• Additional 8th Grade Core Offerings

    Social Studies 8 and English 8: Early US History BLOCK 

    This team-taught, double-block course integrates the study of Early U.S. History and English 8  through a collaborative teaching partnership between Social Studies and Language Arts,  emphasizing cross-content synthesis and interdisciplinary skills. Students will work  collaboratively within a large classroom environment. This course is designed to allow students  to discover how conflict, compromise, and change shaped the formation and early years of the  United States while deepening student reading and writing skills in the areas of narrative,  argument, and information, as well as speaking/listening. Students will study the historical,  geographical, cultural, civic, and economic aspects of a variety of case studies ranging from  European exploration and settlement of North America to the aftermath of the Civil War.  Students will hone their reading, writing, and disciplinary thinking skills as they engage in  inquiries through a variety of text with these historical themes.

    Advanced Science 8

    The 8th grade Advanced science course is accelerated, which means it covers the regular 8th grade standards as well as additional science  standards. Students should expect daily, challenging  out-of-class assignments and a fast pace through the curriculum. This is a good course for students who want an extra challenge in science in the 8th grade.

    ONLINE High School English 

    An additional ELA option for 8th graders - an online high school English class that can be taken instead of English 8.  The specifics are as follows:  

    • students will have their own device and will be enrolled in an RTI/AcLab class instead of English 8
    • students will use this daily time to progress independently through an online high school class (adhering to all rules, requirements, and policies as they are written for high school students)
    • students will get to choose a high school English class from a list of classes available (either one year-long class or two semester classes)
    • grades will be reported by the high school teacher of record through the online system 
    • students will earn a high school elective credit 
    • participating in this program will not affect high school GPAs or future course options in high school. 

    Is an asynchronous high school English class right for my child?  Not all 8th grade students need advanced content in English, so please consider if a high school English course will be a good fit for your child.   Not all middle school students work well independently, so please consider if an unstructured, asynchronous course will be a good fit for your child.   To be successful in an unstructured, asynchronous online course, certain school skills and personality traits are required.  Please ask yourselves the following questions: 

    • Did you enjoy the autonomous (virtual) learning mode last year? 
    • Did you consult Schoology, log into Zoom classes, and check their school email every day without being  told?  
    • Did you set academic goals for yourself and meet them without being told?  
    • Did you consistently earn Advanced scores on the grade level ELA MAP assessment?   

    If you answered yes to all 4 questions, this option could be a good fit for your child.  All classes will be taught by CPS teachers.  If you are  interested in this option, please just write the appropriate course title(s) on your 8th grade enrollment form.

     

    8th Grade Elective Options

    Year Long Options

    French 1B 
    Level 1B is the continuation of 1A. Students will continue to develop skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking and how to learn a language. Students will revisit concepts learned in 1A and continue to learn pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical structures through a variety of activities. Studies of geography, customs, traditions, and culture of the French-speaking world are expanded. Students satisfactorily completing the level 1B course will be prepared for and enroll in level 2 in 9th grade.

    French 1
     

    In level 1, students will develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will learn pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical structures through a variety of activities. The geography, customs, traditions, and culture of the French-speaking world are introduced. Students satisfactorily completing the level 1 course will be prepared for and enroll in level 2 in the 9th grade.

    Spanish 1B 
    Level 1B is the continuation of 1A. Students will continue to develop skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and how to learn a language. Students will revisit concepts learned in 1A and continue to learn pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical structures through a variety of activities. Studies of geography, customs, traditions, and culture of the Spanish-speaking world are expanded. Students satisfactorily completing the level 1B course will be prepared and enroll in level 2 in 9th grade.

    Spanish 1
    In level 1, students will develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will learn pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical structures through a variety of activities. The geography, customs, traditions, and culture of the Spanish-speaking world are introduced. Students satisfactorily completing the level 1 course will be prepared and enroll in level 2 the following year.


    Advanced
     Band 

    This is a year-long, daily course, typically taken by eighth graders. This advanced-level band class emphasizes the development of full-band performance skills in preparation for concerts and competitions. The elements of more complex melody and harmony and interpretation are addressed, and a higher level of technical playing proficiency is developed and enjoyed in multiple performing opportunities. Individual growth and achievement are encouraged through the use of integrated technology, solo and ensemble contests and festivals, and Honor Bands.


    Advanced Orchestra

    This is a year-long, daily course, typically taken by eighth graders. This Advanced-Level Orchestra class emphasizes the development of full string ensemble performance skills in preparation for concerts and competitions. The elements of more complex melody and harmony and interpretation are addressed. A higher level of technical playing proficiency is developed and enjoyed in multiple performing opportunities. Individual growth and achievement are encouraged through the use of integrated technology, solo and ensemble contests and festivals, and Honors Orchestra.


    Choir

    This daily, yearlong course will allow student/singers to study a variety of music from different styles, time periods and cultures. Through classroom activities, daily singing and performance, students further develop their creativity, knowledge of elements of music, proper vocal technique, music history and music reading/theory skills. Students will sing a wide variety of quality choral music and will participate in a minimum of two public after school or evening performances a year.

    Advanced Choir
    This daily, auditioned, yearlong course will allow students/singers to study a variety of music from different styles, time periods, and cultures. Through classroom activities, daily singing and performance, students further develop their creativity, knowledge of elements of music, proper vocal technique, music history, and music reading/theory skills. Students will sing a wide variety of quality choral music and will participate in a minimum of two public, after-school and/or evening performances a year. Additional opportunities for performance are likely to be available.


     Semester Long Options

    Art Upgraded
    This daily, semester course will allow students to step into the exciting world and role of artist and designer. Students will experiment and build skills with a variety of media and artistic tools. Art Upgraded will provide an opportunity to create art with a design focus and discover the power of the creative process.


    Theatrical Arts

    This daily, semester performance-based course will advance student knowledge in the art of acting and the skills of the towards a goal of a Public Performance. Students will be required to participate in an outside-of-school performance as part of their grade, which may include some required rehearsal time outside of school hours. This course can be repeated for a second semester to create a daily year long course. 

    Speech/Debate 
    This daily, semester course introduces students to many practical elements of public speaking, including techniques to lessen speaker anxiety, and the use of visual aids to enhance speaker presentations. Students will research, organize, and present various types of speeches. Good command of reading and writing will be needed to be successful in this course. This is a performance-based course, and students will be required to deliver speeches in front of peers to fulfill course requirements. In addition to public speaking, this course will explore the basics of Public Forum Debate.

    Automation and Robotics
    In this daily semester course Automation and Robotics (AR) allows students to learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics® platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, draw bridges, toll booths, and robotic arms.

    Aeronautics and Engineering
    In this daily semester course of Aeronautics and Engineering (AE) students will design and build things that fly which may include gliders, rockets, and kites. In addition, students will create and design projects using technology such as hand tools, power tools, modeling software, and 3-D printers.

    8th Grade Business and Computers
    Emphasis: Business Simulation
    This semester-long course will provide you with the opportunity to expand your creative  computer abilities while building a foundation of business and leadership skills. Project-based  learning will help give you a competitive edge in school, work, and life. You will learn about Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings and how to use them in the business world.


    8th Grade Computer Science Discoveries
    Emphasis: Coding & Creating Applications
    Computer Science Discoveries is an advanced course that aims to demystify computer science and make  “coding” and creating with computers fun and collaborative. You will learn basic coding concepts  and problem-solving skills, with opportunities to explore various multimedia computer  applications. Project-based learning will provide you with “real-world” experiences to help  prepare you for higher education and professions in the Information Age.


    8th Grade Family and Consumer Sciences
    In this daily, one semester course, eighth grade students will take a more in-depth approach to expand their knowledge of Family and Consumer Sciences. Students will have the opportunity to improve their skills in the kitchen by mastering the basic essentials of food preparation. Hand and machine sewing skills will be developed by completing a variety of projects. Basic design concepts will be introduced. Cooperation, problem solving, and evaluation skills are integrated into the curriculum. This course is open to all skill levels.

    Special Programs

     AVID
    8th Grade AVID Elective Class (Application and Interview Required)
    Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a year-long course academic elective course that prepares students for college readiness and success. Each week, students receive instruction utilizing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum provided by AVID Center, tutor-facilitated study groups, motivational activities, and academic success skills. In AVID, students participate in activities that incorporate strategies focused on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading to support their academic growth.

    The eighth-grade AVID Elective course is the year of preparation for high school. The students will regularly exhibit and utilize the skills and strategies learned in the seventh-grade AVID course. Students will refine previous goals, focusing on their transition to high school as part of a college preparatory path. Their writing will focus on completing all steps of the writing process and varying style, word choice, vocabulary, structure and voice. Major writing assignments include persuasive, expository, descriptive and timed writing. Students will transition from active learners to leaders. Other areas of focus include increasing the use of technology and building upon their test preparation and test-taking knowledge. They will broaden their experiences with analyzing text and utilizing appropriate reading strategies in various settings. Students will become more involved in the presentations of guest speakers and field trips, particularly as they relate to preparation and prior knowledge. Students will also participate in college preparatory testing and build connections with the high school they will attend. Students enrolled in AVID are required to enroll in at least one challenging course. Challenging courses could include 8th Honors Algebra, any World Language course, or another course as approved by the AVID site team.