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EIGHTH GRADE OVERVIEW

Language Arts

Our language arts program focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that students need to become effective communicators.  Eighth graders read a variety of literature by well known authors and are given opportunities to think critically in order to acquire a deeper understanding of the text.  Literature resources include Holt Elements of Literature and the following novel studies: Johnny Tremain, Carry on Mr. Bowditch, The Hiding Place, The Call of the Wild, Tom Sawyer/ Huck Finn, Amos Fortune, Free Man, Lily's Crossing, The Outsiders, Red Badge of Courage, The Day Zachary Beaver Came to Town. Students are expected to write using mastered grammatical concepts within the framework of the writing process. Holt Elements of Language, Brushstrokes of Grammar, and Six Traits are all resources used to teach writing in this course.

Math

Eighth grade students will take Algebra 1 for their math class. Students can earn a high school math credit for successful and satisfactory completion of the course. In Algebra 1 students will focus on the following areas: squares and square roots, operations using radicals, basic trigonometry functions, proportionality of similar figures, utilizing the Pythagorean theorem, problem solving using algebraic concepts and equations, investigating linear equations and their graphs, solving systems of linear equations, and adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing monomials, binomials and trinomials.Prentice Hall Algebra 1 is the resource (textbook) for this course.

ECA Teaching Technology

Social Studies

Eighth graders trace the development of representative government from the colonial period through 1877 with a strong emphasis on the Constitution and how it impacts our nation. Historical content focuses on the political, economic, religious, and social events and issues related to the colonial and revolutionary eras, the creation and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, challenges of the early republic, the Age of Jackson, westward expansion, sectionalism, Civil War, and Reconstruction. Students describe the physical characteristics of the United States and their impact on population distribution and settlement patterns in the past and present.

ECA eighth grade Science

Science

Eighth grade is a big year for science as students spend much of the year preparing for the Central Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Students also learn concepts through hands-on learning in a lab setting to emphasize inquiry skills. Students study chemistry, physics, biology, earth,  and environmental science within the context of the scientific method. Specific activities include a bullfrog dissection in biology, designing and creating mousetrap catapults and potato cannons in physics, and maintaining the student garden and recyclable water tank. Resources include Glencoe Texas Science Grade 8 and teacher created resources.

Speech

Students will learn to use effective verbal and nonverbal strategies to become better communicators and public speakers.  Students will master the techniques of organizing, delivering and evaluating speeches that are made to inform, persuade and motivate an audience.  Curriculum includes interviewing skills, demonstration, informative, persuasive and extemporaneous speeches, oral interpretation, drama and debate.  Students enter a UIL competition in the Spring in the categories of oral interpretation and extemporaneous speaking.  Resources include The Complete Book of Speech Communication/A Workbook of Ideas and Activities for Students of Speech and Theatre, Speech Class for Teens, and Speak Out: Debate and Public Speaking in the Middle Grades.

Year Book

This course is designed to teach the skills necessary to digitally produce a school yearbook, which offers a complete record of the entire year. The year begins by planning the coverage for the school year and designing a unifying theme for the book.  Students will learn layout and design techniques, writing and editing copy, headlines and picture captions.

Bible

In addition to weekly Chapel services, Bible is a classroom subject.  As students study the New Testament, they memorize verses, and participate in discussions and activities. The resource for this class is the Word in the Heart Series A Survey of the New Testament.

Art

The goal of Seventh Grade Art is to continue using many different medium choices and to encourage students to become more independent in choosing subjects and mediums. Students are introduced to many modern artists and are challenged to incorporate their styles into their (students’) artwork.

ECA Chapel

Spanish

Students review and reinforce the concepts learned in previous study of Spanish. This course covers the material of a freshman high school level course with a focus on the more advanced grammatical structures.  Cultural and linguistic projects are also incorporated to this grade level.

PE

During the eighth grade year there is increased attention to more advanced methods for fitness components, advanced skill development, advanced team- sports strategies and sportsmanship, and advanced leadership skills. Eighth graders may participate in our athletics program.

Technology

Technology is integrated into the curriculum at all levels of middle school.  Students create presentations using Glogster, Prezi, PowerPoint and Movie Maker.  Students must be familiar with Excel and Google Sheets to effectively communicate results from experiments and research.  Because critical thinking is a key component within the curriculum, research for specific purposes is often required.  Google Docs is used for written papers, and students can forward their work to their teacher for editing. Edmodo is also used as a tool for communication between the students and teachers.

Special Trips

shington, D.C. – Students spend six days and five nights in Washington exploring our nation’s history. The trip includes visits to the memorials, Mount Vernon, Smithsonian Museums, National Archives, Capitol Hill, and more.

Baylor Library--Students spend a day at the Baylor Library researching for their History Fair project.

Service Projects--Students participate in various service projects off campus such as working at the Waco Wetlands, World Hunger Relief Farm, Community Development Center, Caritas, etc.

A Few Extras

Central Texas Science and Engineering Fair – Students complete science experiments and compete against other schools for an opportunity to participate at the state level.

Jog-a-thon – Students participate in a school wide fundraiser by asking friends and family to pledge a donation amount for laps run around our track. During the day, kids cycle through many fun and exciting stations including bouncy houses, karate lessons, team building games, and more.

Variety Show – Variety Show is a fun, school wide evening dinner event where classes perform a song and dance.

Spelling Bee – Students may choose to participate in our school wide Spelling Bee held each January.

UIL – Student participate in various UIL events at the annual event hosted by ECA.

Classic Track Meet – 4th through 6th grade students participate in traditional track meet against other area private schools.

Athletics – ECA offers an excellent athletic program that teaches students the skills needed to carry them to competitive high school sports programs.

Class Garden