Eighth grade classes are all standards based, where the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) drive the teaching, learning, and assessment. The GSE provide students with rigorous academic challenges that enable students to gain knowledge and develop skills needed to succeed in college and/or careers. The eighth grade curriculum, regardless of team configuration and delivery model, includes the following:
Reading and Language Arts
In reading and language arts classes, students are exposed to a variety of genres in both reading and writing. In eighth grade, students will build on knowledge and skills gained in seventh grade by reading several pieces of fiction and nonfiction texts at a higher text complexity level. The reading genres include narrative, dramatic, poetic, historical, scientific, informative, and technical texts. Students will also deepen their knowledge of writing strategies specific to writing personal narratives, informative text, responses to literature, and opinion pieces. The classroom format includes read-alouds, mini lessons, reading strategies, vocabulary in context and across the curriculum, small group work, peer editing, informal and formal assessments, independent practice, performance tasks, and conferencing. To learn more about the curriculum go to GSE English Language Arts.
The GSE for grades 6-8 include skills and knowledge – what students need to know and be able to do, as well as mathematical practices – habits of mind that students should develop to foster mathematical understanding and expertise. In grade 8, instructional time focuses on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; (3) analyzing two-and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. To learn more about the curriculum go to GSE Mathematics
Algebra 1 is offered for 8th grade students who successfully completed the 6th and 7th grade accelerated math courses. The fundamental purpose of the Algebra 1 course is to formalize and extend the mathematics that students learned in the middle grades math courses. The critical areas, organized into units, deepen and extend understanding of linear relationships, in part by contrasting them with exponential phenomena, and in part by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend. Algebra 1 uses algebra to deepen and extend understanding of geometric knowledge from prior grades. The final unit in the course ties together the algebraic and geometric ideas studied. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. This is a high school course which will allow students who successfully complete the course to earn high school credit.
High School Physical Science
Eighth grade science focuses on physical science and includes the nature of matter; atomic theory and the periodic table; acids and bases; phase changes; the law of conservation of matter; the law of conservation of energy; the conceptual laws of motion and forces; energy transformation; wave properties; and electrical and magnetic forces. To learn more about the curriculum go to GPS Science.
This year will be an introduction to chemistry and physics. It includes scientific skills and laboratory safety. Measurement, atomic structure, the periodic table, reactions (chemical, physical, nuclear) and types of compounds and their uses will be studied. We will also explore the different forms of energy (heat, light, sound, mechanical, electricity, and magnetism) and see how they can be converted. The concept of force, motion, friction, and gravity will be discussed. This is a high school course which will allow students who successfully complete the course to earn high school credit.
Eighth grade social studies is called Georgia Studies and includes the history, government, economy, geography, culture and religion of the state of Georgia. To learn more about the curriculum go to GPS Social Studies.
Eighth grade students also take a variety of connections classes throughout the year. Click here to see more about the connections offerings.
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