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Bible
We begin the year by studying an overview of the New Testament including Christ’s life on earth, his death and his resurrection as well as writings to the early church. We then look closely at the development of the early church. We see how it spread through the work of Paul and other missionaries sharing the good news. Our third unit gets more personal as we explore various spiritual disciplines that we can begin practicing in our own lives. A novel study on C.S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader helps us continue to explore themes of faith and redemption.
 
Language Arts
Because language is a unique gift given by God, our focus in 8th grade language arts is to develop these skills as critical thinkers, readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. Our reading units focus on exploring novels in the genres of science fiction, novels in verse, realistic fiction and historical fiction. Within these units, various nonfiction texts are used to build background knowledge and connection to our reading. We do this both as a whole class and in group discussion settings. Our writing units explore writing narrative science fiction, conducting research to write argument papers, as well as conducting research for our informational paragraphs. We practice speech and language skills as we make speeches and presentations from our writing. Common core grammar concepts focus on sentence structure, verb tenses and using verbals in our writing. We also integrate weekly lessons using Greek and Latin roots to help develop vocabulary.
 
Math
The Big Ideas Math curriculum helps students grow in their understanding and knowledge of various math concepts. Using the Common Core standards, we study linear equations, data analysis, exponents and scientific notation, transformations, angles and triangles, as well as the Pythagorean Theorem. Through each unit, students learn how each concept connects to real life experiences and each student builds a solid foundation in order to prepare them for high school math. Students also reflect on how incredible our Heavenly Father is as He is the creator of our complex number system. 
 
Algebra
Students work through the first ten chapters of the Big Ideas Algebra program in this class. This Common Core Curriculum gives students the knowledge and tools to solve real-world mathematical problems. We critically think about linear, exponential, and quadratic functions and their implications to society. The spiritual disciplines of persistence and work ethic are emphasized in class. Each student is taught that they are to do their best, in contrast with being the best. Our God wants us to pursue him with our best, even though we will not be the best. In addition, students may receive high school credit for this class.
 
Geometry
Using the Big Ideas Geometry curriculum, students will learn a logical system of mathematical ideas by using fundamental ideas about parallelism, congruence, measure, and other properties of geometric shapes to develop various kinds of proofs. This course is designed for students who are planning to go on to college or a math related technical field. Throughout the year, students will see how God has designed our world with definite reasoning, organization, and creativity. This is an independent study program, and algebra is a prerequisite. Students may receive high school credit for this class.
 
Science
For the first half of the year, students collaborate through various experiments and tests. These labs have students continually building and rebuilding their particle model for matter. The multitude of elements, atoms, and compounds that make up our world shed light to our students the awe and wonder of our God. The second half of the year is learning about electricity, solar energy, sound and light waves, and air pressure. These are items that we use or experience on a daily basis, but now have the understanding of how it all works.
 
Social Studies
We study American History from the beginning of the Revolution to the Industrial Revolution. In our studies, we investigate broad themes in American History and learn from those themes of the past.  We learn about history by dramatizing various events in history and analyzing primary sources. Current events are also included in the curriculum. Throughout our study of history, our focus is not only on seeing God’s hand throughout the events of history, but also seeing where we fit into God’s plan in our world.
 
Art  
The purpose is to joyfully express individuality, foster critical thinking, and build confidence through the application of fine art media. We create 2D and 3D works of art by synthesizing and applying previously learned concepts of elements of art and principles of design. We explore art history and cultural connections, art careers, art vocabulary, aesthetics, and the process of art criticism. We create and maintain a sketchbook, practicing techniques like blending, pressure control and figure gesturing. Key conceptual skills include analyzing art and architecture from various world cultures, periods or civilizations by styles, symbolism, and technological impact. We compare and contrast works of art according to medium, period, style, and artist, and select inspiration to include in our own works.
 
Music  
  • Concert Band continues thorough training in performance and technique development in a rotating use of technique books for this two-year group. The performance literature (level 2 to 3) develops further musical maturity. 
  • Jazz Band offers students the opportunity to explore a rich and uniquely American genre. Students play a wide range of styles from the blues to Latin jazz. In addition, the groups practice the fundamentals of improvisation, integrating this elemental aspect of jazz performance in our concerts.
  • Concert Choir is a mixed-voice (SAB, SATB) choir which further develops students’ choral technique and ability to independently sight-read. Concert Choir consistently receives Excellent (I) ratings at Choir Festival.
  • Honors Choir, an auditioned group, offers the opportunity for choral students to perform more advanced music in a small-group setting. In addition to receiving high marks for their festival performances at the district and state levels, the Honors Choir has been selected to perform at the prestigious Michigan Music Conference on three occasions (2002, 2007, 2013).
  • Praise Team is an extracurricular, auditioned group that rehearses before school to lead worship at weekly chapels. This group is open to singers and instrumentalists (guitars, bass, piano, and drums).
Physical Education
Students participate in full game-related units in PE. We play many of the traditional “varsity sports” but also include invasion games (capture the flag, ultimate frisbee, team handball, speedball), and net and wall games (pickleball, badminton, table tennis, eclipse ball). Many of these games overlap in strategies and the types of rules associated in gameplay. We also take quizzes to test their knowledge on certain rules or strategies in addition to them being assessed in their physical skill and sportsmanship. By performing in a variety of sports and games, we hope to create an enjoyment for movement and skills that will make our students competent to be life-long physically active individuals.
 
Spanish
We begin with a unit talking about sports, what/who we know, stating our preferences, and making comparisons. Within this unit, we study verbs that have a stem change and how they differ from regular conjugations of verbs. In the next unit, we learn to describe the weather, discuss clothing and accessories, state an opinion, describe how we feel using the verb “tener,” and say what is happening. We also have a weather forecast presentation, listen to authentic music to hear our vocabulary and verb tenses in a more realistic format, and read different stories in Spanish to show our comprehension of vocabulary. We also discuss Spanish in the United States and the difference between Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish. Our final unit talks about places around our community. We learn how to ask for and give directions, give commands, talk about buildings and other places in a city. We use prepositions in order to give directions to make it more clear, and we create our own community to give others directions around it.  We also dive into the culture of Oaxaca, Mexico to compare and contrast our community to theirs.

Homeroom Teachers

Schedule

8A-ponstein

Monday-Thursday
8:15-9:09 Bible
9:12-10:00 Science
------BREAK------
10:13-11:01 PE/Spanish
11:04-11:52 Language Arts
------LUNCH------
12:45-1:33 Choir/Band
1:36-2:24 Math
2:27-3:15 Social Studies
 
Friday
8:15-9:00 Bible
9:03-9:48 Science
------BREAK------
10:02-10:27 Chapel
10:30-11:15 Art
11:18-12:03 Language Arts
------LUNCH------
12:54-1:39 Choir/Band
1:42-2:27 Math
2:30-3:15 Social Studies
 

8B-huttinga

Monday-Thursday
8:15-9:09 Bible
9:12-10:00 Social Studies
------BREAK------
10:13-11:01 Language Arts
11:04-11:52 Science
------LUNCH------
12:45-1:33 Choir/Band
1:36-2:24 Math
2:27-3:15 PE/Spanish
 
Friday
8:15-9:00 Bible
9:03-9:48 Social Studies
------BREAK------
10:02-10:27 Chapel
10:30-11:15 Language Arts
11:18-12:03 Science
------LUNCH------
12:54-1:39 Choir/Band
1:42-2:27 Math
2:30-3:15 Art