Eighth Grade Curriculum
Carden Arbor View School is dedicated to providing an outstanding Middle School learning experience. Middle School students' days are spent with several teachers, each of whom is experienced in his or her subject area and trained in the Carden method of teaching. Students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades have a challenging eight period day, consisting of six core subjects and two center subject classes. To meet individual student needs better, we provide additional faculty for small group instruction in composition and math classes. Supporting this rich and diverse program is a teacher who serves as an advisor to a group of ten to twelve Middle School students. These teacher advisors meet with their individual group of students to provide guidance and support in achieving school success.
All Middle School students have the opportunity to participate in after school sports, electives, yearbook, and Student Council. Carden Arbor View School students are expected to take an active role in the life of the school by taking advantage of one or more of these opportunities.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: 8th grade ELA (English Language Arts) utilizes an expanded class (85 minutes per day) to synthesize the disciplines of writing, grammar, and literature.
Students hone and expand their writing skills with weekly assignments from prompts, including creative and expository writing of virtually every kind. Writing and grammar share equal billing in a challenging, high-level text that weaves into its lessons the fabric of proven literature.
Textbook: Writing and Grammar, Gold Edition (Prentice Hall)
The 8th grade ELA literature section features four core books: Little Big Man, My Antonia, A Raisin in the Sun, and Death of a Salesman. In addition, students will discuss authors and read excerpts that comprise the full range of American literature from Puritan John Winthrop’s sermon about creating a “city upon a hill” to postmodernist David Foster Wallace’s dense evocations of “total noise”; from Benjamin Franklin’s common man Autobiography to the Classical Greek rhetorical flourishes in the speeches of the homespun autodidact Abraham Lincoln; from Ernest Hemingway’s stylized rendering of the post-WWI man to the Beats and Edward Abbey’s radical environmentalism. From an examination of New Journalism and the mini-golden age of American drama that blossomed in midcentury with Willie Loman and Walter Younger to Manifest Destiny’s hardpan finale in Annie Proulx’s portraits of modern Wyoming ranchers, students will be encouraged and challenged to comprehend the entire sweep of American literature.
Public Speaking In this class, taken during the last trimester before graduation, 8th graders tackle the daunting challenge of public speaking. Composing their own speeches of increasing lengths, the students practice before their classmates, who serve as panels critiquing the speaker's performances. Finally the students each compose a two-minute speech in honor of their parents and deliver it at Carden graduation ceremonies in June.
U. S. History: Civil War to Present Students start a thematic approach to studying U.S. History in Wars and their aftermath (Civil War to Iraq/Afghanistan). The Constitution is then studied in depth to help students understand its nuances and application to current times. Focus is placed upon identifying the difficulties involved in the decision-making process and developing the techniques to analyze statements critically in order to debate the issues America faces.
Textbooks: USA: The Unfolding Story of America, Enjoying American History, Magruder's American Government-2008, and student selected articles from newspapers and magazines
Algebra I : Major topics covered are the language and symbolism of algebra, properties of the real number system leading to solution of algebraic equations, and inequalities with operations involving polynomials and exponents. Topics covered during the second half of the year include introduction to linear functions in two variables and their graphical representation, solution of systems of equations by various methods, operations with polynomials in two variables, rational algebraic expressions, development of second-degree equations and their solutions by factoring, completing the square, and using the quadratic formula.
Textbook: Algebra 1 by Pearson
Geometry: This course is for those students who have completed Algebra A. This Geometry course provides the fundamental concepts of basic geometry. The students will be led from the fundamental notion of a point to rays, lines, planes, angles, transversals, two-dimensional shapes, and three-dimensional figures. Topics covered include learning how to determine supplementary and complementary angles; identifying the relationships formed by adjacent angles, alternate interior angles, and vertical angles; and classification of triangles and quadrilaterals. The students will use a straight-edge and compass to create constructions of various geometric figures. Students will also write geometric proofs as well as prove basic theorems including the Pythagorean theorem. Ultimately, students will experience three-dimensional objects and learn how to classify them, figure their volumes, and determine their surface areas.
Physical Science: Includes topics such as the chemistry of matter, heat energy, electricity and magnetism, and sound and light. Science is taught utilizing a dynamic, hands-on approach that allows students to gain experience in using the scientific process to generate questions, design investigations, collect data, and analyze results. Additionally, Smartboard Technologies, class discussions, and online activities compliment lab experimentation.
Projects and Experiments (click HERE for more info)
Books, Materials and Resources
• Prentice Hall, Physical Science
Life Skills: The purpose of Life Skills is to provide students the opportunity to explore and develop successful communication skills, positive decision-making skills, media literacy, and a positive self-concept. We believe that assisting students in developing strong communication skills is supportive of the Carden philosophy of respecting others and ourselves. The ability to recognize and avoid the pressure of peers and media are crucial in making positive decisions.
We will provide a comfortable and supportive atmosphere for discussion groups and activities. We will use videos, role playing, and guest speakers as a part of our presentations. We encourage parental support by asking parents to be available to their children to discuss topics that concern them.
Physical Education: Emphasis is placed on physical fitness activities, major muscle group recognition and their relationship with various physical activities, individual skill development, and participation in team games.
Students change to physical education wear for most activities. (See uniform information for current physical education dress.)
Spanish: This is an introductory course, the equivalent of Spanish I at the high school level. Students will build listening, speaking, reading and writing skills needed to communicate in Spanish. In addition, student will develop an appreciation for Spanish speaking cultures around the world by exploring art, music and customs.
Textbook and workbook: Bienvenidos
Computers: Students will continue to perfect keyboarding skills while using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, spread sheets, PhotoShop and Internet for a semester project. Students will create a business, design a logo, create business cards, business stationary, business plan, business advertising, using our new program, InDesign. Finally, they will create a web site for their business using DreamWeaver. Click here to view their projects.
Music: This class is designed to give students a greater understanding and appreciation of music. The different eras of music are studied and analyzed with emphasis on musical styles and forms. Students study styles of music from other cultures and from the U.S.
Art: Students will use their knowledge of the art elements (line, form, color, texture, value and space) as they work on different styles of art in relationship to history, literature and cultures of the world. Students will also continue to strengthen their art techniques and their confidence in their own creativity.
Directed Studies: Directed study provides the opportunity for students to receive concentrated assistance in the basic academic areas.
Outdoor Education: Eighth grade students travel for a week on an east coast trip, visiting national and historical sites in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Williamsburg, and Jamestown.
If you not familiar with Miss Carden and the Carden Method, we encourage you to review the information we have prepared.
Science Fair Project Sites
Our Accreditation Carden Arbor View School is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools. We take great pride in our students, staff, and curriculum and encourage you to learn more about our Accreditation.
Student Achievements Over the years our students have achieve both academic and non-academic achievements. Take a moment to learn more about our student achievements.
Arbor View Society Learn more about the Arbor View Society and how a tax-deductible financial gift can help make a big difference in your child, grandchild, niece, nephew or future Carden Arbor View students.