Hi kids, parents, friends, Romans, countrymen...
Welcome to the 8th grade page!!! My name is Mr. Crowder and I'll be the 8th grade homeroom teacher, plus Social Studies (6,7,8), Religion (8), and Language Arts (6). How excited am I to get this year going? Just count the exclamation points!!!
As the year goes on, this page is where you will find homework listed and detailed, links to help with that homework...or just make the ol' brain grow, and copies of supplemental materials, worksheets, study guides, etc.
Please always feel free to send me emails with questions, advice, criticism, free-form poetry, whatever. Email is my favorite form of communication. My second favorite form is through the chirps of a trained ferret wearing a monocle and a backpack, and in all honesty I find that email is more commonly available to people.
Check back frequently for updates...and God Bless!!!
Here are some details about each class, in ever-popular bullet-point form...
8th Grade Religion
-Everyday will feature an Old Testament and a New Testament reading, given by the students.
-Everyday will feature a "Saint of the Day" whose name is written on the board. Students will hear a biography of the saint and quotes from/about him/her taken from the book "Voices of the Saints."
-Everyday will feature prayer requests and a class prayer.
-The workbook/textbook is "Alive in Christ", which is specifically geared toward Catholic 8th graders.
-Confirmation class will begin in the Spring.
8th Grade Social Studies
-Focus will be on American History from the Civil War to present. I feel that too often grade school/high school History classes spend so much time on the 17th and 18th centuries that very little time is left for the last hundred years. In this class, we will spend the vast majority of our time focusing on 20th century History.
-Students will be writing two different 6-to-8 page research papers, one on an event and one on a concept. Both of these papers will require multiple sources, a certain number of which must be primary. One paper will be due around Christmas and the other near the end of the year. There will be information sheets handed out with rubrics, benchmarks, topic lists, rules, etc, in roughly a month.
-Our textbook is "America: History of Our Nation", a 1,000-page doorstop. I also incorporate a lot of supporting visual material.
7th Grade Social Studies
-This year in 7th grade we will be focusing on Government & Civics, especially the Federal & State Constitutions and the Bill of Rights.
-We have multiple texts: one focusing on the writing of the Constitution, one on civic participation, and one is a government-supplied workbook specifically on the Constitution in preparation for them taking the mandated Constitution Test. There will also be a Bill of Rights workbook handed out later in the year.
-Students will be writing a 5-7 page research paper on a government concept, issue, or problem. The paper must contain multiple sources, a certain number of which must be primary. This will be due during the Spring trimester and more information will be handed out later in the year.
6th Grade Social Studies
-In 6th grade our primary focus this year will be Geography, from a practicing, practical viewpoint and a tour-of-the-world format.
-Our textbook is "My World Geography" by Pearson
-There will be a separate unit devoted entirely to Chicago...it's history, ethnic neighborhoods and diversity, problems, and continued relevance as a great global city.
-I will assign a big project at some point...but unlike 7th & 8th grades it probably won't be a paper. I'm still ruminating on some ideas, so TBD for now.
6th Grade Language Arts
-Everyday we have a double-period (1 hour and 20 minutes) of LA, so there are many components.
-Most days will start with a 15-minute free write on a topic or question on the board. Notebooks will be collected weekly-ish to ensure that students are staying on task.
-20 new vocabulary words will be introduced on Wednesdays ("word Wednesdays"), worked with in various capacities over the following days, and then quizzed (for knowledge of definition, not necessarily spelling) on the following Tuesdays.
-Students will be learning the mechanics of grammar as well. The textbook we are using is "Writing and Grammar: Communication in Action" by Prentice Hall. By the end of the year we will start doing everybody's old favorite: diagraming sentences.
-Students will be putting forth portfolios of writing in a number of genres: poetry, short story, nonfiction "journalism", and a play.
-Students will be reading short stories, as well as the following novels: Huckleberry Finn, Inherit the Wind, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, and The Chocolate War. Students will also be reading additional novels of their own choosing with my approval. They will be writing essays and reviews of the assigned novels and be giving oral reports of the books they choose themselves.