Curriculum

8th Grade Information Video (2014) – This video contains an overview of the 8th grade year, particularly the high school application process, the Juan Diego Project, and other special events and responsibilities of the 8th grade. Be warned, a few parts are outdated!

8th Schedule 17-18 – See the schedule of 8th grade classes for the current school year.

8th grade language arts

Description: The 8th grade language arts curriculum centers around effective communication, and is facilitated by isolated paragraph writes, as well as the Juan Diego Project. Students will write material in persuasive, expository and narrative form. We also emphasize public speaking, interviewing, and even movement skills (gestures and dance). The curriculum is tailored to each student’s needs as a writer – some students need help with sentence structure, others with punctuation, others with paragraphing, and others with word choice. After assessing samples of writing at the beginning of the year, I work with students on the areas of their writing that need polishing.

Methods:

  • weekly vocabulary words and Greek/Latin roots
  • Image Grammar (Noden) – a technique that teaches grammar through writing about photography
  • Juan Diego Project – a major 8th grade project that encompasses several writing modes
  • Silver Kite intergenerational learning program – teaches kids how to communicate with people from varying generations and is taught in conjunction with our Mount Service Project
  • Regular paragraph and essay writing

8th grade religion

Description: Students learn parts of the Catholic Church’s history from the Acts of the Apostles up through modern times. We study the development of the church through Ecumenical Councils and historical events. Eighth graders also learn about morality from a social justice stand point. We learn about and practice servant leadership in our school and community, and reflect on these experiences throughout the year.

Methods:

  • Morality / Church History Textbook
  • Juan Diego Project – this project also covers many of the religion standards and school-wide learning expectations (SLEs)
  • Class service project – providing recreational therapy to and developing relationships with residents of Providence Mount St. Vincent.
  • Faith Family Program – school-wide monthly activities led by 8th graders
  • Liturgy Planning

7th grade humanities: language arts and literature

Description: This humanities class focuses on communication in the year 2018. We write in a variety of modes, including narrative, expository and persuasive. We also spend time examining and analyzing informational texts for clarity, bias, truth, and accuracy. Teaching students how to cross-reference sources and fact check are invaluable skills in today’s media.We also emphasize public speaking, interviewing, and even movement skills (gestures and dance). The curriculum is tailored to each student’s needs as a writer – some students need help with sentence structure, others with punctuation, others with paragraphing, and others with word choice. After assessing samples of writing at the beginning of the year, I work with students on the areas of their writing that need polishing. In addition to web articles and informational text, we will engage in class novel studies and student-driven outside reading.

Materials:

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare; Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford; Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry; A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.
  • www.Newsela.com – student news website for world geography
  • Miscellaneous articles and news websites
  • A variety of world data websites, including CIA World FactbookNationMaster, GAPMINDER, and Social Progress Imperative

6th grade humanities: social studies and religion

Description: Our exploration of ancient society and cultures focuses on the history of our world dating from prehistory all the way through the fall of Rome. We will cover the regions of Egypt, India, China, Greece, Rome, and Africa. Students will investigate cultures and apply knowledge to modern scenarios, profile prominent figures throughout time, and work with interactive online tools to supplement their learning of maps and use of activities in the text.

Our study of the Old Testament will span from Genesis to the Israelites’ exodus from ancient Egypt, to the golden eras and dark exiles of the Hebrew people. Notable figures, especially prophets, will also be featured.

Both of these studies will be rooted in these essential questions:

  • How did religion influence ancient societies?
  • What are our cultural roots?
  • How can different perspectives shape our understanding of each other?

Our studies of ancient civilizations and Old Testament typically overlap. We’ll look at the creation story and the first humans in the Old Testament (Adam and Eve) while studying the early nomads and first settlements. We’ll look at Exodus while studying ancient Egypt, Ancient China while studying the Wisdom books, and so on.

Materials:

  • History of Our World (Prentice Hall)
  • Various web resources, including multimedia
  • Finding God (Loyola Press)
  • The Catholic Youth Study Bible
  • Venture Magazine (weekly Gospel readings)

Assignments and Grading

Point value: Each assignment is given a point value reflective of its significance to the grade. For example, a homework or classwork assignment could be worth 5-10 points, while a test or a project would be worth 50+ points.

Assignment Categories

  • Homework – any work sent home and completed with resources or guidance.
  • Classwork – assignments/presentations completed during class time with school resources.
  • Quiz/Test – any summative assessment given in class with teacher designated resources. These are designed for students to demonstrate knowledge and skill.
  • Project – Long-term, multifaceted homework/classwork assignments

Grading Scale

A (95-100), A- (93-94), B+ (90-92), B (86-90), B- (83-85), C+ (79-82), C (74-78), C- (70-73), D+ (67-69), D (63-67), D- (60-62), F (59 and below).

Late Work: I expect all assignments to be turned in on time with proper identification (i.e. name). Late work or work with no name will appear as a zero or incomplete in the gradebook and will remain as such until it is turned in or identified. Late work is eligible for only half credit, or up to full credit if the student proactively, respectfully and successfully emails Mr. Santos explaining why an assignment was not completed the night before and demonstrates a reasonable attempt to figure out an assignment. Work not turned in will earn a zero. Please check PowerSchools at least once a week as this is my primary method communicating missing work to parents and students.

Class Participation: Sixth and seventh graders receive 50 points for responsibility and citizenship in my class. In the 8th grade, students receive a hundred – 50 for citizenship, and 50 for responsibility. Points are gained and maintained by following directions, being positive (no disrespectfulness), and essentially keeping with classroom expectations.

Illness: Students who are ill should contact a classmate for any missed notes or assignments. Check teacher websites as well. Students have as many extra days as the illness to turn in the assignment. Please inform Clare and all your child’s teachers if he or she is ill.

Planned Absences: There are many types of planned absences, including doctor/dentist appointments, family functions, and enrichment travels. While it is not ideal to miss school for these situations, we understand that they do happen. Students are responsible for completing missed work before, during or after the planned absence by a date given by the teacher. If planning an extended vacation, work may be given in advance, or students will be given catch up work upon their return. Please give all teachers at least two weeks notice if planning an absence, and be aware of any important events on the class and school calendar that may be missed.