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Rising 8th Grade Registration

Rising 8th Grade Registration Information:

Hello Walton Families:

This website has been designed to help support current 7th grade students and parents during the recommendation and registration process for the 2020/2021 school year. You will find information about exploratories, core classes and important registration dates.

Exploratory Descriptions

Course Information:
Placement in course levels is determined by teacher recommendation using multiple criteria. Some examples of these criteria are teacher observations, grades, achievement test scores, Standards of Learning test results, and benchmark assessments. A description of each level follows:
Standard (Grades 6-8)
The standard level course provides a broad base of knowledge and allows for in-depth study. Language arts and mathematical skills are strengthened through daily 90-minute blocks of instruction in these areas. The pace of instruction allows for the completion of grade level or above curriculum content. Students are expected to grasp concepts quickly and apply them often as independent learners.
Advanced/Honors (Grades 6-8)
In the advanced/honors level course, content is presented at a faster pace and in greater depth. Students should have grade level or above reading skills. Students should also have the ability to progress independently on assignments at school and at home.

Advanced Alternate (Grade 8 Language Arts only)
The advanced alternate course is taught every other day to allow world languages to be added to a student's schedule. The pace is faster than the advanced course. Students should be well above grade level in reading and writing skills. More independent work is required because there is less seat time.

Core Classes:
English/Language Arts 8 – Levels available: Standard & Advanced
Middle school students explore the language arts through five interdisciplinary concepts: systems, change and continuity, communication, aesthetics, and universality. Courses are designed to incorporate a balanced literacy diet that includes the components of fluency, word study, comprehension, and writing.
A focus on systems reinforces students’ developmental processes in fluency and word study, as well as their continued growth as readers and writers. Students in each middle school grade use a second interdisciplinary concept, change and continuity, as a focusing lens through which they gain deeper understanding of language and literary elements. Eighth-grade students focus on universality and expressing their own voices as part of the human experience. Reading extensively from fiction, narrative nonfiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry, students explore such themes as the search for identity; coming of age; cooperation versus isolation; and tolerance of the atypical. Through speaking and writing, students contribute their own voices and experiences to the timeless, universal conversation about what it means to be human. Eighth-grade students also write for a variety of audiences and purposes, using narrative, expository, persuasive and analytical forms. Additionally, students use knowledge of Latin roots and Greek combining forms to discuss the etymology of language and use language effectively as speakers and writers.
Each middle school provides a highly-structured, research-based intervention for students who are reading below grade-level. This course offers an accelerated, sequential approach to literacy, while addressing the components of a balanced literacy diet. This course offers students who have experienced difficulty with reading skills opportunities to break apart the structures of language to gain deep understanding of how words, sentences and paragraphs work, and how authors use structures to create meaning. Students read and write extensively in nonfiction forms; other genres are experienced through read-alouds, literature circles, and independent reading. Based on extensive pre-assessments, students are placed in mixed-grade ability groups to accelerate mastery of specific skills.
Mathematics 8 – Levels available: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Geometry
Eighth-grade students complete their three-year focus on five mathematical instructional strands: numeracy, geometry, measurement, patterns and algebra, and probability and statistics, and begin to focus on more abstract thinking skills. Students who meet the prerequisite requirements may be able to take Algebra I or Geometry for high school credit. We strongly encourage students to work toward taking Algebra I in middle school. Our goal is to prepare you for success, and learning algebra will open up greater possibilities for you in your study of mathematics and in your college and career pathway. An option for accepting high school credit is given at the end of the eighth-grade year. Students will follow the high school exam exemption policy.
Using appropriate tools and technologies and student-centered inquiry, eighth-grade math students do the following:
  • Develop, investigate, solve and apply multi-step equations.
  • Collect and graph data using a variety of representations; analyze the data to make inferences and predictions; and in some cases, develop rules to describe the data.
  • Use probability to predict and calculate outcomes for data.
  • Identify, classify and apply transformations to geometric figures.
  • Measure, convert and use standard and non-standard units for measurement, and apply formulas for linear measurement, area and volume.
Science – Semester based
Eighth-grade students continue their involvement in scientific experimentation. They plan and conduct research projects that include classroom experimentations and literature reviews. Their research focuses on variables, repeated trials, and validating conclusions using evidence and data. Students share their work in written reports and oral presentations. They develop an in-depth understanding of the nature and structure of matter and the characteristics of energy, and explore how technology applies to physical science principles. Eighth-graders study the periodic table; physical and chemical changes; nuclear reactions; temperature and heat; sound; light; electricity and magnetism; and work, force and motion.
Civics and Economics – Semester based
Eighth-grade students explore the fundamentals of American constitutional government and our economic system. Students are engaged in relevant and real-life tasks to prepare them for becoming active and responsible citizens. They continue to develop critical/analytical thinking and writing skills. Students use primary and secondary source documents, simulations, and service learning to answer important questions, such as: What does it mean to be a citizen? How is public policy made in the U.S.? How does an increasingly global and interdependent economy affect U.S. interests and my own future?
World Languages – Levels available: Spanish I, French I
Eighth-grade students have an opportunity to take French I or Spanish I. Coursework includes a strong emphasis on speaking, listening, reading and writing, and cultural awareness. Basic vocabulary and essential grammar are taught. Students who successfully complete this first-year high school program may elect to earn high school credit for the course and take French II or Spanish II in ninth grade. Students follow the high school exam exemption policy for these courses.

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