• CORE COURSES:

At the eighth-grade level, students will evaluate, analyze, develop, and produce media messages. Students will study word origins, roots, connotations, and denotations. There is a continued emphasis on reading comprehension by comparing fiction and nonfiction texts with an increased emphasis on nonfiction reading. Students will plan, draft, revise, and edit writing in a variety of forms with an emphasis on expository and persuasive writing. Students will be expected to have greater control over the conventions of writing. Students will apply research techniques to analyze information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions and possible bias.

Math 8 (Grade 8 Mathematics SOL Test)

The eighth-grade standards contain both content that reviews or extends concepts and skills learned in previous grades and new content that prepares students for more abstract concepts in Algebra and Geometry.  Students will gain proficiency in computation with rational numbers (positive and negative fractions, positive and negative decimals, whole numbers, and integers) and use proportions to solve a variety of problems.  New concepts include solving two-step equations and inequalities, graphing linear equations, visualizing three-dimensional shapes represented in two-dimensional drawings, applying transformations to geometric shapes in the coordinate plane, and using scatterplots and boxplots to organize and interpret data. Students will verify and apply the Pythagorean Theorem and represent relations and functions using tables, graphs, and rules. Students who complete this course will take the Grade 8 Mathematics SOL Test.

*Algebra I (Algebra I SOL Test)
(A qualifying score is required using the Henry County Schools Math Matrix. The Math Matrix uses multiple assessments to determine the most appropriate math class placement for a student. This is a High School Credit.)

In Algebra I, students continue the study of algebraic concepts including operations with real numbers and polynomials.  They solve multi-step linear equations and inequalities, quadratic equations, and systems of equations and inequalities.  Concepts associated with functions and relations, including their graphs, are emphasized.  A study of statistics is also included in this course.  Manipulatives, concrete materials, graphing calculators, computers, and other appropriate technology tools are used for solving problems and verifying solutions.  Students will engage in discussions about problems and problem-solving.  Students who complete the course will take the Algebra I SOL Test.

Physical Science (Grade 8 Science SOL Test)

The physical science courses stress an in-depth understanding of the nature and structure of matter and the characteristics of energy. The standards place considerable emphasis on the technological application of physical science principles. Major areas covered by the standards include the organization and use of the periodic table, physical and chemical changes, nuclear reactions, temperature and heat; sound, light, electricity and magnetism, and work, force, and motion.

Global Geography and Cultures

The focus of this course enables students to explore the world’s geography and various cultures with an emphasis on world regions. It includes the study of fundamental geographic skills and tools, absolute and relative location of people and places, physical and cultural characteristics of various places, adaptation to environments, migration and settlement patterns, and the relationship of geography, politics, and economics. Students study the origins of many world cultures using texts, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, chronological skills, inquiry/research skills, and technology skills.

ELECTIVE COURSES:

Physical Education (Semester)

Students in grade eight demonstrate competence in skillful movement in modified, dynamic game situations and in a variety of dance and recreational activities.  They transition from modified versions of movement forms to more complex applications across all types of activities—game/sport, dance, and recreational pursuits.

*French I High School Credit (Year Long)

Level I French focuses on students’ communicative competence in French and their understanding of the culture(s) of French-speaking countries. In level I French classes, students learn to communicate in real-life context about topics that are meaningful to them. French I concentrates on the development of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are encouraged to use the French language as much as possible. An important component of French classes is the use of the French language beyond the classroom in order to apply knowledge of the language in the real world. In many cases, this is accomplished through the integration of technology in the classroom.

*Spanish I High School Credit (Year Long)

Level I Spanish focuses on students’ communicative competence in Spanish and their understanding of the culture(s) of Spain and other Hispanic countries. In level I Spanish classes, students learn to communicate in real-life context about topics that are meaningful to them. Spanish I concentrates on the development of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are encouraged to use the Spanish language as much as possible. An important component of Spanish classes is the use of the Spanish language beyond the classroom in order to apply knowledge of the language in the real world. In many cases, this is accomplished through the integration of technology into the classroom.

Hand Bells

Eighth grade students will learn music theory and proper hand bell techniques.  This course will include performance and reading music.

Choir (Year Long)

The Vocal/Choral Standards of Learning require performance, creativity, and investigation.  Students explore ways in which the content of the various disciplines, within and outside the arts, are interrelated with those of music.  Students are exposed to music fundamentals of notation and simple sight singing. The main emphasis of the class is to develop good singing habits and to direct the students toward a positive choral experience.  Students will have the opportunity to improve their vocal ability through the singing of vocal exercises as well as a wide variety of choral literature. The class will also emphasize the development of vocal production techniques and may feature ensemble participation.

Band (Year Long)

Developing basic musicianship skills continues to be a priority at the eighth grade level. Students will begin to use more articulations and bowings, and perform scales and music at a more difficult level.  Ensemble skills will become more developed as students participate in band and concert settings. Students will describe concepts common to music and other disciplines, and will be involved in discussing various cultures, styles, composers, and historical periods.  After-school opportunities will be available for such activities as All County and All District Band and small group ensembles.

Art (Semester)

Grade eight art focuses on the synthesis and application of previously learned concepts.  Using traditional and emerging technologies, students are able to apply more complex technical skills as they manipulate the elements of art and the principles of design, art media, and ideas.  Students acquire art skills that enable them to make conscious choices of media and techniques for expressive purposes.  Students produce works of art that are developed from preliminary ideas and sketches.  They compare and contrast art from different world cultures and investigate how context can influence meaning.

Agri-science and Technology

Through laboratory activities, students apply scientific principles to the field of agriculture, including plants, animals, and ecology/conservation.  This course introduces students to biotechnology as it relates to agriculture. Students are introduced to new technology and its impact on agriculture.  An introduction to international agriculture and new strategies in marketing agricultural products are also included. Students enrolled in Agri-science at the eighth grade level are given the opportunity to become members of the Laurel Park Middle FFA Chapter.  FFA members participate in several extra curricula activities including leadership conferences, state and national conventions, community service activities, career development events at the local, state and national levels, recreational events and many more educational experiences.

Digital Input Technologies

The Digital Input Technologies course introduces new and emerging input devices (i.e., speech- and handwriting-recognition software, headset/microphone, personal digital assistant (PDA), scanner, digital camera, digital video camera, iPod Touch, keyboard, and mouse) to prepare  students for using tools that are becoming standard in the workplace and in everyday life.

This course equips students with individual and group leadership skills. Course content includes leadership principles, officer training, parliamentary law, public speaking, effective communication, positive public relations skills, and techniques of organizing and conducting group meetings and activities. Students are encouraged to be active members of a community or school organization.

Technological Systems

Students combine resources and techniques into systems, realizing technology as a system.  By simulating systems, assessing their impacts, and relating this experience to the two previous levels, students gain an insight into how to approach the problems and opportunities of a technological world in a board sense.  Students will work in a modular lab classroom
setting.  Students will explore curriculum areas including Bioengineering, Digital Video, Heart Fitness, Package Design, Plastics and Polymers, Rocketry, and Space, and Webmaster.  Students will also explore occupational areas and educational programs for technology-oriented careers.

Inventions & Innovations 8

Students explore past and present inventions and look for future inventions.  Students will develop marketing strategies for selling their product or inventions.  Students will also examine early inventions and their impact on our daily living.  Students will make models of inventions, maintain a journal, and produce an advertising campaign for a product.  Students will be introduced to the following curriculum areas through the following modules:  CNC Manufacturing, Computer Graphics and Animation, CADD, and Energy, Power and Mechanics.