Grade 8


Curriculum Overview

Language Arts & Literature

TEXTBOOKS:Elements of Language, Course II, Explorations in Literature, Level 8, Currents in Drama and Fiction, Twelfth Night, To Kill a Mockingbird

The students will:
  • Review rules of grammar and mechanics.
  • Tackle new and more complex sentence structures.
  • Develop vocabulary and use a pronunciation guide.
  • Use specific detail in writing.
  • Present material and speak articulately.
  • The Personal Essay and Expository Writing.
  • The Newspaper: news stories, reviews, features and editorials.
  • Criticism, opinion, dialogue in narration, parody.
  • Conflict, theme, character analysis, setting, and mood.
  • Characteristics of the play, short story, and novel forms.
  • Public Speaking.
Evaluation of student writing is determined by a set of criteria, such as originality, use of detail, organization, strength of word choice, high level of reader interest, etc., and by the student's attention to the particular prompt of a writing assignment. In literature, contribution to class discussion is comparable in value to excellence of homework and test scores.  The grading policy includes assessment of effort and growth in speaking skills.

Assignments are given daily. Homework should consistently include review of that day's lessons. The student is obliged to do all writing on her own, without the assistance of family members or friends. A paper must be proofread before it is submitted. If it is handwritten, it must be neat, legible, and properly formatted. Late homework is only accepted by teacher-student arrangement.


TEXTBOOKS:  Singapore Math

Faculty are committed to instilling strong mathematical skills in our students by utilizing the finest foundational and developmental instructional practices.  Our programs emphasizes number sense, mental math, strong understanding of place value, critical thinking skills and confidence in mathematics.

The mathematics curriculum is built upon problem-solving at its core and is dependent upon:
  • Concepts: numerical, algebraic, statistical, probabilistic, geometric and analytical
  • Skills: calculation, measurement, estimation, spatial visualization, algebraic manipulation
  • Attitudes: an appreciation and confidence in math
  • Metacognition: monitoring of one’s own thinking while engaged in mathematical thinking
  • Processes: thinking skills, reasoning and application
Our students exhibit confidence in their abilities, are flexible, efficient and accurate with basic facts and computation, and demonstrate a variety of problem-solving strategies. The sequence and depth of topics are aligned from year to year spiraling with an increasing radius to insure a mastery of math skills and concepts.The following topics will be addressed in 8th Grade:

The students will:
  • Understand the use of variables and equations.
  • Solidify computation skills, including use of decimals and fractions.
  • Develop a problem-solving plan.
  • Use equations to solve problems.
  • Add, subtract, multiply, divide monomials, and factor polynomials.
  • Study linear and quadratic functions.
  • Graph linear and quadratic functions.
  • Learn and use the quadratic formula.
  • Problem-solving, increased mathematical vocabulary, and Algebra
  • Multiplying polynomials by monomials and polynomials
  • Solving problems using factoring and fractions.
  • Solving percent, mixture, work, distance, and money problems
  • Solving systems of equations by using substitution, addition, subtraction and graphing
  • Graphing equations, inequalities, and systems of equations

Social Studies

The students will:
  • Study historical events as they relate to the structure of the period.
  • Apply geographical settings to historical events.
  • Understand the impact that geography has on history.
  • Develop critical thinking skills, writing skills and reading skills.
  • Learn concepts such as “cause and effect” and “sequence of events”.
  • Continue to develop writing, research, note taking and cooperative learning skills.
  • Evaluate primary and secondary historical sources.
  • Growing conflict between England and the American Colonies
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The American Revolution and the roots of American Government
  • The Constitution
  • Manifest Destiny, slavery, tensions between the North and the South
  • The Civil War and Reconstruction
Students will be assessed on their in-class assignments, homework, quizzes, tests, projects, collaborative group work, participation, and major and minor homework. Quarter grades worth 45% each and a semester exam grade worth 10% will combine to form the overall semester grade.

Missing or incomplete homework assignments will result in point deductions.  For each "business day" that the assignment is late, the grade will be reduced by 5%.  Late work will not be accepted for credit past the eighth day from the initial due date of the assignment.  Four missing assignments constitute an academic memo home.

  • *** Students caught cheating on tests, copying a classmate's homework or plagiarizing an assignment or paper will receive an automatic zero on the assignment.
  • ****Guidebook:  It is the student's responsibility to copy daily homework assignments in his/her guidebook.  Weekly assignments will be posted on the classroom board and My Portal.
  • *****History students will also have access to The New York Times to keep them informed of current events, to be used at research, or simply for their own curiosity.
NY Times Replica Edition for students
  • This can be accessed at home or from school
    2. Password: 200334746
    3. Username: 200334746


The students will:
  • Learn to ask good scientific questions
  • Design and conduct scientific investigations
  • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret data
  • Think critically and logically to make relationships between evidence and explanations
  • Be able to communicate the key principles in each of the following key concepts
  • Properties and changes in matter
  • Motion and forces
  • Transfer of energy
  • The Nature of Science
  • Chemistry
  • Properties of Matter
  • Understanding the Atom
  • The Periodic Table
  • Chemical Bonding and Reactions
  • Acids, Bases and Solutions
  • Biochemistry
  • Reproductive Biology
  • Physics
  • Forces
  • Buoyancy
  • Electromagnetism
Quarter grades will be determined using the following grade breakdown:
  • Tests and Quizzes – 35%
  • Labs and Projects – 30%
  • Homework and class work– 35%
Semester grades will be determined using the following breakdown:
  • Quarter 1 Grade – 45%
  • Quarter 2 Grade – 45%
  • Semester Final Exam – 10%
Homework is designed to reinforce material covered in class and form a bridge between class and ‘real world’ science.  Assignments range between 10-20 points each.  Some homework will be small daily assignments and others will be more in-depth and require more time.


The student will:
  • Understand and further develop her unique relationship with God, both personally and communally through prayer
  • Deepen her faith life as an active child of God
  • Understand the power of kataphatic (active) and apophatic (silent) prayers in developing her personal relationship with God and others
  • Broaden her imagination of God’s world as it relates to her own development of a personal concern for the world
  • Deepen her relationship with God through developing her personal choices, i.e. living a moral life in today’s world
  • Recognize the great faith women of history and consider how each used prayer to live an active prayer life
  • Geography: the Church in the world
  • One Semester with two Research projects:
    1. Great Women Role Models: each student will chose one woman of history to study who models the type of characteristics that the student would like to develop in herself
    2. Major Issues: how to live a moral life when confronted with “issues”; each student will choose an issue to study which concerns her as a young woman of faith
  • One Semester of Campus Ministry: Mass preparation, students will work in groups and prepare that semester’s school Masses (English, Latin, French, Spanish)
Quarter reports with letter grades, which reflect student’s of level of assignment completion, preparedness, active class participation, and appropriate conduct.

Most homework will be completion of classroom assignments.  

Modern & Classical Languages


The student will learn:
  • Intermediate grammatical structures in both English and Latin.
  • A more extensive working vocabulary.
  • Intermediate translation skills.
  • Roman history and culture through study of Roman colonies in Britain and Eqypt.
  • Continue to build a comprehensive understanding of grammar.
  • Demonstrate increased grammatical proficiency through translation and practice.
  • Deepen a love of language and learning through heightened Latin proficiency.
  • Develop reading comprehension through extended Latin passages.
Homework will be assigned on average twice
per week.  With the exception of long-term projects, written homework will not be given over weekends Students are encouraged to review grammar and vocabulary on their own for 10 minutes each day.

Homework = 35%; Tests = 35%; Quizzes = 25%; Projects = 10%; Participation = 5%.


The students will:
  • Review, reinforce, and enhance grammatical structures and vocabulary.
  • Extend oral and written expression with conversation, poems, songs, and exercises.
  • Enhance reading and aural comprehension.
  • Discover the interdependence of Francophone culture and language.
  • Develop a more communicative approach to their French studies.
  • Review the past tense and future tense, regular and irregular verb conjugations, Imperative
  • Passé Composé
  • Reflexive verbs
  • Interrogatives
  • Superlatives and Comparatives
  • New verbs: pouvoir, vouloir, devoir, savoir, connaitre, lire, dire, écrire, dormir and sentir
  • Direct and indirect object pronouns and the pronoun 'y'
  • Imparfait past tense
  • Adverbs, Expressions of Quantity
  • Adjectives
  • Imperative with reflexives
  • Stress pronouns
Class participation, self-motivation, attention and preparation are all taken into consideration for assessment. Quizzes and tests are averaged quarterly. The semester examination is 15% of the semester grade, with the two quarters being 42.5% each.

Fifteen to twenty minutes a night (weeknights only) for independent review/drill on vocabulary or to complete a specific written assignment. Written assignments are generally a reinforcement of material introduced in class that day. There is typically one long-term project per semester.


The students will:
  • Acquire new grammatical structures presented in this course.
  • Build upon previously learned material through review and repetition.
  • Increase vocabulary through vocabulary lists and stories.
  • Gain confidence in speaking through dialogues and skits.
  • Actively participate in oral/aural drills.
  • Actively participate in class in the target language.
  • Read novels in the target language and have related class discussions.
  • Actively participate in class discussions on given topics.
  • Write sentences and paragraphs in Spanish on specific given topics.
  • Increase knowledge of Spanish speaking countries and culture.
  • New and reviewed vocabulary.
  • Basic descriptions, emotional and physical conditions.
  • Getting and giving directions, locations and prepositions of space.
  • Verb tenses – present indicative, present progressive, simple future and preterite.
  • Irregular verb conjugations – including stem-changing verbs, irregular yo verbs, and completely irregular verbs.
  • Reflexive verbs.
  • Pronouns and the personal “a.”
  • Commands - irregular affirmative tú and all negative tú.
  • Pronoun placement (subject, direct and indirect object, and reflexive).
  • Adverbs.
  • Superlatives.
  • Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns.
Grades are based upon class participation, tests and quizzes, and homework, class work, projects, and presentations.  The semester exam will be 10% of the semester grade, with each quarter being worth 45%.

Homework is given to reinforce new concepts and to practice previously learned information. When given, it is to be turned in the next class, unless otherwise noted. Students are strongly encouraged to "study" Spanish for at least 15 minutes every night.  This may include reviewing and practicing vocabulary and grammar concepts.

Studio Art & General Music


The students will:
  • Demonstrate an increased knowledge of technical skills in using more complex two-dimensional art media and processes (e.g., printing press, silk screening, computer graphics software).
  • Design and create maquettes for three-dimensional sculptures.
Communication and Expression Through Original Works of Art
  • Create an original work of art, using film, photography, computer graphics, or video.
  • Design and create an expressive figurative painting or sculpture.
  • Select a medium to use to communicate a theme in a series of works of art.
  • Design and create both additive and subtractive sculptures.
Grades will reflect personal effort and creative energy demonstrated in class and the student's ability to be self-directed in a less structured environment.  Active participation and the completion of class projects will determine the final grade. 

No homework is assigned.  Class time is generally sufficient for the completion of projects.  Occasionally students may to finish a project at home or after school.


MATERIALS USED:  Notated music, octavos, CDs, DVDs.

The student will:
  • participate actively in solo, unison and part-singing
  • clap, snap, and move to the beat
  • build a repertoire of American songs of a variety of styles
  • identify significant figures in American music
  • The range of skills in theory and ear-training learned in grades K-5 are reviewed, reinforced, and applied directly to the voice.
  • Students are active participants in singing a variety of musical forms and styles from the history of American music.  Both part-singing and solo singing are emphasized through the presentation of canons, descants, folk songs, spirituals, and popular tunes.
  • 7th grade students learn about the roots of American music through song, supplemented by videos of authentic footage of masters of work songs, country, folk, blues, etc., in addition to random songs designed to raise interest in singing and instill confidence. The girls will also prepare songs for the Mother-Daughter Liturgy and Tea.
  • In 8th grade, focus is placed on vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, the great recording vocalists, and songs of stage and film.  Class time might also be used in preparation of the annual Variety Show.
ENRICHMENT:  Vocal ensembles are made available during lunch periods.

Grades are given at each quarter based on attendance, participation, and behavior.

Little-to-no homework is given; however, students are responsible for making up any class work missed due to absence.

Physical Education

The students will:
  • Develop movement skills essential to lifelong participation in physical activity.
  • Participate in a variety of games with rules and activity skills.
  • Define and maintain individual physical fitness and wellness.
  • Develop effective motor skills through exploration, practice, and movement.
  • Develop appropriate social behaviors during planned physical activity.
  • Learn to develop and maintain a positive self-image.
  • Develop individual physical performance through setting realistic personal goals.
  • Cooperation and team games.
  • Volleyball, court soccer, and basketball.
  • The Presidential Physical Fitness program.
  • Hoops for Heart program.
  • Basic Yoga Program.
  • Creative dance, folk dance, and square dance.
  • "Natural High" Health project.
  • American Heart Association, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Evaluations are based on participation in class, sportsmanship, positive attitude, effort, understanding of rules, and activities. Physical fitness tests will be administered to test skill, fitness improvement, preparation, listening, and following directions. If a student is not able to actively participate in class, she must bring a note from a parent.  If she is going to miss more than one week of P.E., she must have a note from a doctor.  Please be specific in your note. If your daughter is recovering from an illness, she might be able to participate in the less strenuous part of class.  P.E. uniform is a red t-shirt and dark, appropriate-fitting, non-spandex shorts.

Each student should exercise daily and concentrate on personal development and growth.  She should work on lifelong health and wellness habits.

Technology Integration

Goals and Objectives:
1.Basic Operational Skills
  • Communicates using appropriate technological terms and works with a variety of software applications
  • Learns to manipulate a mouse and keyboard functions, accesses the print command and uses window operations
  • Integrates two or more applications
  • Accesses school server on and off campus, opens and quits a saved file and organizes files in server space
  • Save and access information on CD-ROM/DVD/flash drive
  • Identifies and solves routine hardware and software problems
  • Uses digital cameras, video camera and scanners. Uploads and edits images
2.Word Processing/Application Skills
  • Formats text and documents, uses punctuation keys and the “undo” command, uses correct spacing between words, uses spell check and grammar check and uses borders
  • Uses paint/draw/text tools, formats text and “cut,”  “copy” and “paste”
  • Imports and manipulates graphics
  • Uses accurate left/right hand and body positions and makes use of keyboard shortcuts
  • Composes email, attaches documents, replies, deletes
  • Uses applications to design, develop and publish products
  • Creates outlines, storyboards, graphs, charts, tables, word processing documents and multimedia projects
  • Uses multiple applications to develop presentations
  • Navigates teacher-made websites
  • Navigates teacher-selected websites, uses search engines and accesses online library resources
  • Uses Internet websites to locate and retrieve information
  • Develop strategies to evaluate online resources
  • Cites work using appropriate format
  • Shows proper care for computer hardware and software
  • Understands and complies with the Acceptable Use Policy
  • Works cooperatively with peers and follows class rules
  • Understands, recognizes and avoids plagiarism and cites sources
  • Makes responsible decisions about print and paper resources
Homework Policy: Students are expected to continue keyboarding practice and complete assignments not finished during computer lab class. They will need to schedule independent computer lab time outside class hours. Some projects can be continued on a home computer.


Dean, Middle Form



Marilyn Charm
Literature, Language Arts, &Music

Kelsey Barbella
Jack Sheehy

Kellie Mullin

Sara Skrip
Social Studies

Michelle Pasicatan - Latin & Theatre Arts
Yasmin Webster-Woog - French
Jesse Long - Spanish
Modern & Classical Languages

Tara Donohoe

Suzanne Miazga

Helen Leong-Luke
Physical Education

Fred Jaravata
Krista Inchausti