Eighth-Grade Course Listing
The information on this page has been updated for the 2019-20 school year. Every effort is made to schedule each seventh grader with the electives they choose. It is possible that this may not happen due to staffing restraints, class size, seats available, teaming, etc.
*Denotes full-year course
Adv. English: ENG802*
This advanced course will provide priority time for students to engage in the language processes of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will study classic and contemporary literature in a variety of genres. Instruction and practice in the writing process with assignments ranging from narratives based on personal experience to explanatory essays. The emphasis is on developing an individual voice and on learning through reading, discussion, and expository writing—to shape experience, discover ideas and communicate effectively in a variety of rhetorical situations. In the context of the students’ own writing, matters of grammar, punctuation, and usage are reviewed as necessary.
This course provides priority time for students to engage in the basic language processes of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In reading workshops, writing workshops, and traditional theme-centered units, specific skills are carefully integrated through whole-class and individual instruction. Students learn to discover, explore, shape, communicate, and evaluate ideas.
Algebra C (Advanced): MTH831*
The course content is similar to 9th-grade Algebra which includes problem-solving techniques, the real number system, polynomials, functions, and quadratic equations. This course is open only to qualified students who have successfully completed pre-algebra (advanced), by teacher recommendation, or special testing. This course is for high school credit.
This two-semester course is aligned to the Eighth-Grade Iowa Core Math Standards. Pre-Algebra topics include algebraic expressions, linear equations, and systems of equations, functions, and geometric relationships of two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures
Pre-Algebra A: MTH811*
This course is designed to meet the learning needs of students who are approaching proficiency in their knowledge of the Seventh-Grade Iowa Core Math Standards. This course is a prerequisite for Algebra I A.
Pre-Algebra B: MTH821*
This B-level course is designed to meet the learning needs of students who are proficient in their knowledge of the Seventh-Grade Iowa Core Math Standards. This course is a prerequisite for Algebra I B.
Geometry C (Advanced):
Geometry C is a two-semester course, which involves the development and study of a mathematical system. This course is designed to review and strengthen algebraic skills, develop deductive and inductive reasoning ability, and increase spatial perception. The topics include principles of logic, parallelism, congruence, similarity, circles, spheres, constructions and loci, areas, volumes, coordinate geometry, and transformations. Geometry C will enable students to move into either Algebra II and Trigonometry B or Algebra II and Trigonometry C.
Physical Education Course
Physical Education: PHY870*
The physical education curriculum is designed to develop physical fitness through large group and individual activities. The development of good attitude and sportsmanship is an important aspect of the course. Physical education meets every other day.
Adv. Physical Science: SCI852*
This is a high school level course with a focus on middle and high school Physical Science, Engineering Technology and Earth-Space science concepts as outlined by the Iowa Core standards. Students enrolled in this course will experience a compacted, in-depth, and rigorous learning environment inclusive of standards associated with middle school and high school physical science. This course leads to enrollment in Biology at the 9th grade. This course is for 2 high school credits and fulfills 2 credits of the Physical Science graduation requirements.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been adopted. Eighth-grade science covers Newton’s laws of motion, energy, waves, and information transfer, weather, climate and climate change, effects of human activity on natural resources, and biological evolution. Engineering design standards are incorporated into many units. Eighth-grade science also includes a unit on human growth and development.
Social Studies Courses
Adv. Social Studies: SOC842*
This advanced course will have similar content base compared to the regular section of 8th-grade social studies (US History Pre Columbian America through 1877) but will take a more intense look at the history through a variety of different methods. Students will have the opportunity to debate historical issues, study and compare work of historians, analyze primary resources, apply historical learning in a modern setting and explore problem-based learning. Students will be asked to read and write at a high level in promotion of higher order thinking skills related to the content.
Social Studies: SOC841*
The major purpose of this class is to provide students with a relatively comprehensive overview of United States history from the 1500s to the 1900s and a general survey of the 1900s to the present.
One semester course. Students will explore the areas of drawing, painting, and ceramics, as well as delve into digital graphics, specifically Photoshop Elements and digital cameras. Students will develop skills with art-making and self-expression, along with exposure to art history and criticism.
While beginners are welcome in band, it is recommended that students have previous training on their instruments so that they may participate in large group (band) instruction. During the year, the band will perform various concerts. During the week, each student will have a group lesson. All students will have an opportunity to audition for jazz band and will be encouraged to perform in the solo and ensemble contest. Band meets every other day and is a one-year course.
Chorus is open to any student who enjoys singing. The students sing three and four-part music and perform at various concerts and occasions throughout the year. Attention is placed on development of vocal skills and choral technique. All chorus members are eligible to try out for the show choir. Chorus meets every other day and is a one-year course.
Communication Media: ENG809
Students will learn to recognize and understand the ever-changing media and its importance and influence in the world and their lives. Units of study will be chosen from the following areas: photography, newspaper, TV news, and film making. This class is responsible for the school newspaper, The Tiger Tracks, and working with the school yearbook.
This is an exploratory theatre arts course lasting one semester. Units of study include Discovering Theatre, Movement, Voice, Acting, Script, and Audition. Possible projects include mime, improvisation, lip syncing, working with scripts, storytelling, learning drama terminology and audience etiquette, and participating in a mock audition.
Exploring Technology: TEC820
This course studies how men and women use different materials and change these materials to make them more useful. Students will gain experience working with wood, metal and plastic, and study the processes of laminating, welding, and forming. Problem-solving is also studied. Projects include clocks, mini-basketball hoops, and various plastic projects.
This semester course will provide students the opportunity to develop valuable kitchen skills as they work with others in the labs. Students will gain knowledge of kitchen safety and food sanitation through the preparation of items such as pizza, muffins, biscuits, breads, vegetables, fruits, cookies, and many other foods. Life long nutritious food choices are discussed and encouraged. The planning, preparing, serving, and table etiquette are all life skills that are taught in the 8th grade food class.
This semester course will provide students the opportunity to improve their machine and hand sewing skills. Students will create several sewing projects (frog, sports bag, a clothing item, such as flannel pants, etc.) that will teach many sewing techniques as well as fabric selection and care. Students will explore the areas of design, color, and the history of clothing. For a class finale, students may create a project by using a computer-aided program or an independently chosen alternative project. Students will need to pay for additional materials for optional projects.
GTT: DMAR: TEC821 Gateway to Technology:
Automation & Robotics – Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics® platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms.
Design & Modeling – Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They work in teams to design a playground and furniture, capturing research and ideas in their engineering notebooks. Using Autodesk® design software, students create a virtual image of their designs and produce their innovative solutions. Students will also trace the history the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VES Robotics ® platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms.
Engineering Technology – This course will focus on the design, manufacturing, and evaluation of products. Topics include bridge building, computer modeling, materials testing, wood, plastic, and metal project building, problem-solving and lab safety. Students will be building several projects in the lab from various materials using both hand and power tools. The classes will meet in the materials lab.
Students are provided large group, small group, and individual orchestra experience. Each student is also encouraged to participate in a combined junior high chamber orchestra. Individual or small group lessons are available to each student. The orchestra will perform at several concerts during the year. Orchestra meets every other day and is a one-year course.
Spanish I: FRL801
This course is an introduction to the Spanish language and to the culture of Spanish-speaking countries. Speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills will be developed through varied classroom activities. Students will gain a basic working vocabulary with which they will be able to communicate. After satisfactorily completing Spanish I, a student is qualified to enroll in Spanish II in high school. This course applies toward the fulfillment of university entrance foreign language requirements. This course is for 2 high school credits, and student must request this class both semesters.
Recommended Courses (based on teacher feedback)
E.S.O.L.: ESOL Newcomers
As students enter the WDM School District with English for Students of Other Languages, the Idea Proficiency Test (IPT) will be administered. Students scoring a low proficiency score on oral, written, or reading will be served within the Newcomers Program at Valley High School for three periods in the mornings. Students are eligible to participate in the program for two full semesters. After completing the Newcomers Program, students will be served by the regular E.S.L. teacher at Indian Hills by taking ESL892.
The purpose of E.S.O.L. is to provide support and modifications for students whose native language is not English. This class teaches basic skills in reading, writing, and speaking English. The class meets every day in order to teach English and support academics in content area classes.
Extended Learning: LRN899
The purpose of this class is to develop self-directed, independent, lifelong learners. Students work individually, in small groups, and with the whole group on projects and presentations based upon their interests, needs, and abilities. Open only to those students identified by district standards as gifted and talented for the 2018-19 school year
Learning Lab: LRN801
The learning lab is a non-graded class designed to help and assist students who are struggling with academic success, organization skills, and assignment completion. Parents will be contacted to discuss this option after the school year begins if problems become apparent. The learning lab will become a closely supervised study hall with a small teacher to student ratio. The class meets every other day or every day, if needed.
Math Resource: MTH810
The purpose of this course is to provide students with additional direct instruction in math skills and strategies. Students will be assessed for problem areas, and review key concepts using a variety of strategies and methods. Enrollment is based on assessment scores and team recommendation. This course meets every other day. If it becomes apparent by the building administrator that the student has been inappropriately placed, an adjustment will be made.
Reading Resource: ENG807
The purpose of this class is to provide students with additional direct instruction in reading skills and strategies. Students will review classroom homework, be assessed for problem areas, and review key concepts using a variety of strategies and methods. Enrollment is based on assessment scores and team recommendation. If it becomes apparent by the building administrator that the student has been inappropriately placed, an adjustment will be made.