Overview

 

In 8th grade the classes are organized in a modified block schedule. Students have all classes on Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On Thursdays students attend their 1st, 3rd, and 5th period classes. On Fridays students attend their 2nd, 4th and 6th period classes. 

We encourage our 8th graders to take leadership in 8th grade by leading school tours, working around the school during their electives time, serving on our Justice Council, running assemblies and more.

Eighth grade students are required to “dress” for P.E. Students must wear a navy blue t-shirt and either navy blue shorts or navy blue sweat pants. King PTA sells all these, with the King logo.

During the second semester teachers and counselors help students register for classes and prepare for their transition to high school.

The end of the middle school years is marked with a promotion ceremony.

See the 8th grade Bell Schedule for details

For the list of 8th grade teachers please see the Full Staff Directory

 

8th Grade

Overview    |    Advisory    |    Humanities    |    Math    |    Science    |    Physical Education    |    Electives    |    Edible Schoolyard

 

Advisory

 

During Advisory period, students either read independently from a book of their choice or receive extra help in math.

This is also when students:

• Take Accelerated Reader tests to chart their independent reading.

• Students who receive counseling services often do so during this period.

• School assemblies are usually scheduled during this period.

Humanities

 

English

Independent Reading

Students read books of their choice in their Advisory class and at home.  They respond to the independent reading in a variety of ways, including maintaining a book log, taking Accelerated Reading quizzes, as well as completing projects. Students will be required to read a variety of genres including nonfiction, memoir, classical and historical fiction.

Writing/Grammar

All students practice the writing process (first draft, edit/revision, and final copy). Writing will encompass various genres including narrative, literary response structures, persuasive, and research.  

Core Literature

Students read selected novels from the Grade 8 Core Literature list as well as other selections (short stories, non-fiction and poetry, for example.) Students reflect on their reading through plot analysis, character/setting description and evaluation, and identification and explanation of theme.

 

U.S. History/Geography

Students study U.S. history through the 19th century. 

 
 

Math

 

Common Core Curriculum

New academic standards were adopted at King beginning school year 2013–14. King, along with all schools throughout California, has adopted the Common Core Curriculum. Learn more at these links:

 

The Council of the Great City Schools has posted these and other resources to help communicate the CCSS to parents on their Common Core Works website,  http://www.commoncoreworks.org/.

 

Three-Minute Video Explaining the Common Core State Mathematics Standards

English: http://www.cgcs.org/Page/366

Spanish: http://www.commoncoreworks.org/Page/367

 

Science

 

In the 8th grade  science, students focus on the physical sciences. Students also explore science in the Edible Schoolyard kitchen and garden program

Eighth grade science is a very hands-on program, with students participating in lab and other group activities. Students also improve their skills in understanding nonfiction text. Multimedia is also an essential part of the program as teachers utilize video- and computer-based learning to enhance student understanding.

 

Physical Education

 

Eighth grade students have P.E. four times a week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and on either Thursday or Friday according to their modified block schedule.

Uniforms

Eighth grade students are required to “dress” for P.E. Students must wear a navy blue t-shirt and either navy blue shorts or navy blue sweat pants. King PTA sells all these, with the King logo.

Uniforms may be purchased at the Welcome Fair or from the P.E. Uniform page before the Welcome Fair and then picked up at the Fair. Uniforms purchased may be exchanged for size at the Welcome Fair. Ordering and paying online will help you avoid long lines at the Welcome Fair.

 

After school begins, uniforms may be purchased from P.E. teachers or coaches.

 

Electives

 

Seventh and eighth grade students choose one elective to take during the school day. Please note that some electives are for a semester only; others require a commitment of the full academic year.

Returning students receive an electives enrollment packet in the spring of 7th grade. They select from the electives offered, indicating first, second, and third choices. They will see their elective listed in the course schedule they receive at the Welcome Fair before school starts.

 

New students will receive their electives enrollment packet when they register for school. They should complete the front page and return it at that time.

 

Eighth grade students may choose to be an Independent Work Experience aide (IWE) for a specific teacher or for work in the main office or library. IWE applications are available from the vice principals.

Questions about the elective program should be directed to the student’s grade-level vice principal.

Full Year Courses

Full year courses are designed to give students an in-depth experience in one area as opposed to a sampling in semester courses. 

 

Intermediate Spanish

You must have taken Beginning Spanish as a 7th grader to enroll in Intermediate Spanish. Passing two years of middle school Spanish will allow you to start Berkeley High at Spanish Level 2. Over the course of the two years, students become proficient in all four strands of the language; speaking, understanding, reading and writing. Students with prior language experience and heritage speakers can test into higher level Spanish classes going into high school.

 

AVID

The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program helps to sharpen student skills to become competitive for four-year colleges. AVID students explore college and career options, develop higher level questioning skills through collaborative tutorials, practice organization strategies, and learn note-taking skills. AVID classes attend field trips that highlight college opportunities and have a variety of guest speakers. 

 

Independent Work Experience (IWE) 8

IWE students help staff with various activities to assist in their classrooms, office, or around the school. On your elective request form you can sign up to be an IWE in the office, library, computer lab, garden or request to work with a teacher. Please email any teachers you are interested in working with before signing up to see if they would like an IWE. If you don’t have a specific teacher in mind, we can help match you.

 

S.T.E.M. - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through projects and lots of hands-on activities! In this class you might learn more about design thinking, take apart an appliance, play with robots, or create an interactive circuit out of copper tape and found items. This class is for anyone who likes to tinker and explore!

 

Drama

Students will explore many aspects of drama: how to adapt stories for the stage; how to write and stage your own plays/ stories/ scenes/ monologues, and other possibilities. “Risk and Respect” is a class motto that promotes an environment in which all students feel comfortable taking risks and support others as we explore the magical world of theatre. 

Grades 7 and 8, semester course

 

Semester Courses

Semester courses are designed to give students a diversity of experiences. Semester classes are paired and you must take both courses in the pair.

Computers (1 semester) and Art (1 semester)

Computers: Explore computer science through programming, design, creating interactive projects, games, and more! In this class you might learn more about the design process, create a web based game using javascript or build a game out of a circuit that you learn how to program on code.org!

 

Art: In art class we will be learning by MAKING. We will explore a variety of media and techniques, including drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, and sculpting with clay, cardboard, found objects and paper mache. Many of our projects will be inspired by the work of artists from various cultures, traditions and time periods. 

Film Studies (1 semester) and Art (1 semester)

Film Studies: This elective is about learning the art and craft of video storytelling. Work on every aspect of video production, from script writing, on-screen acting, camera and sound work, directing to editing a final product.

 

Art: In art class we will be learning by MAKING. We will explore a variety of media and techniques, including drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, and sculpting with clay, cardboard, found objects and paper mache. Many of our projects will be inspired by the work of artists from various cultures, traditions and time periods. 

 

Edible Schoolyard

 

Eighth grade student work in the garden with their science classes several times throughout the year.

They also prepare food in the kitchen with their humanities and science classes several times during the year.