Saint James School

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Academics » - Grade 8

- Grade 8

Religion Curriculum


In Eighth Grade, students will come to understand their role of discipleship in the Church and the school community.  Continuing to study the history of the New Testament and the Church, the focus will be on the Liturgical Seasons of the Church and the Acts of the Apostles.  The Eighth Grade will continue to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, with an additional required 10 hours of service.  Living a moral life and commitment to their faith becomes the utmost importance in preparing our students to face the challenges of high school. The Respect Life Series is designed to give the students a strong foundation for the future.  Students at this grade level will take the leadership role while participating in Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, service projects, and all aspects of school life. Our curriculum follows the Diocese of Metuchen's guidelines which are aligned with the National Benchmarks and Standards. 



Language Arts Curriculum



The Eighth Grade Language Arts program is designed to prepare students as they move into high school, whether private or public. Still following New Jersey State Education Standards, students will delve deeply into complex fiction and non-fiction literature.  All genres of literature will cover the elements of each: tone, imagery, irony, theme, character development, plot, setting, author’s purpose, and summarization.  Students will learn the importance of research, critical thinking, and analysis when producing a clear and cohesive written product using different media.  Citing correctly to avoid plagiarism will prepare students to effectively gather relevant sources and integrate such information.  Learned vocabulary and grammar mechanics will be stressed to achieve excellence in writing.



Math Curriculum


In Eighth Grade, Math instruction will focus on three critical areas: formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations; grasping the concept of a function and using a function to describe quantitative relationships; and analyzing two-and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.  Students will know there are numbers that are not rational and approximate them by rational numbers.   They will work with radicals and integer exponents and understand the connection between proportional relationships, lines and linear equations.  Eighth Grade students will define, evaluate, and compare functions and then use functions to model relationships between quantities.  Students will use the Pythagorean Theorem to find distances between points on the coordinate plane, to find lengths, and to analyze polygons.


The fundamental purpose of Eighth Grade Algebra I is to formalize and extend the mathematics that students learned through the end of Seventh Grade. This course differs from High School Algebra I in that it contains content from Eighth Grade math. While coherence is retained, the additional content when compared to the high school course demands a faster pace for instruction and learning.


The critical areas deepen and extend the understanding of linear and exponential relationships by contrasting them with each other and by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend.  Students engage in methods for analyzing solving and using quadratic functions.  In addition, these topics will introduce methods for analyzing and using quadratic functions, including manipulating expressions and solving quadratic equations.  Students understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem, and use quadratic functions to model and solve problems.  The Mathematical Practice Standards applied throughout each course and together with the content standards prescribe that the students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem solving.


Science Curriculum


The Eighth Grade Science program is based on the guidelines established by the New Generation Science Standards.  Students at this level will focus on Physical Science. They will study structure and properties of matter, atom structure, and how molecules change and rearrange during chemical reactions.  Motion and stability, forces and interactions, relationship between energy and forces, and energy in the chemical process and everyday life will be discussed to bring understanding into the real world. Students will use the scientific method during labs to further their knowledge of chemistry.




Social Studies Curriculum


In Eighth Grade, students will acquire knowledge about how past and present interactions of people, culture, and environment shape the American heritage.  Students will acquire knowledge about the policies that resulted in America becoming an emerging world power and the United States role in World War I.  Students will be challenged to think analytically about the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II.  Students will acquire knowledge about Postwar United States and the influence domestic and foreign policy had for the next forty years.