needed

Transition Mathematics

In some cases, students who have not mastered skills from Transitional Mathematics in seventh grade may repeat the course in eighth grade. This course is designed to be taken the year prior to Algebra 1. Its content and questions have been carefully sequenced to provide a smooth path from arithmetic to algebra, and from the visual world to geometry. Reading, problem solving, algebraic vocabulary, and properties are emphasized. Scientific calculators are required. To be successful in this class, the student’s background should be firm in decimals, fractions, operations, and basic geometry. Personal responsibility and good study habits are expected. Grades are based on a percentage of possible points on assignments, quizzes, and tests. Students must maintain a passing grade or have the consent of the instructor to remain in class.

Math 8

This course is designed to be taken the year prior to Algebra 1. Its content and questions have been carefully sequenced to provide a smooth path from arithmetic to algebra, and from the visual world to geometry. The content follows the Iowa Core Curriculum. Reading, problem solving, algebraic vocabulary, and properties are emphasized. Scientific calculators are required. To be successful in this class, the student's background should be firm in decimals, fractions, operations, and basic geometry. Personal responsibility and good study habits are expected. Grades are based on the testing of Power Standards on periodic tests using a Standards-Based Grading Rubric. Students must maintain a passing grade or have the consent of the instructor to pass on to Algebra 1.

Algebra 1

In some cases, students who have progressed quickly through Math 6 and Math 7 may take this high school course as an 8th grader.

This is a first course in the college preparatory math program. Algebra is the basic language of mathematics. The student should be proficient in arithmetic skills. The materials weave statistics, probability, geometry, and applications throughout the algebra content. The content follows the Iowa Core Curriculum.

Students should expect assignments daily. Tests will be taken every chapter along with periodic comprehensive exams and quizzes. Every student will be required to have a scientific calculator. Grades are based on the testing of Power Standards on periodic tests using a Standards-Based Grading rubric.  Students must maintain a passing grade or have the consent of the instructor to advance to Geometry.

Geometry

Geometry is the branch of mathematics that deals with measurement. Points, lines, planes, angles, surfaces, and solids, as well as plane coordinates, transformations, measurement formulas, three-dimensional figures and the concept of formal proofs will be studied. Scientific calculator, ruler, protractor and compass are required for daily assignments and tests.

Social Studies 8

The basis of this course is the study of American History from the discovery of the New World by Europeans through the Civil War. Material will be centered around these topics:

  • American Indian Culture
  • European discovery and settlement
  • The Revolutionary War
  • Federal Government (The Constitution)
  • Sectional differences
  • The Civil War

Appropriate map, globe and geography skills will be stressed throughout the year. Classroom activities will include lecture and discussion, role playing through simulation, group work and research projects. Evaluation will be based on daily assignments, classroom participation, quiz and test scores.

Science 8

The course builds further on the inquiry skills of seventh grade. The inquiry process is applied to life science concepts to understand the structure and function of organisms and ecosystems. Throughout the year, environmental issues are discussed to emphasize the connections between concepts. Two FOSS science kits are used: Diversity of Life and Populations and Ecosystems.

Eighth graders will be doing a Personal Investigation in which they choose their own topic and perform their own investigation and draw their own conclusions. They will prepare a presentation for the class, and will also be given the option of presenting at the Middle School Science Fair.

Solon Middle School
1775 Racine Avenue, Solon, IA 52333

319-624-2381 • 319-624-2518 (fax)

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