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A Las Vegas Day School teacher points at a book on a students desk as she writes in it

Eighth Grade School Program

Dive Into Our Eighth Grade Learning Curriculum

At LVDS, we understand that every student is unique, and our eighth-grade curriculum is designed to help your child thrive. Our focus is on developing critical thinking, problem-solving and organizational skills that will help your child succeed in high school and beyond. With our rigorous coursework, engaging activities, and hands-on learning opportunities, your child will be prepared for success.

Explore our curriculum below:

Literature

In literature, students are provided an opportunity to become active and critical readers. Students are provided with a variety of literary forms to analyze and critique, such as:

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Dramas
  • Plays
  • Short stories
  • Novels

This is done through written work, classroom discussions, and individual and group projects. Students also discuss literary terminology such as theme, motif, symbolism, foreshadowing, setting, and point of view.

Novels cover a wide range of topics and include different points of view. Novel discussions will be held regularly, and students are expected to participate and offer their thoughts.

Students will get a chance to read books of their own choice during the year and reading outside of the classroom is highly encouraged. The literature program will expose students to a variety of literature, encourage participation, and promote lifelong readers.
Throughout the year, students complete writing assignments to focus on the analysis of literature. Students develop the ability to analyze various elements of literary genres, such as:

  • Short Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Satires
  • Novels
  • Essays

Eighth graders complete a minimum of four quarterly projects, including reading a recognized work of literature and producing a student generated project.

English

English offers detailed instruction into various forms of academic writing including expository, persuasive, and research writing. Through the use of the writing process, students incorporate key components of grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling to develop clear, concise written work. Writing focuses on integration of original ideas with research from multiple sources, both digital and print, for analysis and drawing conclusions.

Students are taught how to cite their sources, create a works cited page, and how to set up their research papers using MLA format. Technology is integrated to produce, publish, research, and collaborate on writing projects, short research activities, and group projects.

Communication skills are developed through oratorical speeches, collaborative group projects, and class presentations. Students learn important elements of listening, speaking, and responding appropriately to prepared speeches, class discussions, and presentations.

The program offers students the opportunity to compete in writing competitions and an oratorical speech competition, which not only showcases creative writing skills, but also acquired communication skills throughout the school year.

Math

Our goal in teaching mathematics is to constantly maintain a challenging environment in which a student can achieve success. The eighth-grade Algebra I Honors program teaches students to use models to represent and understand quantitative relationships as well as solve and graph linear equations and inequalities.

Other concepts taught include:

  • Operations with Polynomials
  • Work with Exponents and Radicals
  • Solving Basic Exponential Equations
  • Real Numbers

Students can earn high school credit in Algebra I Honors.

Online textbooks feature technology that is integrated with easy to access online sources including tutorial videos, assignments, examples, and interactive lessons. Students have the opportunity to take control of their learning and experience success. We encourage participation in many forms and work to create an environment where students can interact, feel challenged, and enjoy learning math.

Science

The goal of the science program is to develop independent study habits, with an emphasis on skills such as:

  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

The course is designed to give students a basic understanding of science and its relationship to their lives. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is integrated throughout the science program.

Students will use interactive electronic textbooks, Smartbook, IXL, and both virtual and hands-on labs to enhance learning.

Eighth-grade physical science curriculum investigates non-living matter and energy. Physics topics include:

  • Motion
  • Forces
  • Matter
  • Energy
  • Waves
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism

Chemistry topics include:

  • Properties of Matter
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Chemical Mixtures and Solutions
  • Acid/Base Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of how physical science and basic chemistry relate to the world around them. Students continue to utilize the scientific method and scientific equipment to conduct experiments and share results through a variety of media.

Social Studies

Social studies provides students with a solid foundation in the areas of history, political systems, geography, research skills, and current events. Eighth-grade Civics curriculum covers the basic structure of all levels of government and the responsibilities of citizenship. Students participate in a mock trial, mock congress, the state stock market competition, and interview a prominent Nevadan. They also create a multimedia presentation for their social studies fair project.

World Geography covers the physical geography, history, and quality of life throughout the seven continents. Students write a report in conjunction with the English department on a problem-and-solution with global issues and their effect on various countries.

Eighth graders have geography activities to supplement studies. Research and note-taking skills are reinforced. Emphasis is placed on the development of a working knowledge of the various types of reference materials and the ability to efficiently utilize these skills.

Current events will be incorporated into the social studies class using the New York Times Upfront. The study of current events allows students to actively participate as citizens.

Arts and Humanities

Through the study of art and the humanities, students develop an appreciation and understanding of the world around them, as well as the progression of cultures and the aesthetic movement which incorporates these cultures. Students explore the process of taking an abstract thought and creating a concrete form from that thought. The goal of the program is to teach students to see and understand the aesthetic elements that give a work of art enduring beauty and meaning.

Eighth-grade students follow a discipline-based art program that offers a broad range of visual experiences based on art works and art styles of various cultures and times in history. The concepts of aesthetics, art criticism, art history, and art production are applied and reinforced throughout the program.

Students are thoroughly introduced to the principles of design and will also explore various artistic styles from Rococo to the Art of Today. Studio lessons reinforce the concepts that are being studied. Our program is designed to promote growth in the areas of communication, creativity, critical thinking, aesthetic awareness, personal expression, and self-esteem.

Spanish

The study of Spanish exposes students to a different language and thereby stimulates a desire to continue developing their competence in foreign languages, as well as their own. Eighth graders review the completed Spanish I textbook from seventh-grade and will finish the first half of high school Spanish II.

Concepts taught include:

  • More Irregular Past Tense Verbs
  • Past Progressive
  • Imperfect Past Tense
  • Preterite Tense

Small group activities, videos, and games are used, along with group participation, to make learning Spanish more fun and interesting. These activities expose the students to daily conversational vocabulary, while at the same time giving them insight into the culture, geography, and history of the Spanish speaking world.

Students can earn high school credit in Spanish I Honors. Students may be able to test out of Spanish II and begin Spanish III in high school.

Computer

Continuing with computer science and integrated technology, students are encouraged to think critically and apply previously learned computer skills independently. All software skills are reinforced, and new skills are added. Computer science is reviewed and continued with more focus on programming skills, while allowing students time to practice their skills safely. Ethical internet skills are reinforced, and time given for practice. Social media and similar programs are discussed in greater detail, as well as an opportunity for practice of ethics and safety while using class programs and school devices.

Students focus on higher levels of programming, acquiring skills with HTML and CSS. A collaborative project in conjunction with the art department is completed during the year. Students create a multipage website using HTML tags and CSS instructions. This project includes page design, adding research, and including photos.

Health & Fitness

The middle school health and fitness program is committed to offering an educational process in which all students are encouraged to reach their highest potential, as well as their personal goals. Students participate in:

  • Sports & Leisure Activities
  • Strength Training
  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Become Certified in CPR

Emphasis is placed on the importance of their own health and well-being through health education topics.
Eighth-grade students learn about parenthood by completing two projects.

Students are required to complete a cost analysis on what it takes to provide for a child and also spend a weekend independently caring for an electronic infant.
Throughout the year, the rules and mechanics of various sports are taught.

Students also run the mile weekly. The weight room is used to work on strength and conditioning in a safe and guided manner. Students compete in the Scorpion Fitness Award program based on the amount of pull ups, sit ups, run time, and flexibility. Students are given a strong foundation in the value of lifetime physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy is offered as an online course for one semester in eighth-grade. This course introduces students to earning an income, budgeting, and creating financial plans. Students learn about topics such as:

  • Taxation
  • Financial Institutions
  • Credit
  • Investments/li>
  • Money Management

The course is designed for our eighth-grade students to learn how to take a class entirely online, subsequently preparing them for future online coursework in high school and college. Students can earn high school credit for this course.

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Sixth Grade

Seventh Grade

Eighth Grade Facts At A Glance

  • Age range: 13 years old to 14 years old.
  • School hours: Classes start at 8:10am and dismisses at 3:32pm.
  • Classroom size: 22 students
  • Student to Faculty ratio: 22:1

Eighth Grade FAQ

4 Las Vegas Day School students with tablet computers in a school science lab placing a plastic cover over a container of blue liquid

Eighth Grade FAQ

What social, emotional, or academic help does LVDS provide its students?

We have two guidance counselors on staff that help our middle school students with any challenge they are experiencing. Our guidance counselors regularly lead guidance lessons focused on building social skills, setting goals, and improving study skills. Our counselors are also available for one-on-one meetings with students and parents to discuss high school options, improving grades, or to provide help with social or emotional struggles.

Does the school take donations or do charity drives?

Students in all grades have the opportunity to donate to various local charities by participating in numerous drives including food, clothing, toys, toiletries, and even pet food.

Does the school require community service?

Eighth graders are all required to do twenty hours of community service as a graduation requirement.

Do students get free dress days?

All students wear the school uniform, but get the opportunity for free dress days on numerous occasions throughout the year. Free dress passes are given for birthdays, good grades and making donations to charity drives.

ANTHONY J. D’ANGELO

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

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