Grade 8 Curriculum Updates - Quarter 1, 2018 - Dragons News

Monday, October 8, 2018

Grade 8 Curriculum Updates - Quarter 1, 2018



In Quarter 1, Grade 8 English students are focused on reading fiction in our book club unit. Students are working individually and in small groups to interpret and provide evidence for complex themes that develop over the course of a story. Students will be asked to identify and provide evidence of themes in different short stories over the course of our first reading unit. We will also begin a writing unit in the genre of realistic fiction. To help with this, parents should encourage students to read each day and to talk to students about their reading and writing. Google Classroom is a great resource for parents and students to use!


In Quarter 1, the first unit in Math 8 focuses on logical reasoning. The students examine how we use reasoning in math, but also everyday life to make decisions. To start, students help create a clear problem solving process for us to use throughout the year.  Second, to practice our problem solving process, students unpacked how to solve a puzzle named “hex loops.” Then, this was followed by a collaborative project to create small books of their own puzzles for others to solve (look for your own book to come home soon, displayed in the MS lobby!).  Student learning will be assessed in September through the students’ creation of their own personal growth manifesto. This project is a great way to recognize logical reasoning through the students clarifying their own values and beliefs! Parents can be supportive by asking questions of their children in hopes to uncover classroom connections to strengthen learning.


Social Studies

In Quarter 1 Grade 8 Social Studies have been working on the idea of collaboration and its importance for newly emerging societies. We first began to learn about early American colonization while comparing it to other colonial experiments around the world. We are studying colonization origins and impacts. We are then moving on to revolutionary movements with reference to the American Revolution and other revolutionary movements. Students will be assessed through a variety of projects and presentations. At home, we encourage you to discuss our class ‘big ideas’ with your child - the impacts of colonization. Reading and discussing a local or international news article (in any language) is also encouraged.


In Quarter 1 of Grade 8 Science, we have been focusing on matter and why matter is relevant in our everyday life. We started by looking into problem solving using the Scientific Method, where students work collaboratively to determine and identify different “mystery” objects by observing, hypothesizing, and testing their hypotheses.
We then began learning about different types of matter and the classification system. This is followed by an inquiry-based laboratory work and group presentations where students design their own experimental procedures to separate an unknown mixture, and research a topic to teach their classmates. Students will be assessed on their creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. At home, parents can support their children by asking questions of the concepts learned in class, checking Google Classroom with them, and encouraging them to be excited about science and keeping up-to-date with current scientific discoveries!


In Quarter 1, Grade 7/8 Health and Physical Education has focused on Team Building and the aspects of being a good teammate. Continuing with the rest of the quarter, girls will be focusing on the Community Sport of soccer and boys will be focusing on the Community Sport of volleyball. Both groups will also work on the importance of fitness for personal health. Daily physical activity is important and should to be practiced outside of school on days students do not have PE class.

Art 8

During Quarter 1 students begin exploring the application of design elements with a focus on line, shape, space and value. Our first project of the quarter works with line and shape. Students were asked to think metaphorically about an animal they share qualities with -  for example, a lion is considered strong and brave. After a series of formative assessments, students then use their knowledge of line, shape and pattern to create contour drawings of their chosen animal and fill the inside with shapes and patterns. Our second project of the quarter will focus on space and value while students work with complicated two point perspective drawings using legos, rubik cubes to create architectural spaces. This project has a strong emphasis on Math and problem solving. Students will be assessed on the National Core Art  standards through reflection and submitted work. Parents can support their students by talking with them about what they are making in art class, asking how and why they came up with their project ideas and what have they learned about themselves through the process of art making.


Drama 8 

In Quarter 1, Drama 8 students have been reviewing key vocabulary terms for understanding how to move on stage, and how the audience should behave while watching live performances. This work will culminate in a Theatre Etiquette PSA which will be used to advise students across divisions how to be an enthusiastic member of the audience. For the remainder of Q1, students will begin to work on analysing characters from written scenes and monologues. The goal being for students to practice developing character motivations and desires to act on before an audience of their peers. Parents can support the work we’re doing by simply asking students what they’re doing in drama, and showing interest in the work happening in class to make students more self confident.

D8 students getting in touch with their emotions.

Chinese 8

In Quarter 1, G8 Chinese class has already started with learning Pinyin, the Chinese spelling system, how to greet people and make some basic comments. Along the way, students are learning how to write the Chinese characters. In Quarter 1, the class will be focusing on learning classroom expressions, family and numbers. There will be a fun project, creating Chinese Mug Books, to introduce KISJ teachers, celebrities, and their friends with basic information which include names, occupations, nationalities, family members and numbers. Students have an oral presentation in the beginning of September, so parents can be their audience at home to develop their confidence.

Spanish 8

During Quarter 1, in grade 8 Spanish, students are exploring greetings and farewells, numbers and the calendar, alphabet, as well as weather expressions. Students are practicing their conversation skills through presenting dialogues and also participating in oral games. We are also learning to identify, name and spell the numbers correctly through group work, stations and other fun songs and games.  The students will complete an “All About Me” presentation articulating introducing themselves including details such as their age, nationality, school, as well as their likes and dislikes. In addition, they will complete an Aztec Calendar cumulative assignment for the numbers/calendar unit. We will continue to learn weather expressions in preparation for a group weather report project. I encourage parents to continue helping your child by checking Google Classroom with them, asking questions, and being an audience for your child.

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