Eighth Grade Modern U.S. History
The IPS (Introductory Physical Science) course emphasizes the development of basic laboratory skills, the process of controlled experimentation, and an understanding of the principles of physical science, especially matter and its properties. Through a sequence of experiments, students learn appropriate ways to measure, describe and categorize matter. Specifically, the course covers the conservation of mass, characteristic properties (including density, melting and boiling points, solubility, crystal shape and spectra) atomic structure and the periodic chart. While students work on all labs as part of a team, each student keeps a lab notebook and writes lab reports. The analysis of class data is an important element of each investigation; graphing of data is often required and the use of computer software encouraged. Empirical evidence and concepts are then used to build a model of the atom as the basic unit of matter. The course includes a number of laboratory challenge assessments and culminates with each lab team devising and executing a multi-step procedure to identify the components of an unknown mixture.
The Eighth and Ninth Grade classes delve more deeply into algebraic and linear functions, complex operations, and applications of mathematical thinking. Our program emphasizes Algebra I in eighth grade, either as the first half of a two-year course, as a one-year Algebra I class, or in combination with Geometry for students who began Algebra I in seventh grade. Students at these upper grades also learn and practice higher-level thinking in analytical reasoning and logical deduction, and apply these skills to mathematical proofs. Ninth grade students have the opportunity to engage in more complex and sophisticated mathematical reasoning. Some students complete the two-year Algebra I program; others are enrolled in Geometry. An Algebra II course is also offered when appropriate.
This course introduces students to the vocabulary of literature and sharpens their skills as readers, interpreters, writers, speakers, and listeners. The year is loosely divided into units of study that examine the short story, the play, nonfiction (essay and argument), poetry, and the novel. In each unit students read and analyze works by a variety of writers to uncover their meanings and to use as models for writing strategies. In written reading responses and through class discussions, students engage in a dialogue with the literature and their classmates. The course subscribes to the beliefs that we develop our best ideas through writing and that writers get feedback before publication; the writing practice focuses on conferencing and revision. Students do exercises in vocabulary and syntax. Through our reading and writing, we ask--and hope to answer--personal and national questions of identity: “Who are we?” “What do we believe?” “What shapes our lives?” “What do we hope for?” “What is the role of writing and art in our world?”
In past years, literature selections have included The House on Mango Street, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Lord of the Flies, Raisin in the Sun,Maus, Of Mice and Men, Night, selected short stories (Ray Bradbury, Sherman Alexie, Edgar Allen Poe, Gina Berriault, Shirley Jackson, Roald Dahl, Toni Cade Bambara, and Gary Soto), contemporary American poetry, speeches, memoirs, essays, and op-ed pieces.
At Foote, we believe in nurturing our students’ physical health and growth as well as their academic progress. With that philosophy as a guiding force, our physical education program is designed to support students’ self-image, build sportsmanship, and provide a basis for a healthy lifelong attitude toward fitness. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to match the stages of physical, social, and emotional development from year to year. In addition to athletic skills, our program encourages creative expression, builds social concepts such as sportsmanship, cooperation, and fair play, offers opportunities for leadership, encourages children to take risks, and fosters a sense of well-being in a non-competitive setting.
All children at Foote School are members of either the Maroon or Grey sports teams. Spirit is high on our annual Field Day, when students participate in a variety of fun and competitive events between the Maroon and the Grey. Kindergarteners take part only in the morning, competing in a fun run, a scoop relay, and a shuttle relay. All the other students participate in a full day of events, culminating in an all-school relay race around the entire field, featuring the day’s winners of the 60-yard dash from each grade.