“My favorite thing about teaching is seeing the ‘light bulb’ moment when a struggling student understand a difficult concept.”
~ Jeff Richardson
Ms. Willen & Mr. Richardson – Homeroom Students in Middle School switch classes throughout the day. Ms. Gillis & Ms. WIllen teach language arts and literature; Mr. Brumfield teaches social studies; Ms. Bale teaches science; Mr. Richardson teaches math; and Ms. Perkins teaches religion.
GOALS & EXPECTATIONS
Middle school students are role models for younger students. They are expected to use manners, show kindness, and do their best in and out of the classroom. The following are the Secrets to Middle School Success:
- Absences: Successful students have regular attendance. They make arrangements with a responsible classmate to get work when the other is absent. When absent, they turn in what they missed in a timely manner. They don’t wait to be asked for missing work. If a test is missed, they make arrangements to take it.
- Cell Phones: Successful students turn off their cell phones and give them to their homeroom teacher in the morning. They do not leave them in their purse, pocket, or backpack.
- Chrome Books: Successful seventh and eighth grade students use their devices in the appropriate way. They bring them to school daily fully charged.
- Class Participation: Successful students participate in class, even if they’re shy. They listen, answer questions, offer insights, stay on task, and ask questions if they don’t understand. They contribute to the learning environment rather than distracting from it.
- Computer Lab: Successful students know the Computer Lab is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (7:00-7:45) in case they need to use it.
- Due Dates: Successful students have their work completed neatly and on time. They realize that means having it with them when class starts. Seldom are they missing what they need. If they don’t have something for class, they turn it in the next day. If appropriate, they bring a note from home explaining why they don’t have the assignment that day.
- Help: Successful students ask for help. They know that teachers come to school early and are available to them. They utilize any study guides or practice quizzes that are available.
- Homework: Successful students realize they always have homework and plan their day accordingly. They know that homework not only incudes writing—it’s reading and studying, too. They check the teachers’ class pages on Sycamore or Google Classroom for assignments as needed.
- Manners: Successful students are polite to fellow students and adults.
- Maturity: Successful students think for themselves. They are leaders, not followers.
- Organization: Successful students are organized. They use their planner and write things down. They file papers where they belong.
- Quality: Successful students challenge themselves. They do not settle for less than their best work. They follow directions. Their work is neat and organized; complete and accurate.
- Respect: Successful students are respectful in both words and actions. They wait their turn, raise their hand, and refrain from talking back. They listen when others are speaking. They respect school property and that of their classmates.
- Responsibility: Successful students take responsibility for their actions. They think before they act. They act as Christian role models.
The overall goal of the 8th grade religion curriculum is for the students to strengthen their understanding of the Catholic faith and grow in their relationship with God. This is accomplished through the study of church history, Theology of the Body, preparation for their ACRE tests, completion of a variety of service projects through our Works of Mercy, along with completion of their Sacrament of Confirmation.
The goals of this course are to instill an appreciation for and exposure to varied literature, to read text closely, to write as a means to communicate ideas, and to aid in a successful transition to high school.
Eighth grade students explore the following Algebra concepts: Multi-step equations, Slope, Graphing equations, Inequalities, Systems of equations, and Polynomials. Students use the online resource IXL to reinforce weekly standards. There is a heavy emphasis on multiple choice questions and word problems to prepare them for the High School Placement Test in December and the Acuity test in late April.
Eighth grade science focuses on physical science. In addition to learning specific content, emphasis will be placed on the development and application of science process skills through hands-on activities that are designed to maintain interest as well as encourage the self-discovery of scientific concepts and sharpen critical thinking skills. Subjects covered include:
- Safety in the science lab
- Scientific skills and methods of inquiry
- Engineering design process and STEM activities
- Matter: atoms, elements, compounds, and molecules; physical and chemical properties of matter; organization of the periodic table of elements
- Chemical reactions; conservation of mass
- States of matter
- Motion and force; Newton’s Laws of Motion; electromagnetic force and gravitational force
- Factors affecting kinetic and potential energy
- Conservation of energy and energy transfer
- Wave properties: amplitude, reflection; absorption; transmission
- Wave applications
The focus in 8th grade Social Studies includes an in-depth study of United States History from the period following the Civil War to the present. This class focuses specifically on recent history as well as government, civics, and current events. Not only do students explore their own history, but they further develop skills as critical thinkers, writers, speakers, and listeners in the process. The goal each day is to learn new things and explore new ways of thinking and questioning. An array of research projects including Google Slide presentations, brochures, interviews, collage making, debates, and board games also contribute to the inquiry-based learning environment.
Eighth graders use a variety of materials, mixed media, clay and papier mache. They learn about portraiture, murals, and lots of vocabulary. This is a good year to test skills in various art contests and learn how to work time management and meeting deadlines.
In 8th grade students discuss and learn about music careers and talk to professionals that have been in the industry for years. They also learn about music genres and the students teach the class about the different kinds. Later in the year they create their own music track on their Chromebook. Then they finish the year out with making a music video and performing live.
Students do cooperative games, and learn about incorporating fitness into their everyday life. They participate in sport units where they are more involved in leadership by having the option as acting as captains, and coaching other students. Sports include; basketball, floor hockey, flag football, volleyball, team handball, archery, and badminton. Students participate in tournaments and win championships at the end of each unit. Students also participate in an intramural sports as their elective class. Each student is given points based on effort, participation, and sportsmanship.
Spanish is taught in an integrated way, incorporating the Spanish language and customs into several other core content subject areas. Literacy: Greetings & Farewells, Subject Pronouns, Ar, Er & IR verbs, Family members, To have, to be, to like & to go verbs, Emotions, Locations, Classroom Expretions, Reading comprehension, pronunciation. Religion: Our Father. Cultural: Spanish Speaking Countries, Hispanic Heritage, Day of the Dead, Three king’s Day, Holy Week & Cinco de Mayo
Middle school students have “full-time” use of a Chromebook, and are taught how to use a variety of programs and apps, including Docs, Slides, Keep, Drive, Forms, and Sheets. In the Elective classes, the middle school students learn the history of computers and video games, as well as participate in coding lessons.
- CONFIRMATION: Students participate in service projects, a field trip to the Cathedral, a class retreat and the sacrament of Confirmation.
- CLASS TRIP: In the spring, the 8th Grade Class goes on a class trip to Chicago. Students leave early in the morning on a Thursday and return late in the evening on Friday.
- SAFETY PATROL: Students assist with the safety of all students during morning drop off.
- STUDENT COUNCIL: Students are eligible to run for and be members of the Student Council.
- SERVERS: Students may be altar servers for school and weekend masses.
- FIELD TRIP: A trip to Cedar Ridge at the beginning of the year is a way to build community between the students.
- PARENT BREAKFAST: Parents come to eat breakfast with their child at the end of the school year to celebrate the upcoming graduation.
Eighth Grade Teachers
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