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Saint Joseph Hill AcademyUnder the Direction of the Daughters of Divine CharityElementary School

Classroom » 6th-8th Grade

6th-8th Grade

Mr. Danon



The 8th grade Math class will embrace algebraic thinking concepts and master the curriculum needed to prepare them for high school math. The year will include an introduction to high school Algebra and Geometry so that a solid foundation of basic concepts is achieved. We will strive to exceed the goals set forth by the state standards and rigorously prepare students for academic success.


The three critical areas of the new core curriculum include concepts of functions and the use of functions to describe quantitative relationships, analysis of two and three dimensional space and figures, and the implementation of procedures to solve linear equations, systems of linear equations, and understand slope of a line to analyze situations and solve problems.


I will promote confidence in my students and encourage a positive attitude toward problem solving.


Sixth grade Math students will conquer and master the skills of computation while exploring and developing a sense of curiosity into the world of algebraic thinking concepts.


The year will be dedicated to four critical areas of math. It will focus on the use of rates and ratios to solve problems, explore fractions, rational numbers, positive and negative integers, introduce algebraic expressions and equations, and expose students to an understanding of statistical thinking. They will apply these concepts to real life situations to solve problems.


I will challenge and support my students while together we continue to maintain our high state scores.


Mrs. Edelman



Sixth grade- The goals of the course are to achieve the conversational facility as well as the reading, writing, and listening skills that will allow students functionally to express themselves in Spanish about their immediate environment and daily activities. Students will be able to compare and contrast Spanish phrases and greeting with their English equivalents and respond to greeting prompts in the classroom. This course also has a grammar element which introduces the students to gender agreement and the identification of singular and plural subject pronouns. There will be considerable focus on pronunciation in Spanish and correct sounds and intonation. We will also concentrate on major cultural elements of Hispanic peoples and the differences in cultural practices to express a greater understanding and appreciation of the culture of Spanish speaking countries.


Seventh grade- This course is a continuation of the sixth grade curriculum and it applies the essentials of grammar in the Spanish language. The focus is to employ vocabulary while correctly expressing agreement of nouns and adjectives and effectively combining articles with their nouns. Students are also introduced to the present tense of verbs and will be able to detect patterns in these verbs to engage in critical thinking.


Eighth grade– This course is a continuation of both sixth and seventh grade Spanish courses which set a high expectation of mastering the Spanish sound system in listening and speaking. Students will properly pronounce, converse and apply the essentials of grammar and composition in both the present and past tenses. The students will be able to use both regular and irregular verbs in order to speak coherently about recent past actions and well as their own actions.


Mr. Smith



Grade 6 Religion 


My classroom mission is to expand on the foundation of our Catholic Faith to enable our students to become individuals who value and live their Faith everyday – in all that they think, do and say. In the 6th grade, students will be introduced to the Revelation of God the Father, Creation and Scientific Information, The building of the Covenant Nation, Jesus as Teacher and Healer, Redeemer and Savior, The Beginning of the Church, and the Church in Our World. Our students will discover and investigate the Bible and refer to Sacred Scripture in all 4 Units of Study. Incorporating interactive activities and projects, on-line videos, web-sites, classroom discussions and traditional learning, it is my goal to create an environment which will help our children grow academically, emotionally, and Spiritually, providing opportunities for these youngsters to apply real-life applications to their Faith and moral decision-making.

Our 6th graders are introduced to Stewardship, and their important role in caring for our planet and all of God’s creations. Through the examples of significant adult role models and interaction with one another, they will be challenged to accept the responsibility of Stewardship and their role in caring for everyone and everything around them. They will become our Faith leaders of future generations.


Grade 7 Religion 


In Grade 7 we expand our Christian Catholic teachings to include family, community, and the world. Through Discipleship and Evangelization, the children are called to participate in spreading the “Good News” of Jesus Christ, the Promise of Salvation, Jesus as the Healer, Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ Alive in our Church Today, and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

It is my objective that through classroom activities, individualized instruction and interdisciplinary assignments, we will continue to build on the strong foundation of our Catholic Faith already developed in our students. I also strive to create a warm, welcoming, caring and Christ-like environment as the children work and grow. I hope to achieve my goals by gathering sound Faith content, demonstrating my belief and living our Faith, and responding and acting on what we learn.


Grade 8 Religion


My 8th Grade mission is to help develop in our young men and women, a sense of appreciation, understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their Catholic Christian beliefs. Included in all content areas that will be covered this school year, is the total development of these young adults – Spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical. Our course of study will include: God and God’s Gift of Faith, Our Ancestors in Faith and Church History from A.D. 30 through the Present, The Church Gives Us Hope for Future Generations, Living Out the Commandments, and Our Catholic Christian Identity.

My goal is to incorporate the verbal, logical, visual, written, and interpersonal strategies of our students, to encourage them to appreciate and live by our Catholic Social Teachings. Through Sacred Scripture, our text, and web-based media, our students will focus on peer pressure and popular culture, free will, conscience, and moral decision-making, as they continue to embrace the Spiritual, morally responsible and adult-like practices of Catholic Christian Faith.


Mr. Erickson



Grade 6
In Grade 6, students will journey through the Ancient and Modern World. We will study Ancient Civilizations and learn what they have contributed to modern day society. We will learn the foundations of many religions of the world, such as: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

We will study Ancient societies such as Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China- to name a few. To gain better understanding of these societies we will use Document Based Questions (DBQ’s). Our goal will be to make cross-curricular connections using primary and secondary sources.


Grade 7
In Grade 7, we begin our journey into American History. We will learn the foundation upon which America was built. We begin with the Roots of American People and end with the United States construction after the Civil War. It is here we begin to understand that history repeats itself and it is up to us to make a difference in the world.

We will look at the influence other cultures have had on our nation by examining both primary and secondary sources. We will use Document Based Questions (DBQ’s) and political cartoons to help us analyze the important changes that the United States has undergone. This will allow us to use critical thinking to employ a variety of intellectual skills essential to understanding major turning points in United States history.


Grade 8
In 8th grade, we continue our exploration of American History. We begin right after the Civil War and delve all the way into modern times. We will activate prior knowledge to compare and contrast the different aspects of American History that seem to repeat itself. We will see that most wars have root in religion or land.

The 8th grade curriculum focuses on writing and critical thinking that will help us to analyze the cause and effect relationships that America continues to have with other nations. In doing so we will use Document Based Questions (DBQ’s) and Political Cartoons to enhance our knowledge and prepare us to work with and understand the history that surrounds our amazing country.


Ms. Sweeney



Grade 6: In sixth grade, students apply skills they’ve learned in earlier grades to make sense of longer, more challenging books and articles. This includes learning about how authors try to influence readers and finding reasons to support their ideas. By focusing on these skills, sixth grade students will sharpen their ability to write and speak with more clarity and coherence.


Grade 8: To prepare for bigger challenges in high school, eighth grade students must grapple with major works of fiction and nonfiction that extend across cultures and centuries. They must be able to cite the evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what is explicitly stated and/or implied from a book, article, poem, or play. Eighth grade students must be able to report findings from their own research and analysis of resources in a clear manner.


Mrs. Catella



The 8th grade Advanced Math class will attempt to develop the knowledge, attitude and skills, essential for success in High School. I plan to weave the 8th grade Math curriculum together with the Algebra I High School curriculum. It is my hope that the majority of the students will be prepared to take the Algebra 1 Regents in June.


This year we will be working on polynomials, functions, linear and quadratic equations, as well as some trigonometry, geometry, radicals, probability and Statistics. Each student will learn how to work with the graphing calculator. It is my goal for the students to reason abstractly as well as quantitatively.


The 7th grade Math class will be focusing on 5 critical areas this year. We will be exploring operations with rational numbers; working with expressions and equations; developing proportional relationships; working with 3 dimensional shapes and scale drawings; as well as Probability and Statistics.


My goal this year is to have the students achieve fluency in all math skills. The students will learn to reason through multi-step real life problems and persevere in solving them.

I hope to provide our students with the foundation in mathematics, necessary for them to reach their potential.


Ms. Harris



My Junior High School Science mission is to create a teaching environment in which students are curious, inspired, and actively engaged in learning. Science concepts are presented in an engaging way so students can build on their prior knowledge and attain the necessary background to participate successfully and responsibly in our highly scientific and technological society. Instructional strategies encompass diverse learners addressing their various learning modalities through visuals, text-based learning, technology, and inquiry-based science instruction in the classroom and in the labs. Both independent and cooperative group learning experiences will be incorporated during the study of science.


The common core curriculum focuses on three branches of Science – Earth Science, Life Science and Physical Science, all of which will be implemented to varying degrees at each grade level. Students will apply content and skills learned in science to real life experiences. Providing real life experiences, enables students to develop an awareness of science-based careers and an understanding of how science is relevant to their lives. My goal this year is for students to obtain a more in-depth understanding and enthusiasm for Earth, Life and Physical Science utilizing scientific inquiry; giving them the academic foundation to pursue future science endeavors.


7th grade students will analyze ad discover Life Science through organisms, cell structure and functions, reproduction of organisms, evolution, genetics and human body systems. Physical Science concentrates on the foundations of chemistry, the periodic table, and classifying energy types. Earth Science topics consist of the geosphere, Earth’s atmosphere, weather patterns, and climate.


In 8th grade, students gain a deeper understanding of motion, energy, and interactions of matter with Physical Science exploration; investigating aspects of Physics to explore motion, speed, velocity, and acceleration. Content includes Newton’s Laws of Motion.


Students discover elements and chemical bonds along with chemical reactions and equations. Geologic changes to Earth, exploring ecology and environmental impacts create and awareness to our ever changing living environment. Life Science discovers the functions of organic and inorganic substances in the human body.


Mr. Pablo




In grade 6, students will explore Earth and Life Science – focusing on Earth’s dynamic surface, interactions of Earth’s systems, natural resources, classifying living things, inheritance and adaptations, and ecosystems. Students will investigate matter, atoms, and energy forms in Physical Science.


Project Lead the Way Courses 

Automation and Robotics - In the Automation and Robotics (AR) unit, students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics® platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms. This program is integrated within the 6th Grade curriculum.

Medical Detectives - In the Medical Detectives (MD) unit is based on “apply experimental design, creative thinking, and problem solving to investigate the inner-workings of the human body, diagnose disease, and improve human health.”In Disease Detectives, students learn how medical professionals identify, treat, and prevent illness. They’ll interpret vital signs, explore infectious diseases, and conduct experiments with antibiotics and bacteria. The lesson also includes a project in which students collect and analyze data to diagnose a patient with a mystery illness. In Mysteries of the Human Body, students learn about the body systems with a specific focus on the nervous system. As part of this, they perform hands-on work, including perform a sheep brain dissection. After learning about the nervous system, students apply their knowledge to explore symptoms related to dysfunctions in the nervous system and analyze causes. The end-of-lesson project involves students creating a resource to help a “patient” understand their medical condition. In Outbreak!, students encounter a scenario where a dangerous toxin has been released into the community. Students analyze symptoms and perform lab analyses to identify how the toxin is spreading. The unit wraps up with students locating the source of the toxin by using problem solving skills to review information presented through lab data, patient histories, and more. This program is integrated within the 7th Grade curriculum.


Mrs. D’Agostino



Grade 7- Students at this academic level will continue to build on skills developed in prior years. Skill sets include citing textual evidence to support an analysis of an issue, developing deeper critical thinking skills, and incorporating grade appropriate vocabulary into their work. Selected literary works will include a more advanced focus on non-fiction and informational texts. The academic agenda will also include research and public speaking.


Grade 8- High School preparation is the focus for the students at this level. Literary analysis will be expressed in the form of a thesis paper, and students will be introduced to proper citation techniques that will be a valuable tool to them at the high school level. They will also continue to focus on citing textual evidence to support their positions on an issue, developing deeper critical thinking skills and distinguishing between essential and non-essential details.