Syllabus & Coursework

8th Grade Math/Science 2019-2020

(619) 591-2530 ext. 25402

8th Integrated Math/Science Syllabus

*Click this link Syllabus Shortvers1920to see the shortened version of the Syllabus…but it is always good to read through this Syllabus that offers all the details…HW, grade categories, projects, etc.

8th Integrated Math/Science Syllabus

 “The Journey- it is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

Welcome to 8th grade Integrated Math/Science! 8th grade is the final leg in your journey towards becoming a young adult. This year is all about guiding you towards high school by supporting your growth academically, socially, emotionally, and maturationally. By design, I want your 8th grade year to feel more and more like high school and as such, you will be treated accordingly.

At High Tech Middle Chula Vista, math and science take off through the journey of exploration, investigation, and construction.   The depth of your understanding and learning will be only limited by your imagination and desire. In this course, you will be at the forefront of your education by taking on projects, doing labs, investigating, building, data collecting and much, much more. You are truly lucky to be in a school where the educational philosophy allows you to learn through projects and learn through experiencing. 8th grade Math/Science is hands on, cooperative, rigorous and FUN!

Below is a basic outline for the year detailing the course, grading, expectations, and materials. You can access my digital portfolio at or through the HTMCV website ( under staff DP’s as it is an important link to find out about homework, projects, and course outline/topics. I have an open door policy and am always available especially after school to help or answer any of your questions- find me and we can set a time to meet or you can email me.

Course Overview

The beauty of integrated math/science is that it gives meaning to what you are learning. We will explore science through the language of math using mathematical principles, algebraic concepts, statistical calculations, and number sense. We will engage in math by developing critical thinking, collaborative problem solving and making sense of the material. Math is in everything we do and science helps us to understand the world and how we can better use our scientific knowledge to improve our lives. (See the Course Outline under Syllabus on my DP for a more detailed plan for the year).


Math is a major focus for the year and geared towards high school readiness and preparation aligned with the Common Core Mathematical Standards. The Common Core is not just a new set of standards for every grade but is a shift in how we want students to think about math; to prepare students to be both creative problem solvers and develop/improve in their mathematical skills and fluency.

Lessons, labs and homework will aid in developing and reinforcing the mastery of math. By the end of the year, students will be proficient in the following:

  • The Number System & Algebraic Operations- use of integers, rational numbers, algebraic expressions, exponential notation & radicals, scientific notation and related competencies.
  • Expressions & Equations- manipulating algebraic expressions & simple to complex equaitons, applications and construction of algebraic equations applied to real-world problems and content, linear relationships and solving systems (simultaneous) equations.
  • Functions- one to one relationships in algebraic quantities, input & outputs in graphical analysis, representations, models, and quantities. Graphing of linear & nonlinear relationships and describe qualitatively the relationship of functions.
  • Geometry- understand congruence, similarity, transformations, application of Pythagorean Theorem, and solve real-world problems involving volume of cylinders, cones, and spheres.

Math is done collaboratively where every person discovers their confidence and potential to do math. You will be pushed to think in different ways while at the same time pushed to develop your mathematical fluency and skill set. A cornerstone of the program is where students support, teach, and learn from each other to build a community of learning. We will be using a variety of curriculum materials including:

  • Cognitively Guided Instruction Curriculum- the bulk of our in class work, lessons and learning. You will be asked to keep a POD Spiral for displaying your thinking, reflections and homework!
  • Khan Academy- we will be using this to build your foundational math skills. 1 hour per week is required.
  • Judo Math System- students will be pushed to develop mastery and deepen learning through mentoring throughout the year tied to specific Content Units organized by Belts. See


In the 8th grade, students will investigate and learn the science of the physical world by focusing on chemistry and physics. We will have fun exploring and learning about the physical world through building, construction, and experimentation. By the end of the year, students will be proficient in the following:

  • Scientific Modeling and Experimentation– the Scientific method, experimental design and research, and models of investigation.
  • Mechanics– Newtonian Laws, velocity/acceleration, force and gravity, projectiles, momentum & impulse, and the force of friction.
  • Structure and Interaction of Matter– basic properties of matter including atomic & molecular structure, elements, phases and chemical reactions.
  • Energy and Forms– potential vs. kinetic, momentum & impulse, electricity/currents and the study of how energy takes different phases to affect change.

Projects will incorporate physical science, engineering, and design. See my DP for a list of proposed Projects for the year.

I want to encourage voice and choice in our projects so many of our projects we will discuss, decide and design as a class. Some possible projects include but not limited to the following:

  • Bridge Engineers Project– exploring mechanical engineering and dynamics.
  • Hovering Hovercrafts- explore the Laws of Motion and Forces.
  • Does Matter Matter?- understanding interactions of chemistry
  • Are You a Mythbuster? Biology– become scientists as you go through the scientific method to examine patterns, make hypotheses, analyze data and draw conclusions based on biological systems and processes.

Expectations: A Community of Learning

All of us together are bound by one simple credo: we are a community of learners. All of us will rely on one another for help, aid, teaching, and learning! You will be expected to come to class each day to participate actively, be prepared to use class time productively, and always work towards PUSHING yourself in your academic and social growth.


Your grade will be a reflection of your performance on the following but remember your true objective is to STRETCH YOURSELF in your learning and growth.

  1. Projects 35%

Obviously, being a project-based school it makes sense that your project will make up the bulk of your grade. Rubrics, adult review, reflections, and your math/science logs (to be explained in class) will be a key part of your project grade.   Protocol sheets and performance objectives (handed out at the time of the project) will detail the assessment and grading.

2.  Tests 25%

Tests will be given at the completion of units of study and especially in math. Tests come in many categories including the standard paper and pencil ones, presentations, oral exams, and class activities. They will be announced ahead of time.

** For math, we will be working on a curriculum that allows you to retake and relearn concepts, only mastery of 80% is accepted. The math tests, referred to as Advancements, require you to reach mastery otherwise a failing grade will be reflected on your grade report; IT IS UP TO YOU TO RETAKE IT- possibly after school during tutoring!

– You must show that you are adequately preparing yourself each time to retake a math test by completing homework, doing test corrections, and being an active learner.

3.  Homework 25%

Homework is an ESSENTIAL piece of your success in this class. I call it “Brain Training” and in order to learn, you will need to practice and develop skills. On many occasions, you will have the opportunity to work in class. The amount of homework will vary on the lesson and how much you get done at school.

Homework is graded on a point system based on completion and effort; not on the right answer. I expect you to show me your thinking on every problem or assignment otherwise you will receive no credit. With effort and careful review of your work, you’ll learn how to arrive at the right answer and be better prepared as a result. Homework will be reviewed in class and awarded daily points ranging from 1 to 10 points per assignment. Homework will vary including completing assigned problems, writing reflections, completing Khan Academy online and other types of handouts and worksheets.

Due dates will vary based on the need of the class and nature of the assignment. You are expected to know when HW is due…so before you leave class, know what is expected. I use Google Classroom so make sure you join our class and check your email daily and often. Please subscribe to my DP at to get updates on what we are doing in class.

**Ultimately, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to know what is for HW and Due Dates!

4.  Participation 15%

In order to be successful, it is crucial that you participate actively. Participating actively means being prepared for class (have required supplies each day, complete homework, and be on time) and use class time productively by asking questions, cooperating with others, and demonstrating your thinking to me. Your participation is based on a point system and you start with 100! So don’t lose them! Your participation is key to your success.

** DEEPER DIVE (optional)– for each project or unit of study in math, you will have the option to take on the Deeper Dive component. Abbreviated DD, the Deeper Dive component will be work such as extensions, deeper/challenging math problems, higher level expansions of concepts, extra research/reading and elements that push your thinking and application of concepts.

Anyone can choose to take this on but the important element is that you will select along with Parent approval before the project or unit of study begins. If you select the DD component, you will be expected and assessed on doing this additional work and assignments for the project. I will document whether you take on the Deeper Dive Option and your grade will be reflected as a separate entry in Powerschool. If you choose not to do the Deeper Dive option, you will see ‘Exempt’ in Powerschool meaning it is not factored into your grade.

I will explain more in class and to parents at Back to School Night in early September.

Ultimately though, it is really not about the grade so much more than it is pushing and challenging your deeper understanding of the content.   I am thoughtful about this system and welcome your feedback.

 Nuts & Bolts: Things to Know!

Required Materials: Please have the following for class each day!

  1. Pencils (at least one every day) & pen- IMPORTANT!
  2. 4 dry erase markers
  3. 1 Mini-Stapler
  4. 1 Spiral paper notebook (or better, a Graph Paper Notebook)- you’ll complete all the POD’s/Math Notes in this each day.
  5. 1 3 Ring Binder w/ 5 Dividers & Paper- (nice, if it has pockets as well)
  6. 1 Scientific Calculator- (a graphing calculator is not required)
  7. 1 Composition Notebook (hardback)- to serve as your Math/Science Journal (I’ll show you an example)
  8. Your brain and contagious enthusiasm

** There will be a few extra materials that you will need as the year progresses for specific projects.

Digital Learning

I guess being at a High Tech school we will use Technology, right? Yes! It’s a fact of the digital age. Throughout this course, I will ask and require you to complete work online and through a variety of digital platforms i.e. Google Docs, CK-12, videos, Webquests, etc. Moreover, there are a vast amount of digital resources to aid in your learning.

A couple of things to be mindful of:

  • If you need access online and don’t have it at home, please tell me ahead of time. I will do my best to make our school computers available to you in the morning, afterschool, and on ½ day Wednesdays. I want to ensure access for everyone.
  • Use your High Tech email/username and password the SAME for all online platforms we use. It makes it easier to access and remember. The best passwords are ones that have at least 6-8 characters, at least one CAPITAL LETTER, and one number.
  • The universal hub or portal to all things Math/Science is through my Digital Portfolio which is  Go There and subscribe to it by entering your email in the upper right hand corner of the home page. When you do that, it automatically sends you an email when I update my blog.
  • Check your Email Daily- I use Google Classroom to post HW assignments and assignments that you will need to know about and complete!  A Good Daily Habit!


If absent, you have the amount of time you missed to complete any work you missed. It is your responsibility to see me to get work that you missed! After the allotted time, you will not earn credit for an assignment. Do NOT turn work in late….you will either receive No Credit or ½ credit. You can access daily assignments and homework on the homework/assignments calendar on my digital portfolio, but is often good practice to come by my office in the morning or after school to see what work you have missed. Take RESPONSIBILITY for your RESPONSIBILITIES!

Extra Help

Be not afraid to ask questions! It is what I am here for and it is your responsibility to tell me if you need help. You will be asked (sometimes strongly encouraged) to attend Math Lab in my class….Tutoring is a necessity in 8th grade! I am available for tutoring most days after school from 3:00 to 3:45 and even, in the mornings when not in staff meetings(sometimes longer if time and schedules allow). Otherwise, you can email me or check out my DP for information and links to helpful websites to support your understanding of material. Remember, putting in the effort & hard work will be the key to understanding the material….learning takes effort and individual responsibility and most of all, PERSEVERANCE and TIME!

 And Remember….

“Without Labor, Nothing Prospers”

We are going to have an AMAZING 8th Grade Year!   It is one of the best of your educational career!!!!!!!





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