EIGHTH GRADE CURRICULUMSixth Grade Seventh Grade Eighth Grade
Middle school at ACS is designed to nurture the whole child: intellectually, socially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We strive to ensure that every lesson, experience, and activity our students have helps them see and experience God, His loving presence and sovereign control in every aspect of our lives. In eighth grade, we seek to develop responsible independence and discernment in our students as they prepare to leave ACS and move on to high school.
Bible: We use the CSI curriculum Walking With God And His People. Using this curriculum, we cover broad topics: Jesus’ life, the beginning of the Church, the spread of the gospel as described in Acts, church history, and developing spiritual habits (disciplines) in our lives. In all of this we see God’s faithful, loving hand throughout the story of His people and continuing into our part of His story as well.
Language Arts: We do not use a specific curriculum but utilize lessons and concepts from several sources, including Glencoe Literature: The Reader’s Choice and Write Source. The skills and concepts we work to develop include grammar, punctuation (particularly use of commas and semicolons), and various aspects of writing. Some of the units we do include a study of Edgar Allen Poe’s writing, a study of a novel, a study of science fiction, and a research paper. Through class discussions and writing, we reflect on Christian themes present in what we read and discover how this literature is relevant to our lives as Christian young people today.
Algebra: This is one of two math options for eighth grade students. Placement is based on various criteria, including a placement test and teacher recommendation. We use the UCSMP Algebra book. The concepts covered include using algebra to describe and explain; linear equations and inequalities; linear, exponential, and quadratic relationships; powers and roots; linear systems; and polynomials and factoring. Students can earn high school credit by meeting certain standards. As we study algebra, we are given a glimpse of the creative intricacies of our great God.
General Math: For students that have decided they are not ready for Algebra, we offer an 8th grade math class that continues the Connected Mathematics curriculum from sixth and seventh grade. We begin the year by studying samples and populations and learning how surveys are given to various groups and why. One of our biggest units is about algebraic concepts: discovering more about the order of operations, solving equations, and simplifying expressions. We also spend significant time learning about exponential growth and decay and delving deeper into probability and statistics.
Science: Middle School Science is taught from the Biblical perspective of creation (Genesis 1) and God as the creator of our magnificent universe. In eighth grade we use the Prentice Hall Unit curriculum. In our first unit of the year, we learn more about electricity and magnetism. The rest of the year we focus on God’s creation in biology. We learn about the wonderful bodies God has given us as well as the intricacies of the plants all around us.
Social Studies: Eighth grade social studies focuses on American History. Using the text, American History by Glencoe, we study the time period from the 13 American colonies through the 19th century. Documentary films, historical fiction novels, projects, and frequent written responses enhance the curriculum throughout the school year. We also spend some time discussing current issues and commemorating historically significant days such as Veteran’s Day, Pearl Harbor Day, etc. As we study history, we frequently make it a point to discover where God’s hand has been clearly evident throughout our history and particularly where His people have worked effectively to bring about positive change.
Physical Education: Eighth Grade students receive two forty-five minute sessions of PE each week. Students know what the correct form looks like for a skill and should be able to use it correctly in game situations. They also should be able to provide appropriate corrective feedback to others for skills. Team sports, individual sports, recreational activities, and a variety of fitness activities are used to keep students motivated and excited about physical activity.
Art: Eighth Grade students receive forty-five minutes of art instruction each week. In eighth grade there is a push to produce art that is technically proficient, as well as personally satisfying. Students do many projects that involve personal choice making. They will create several pieces that will be keepsakes, including the infamous artist project and resultant chair painting!
Music: Seventh and Eighth Grade students combine in one class to receive three forty-five minutes classes of band instruction as well as forty-five minutes of choir instruction each week Through the curriculum from Choral and Instrumental Repertoire and Standard of Excellence, students read whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and dotted notes and rests in both simple and compound meters, and sing music written in three parts. Students communicate an idea through musical arrangements as well as evaluate quality and effectiveness of musical performances.
Computers and Technology: Eighth Grade students receive one forty-five minute class of computer instruction each week. Student learning is focused on preparing students for responsible use of technology in the 21st century. Students use various educational websites and software programs to do research, show creativity, problem solve situations, and share information with others. A great deal of the instruction is integrated with core class material.