The Middle School Religion Program educates the students to “learn the Catholic Faith and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ”. Students grow spiritually, academically and socially. They attain the foundation to lead a life of faith, service, and integrity. All Middle School students follow the Liturgical calendar and enter into the prayer life of the Catholic Church. Holy Days of Obligation and other special saint days are celebrated on a monthly basis, as the school community gathers for Mass at St. Pius X Church. During Advent, and at other times through the year, students participate in school-wide prayer service. On a daily basis, students pray in the chapel before each Religion class. Formal prayers are learned and prayed during the school year. Students in grades 6-8 are required to complete thirty hours of community service each school year. All students learn the virtues and are encouraged to practice them on a daily basis.
Students use the textbook published by Sadlier, We Live Our Faith as Members of the Church. This program, and the curriculum for grades five – seven, is supplemented with YouCat (youth catechism of the Catholic Church), and the Bible. The program presents the Church from her beginning at the Pentecost through her history, encompassing her teachings and tradition. It presents the mission of the Church, entrusted to her by Jesus, as the responsibility of all baptized Catholics. Grade eight learns Catholic morality, Church history, social teachings, and the teachings and tradition of the Catholic Church.
LANGUAGE ARTS & LITERATURE
The Grade 8 Language Arts/Literature curriculum continues to integrate the language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Concentration on vocabulary study, grammar usage, and understanding the importance of clarity of written content form a comprehensive literacy program. The literacy program includes reading from a variety of genres: novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and nonfiction text.
The Grade 8 Literature curriculum incorporates the Prentice Hall textbook to introduce students to authors, such as Mark Twain, O. Henry, Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou, Charles Dickens, Anne Frank, Ray Bradbury, and John Steinbeck. Students are encouraged to choose from a wide selection of trade books and authors which interest them, hopefully, inspiring a lifetime of reading enjoyment. Field trips to live theater, classroom reader’s theater, an introduction to Shakespeare, and reading classics such as Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Anne Frank, A Diary of Young Girl are anticipated classroom experiences.
Writing is an integral component of our daily middle school curriculum. Students utilize the writing process (planning, drafting, editing, revising and publishing) throughout the day. They explore various writing styles and modes. There are opportunities to develop their writing skills in all subjects, as well as using our tech lab for research, report writing and creative writing. Students are encouraged to participate in outside writing workshops and annual writing contests.
Pre-Algebra: The Pre-Algebra course, based on the diocesan and state standards, is a transition from the arithmetic of elementary school to the algebra of high school, or a transition from the concrete to the abstract study of mathematics. It builds the foundation necessary for success in the study of Algebra I, emphasizing conceptual understanding and computational fluency. This course encourages higher-level thinking skills and will assist students in developing skills and processes to be applied using a variety of techniques to solve problems.
Curriculum: Rational numbers; real numbers; expressions & equations; inequalities; linear functions & inequalities; ratio & proportions; percent applications; 2-dimensional geometry; geometric measures & coordinate geometry; patterns & nonlinear functions; 3-dimensional geometry; data analysis & statistics; probability & logic; and polynomials & factoring
Grade 8 – Algebra I: The Algebra I course, based on the diocesan and state standards, is the foundation for high school mathematics courses. It is the bridge from the concrete to the abstract study of mathematics. It provides tools and ways of thinking that are necessary for problem-solving in a wide variety of disciplines. The course will assist students in developing skills and processes to be applied using a variety of techniques to successfully solve problems in a variety of settings.
Curriculum: basic concepts of Algebra; linear equations & inequalities; relations & linear functions; systems of linear equations & inequalities; polynomials; radical expressions & equations; quadratic functions & equations; rational expressions & equations; exponential & other nonlinear functions; data analysis; and probability
In Grade 8, the curriculum is rotated each year to study both physical and life sciences. In physical science, students will learn about chemical building blocks, the periodic table and force/motion. In life science, they build upon the study of heredity and DNA. Students continue explorations in the science lab and work in group settings. Students engage in lab projects such as extracting DNA from strawberries, and cooperatively building structures able to support a defined weight using uncooked spaghetti and a marshmallow. It is an imperative skill for students to be able to work cooperatively and respectfully together, as scientists must be able to communicate ideas and learn from peers in order to be successful.
Students continue the study of American History beginning with a review of the economy and social structures of the US prior to the Civil War. An in-depth study of the Civil War and Reconstruction follows, using America: History of Our Nation textbook as well as a variety of other resources. The curriculum continues with the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression and present-day conflicts, issues, and government. Through independent study, guided practice, field trips, primary and secondary sources and educational videos, students will gain a deeper understanding of the development of our great nation.
Vocabulary: description of personalities; classroom furniture and items; food and beverages; health and feelings; leisure activities; celebrations; house, rooms and chores; shopping; recycling; technology
Structures: review of form and agreement of adjectives; present tense of SER, ESTAR, IR a with infinitive and other irregular verb; stem changing verbs; present progressive tense; affirmative familiar commands; preterit of AR verbs, HACER and DAR; direct and indirect object pronouns
Culture: compare and contrast celebration of holidays, homes, schools, sports and leisure activities, shopping and city centers, environmental issues, use of technology.