By eighth grade, Birchwood students have learned the foundational skills they need to succeed in high school. Eighth grade is about refining their skills by asking tough questions and digging deeper to find meaning in everything from a classic novel to a science experiment. Along the way, teachers are preparing them for the transition to changes they’ll encounter in 9th grade.
English Language Arts
Eighth-grade English Language Arts, students read a wide variety of literature that helps develop critical thinking, deep analysis of purpose and meaning, and attention to detail. They learn to approach writing as a craft. They pay more attention to organizing, assembling, rethinking and polishing. That makes students’ writing better while reinforcing skills they can use in other subjects and outside school.
Eighth-grade social studies/history builds on the knowledge students have accrued throughout their educations. Now, though, they’re looking at it from different perspectives through new information and advanced tasks. Discussions are designed to expand their minds and help them see history and international affairs from different perspectives. They see the impact that culture, heritage, economics and geography has on society as a whole.
By eighth grade, students have progressed past memorizing the components of second — and sometimes third — languages to conversing in them. World language teaching helps students become global citizens through projects, teamwork, and studying customers through celebrations.
Creation, innovation and exploration are the hallmarks of eighth-grade science. Students learn to make their own discoveries through data analysis and study of the natural world. They also study great scientists and engineers to inspire them to become tomorrow’s creators and innovators.
In eighth-grade math, students go beyond number crunching to understanding why mathematical processes are important. They break problems down into components, such as variables and possible formulas, to see how the “mechanics” of math work. Teachers help students develop efficient study habits and confidence handling mathematical concepts.
Valuable in its own right for developing abilities such as abstract thinking, art education has also been shown to improve performance in the classroom and on standardized testing. Art education at Birchwood provides an outlet for students to express themselves and develop their own creative potential. Students learn where art originated, discover the work of artists that can inspire them, and find their talents as musicians, designers, painters, sculptors and builders.
Birchwood embraces the idea that music is an invaluable part of education that helps language development, speech perception and reading skills. From keeping the beat in a percussion section to singing harmonies, our music program provides a wide range of choices for students to explore their musical talents. Some of them might practice an instrument for hours every day in hopes up on a professional stage. (Remember parents: pitchy notes coming from behind a bedroom door is part of the learning curve!) Some of them might just want to be able to jam with friends from time to time for fun. And some will try music then move on to other interests. But they will share the same appreciation for music.
Health and Physical Education
The physical changes that occur in the middle school years make them the ideal time to teach students the importance of physical fitness, including healthy habits, mental health, and the need for consistent exercise. Health and Physical Education stresses lifetime fitness through exercise, individual and team sports.The latter emphasizes teamwork and sportsmanship, which are helpful qualities to carry into life. Teachers also provide age-appropriate instruction on human physiology and body systems.
10 Birchwood Drive
North Providence, RI 02904
Phone: (401) 233-1120
Fax: (401) 353.6903
Copyright 2019 North Providence School Department