Eighth Grade English classes are high school preparatory classes designed to give students a solid foundation in literature, writing, and vocabulary. Addressing issues of ethics and morality, students maintain journals, compose poetry, and read challenging texts such as A Separate Peace, The Secret Life of Bees, Night, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Vocabulary and writing mechanics are emphasized through essays and in-class exercises. Students conduct in-depth, independent research using technology, interview techniques, and primary sources to write a comprehensive report on a subject matter of specific interest to them. The final projects are presented to the Calvert community in the spring.
Students are placed in developmentally appropriate groups in Algebra I and Algebra II. Students in Algebra I will master the solutions of more complex equations and the graphing of polynomial functions will be introduced. Algebra II provides further development of the concept of a function as well as systems of equations, inequalities, matrices, polynomials, and rational polynomial expressions. Students are exposed to Geometry in each group. They use technology and real-world problem scenarios to explore mathematical concepts.
Students focus on the period from 1865 through the Cold War as they learn about the development of modern America and its role as a world power. Topics include westward expansion and industrial growth, the Progressive Era and the fight for women’s suffrage, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement. Several historical texts are read to support deeper learning about prominent figures and events, and students work independently and collaboratively on many innovative projects throughout the year both to develop mastery of the subject matter and to grow their skills as researchers, writers, and critical thinkers.
Through Physical Science, key concepts related to the structure of matter and the principles of energy are explored in an active manner. The larger disciplines of Chemistry and Physics are encompassed within the course of study. Laboratory investigations are an integral part of this class.
All Eighth Graders are required to take one year of Latin. Students are introduced to first-year appropriate grammar, relevant classical mythology, early Roman history, Roman culture, and classical geography. All Eighth Graders have the option to continue their studies with Latin II. This course expands upon themes from Latin I with the study of complex grammar, authentic texts, sayings/mottos, and cultural and geographical themes.World Languages
Eighth Graders learn in a skills-based classroom where they will develop their listening, speaking, reading, writing, and cultural competency skills. Students gain insight into the syntactic and semantic foundation of the language with special emphasis put on the functional use of the language and understanding multiple forms of input. These skills are practiced with a focus on understanding French or Spanish-speaking cultures and include reviews of the essentials of intermediate grammar, continued development of reading skills, and practice in composition and speaking. At this level, classes are conducted almost entirely in the target language.