Grade 8 curriculum
New York State learning standards outline what a student should know and be able to do by the end of the grade level. There are also additional skills that a well-rounded student should possess. Listed below are examples of academic expectations for sixth grade students. These should be viewed holistically and are not meant to determine promotion or retention; a student may demonstrate or be on track for proficiency without having mastered every skill. Teachers intervene as appropriate to support skills development.
- Continue to develop as readers, writers, listeners, speakers and thinkers;
- Strengthen comprehension and analytical skills;
- Broaden academic vocabulary and develop as strong writers; and
- Engage in a comprehensive research project and discussions driven by reading material that aligns with students’ readiness and interests.
Books students will read include Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai.
Grade 8 Honors English Language Arts
This course follows the same learning standards defined by New York State for grade 8 but explores these skills with greater depth. This class is reading- and writing-intensive.
- Formulate and reason about expressions and equations;
- Grasp the concept of a function and use functions to describe quantitative relationships;
- Analyze two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity and congruence; and
- Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.
Grade 8 Accelerated Math is Algebra I
This is a high-school level course that teaches students a variety of algebraic skills and processes that help them solve problems in a variety of settings. Students take the state Algebra I Regents exam at the end of school year.
- Continue to build on understanding science themes and practices;
- Explore the impact of forces on the motion of objects;
- Examine forms of energy, work, and power, including simple machines, circuits and magnetism;
- Engage in studies of weather and climate;
- Learn about the processes and evidence for evolution; and
- Study natural ecosystems, including the negative and positive impacts that humans can have on ecosystems.
The Grade 8 Science course culminates in the New York State Intermediate Level Science Test.
Grade 8 Accelerated Science is Living Environment
This is a high-school level course that includes the study of the organization of living things, genetics and heredity, life processes and homeostasis, reproduction and development, evolutionary processes and ecology, including the human impact on the environment. This course culminates with the New York State Living Environment Regents examination.
- Study the United States from Reconstruction through modern-day America, with a focus on people, places and events in New York;
- Participate in academic discourse;
- Analyze historical context, turning points in history and enduring issues;
- Develop academic writing and researching skills; and
- Work collaboratively to think critically, share ideas and build consensus.
Grade 8 Honors Social Studies
This course covers the same learning standards topics in grade 8 Social Studies but they are explored in greater depth using more challenging resources.
Other required classes
Select eighth-graders take English Enrichment to enhance their literacy skills with strategies taught by a reading teacher. Resources, assignments and projects are selected with students’ individual strengths and interests in mind.
Grade 8 FACS helps students develop self-confidence, learn about the importance of good nutrition and its relationship to lifelong wellness, be smart consumers and accept responsibility for their actions. Units of study include college and career readiness, personal environment management, financial management, nutrition and consumer resource management.
Select students will receive Math Content Enrichment to reinforce the grade-level curriculum and instruction. Resources, assignments and projects are selected with students’ individual strengths, areas of need and interests in mind.
Select students will receive Math Skills Enrichment to develop foundational skills necessary to access grade-level curriculum and instruction. Resources, assignments and projects are selected with students’ individual strengths, areas of need and interests in mind.
The goal of grade 8 Physical Education is to expose students to a wide variety of physical activities, allowing them to identify those they enjoy as a vehicle towards achieving lifetime fitness and health.
This course is designed for students in grade 8 who need support to enhance their foundational literacy skills. Students have the opportunity to work with a reading teacher in a small group in order to enrich reading ability.
Grade 8 Technology classes build upon concepts learned in grade 7. Major areas of focus include engineering careers, the engineering design process, computer-aided design, systems and materials processing.
Students can choose one of the language offerings in their school. These courses explore the culture(s) where the language is spoken and students learn basic vocabulary, reading, speaking and writing skills.
Advancement Via Individual Determination – AVID for short – is a national kindergarten-high school initiative designed to increase the number of students who enroll and succeed in college and beyond.
Students meet daily in the AVID elective class and focus on these academic skills and content: writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading (WICOR). Students also engage in student-centered, inquiry-based tutoring sessions facilitated by regional college students. These activities support students in becoming college and career ready.
Art introduces students to elements of art and design historically and today, emphasizing the arts as a pathway for community and global connections.
General Music students are introduced to fundamental music concepts using different instruments such as piano, drums and ukulele. Students create, write, perform, respond to and analyze music with basic music theories.
Band gives students the opportunity to build on the skills built in grades 6 and 7. As students develop more musical independence, they will be able to perform more complex and diverse pieces.
Advanced Band is available to students who want to tackle more challenging music. The class is enrolled by grade level or audition.
Chorus students explore basic vocal techniques in a variety of musical genres, including two-part and three-part singing, music reading, vocabulary and theory, building on the skills gained in grade 7 Chorus.
Orchestra provides students the opportunity to use the skills acquired in elementary Orchestra. Musical independence is highlighted as teachers shift emphasis from single-line melody in all instruments to individual sections of the orchestra.
Advanced Orchestra is available to students who want to tackle more challenging music. The class is enrolled by grade level or audition.
Students may be scheduled for Band and Chorus, or Orchestra and Chorus, but not Band and Orchestra. Instrumental students will be required to attend lessons in addition to their scheduled ensemble period and be responsible for making up any other missed class work.
This course builds on the concepts taught in Introduction to Business 7. Major areas of focus include financial literacy, business career opportunities, and entrepreneurship.