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 8th Grade

 READING & WRITING GOALS

WHEN SEEING POINTS OF VIEW, I CAN...

-Analyze where materials on the same topic disagree on matters of fact, interpretation or point of view

-Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media (such as print, TV, web) and evaluate its social, political or commercial motives

-Present findings and claims to others, emphasizing key points with relevant evidence and sound reasoning, adapting speech to the audience and the formality of the setting, and responding to questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas

-Build writing around strong central ideas or points of view; support the ideas with sound reasoning and evidence, precise word choices, smooth transitions, and different sentence structures

-Interpret figures of speech, such as puns or verbal irony, in context. Verbal irony is when words are used to say something other than their usual meaning (such as saying “as clear as mud” for something that isn’t clear)

WHEN INFERENCING, I CAN...

-Identify what a reading selection directly or explicitly says and draw inferences based on evidence from the text (an inference is a conclusion based on facts or circumstances rather than direct or explicit statement)

WHEN DOING MULTISTEP RESEARCH PROJECTS, I CAN...

-Plan and conduct research projects that include several steps and use many credible and documented print and digital sources

-Use strong, active verbs to create a clear picture for the reader (such as walk, skip, meander, lurch, limp)

MATH GOALS

WHEN SOLVING LINEAR EQUATIONS, I CAN...

-Solve linear equations and pairs of linear equations. A linear equation is an equation such as y=mx + b that makes a straight line when graphed. Students learn that the values of (x,y) on the graph are the solutions of the equation and m is the slope of the line

-Work with positive and negative exponents, square root and cube root symbols, and scientific notation

-Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations

WHEN WORKING WITH FUNCTIONS, I CAN...

-Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each value of x exactly one value of y, such as y=2x, a rule that would yield such ordered pairs as (-2,-4), (3,6) and (4,8)

-Use functions to model relationships between quantities

-Graph proportional relationships and determine slope, or rate of change

WHEN SOLVING FOR CONGRUENCY AND UNDERSTANDING SIMILARITIES, I CAN...

-Understand congruence (when shapes are of equal size and shape) and similarity (same shape but different sizes) using physical models, transparencies or geometry software

-Understand the properties and relationships of rotations, reflections, and translations, and explain their effects on 2-D figures

-Understand and implement the Pythagorean Theorem (an equation relating the lengths of the sides of a right triangle: a2+b2=c2)

SCIENCE GOALS

WHEN UNDERSTANDING ALL MATTER IS MADE OF ATOMS, I CAN...

-Learn that all matter is made of atoms, which are far too small to see

-Understand that elements have unique atoms and thus, unique properties. Atoms themselves are made of even smaller particles

-Learn that atoms may stick together in well-defined molecules or be packed together in large arrangements. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances

-Learn that physical characteristics and changes of solid, liquid and gas states can be explained using the particulate model (which states all matter is made up of particles that are moving all the time)

-Explain the relationships among mass, weight, volume, and density

-Learn that mixtures of substances can be separated based on their properties, such as boiling points, magnetic properties, and densities

WHEN EXPLORING DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY, I CAN...

-Identify and calculate the direction and the magnitude of forces that act on objects and explain results in objects’ change of motion

-Understand there are different forms of energy and those forms can be changed from one form to another — but total energy is conserved

-Distinguish between physical and chemical changes, noting that mass is conserved during any change

-Recognize that waves (electromagnetic, sound, seismic and water) have common traits and unique properties

SOCIAL STUDIES GOALS

WHEN EXAMINING U.S. HISTORY FROM THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION THROUGH RECONSTRUCTION, I CAN...

-Formulate appropriate hypotheses about United States history based on a variety of historical sources and perspectives

-Learn the historical eras, individuals, groups, ideas, and themes from the origins of the American Revolution through Reconstruction

-Use geographic tools to analyze patterns in human and physical systems. For example, consider human settlements near rivers

-Analyze conflict and cooperation over space and resources

WHEN LEARNING ABOUT TRADE AND COSTS, I CAN...

-Analyze why economic freedom, including free trade, is important for economic growth

-Explain why nations often restrict trade by using quotas and tariffs

-Learn to manage personal credit and debt

-Analyze the benefits and costs of credit and debt

WHEN UNDERSTANDING LAWS AND SYSTEMS, I CAN...

-Analyze elements of continuity and change in the United States government and the role of citizens over time

-Describe instances in which major political, social, economic and cultural changes occurred in the United States and the reasons for the changes

-Learn about the place of law in a constitutional system

-Discuss the tensions between individual rights, state law, and national law

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP YOUR CHILD?

READING AND WRITING

-Provide time and space for your child to read independently, without distractions such as TV

-Make time in everyone’s busy schedule for family discussions about things going on around the world

-Visit the campus of a local college with your child. Begin talking about college early. What does he or she expect from college? What high school courses will your child need to pass to prepare for college?

-Visit museums, zoos, theaters, historical sites, aquariums and other educational places to help increase your child’s exposure to new knowledge and vocabulary

-Be sure your child has a library card

-Use technology to help build your child’s interest in reading. There are several websites where children can read books or articles online. Libraries also have computers your child can use to access those sites. Feel free to ask a librarian or teacher for suggestions

MATH

-Ask your child to do an Internet search to determine how math is used in specific careers. This could lead to a good discussion and allow students to begin thinking about their future aspirations

-Ask your child to share with you any work he or she is doing in math class that strikes him or her as interesting

-Analyze data with a scatterplot to decide whether exercise and obesity are related

-Using different objects or containers (such as a soup can or shoebox), ask your child to estimate surface area and volume, and check the answer together

-Prompt your child to face challenges positively and to see mathematics as a subject that is important. Avoid statements like“I wasn’t good at math” or “Math is too hard.”