Grade 8 Curriculum

Eighth grade is the culminating year at Belmont Day, when students take pride in being the leaders of our school and consolidating all they have learned. The curriculum focuses on critical thinking, abstract reasoning, creativity, and core foundational skills. All eighth graders complete a Capstone project—a year-long investigation of a unique topic that interests them. Through this project, students write a substantive research paper, create a hands-on work, and present their work to an audience of peers, parents, and faculty. Outside of class, eighth graders are mentors (and rock stars!) to their pre-kindergarten buddies. They captain our teams, take leads in our musical, and travel to Washington D.C. They come to know themselves as learners and manage their own academics by effectively using Resource Time, when all teachers are free tor support, questions, corrections, and enrichment. They write graduation speeches reflecting on their journey at Belmont Day and they head off to high school poised to make the most of their secondary education.

Program Highlights

  • Capstone
  • Arts electives
  • Seventh and eighth grade play
  • Interscholastic athletics program
  • Advisor program
  • Pre-kindergarten buddies
  • Washington, DC trip

Specialist Time

  • World language four times a week for 50 minutes
  • Arts electives four times a week for 60 minutes (music, visual art, performing arts, woodworking, and technology)
  • Athletics four times a week for 90 minutes
  • Clubs, advisory, and resource time
Eighth graders read and reflect on such literature as To Kill a Mockingbird, House on Mango Street, Fahrenheit 451, and Romeo and Juliet. Through class discussions and writing in a variety of genres, students explore essential questions, such as: How do gender and culture impact other’s impressions of us? How is a short story or novel most effectively structured? What are the best practices of successful writers?

English

Eighth graders read and reflect on such literature as To Kill a Mockingbird, House on Mango Street, Fahrenheit 451, and Romeo and Juliet. Through class discussions and writing in a variety of genres, students explore essential questions, such as: How do gender and culture impact other’s impressions of us? How is a short story or novel most effectively structured? What are the best practices of successful writers?

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Math

Eighth graders tackle a problem-based learning approach, using exercises created by Phillips Exeter Academy. This puts students in the driver’s seat for creating knowledge as they engage in a rigorous Algebra I curriculum. Students build facility with graphing, graph interpretation, algebraic expressions, functions, and other representations leading to an increase in flexibility and the development of multiple forms of reasoning.

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Eighth graders explore fundamental questions about the relationships between individuals and society as they study the origins of the American Revolution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and World War II and the Holocaust. Students identify multiple points of view, connect information from varied sources, and effectively use evidence to support a thesis.

Social Studies

Eighth graders explore fundamental questions about the relationships between individuals and society as they study the origins of the American Revolution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and World War II and the Holocaust. Students identify multiple points of view, connect information from varied sources, and effectively use evidence to support a thesis.

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Two girls work on a science lab

Science

Eighth graders focus on physical science, including basic chemistry and fundamental concepts of genetics and heredity. Students conduct more complex laboratory experiments and refine their ability to communicate scientific ideas both orally and in formal lab reports with appropriate terminology.

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In eighth grade students meet four times each week to continue their study of French, Spanish, or Latin. Growing vocabulary and mechanics are applied through classroom conversations, presentations, and writing to pen pals. Students build a facility with their chosen language that lays the foundation for continued study at an advanced level in high school.

World Language

In eighth grade students meet four times each week to continue their study of French, Spanish, or Latin. Growing vocabulary and mechanics are applied through classroom conversations, presentations, and writing to pen pals. Students build a facility with their chosen language that lays the foundation for continued study at an advanced level in high school.

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Eighth graders choose among nearly 30 arts electives, allowing them to experiment or focus in-depth, based on personal interest. They reflect on their middle school portfolio and curate an artist's statement.

Arts

Arts

Eighth graders choose among nearly 30 arts electives, allowing them to experiment or focus in-depth, based on personal interest. They reflect on their middle school portfolio and curate an artist's statement.

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Each season, eighth grade students choose a sport from our Interscholastic athletics program, which allows athletes to further sport-specific skills and gain leadership experiences on the field. Many Belmont Day athletes go on to play varsity sports in high school.

Athletics

Athletics

Each season, eighth grade students choose a sport from our Interscholastic athletics program, which allows athletes to further sport-specific skills and gain leadership experiences on the field. Many Belmont Day athletes go on to play varsity sports in high school.

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Students work with a team of four faculty members to explore complex issues. The Choices curriculum for seventh and eighth graders centers on making good choices in life and putting your best self forward.

Social Competency and Health and Wellness

Social Competency and Health and Wellness

Students work with a team of four faculty members to explore complex issues. The Choices curriculum for seventh and eighth graders centers on making good choices in life and putting your best self forward.

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Our advisory program, teacher resource time, and learning support help eighth graders advocate for themselves, identify their strengths and challenges, and manage their academic work load.

Study Skills and Support

Study Skills and Support

Our advisory program, teacher resource time, and learning support help eighth graders advocate for themselves, identify their strengths and challenges, and manage their academic work load.

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Every eighth grade student creates a culminating work of independent study that revolves around a personal passion. Students research, outline, write, and edit a formal ten page paper, they implement a hands-on project that complements the study, and they prepare a 20-minute presentation on their work. Weekly meetings with faculty provide support for a full year of growth in critical thinking, creativity, communication, and organizational skills.

Capstone

Capstone

Every eighth grade student creates a culminating work of independent study that revolves around a personal passion. Students research, outline, write, and edit a formal ten page paper, they implement a hands-on project that complements the study, and they prepare a 20-minute presentation on their work. Weekly meetings with faculty provide support for a full year of growth in critical thinking, creativity, communication, and organizational skills.

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Eighth graders are each provided with a Chromebook for seamless integration of technology across all subject areas. They also enjoy time in the IMPACT Lab, a collaborative workspace designed to support a range of learning experiences.

Information Literacy and Technology

Information Literacy and Technology

Eighth graders are each provided with a Chromebook for seamless integration of technology across all subject areas. They also enjoy time in the IMPACT Lab, a collaborative workspace designed to support a range of learning experiences.

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Our Grade 8 Teachers