8th Grade Course Descriptions

BRIER TERRACE MIDDLE SCHOOL

EIGHTH GRADE

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

2018 – 2019


REQUIRED


ENGLISH

In alignment with the Common Core standards, students continue to refine the reading, writing, and communication skills practiced in 7th grade.  This includes an emphasis on informational reading and research skills.  Students continue to work on improving spelling, grammar, punctuation, and composition.  Students develop literary analysis skills through the district-adopted Collections curriculum and required independent reading.


SOCIAL STUDIES

Eighth grade social studies curriculum focuses on U.S. History and civics beginning with the Revolutionary Period through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Industrialization.  Students will explore the ideas, issues, and events of these historical periods and develop historical thinking skills using both primary and secondary sources.


PHYSICAL EDUCATION/HEALTH

Physical Education and Health is a two-year program designed for 7th/8th grade students.  This course promotes physical fitness and helps students gain skills necessary to maintain a healthy and active life.  At BTMS, students participate in a variety of developmentally-appropriate physical activities.  Students will gain the knowledge of rules and safety procedures while participating cooperatively in individual, dual/team, and lifetime activities.  Students will receive Health Education as an integrated part of their P.E. program.  This is a required course. Students who successfully complete PE/Health in 7th and 8th grade will meet the Washington State Health requirement for high school graduation.


SCIENCE 8 – Physical Science

This lab-based science course provides opportunities for students to engage in inquiry-based units and lessons designed to prepare them to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that have been adopted by the state of Washington.  The focus will be on applying studies of matter, energy, and forces and motion to Earth Systems and Astronomy.


MATH: All Students will be placed in math class according to testing and/or completion of previous math curriculum.


MATH 8

Concepts learned in the eighth grade include: formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling with equations, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; identifying and approximating irrational numbers; working with exponents in equations; grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; analyzing 2-and 3- dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity and congruence; and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem; and investigating patterns of association in bivariate data.  Students will be required to communicate their mathematical knowledge through problem solving, reasoning, writing and class discussions.

ALGEBRA in the middle school is available for students who have successfully qualified by completing the Math 7 Honors course, the Math 8 course or through placement testing.


Algebra is the foundation for high school mathematics courses.  It is the bridge from the concrete to the abstract study of mathematics.  This course focuses on generalizing the algorithms of arithmetic to learn how to develop equations and mathematical formulas to simulate real-life problems and solve them through mathematical manipulation.  Topics include simplifying expressions, evaluating and solving equations and inequalities, and working extensively with linear, quadratic, exponential and other functions.  


Algebra and Geometry are high school level courses and if requested, the grades and credits will be posted on a student’s high school transcript.


GEOMETRY in the middle school is available for students who have successfully completed Algebra 1.


Geometry provides students with experiences that deepen the understanding of two and three-dimensional objects through logic and modeling; and includes work with probability.  Deductive and inductive reasoning; as well as investigative strategies, are stressed to enhance the development of problem-solving skills.  



MATH 8 SUPPORT is designed to support students in learning the concepts and skills for Math 8 through additional time and teacher instruction.  It is recommended for students enrolled in Math 8 who need extra support and who have previously struggled with math.  Please contact your student’s counselor to find out more about support opportunities offered at your middle school.


LEARNING SUPPORT


STUDY SKILLS

This course is intended for students with IEP’s who have goals in work completion, organization, and learning strategies.  The focus is on teaching basic organization skills and effective utilization of Google Classroom, Skyward and Google Calendar.  Students will also have an opportunity to have further explanation of mainstream concepts, and extra time and support for class assignments.  Enrollment is based upon a student’s IEP.



HONORS CLASSES


Honors classes require high levels of independent and critical thinking, analysis, and inquiry in a rigorous setting. Courses meet the needs of highly motivated students who have demonstrated high achievement, and prepare them for advanced coursework in high school and beyond. Math: All students will be placed in math according to testing and/or completion of previous curriculum.


HONORS ENGLISH

Honors English is focused on elements of reading, writing, and communication based on the Common Core Standards with expectations at and above grade level with a deep analytical approach. This course requires students to be highly motivated, independent thinkers.

HONORS SOCIAL STUDIES

Honors Social Studies classes focus on elements of study in American History at a highly rigorous level, and with independent, in-depth analysis of challenging primary and secondary sources.



HONORS SCIENCE – Physical Science

The Honors Science program consists of high demand, inquiry-based units and lessons designed to prepare students to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) adopted by the state of Washington as per Physical Science Eight.  The assignments, activities and projects in this class require a high level of critical thinking, cover complex concepts in great depth, and are fast paced.



HIGHLY CAPABLE PROGRAM


“Hi-Cap” classes are designed to meet the unique needs of students who have been identified as highly-capable/gifted, and to prepare them for advanced or accelerated coursework in high school and beyond. Courses require high levels of independent and critical thinking, analysis, and inquiry in a rigorous setting. Classes challenge students to dig deeper into more complex concepts than the general program. All students will be placed in math according to testing and/or completion of previous curriculum.



HI-CAP ENGLISH

Hi-Cap English is focused on elements of reading, writing, and communication based on the Common Core Standards with expectations at and above grade level. This course challenges students with depth and complexity and requires a high level of independent thinking, rigor, and student inquiry as they apply to writing and literature.

HI-CAP SOCIAL STUDIES

Hi-Cap Social Studies class focuses on elements of study in American History at a highly rigorous level, and with independent, in-depth analysis of challenging primary and secondary sources.  Students develop their historical thinking skills through grappling with themes in history, and social justice issues based on the Constitution.



HI-CAP SCIENCE – Physical Science

The Honors Science program consists of high demand, inquiry-based units and lessons designed to prepare students to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) adopted by the state of Washington as per Physical Science Eight.  The assignments, activities and projects in this class require a high level of critical thinking, cover complex concepts in great depth, and are fast paced.



EXPLORATORY ELECTIVE COURSES – SEMESTER LENGTH

The below exploratory elective courses will be offered only if there is capacity.   


ART ***

Experience new ways to express yourself in art.  Open to seventh and eighth graders who are interested in hands-on learning and would like to create high quality, exhibition-worthy projects in drawing, painting, and 3-D art.  Whatever your skill level, you will enjoy how your talent develops.


SCI-MA-TECH ***

The Sci-Ma-Tech Class will provide you with the opportunity to apply math and science concepts as you design and build solutions to real engineering problems.  In this class you will become certified to use the lab tooling, measure and create 3 view drawings as a resource while you build a solid fuel rocket and a tower that will hold over 100 pounds, weigh less than 25 grams and eject “Bubba” the ping pong ball as it crashes to the ground.  Learn the physics behind car accidents as you design and build an egg safety crash car.  You will work with computer-controlled laser technology to laser cut wood parts.  Finally, you will be able to draw and 3D print objects using our 3D printer lab.  If you enjoy learning through hands-on projects, you are going to love Sci-Ma-Tech!

FOODS 1/SEMESTER ***

The FACSE program promotes practical learning and life-long skills in areas of nutrition, basic cooking skills, meal planning, and preparation.  Students will design a cookbook and prepare a meal for their families as their final projects. Working in teams, students will prepare a variety of foods.  This class will bring out the chef in anyone.


FOODS 2/SEMESTER***

Foods 2 is a semester long program designed for advanced students who have successfully completed Foods 1.  This program is perfect for students who are passionate about cooking and exploring the culinary arts as a future or an interest.  In this class, students will learn and use the skills needed for higher level food production, service, and presentation.  Food nutrition, meal planning, and career options will also be explored. Come discover the world of foodies!  Bon Appetit!


FRENCH/SEMESTER

Join us and learn French phrases, greetings, useful vocabulary, songs and even a few games. Besides learning French language basics, you will also learn about some of the various French speaking cultures all around the globe. 


SPANISH /SEMESTER

In this class, students will be introduced to the Spanish language and the Spanish-speaking world.  Lessons will include simple phrases, basic grammar, vocabulary as well as the culture of Spanish-speaking countries.


EXPLORING STEM/SEMESTER***

This 8th grade only class is semester long and is focused around the wooden gear clock project. Students in this class will be certified on machine use and measurement. The class will work together to design and laser clock parts. Every student will successfully complete the construction of their own functional wooden gear clock to take home and display for generations to come. No experience necessary! If you learn by doing, this class is for you!


PEER MENTORING

Students learn how to provide assistance as one-to-one mentors for students with disabilities.  The course will provide students with sufficient knowledge and skill to enable them to serve as peer support for students with disabilities in the special education and general education classrooms.  Specific focus on:  individual student learning, disability awareness, knowledge of accommodations and modifications, intervention techniques, behavioral management strategies, and social skill development.  Prerequisites: Must be in 8th grade and submit a completed application.


VIDEO GAME DESIGN 1

Are you interested in art? Do you enjoy a well written story? Have you ever wanted to play video games for homework? Sign up for Video Game Design, a semester long course dedicated to creating video games open to both 7th and 8th graders. Over the course of the semester, you will learn about aspects of story writing, programs to draw your own art, websites to create music, and some basic visual coding. With these tools, your goal is to create a video game by the end of the semester. This is a fun and relaxing class where playing video games can be considered research!


VIDEO GAME DESIGN II

This is a (repeatable) semester course designed for students who have successfully completed Video Game Design I.  Students will be working in teams to immerse themselves in creating games of specific genres.  Students will explore Action, Adventure, Role-Playing, and other types of specific games, as well as push their coding skills to create unique and engaging game mechanics.  If you are interested in immersing yourself into the world of game design, this could be the course for you.



ELECTIVE COURSES – YEAR LONG

The below elective courses will be offered only if there is capacity.   


SPANISH/FULL-YEAR

In this year-long high school credit class, students will develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish as well as gain an understanding and appreciation of Spanish-speaking cultures.  Students are expected to complete homework and/or twenty minutes of study each day. Students passing the class with an “A” or “B” will be ready for 2nd year Spanish in high school.


JOURNALISM/FULL-YEAR

Journalism is open to both 7th and 8th graders.  Learn the basics of journalism and be part of the Bulldog Brief Staff.  You will learn how to conduct interviews, write news stories, take photos, and create content for the school newspaper, The Bulldog Brief.  The journalism staff also films video interviews, creates podcasts, and runs the Bulldog Brief Website, our online news portal.  We also write and film daily announcements.  Once the basics are out of the way, students will spend class time working on the publications.  The after school journalism club will be open to all students, but the 2019-20 editor-in-chief positions will be chosen from among students in the class.  


LEADERSHIP/FULL-YEAR

Want to help make BTMS awesome? Want to learn to be a leader and help plan some awesome school activities? If so, this is the class for you! The Leadership Class will help you develop organizational skills and aim to improve group interaction, discussion skills and public speaking. You will examine leadership qualities and styles, and learn how to work with people with different learning styles. This is a year-long class open to all 8th graders. Involvement in ASB and/or Dog Squad is encouraged.


STEM FOUNDATIONS 8 ***

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering & Math.

This year long class is designed for 8th grade students who are excited about Engineering and Technology and interested in earning a full high school credit (.5 elective & .5 CTE).  Designed for 8th graders only, students will have the opportunity to reach and apply STEM concepts at a high school level as they design and build the slowest motorized Lego car, strongest balsa beam structure, fastest CO2 car, most powerful wind turbine and an accurate laser cut wooden gear clock.  This course has a strong emphasis on Math 8 and Algebra 1 applications and high school and career planning.  Only STEM Foundation students are eligible to compete in regional and state engineering competitions through the Washington Technology Student Association (WTSA).


CHOIR

This class is open to ALL students – no previous musical experience is necessary and all skill levels are welcome!  Students in choir sing music in different styles, learn proper vocal technique for each style, and develop their ability to read music.  Choir provides the opportunity for students to make music with friends in a comfortable environment.  This class has field trips to sing at festivals, performs for the school community and has evening performances during the year.


PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE

All students are eligible to join Percussion Ensemble!  Students in this class will learn how to play many different kinds of percussion instruments:  snare drum, bass drum, timpani, mallet/keyboard instruments, accessories (ratchet, tambourine, vibraslap, etc.).  Percussionists can expect to:  get a lot better at playing/reading music, develop strong relationships and friendships within the class, play exciting music, go on field trips, and perform at evening concerts.  Percussion ensemble members will learn and play all percussion parts for the Concert Band and Symphonic Band and will also play music written only for Percussion Groups.  They will perform as part of the large bands as well as a Percussion Ensemble.  This class does require some materials.  Information will be given at the beginning of the school year about what each student will need to have for class.


SYMPHONIC BAND

This is an advanced class for 8th grade band students.  Students will have the opportunity to perform exciting music, get better at playing their instruments and at reading music.  This class includes field trips to festivals, a retreat, performances for our school community and evening performances throughout the year.  Students will develop skills that allow their continued growth as instrumental musicians.  The better you get, the more fun it is! They will also have the opportunity to develop strong relationships and friendships through music.  Students get to meet, perform with, and spend time with other band students from grades 6 – 12.


JAZZ BAND (Audition Required)

The Jazz Band is an opportunity for 8th grade music students who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to learning music and seek additional challenges in the jazz tradition.  We play in the styles of jazz, swing, rock, funk, and Latin.  Students learn basics of music theory with an emphasis on jazz. This allows them better understanding of how to improvise their own solos.  Instrumentation is limited to saxophones, trombones, trumpets, drum set, upright bass, piano, and guitar; however, interested students who play other instruments are encouraged to contact Ms. Zumbo about possible options for participation.  All students who are in the Jazz Band must also be in Symphonic Band.  The Jazz Band performs for many events throughout the year including: concerts, festivals, school events/assemblies, and community events.  Auditions will take place in spring of 2018.  Please contact Ms. Zumbo (zumboa@edmonds.wednet.edu) for audition information.


SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA

This is an advanced class for 8th grade orchestra students.  Students will have the opportunity to perform exciting music, get better at playing their instruments and at reading music.  This class will include field trips to festivals, performances for our school community and evening performances throughout the year.  Students will be developing skills that will allow them to prepare and excel in future musical opportunities – including high school music groups of all kinds!  They will also have the opportunity to develop strong relationships and friendships through music.  Students get to meet, perform with, and spend time with other orchestra students from grades 6 – 12.


***$15 fee for class supplies per semester.  Please contact counselor if fee is a financial hardship, scholarships are available.


8th Course Description 2018-2019 1/19/17


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