8th Grade Course Descriptions

REQUIRED COURSES


Language Arts 8
Page Middle School adheres to the Michigan Academic Standards (Common Core State Standards) for Language Arts to ensure the necessary development of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.  Using multimedia technology, Smart Boards, co-operative learning techniques, visible thinking, and hands-on class work, the student will gain the skills to be a literate adolescent.  Students will focus on writing styles, voice, grammar, and editing.  Additionally, a rich assortment of quality literature will build personal connections and challenge student thinking.

Advanced ELA (English Language Arts) 8
This class is a rigorous course designed for students who are able to read and analyze at an accelerated rate and apply deeper understanding.  The curriculum will follow the Michigan K-12 Standards for English Language Arts.  Students will read more complex narrative and informational texts and analyze its structure, elements, style, and meaning.  Students will write more complex narrative and expository pieces.  Students in this class will already have a foundational knowledge of the writing process, so more time will be spent on developing longer, more analytical essays.  Students will also continue to develop listening and speaking skills in group discussions and oral presentations.

Pre-Algebra 8
In order to meet the high school graduation requirements for the state of Michigan, all 8th grade students go through a rigorous placement process to determine the student enrollment for 8th grade Algebra. All students not placed in Algebra must take Pre-Algebra. This course teaches the 8th grade Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These expectations include a) The Number System, b) Expressions and Equations, c) Introduction to Functions and Quadratics, d) Geometry and e) Statistics and Probability.

Algebra I
Algebra I is offered to 8th grade students who have a firm understanding of pre-algebra concepts.  This is a fast-paced course which requires dedication and desire to learn.  It provides a foundation in the basic skills and concepts of Algebra as designated by the Common Core State Standards.  Topics covered include number sense, the order of operations, one, two, and three-step equations, linear functions, linear systems, linear inequalities, and systems of linear inequalities.  Additional topics of study include quadratic functions, exponential functions, and bivariate data.   The purpose of this class is to challenge the student with algebraic thinking and to prepare the student for higher level mathematical concepts.  The successful completion of Algebra I will enable students to receive high school credit.  Students who maintain 88% or higher in each semester will qualify to register for Honors Geometry at Lamphere High School in their freshman year.

Earth Science
In this course, students will be exploring the major spheres that make up the dynamic planet, Earth.   Topics to be studied include the shape and movement of solid earth, movement and benefits of the Earth’s water systems, the make-up of and phenomena occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere, and the formation of selected objects in space. 

U.S. History
This course will concentrate on the importance of becoming productive and responsible citizens. Instruction will begin with the foundation of our country and follow its history through the late 1800’s. Additionally, students will learn how our government began and how it functions today.  As our students become the young men and women of our country’s future, our goal is that they will develop a desire to make a difference, by knowing about government, economy, history, and the people that shaped our nation and our values.

ELECTIVE COURSES


Anatomy
This course will allow students to develop an understanding of the structures and functions of the body. Students will explore the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, nervous, and digestive systems and related diseases and impacts on everyday life through hands-on lab investigations, projects, dissections, and diagrams.  An application is required; see Greenway or the main office for an application.

Art
Students who participate in Art will use an expanded vocabulary of art-related terms and a variety of media in the creation of their projects.  They will perform and control increasingly complex techniques, analyze and make judgments about works of art, and learn artistic modes of problem solving when creating in each art form.  A wide variety of media will be used, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, and computer graphics.  No previous experience is required.  Please note that if you take two semesters of art, projects will be different.  Also, if a student chooses to take art every year the class will promote and foster individual growth.

Band
Students with previous musical experience may elect Eighth Grade Band. If your student would like to participate in band but does not have prior musical experience or an instrument, please contact Mrs. Garvey to get started. Students will learn a wide range of musical styles including classical, folk, pop, jazz, and world music. All band students will track their own individual musical growth by earning belts in Band Karate. Students have additional performance opportunities in Seventh Grade Band such as Jazz Band, Solo and Ensemble, Pep Rallies, Honors Band, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Band Festival. The Eighth Grade Band performs four to five concerts per year, which are required for all members. Parents are expected to arrange schedules to accommodate these concerts. Contact garveye@lamphereschools.org for more information.

 

Choir/Vocal Music
Students will sing in 2 and 3 part harmony, sight read, and learn music in a variety of styles.  Choir students perform in concerts and MSVMA events such as Choral Festival and Solo and Ensemble to improve skills in choral singing (and solo singing if so desired).  NOTE:  All choir students are required to participate in public concerts.

Computer Science
In the Computer Science course, students will first learn about JavaScript programming language. If the student completes all six levels of computer science they can challenge themselves by learning Python through game development or HTML by developing a website.  Students will be able to work at their own pace.  If they complete computer science courses then they can choose to work on game development or web development. The programming languages taught through this program are JavaScript, Python, and HTML.

Current Events
Students will develop an understanding of the complex social and political issues in today’s world. As the political, economic, geographic, historical, and social importance of current issues is studied, students will become more aware of the importance of being informed citizens. This course will focus on research, discussion, reading, writing, critical thinking, as well as map, chart, and graph reading. Students will be expected to think, evaluate, and draw their own conclusions on a variety of topics.

In addition, students will gain more familiarity with the academic and professional technological skills of word processing, data processing through spreadsheets, and preparing visual presentations as well as other useful technological skills.

Drama
In this performance-based course, students will be introduced to the art of physical and vocal expression through acting, improvisation, and scene study.  Students will participate in theater games, movement, role-play, and puppetry.  All exercises and games will develop ensemble and individual performance skills.  In addition, this course will conclude with a public performance, involving the students in all aspects of the production.

Physical Education
The Physical Education program provides each student with the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive program consisting of skill development, lead up games, team sports, and physical fitness activities.  The students receive instruction in rules, skills, and strategies associated with the different sports as well as learning experiences involving physical conditioning activities.  The students will also have opportunities to become involved in life-long physical activities through individual sports units.  The John Page Physical Education program promotes the spirit of cooperation, leadership, fair play, and friendly competition

Publishing
Students will produce PAGE BY PAGE, our school yearbook.  Class members gather school news, learn how to write articles, take photographs, & are trained to use the publishing software to lay out all pages of the yearbook.  Students taking this class will be expected to attend/cover some after school events. An application is required; see Mrs. Alimario or the main office for an application.

Spanish I
This is a high school level course and successful completion will result in high school credit.
This is an advanced high school level course designed to develop skills in speaking, reading, & writing in the Spanish language.  In addition to textbook studies, students will also enjoy many cultural activities.  These include doing skits, playing games, and learning about the customs of Spanish–speaking people.  

Spanish II
Prerequisite:  Spanish I (B- or higher recommended for continuation).  This is a high school level course and successful completion will result in high school credit.  This course continues to develop students’ language skills by producing meaningful, authentic communication and further develops cultural understanding.  To increase proficiency in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, students actively communicate about topics helpful when traveling abroad. Students engage in meaningful interactions to become familiar with life in Latin American countries while gaining a better understanding of their role as a citizen in a global society.   Students who receive a B- or higher are encouraged to enroll in Spanish III as a freshman.

Studio Art
Studio Art is an in-depth study of various techniques and art history. This class allows students the opportunity for an independent study.  Students will further their creative thinking process, as well as provide them with a studio atmosphere, allowing for personal growth.  This class requires previous art experience and Mrs. Gower's signature.

Technology Education
In Technology Education students will experience a wide range of activities based on STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Mathematics) Education. Students will be engaged in their learning utilizing a combination of Tech Shop and the Tech Lab. During their years at Page, students can rotate through various stations in the Tech Shop; for example, rockets, automotive design, 3D software and printing, electronics, renewable energy, plastics, architecture, bridge building, and more. In the Tech Lab, students will learn about digital literacy and responsibility. They will also explore the use of Google docs as a word processor and spreadsheet tool. No previous experience is required.