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8th Grade Course Descriptions

BRIER TERRACE MIDDLE SCHOOL

EIGHTH GRADE

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

2019-20


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 Science 8 begins with a focus on physical science.  The concepts of energy, force and motion are introduced and reinforced throughout the year. Students learn about the solar system, light and magnetic waves, and the scientific theory of evolution. Simulations and hands-on experiences will help students create their own scientific arguments and enhance their critical reasoning skills.

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 the grades and credits will be posted on a student’s high school transcript, unless otherwise requested. Contact the High School counseling office for more information.

 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 an IEP 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 and high level of rigor. 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.

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 examines literacy and nonfiction texts, which encourages depth and complexity in their analysis of them.  Students are challenged to elevate their writing and communication skills through various structures, and the course requires a high level of independent thinking, rigor, and inquiry. 

 HI-CAP SOCIAL STUDIES Hi-Cap Social Studies class focuses on U.S. History at a rigorous level to teach independent and in-depth analysis of challenging primary and secondary sources.  Students develop their historical thinking skills by grappling with themes in history and the principles of the U.S. Constitution.  By examining the political, social, and economic themes of history, students will be challenged to examine multiple perspectives to better understand their world and personal identities.   

 HI-CAP SCIENCE 8The Hi- Cap Science 8 program consists of high demand, inquiry-based units and lessons designed to prepare students to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The assignments, activities and projects in this course 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.

 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!

 INTRO TO COMPUTER SCIENCE Middle school is the perfect time for students to explore the digital world in which they have grown up. Intro to Computer Science provides Project Lead the Way computer science curriculum for middle school students that challenges and inspires. The semester will be split between physical programming and computer programming. The first quarter we will be exploring how to program microcontrollers to solve problems and overcome obstacles. Second quarter will be focused on coding, where we will create your own game for a mobile device. This is a great first course for students interested in pursuing computer science in high school.

 OFFICE/TEACHER/LIBRARY ASSISTANT Pass/Fail grade only.  Goals: Students will learn office procedures. Students will be assigned to assist in a classroom, main office, attendance/counseling office, or library. Skills: Students are expected to be responsible, courteous, helpful, and have good attendance. Students will alphabetize, file, record information, and deliver messages. Students will work on Homework or read a library book, if not needed for office duties.

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.

 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!

 SPANISH/EXPLORATORY 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!

 

ELECTIVE COURSES – YEAR LONG

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

 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. Only STEM Foundation students are eligible to compete in regional and state engineering competitions through the Washington Technology Student Association (WTSA).

 PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE Everyone is welcome to join Percussion Ensemble!  You will get to learn how to play all of the percussion instruments we have at Brier Terrace: snare drum, bass drum, timpani, mallet/keyboard instruments, accessories (ratchet, tambourine, vibraslap, etc.), trash cans/buckets. 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.  This class does require purchase of materials (scholarships are available).  More information will be given at the beginning of the school year about what students need to have for the 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 2019.  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.


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