Eighth Grade Eldership

During the eighth grade, students accept the challenge of being on the leadership side of things for the first time. Students in eighth grade are challenged to show the sixth and seventh graders the ropes on the fall trip and around campus. So much of Santa Barbara Middle School is based on tradition, and the eighth graders help to pass on stories and set examples that keep the school spirit the same year after year. Eighth grade is a pivotal year for most students in learning to speak from the heart and honor each other. During the 8th grade retreat, students participate in a quintessential part of the SBMS experience by recognizing what each member of the group has to offer. 
 
In academic classes, students discover another level of their academic selves and prepare for high school and beyond. With passionate and dedicated teachers, students engage in projects that build on previous knowledge and skill sets. A few examples of eighth grade hands-on project-based learning include creating cooking movies in Spanish, reciting passionate poetry slams, reenacting the 1920s, and dissecting pigs to learn about anatomy. Projects are relevant and real for students, encouraging teamwork, rigor, and high academic standards.

Eighth-Grade Curriculum

List of 6 items.

  • History 8

    Twentieth Century American History covers social, political, and historical events from post-WWI through post-WWII. This course presents the changes of the Twenties decade, the causes and impacts of the Depression, events that led to WWII, the impacts of the Cold War, culture and society of the Fifties, the Civil Rights movement, and the nature of protest during the Sixties. Students will also study the American justice system, constitutional issues, and citizenship. Students develop skills in written and oral communication, organization, research, analytical, critical and creative thinking, and the interpretation of primary and secondary sources.
  • English 8

    English 8 is a literature-based curriculum that equips students to communicate complex ideas in both the verbal and written forms. The course develops their ability to formulate and effectively express their own thoughts and comprehend and interpret the ideas of others. Through the course, students write expository, narrative, and analytical essays in relation to a number of literary works. Students read at least 1,500 pages independently and receive regular grammar and vocabulary instruction throughout the year. The English 8 curriculum challenges students to read, write, listen, and speak to develop an educated mind.
  • Math 8

    Math 8 challenges students to investigate and develop multiple strategies to solve problems through concrete models. In preparation for Integrated Math I, students will apply and expand their computational and conceptual reasoning skills by working with linear functions, systems of equations, transformations, Pythagorean theorem, volume, scientific notation, and statistical analysis. Math 8 also helps students develop critical mathematical thinking skills as prescribed in the Common Core Mathematical Practice Standards, including making sense of problems and persevering in solving them, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, constructing viable arguments, and modeling with mathematics. Through individual and group work, students investigate and communicate their strategies in order to build conceptual understanding and to recognize the connections between concepts. The course utilizes technology to explore and develop depth after students have a conceptual understanding of topics. Students will start the second semester by utilizing skills and concepts of linear functions to create a digital presentation on Linear Programming to show efficient business strategies.
  • Science 8

    Starting with the structure and function of a single cell, moving through genetics and evolution, and focusing on the individual organ systems of the body, Human Biology and Health encompasses the important questions and physical changes experienced by adolescent students. By the end of the course, students have been immersed in scientific methodology and critical thinking skills experienced through a series of laboratory projects including species observation, microscope techniques, genetic probability, evolutionary developments, and organ system dissections. Health Education is a constant thread throughout the course and especially during the study of the individual organ systems.
  • Spanish 8

    Spanish 8 builds on vocabulary and grammar concepts from Spanish 1, moving from the present to the past tense. Using a communicative and project-based approach, students engage in a variety of multi-media projects both individually and in a group setting. In addition to multi-media projects like movie making, news broadcasting, podcasts, and digital storytelling, students explore cultural components of Spanish-speaking countries such as local cuisine, celebrations, and history. Verb tenses explored include preterite, present-progressive, and imperfect.
  • Life Skills 8

    Eighth grade Life Skills is part of a two-year program culminating in the ninth grade. By providing students with detailed information and exploring current social issues, this course helps students develop and discover their personal values while navigating a healthy transition to adulthood. Through guest speakers, videos, individual exercises, and role plays, students become more knowledgeable about community resources and are better able to make educated and responsible choices for the future.

Meet Our Teachers

List of 7 members.

  • Wren Miller 

    Dean of 8th Grade / Spanish, 8th Grade / Electives / Outdoor Education
  • Victor Dominocielo 

    Science, 8th Grade / Health & Safety / Volleyball Coach / Outdoor Education
  • Marlene Gordon-Beckerman 

    History, 8th Grade
  • Elyse Grossman 

    English, 8th Grade / Yoga Teacher
  • Michael "Jaeger" Jaeger 

    Math, 8th & 9th Grade / Electives / Trip Staff
  • Jake Lindelof 

    Math, 8th & 9th Grade / Athletic Director / Sports Coach / Electives
    Class of 1993
  • Kelly Rosenheim 

    Spanish, 9th Grade / Life Skills, Grades 8 & 9 / 9th Grade Community Service Coordinator
    Class of 1982

8th Grade Highlights

  • Project based academic rigor
  • Interactive learning environment 
  • Leadership opportunities: Bike Monkeys, Community Action, Teen Press, leading around fire
  • 8th Grade Retreat
  • Choice in Mid-Year Expedition:
    • Mountaineering
    • Gaviota Treking
    • Catalina Backpacking 
  • Upper School End of the Year Trip- “Rite of the Wheel”