There are four Grade VIII classes with 16 students in each class.
About Grade VIII
List of 9 items.
Grade VIII Central Subject: Democracy and Immigration in the United States
Naturally embedded in any academic curriculum are human themes. In keeping with Shady Hill School’s traditions, we aim to integrate within all subjects themes regarding character, values, respect for self and others, and the responsibility children have as members of the community.
The Grade VIII course in Central Subject examines events in American history from multiple perspectives, especially those of immigrants and migrants. Throughout the course, students put themselves into the shoes of others, looking for ways to connect the past with the present, and to connect the people they are studying with themselves. Students learn to develop thoughtful opinions that are supported and illustrated with evidence from our texts, as well as expressed with clarity and insight.
The Arts are presented in Seventh and Eighth Grade as a three-term program taught by Shady Hill School music, studio and shop teachers, other Middle School faculty, and several professional artists and musicians from outside the school community. Students are expected to enroll in a variety of courses in both Visual and Performing Arts before leaving Shady Hill. In 2018-19, courses offered include: Hip-Hop Dance, Comedy, Filmmaking, Jazz Band, Rock Band, Hip-Hop Songwriting, Intro to Guitar, Costume Design, Pottery, Photography, Drawing, Animation, Design, Shop, Metalworking, and Oil Painting.
The Fall Play and Winter Musical, are Arts Electives which require some additional time commitment. Students in the casts of the Play and Musical will rehearse occasionally on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, and on some Saturdays throughout the term. All participating Eighth Graders will be required to be at some after-school rehearsals in the two weeks immediately prior to performances.
ENSEMBLES: ONE PERIOD/50 MINUTES PER week
Gold Chorus and Gold Orchestra will meet during one academic block per cycle. These ensembles will perform several times during the school year at school assemblies. Students in grades VII and VIII who are a part of the school ensemble program may audition for the MMEA Eastern Division Junior District honors Band, Chorus, or Orchestra in January. Gold Jazz Band, for experienced seventh and eighth grade musicians, meets once weekly for rehearsal after dismissal for one hour. These students also perform several times during the school year at school assemblies, evening concerts, and some off-campus venues.
Mathematics In Grade VIII: Algebra
(Four 50-minute periods per week)
The Middle School mathematics program at Shady Hill guides students in constructing new mathematical knowledge built upon deep understanding and prior learning. The program provides students with meaningful learning experiences through discovery and exploration, complemented by the formalization of requisite algorithms and skill work. Students work both independently and collaboratively in class. They develop skill in problem–solving, and they further their ability to communicate and justify their reasoning. They are encouraged to represent their thinking in both oral and written form. Students make connections to mathematical ideas and to real-world experiences. The use of manipulatives and technology allows students to move from concrete to abstract thinking in the ongoing development of mathematical ideas.
The Eighth Grade math curriculum consists of a full year of algebraic study. Graphing and word problems are woven into every unit. Topics include evaluation and simplification of polynomials, solution of linear equations with one and two variables, solution of quadratic equations, algebraic fractions, absolute value, inequalities, radicals and coordinate geometry. Throughout the year, students are asked to apply these skills and concepts to solve problems in real-world situations. Graphing calculator software is used to model practical applications of algebraic concepts.
In the Eighth Grade students are placed in one of three Math courses. Two prepare students to take either Geometry or Algebra II during their ninth grade year, with the enriched section demanding more independent study. The Essentials Class covers fundamentally the same material as the regular classes and streamlines instruction to focus on the essential skills and concepts of each topic within the Algebra I curriculum.
Library In Grade VIII
Library time for Eighth Graders includes librarian book recommendations, book discussions, research instruction, and Quiet Reading, an independent reading program supported by the librarians but overseen by the Gradehead. Students also meet with a librarian on a flexible basis for research support and instruction using both print and online resources.
Middle School Community
ONE 50-MINUTE ASSEMBLY PER week
Assembly is a regular time designated for Middle School students, faculty and staff to build and maintain community. A variety of activities are scheduled during this time, from large group games and icebreakers, to classroom sharing and performances by visiting artists and outside speakers.
MORNING MEETINGS TUESDAY AND THURSDAY, 8:10-8:20 A.M.
Weekly meetings of Grades V-VIII, led by Grade VIII students, provide opportunities for school and division related announcements, class sharing and brief performances. This informal blend of news, information and entertainment builds community spirit and Middle School unity. In addition, these meetings feature Eighth Grade “declamations” of original written compositions.
Physical Education & Athletics In Grade VIII
PHYSICAL EDUCATION (Five 50-minute periods per cycle)
Students in Grades VI, VII and VIII have opportunities to engage in and deeply explore rich and diverse physical activities during the school day, and participate in regular dismissal. Shady Hill offers yoga, fencing, fitness, and intramural sports as electives during select trimesters. Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade students may choose one or two electives per year, one per trimesters. These students will also participate on at least one Shady Hill interscholastic team per year. We believe our Middle School Physical Education program brings choice and balance, and an overall robust experience to our oldest students.
ATHLETICS (Three 90-minute periods per week plus games)
Students in Grades VI, VII and VIII have opportunities to compete in a full interscholastic athletic program. Shady Hill offers ten interscholastic sports (cross country, field hockey, soccer, flag football, basketball, ice hockey, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, and ultimate frisbee), fielding approximately 24 teams. Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade students are required to participate on at least one Shady Hill interscholastic team per year. Students who participate seriously in year-round sports and athletic endeavors not offered by the school may apply for a full-year exemption. In all parts of the program, there is a three-pronged emphasis: the pursuit of fitness, cognitive understanding of concepts, and the development of self-confidence. The ultimate goal is to gain team and personal success while modeling Shady Hill’s core values.
World Languages In Grade VIII
(Four 50-minute periods per week)
After choosing a language to study in Grade VII, students continue their work in French, Mandarin, or Spanish in Grade VIII.
Today’s technology is well suited to support Shady Hill’s emphasis on creative, student-centered, project-based learning. Using the shared laptop cart, class sets of iPads and campus-wide wireless network, Eighth Grade students employ a range of software and internet-based programs that enable collaboration, research, data collection, digital storytelling, and mastery of skills. Examples of the types of software that students will use over the course of the year include: Inspiration, iMovie, Garage Band, Comic Life, Keynote, Google Earth and Google SketchUp; as well as Internet-based programs such as Voicethread, Quizlet, Google Docs, and Sheppard Software. By integrating technology into the classroom and the existing curriculum, as opposed to teaching it as a stand-alone course, students are able to learn new ways to demonstrate their knowledge while gaining an understanding of the practical application of the tools themselves.
Grade VIII Faculty
List of 22 members.
Oberlin College - B.A. Tufts University - M.A.T.
Director of Athletics and Physical Education
Springfield College Lehman College - Master's
Science Teacher & Middle School Faculty Coach
Middlebury College - B.A.
VIII Gradehead & Admission Counselor
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - BA Lesley University - M.Ed.
Ross L FitzGerald
Haverford College - B.A. Harvard University Graduate School of Education - M.Ed.
Chinese Cultural University - BFA Oklahoma City University - MBA
World Language Department Chair, Spanish Teacher
Colgate University - B.A. Harvard Graduate School of Education - Ed.M.
Harvard College - B.A. Colgate University - M.A.T.
SUNY - Plattsburgh - B.S. SUNY - Plattsburgh - M.A.
Earlham College - B.A. Antioch College - M.Ed. Pratt Institute - M.L.S.
Middlebury College - B.A. Southern Connecticut State University - M.Ed.
Lafayette College - A.B.
Physical Education Teacher
Keene State University - Bachelor's Keene State University - M.Ed.
Physical Education Teacher
California University of Pennsylvania - M.S. Loyola Marymount University - B.A.
Hampshire College - B.A. Tufts University - M.A.T.
American University - B.S. Lesley University - M.Ed. Northeastern University - Ed.D.
University of New Hampshire - B.S.
Princeton University - B.A. Bank Street College of Education - M.S.Ed.
Grade VIII Gradehead
Brown University - M.A. University of Vermont - B.A.
Bryn Mawr College - B.A. Tufts University - M.A. TTC '99