Eighth Grade

Theme

“The Lord is the One God of Heaven and Earth”

Overview

Eighth grade is an exciting culmination of a student’s BACS career. Our academic focus is on preparing students for the coming challenges of high school. Students have opportunities to practice time management while working on long term assignments. The eighth grade class pulls together to put on a play for the younger students, doing all aspects of theater production. Eighth grade also takes field trips that support the curriculum.

Religion—taught by a minister

Eighth grade is an overview of New Church teachings which serve as a capstone of the elementary school religious education. Students explore basic New Church beliefs, principles of charity, Providence, teachings about relationships, prayer, and other topics. Although the Heavenly Doctrines are the source for much of what is taught, students also explore New Testament teachings. These teachings offer more concrete concepts and images that provide a foundation to the more abstract ideas. The students are encouraged to begin exploring the more abstract questions of why and how for themselves. The desire is that students leave the BACS with an awareness that New Church teachings are relevant to today’s issues.

Reading

Students read, analyze and discuss novels, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction texts, many of which are connected with historical eras being studied. They enjoy beginning to look past plots and delve into the authors’ messages.

Composition

Students write essays and research papers, make speeches with a presentation program, write, illustrate and publish children’s stories, and learn to do careful editing of their own work.

Grammar

Focus in grammar is on mastery of the parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, and their use in writing.

Spelling

During the fall term, students are tested on lists of words often confused. For the rest of the year, the focus is on taking responsibility for getting work edited and making corrections for final drafts.

Handwriting

Students can choose to use printing or cursive in their written assignments, but legibility and presentation (attractiveness) is expected on all finished work.

Math

Eighth graders study either pre-algebra using the third book in the series Prentice-Hall Mathematics Program—Course 3 or algebra using Prentice Hall Algebra 1 according to their ability level. Some students reinforce and review their math concepts, while other students begin venturing into higher math for the first time.

History

The eighth grade studies the second half of America’s history, from the Gilded Age up to recent times. During this period, our nation found its own identity and became a major power, fighting for freedom and democracy worldwide.

Geography

The girls do a global survey of geographical concepts; a comparative study of first, second and third world lifestyles; and a study of the post-World War II/Middle East and Cold War nations.

The eight grade boys do an in-depth analysis of the current state of the Middle East and how it came to be.

Science—specialist teacher

The science curriculum focuses on understanding and appreciating the Lord’s creation of the natural world and the laws that govern it. Students continue to use the metric system and the scientific method with a project of building a water rocket. Additional topics of study are astronomy, rocks and minerals, motion and energy.

Library—supported by librarian

Students are helped individually in the selection of books for book reports. The library helps find appropriate materials for a variety of assignments such as research projects as needed throughout the year.

Technology

Students continue to develop awareness about the social, ethical and moral implications of using technology. They also use a variety of technological tools in their school work.

Art—specialist teacher

In eighth grade, the students explore their individual creativity and talents as they work through various mediums, approaches and art history/appreciation. They have the opportunity to delve deeper into their own mastery of basic skills and concepts as they explore the world of art. The boys and girls work separately during the fall and spring art classes. In the winter term, the students work together to create props and scenery for their eighth grade play.

Music—specialist teacher

In eighth grade music, students participate in choral ensembles (including seventh grade students) and rotate through digital music, percussion, and guitar classes each term. Choral content includes a variety of secular and sacred repertoire, hymns, solfege exercises, and sight singing.

Physical Education—specialist

The physical education program provides the students with a standards based program that is developmentally and culturally appropriate and highly active. It fosters a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. In the upper grades students continue to work on all the skills from previous years and in addition focus on fitness for life. A more comprehensive understanding of the strategy and rules of both team and individual sports is developed.

Spanish—specialist teacher

Students will acquire a basic knowledge of introductory Spanish and Spanish grammar. They will learn to introduce themselves, talk about their families, school and their favorite things, using Spanish. They will be exposed to the Hispanic culture, traditions, cities, food and music from every Latino country, with an emphasis on immersion in the cultures of the countries of Spain, Mexico, Guatemala and Puerto Rico.

Electives—BACS teachers and community members

Students in the Upper Unit participate in an elective class (often co-ed) once a week. The goal is to provide students with a variety of opportunities to recognize their own strengths as well as those of their classmates. The classes are offered in 5-7 week sessions (with some running for a double session) so that students take 4-6 electives per year. Our aim is to provide a mixture of athletic, academic and artistic offerings each session so that all students can find a class that they are interested in pursuing.

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