Students in eighth grade English spent the first part of the six weeks getting ready for the TAAS Writing Test on February 23. Every student wants to perform well on these standardized tests, and every teacher wants his/her students to be successful, so, to achieve this common goal, classes looked at sample test questions, talked about test-taking tips, and wrote compare/contrast and persuasive papers. (They had been doing these things all year; these were just last-minute reviews). By test day, the vast majority of students felt prepared and confident. Hopefully, their scores will show just how hard they worked to prepare for the test. (We won’t know until May or June)
As classes began their study of nonfiction, they took
notes, discussed, and then read various types of nonfiction. Included were essays (both formal and informal), biographies, autogiographies, and diaries. In addition to reading, most classes wrote a personal narrative and/or a personal essay and some classes did a
brief biography project to practice research and computer skills.
The last grammar unit of the year was on clauses. Students worked on classifying independent and dependent clauses, as well as learning the differences
between adjective, adverb, and noun clauses by writing sentences and/or diagramming.
In the last six weeks, eighth graders will again face
TAAS review and tests. This time, there will be a whole week of tests (April 11 - 14), including reading, math, social studies, and science. In addition to TAAS review, all classes will read a Civil War novel. These historical novels will tie into their studies of the Civil War in history class, hopefully giving students a more complete picture of that time period and the events that occurred. Academic classes will read Across Five Aprils and Pre-AP and GT classes will read The Red Badge of Courage. All classes will be expected to read and write about their novel, both in class and out, and to participate in class discussions about their opinions and insights. In addition, students will do a poetry unit which will require them to both read and write poetry. It’s usually a fun and (mostly) painless way to end their eight grade English experience! Then, it’s off to high
school! We wish them all success!!