- Social Studies
- Foreign Language
- Physical Education
- Elective/Enrichment Overview
R. Roger Rowe hosts an annual spelling bee in conjunction with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. the 7th and 8th grade participate in a school bee, 6th graders hold a practice bee unique to their grade level.
A day of presentations by industry leaders to provide a new and practical dimension to students’ education and help them to explore possible career paths.
Student government is a great way to participate in leadership of our school. Positions: Secretary, Treasurer, Philanthropy Chair, Activities Coordinator
Physics Field Trip: Theme Park
8th Grade Physical science students take a trip to a theme park to analyze the properties of motion that govern classic park rides.
8th grade students have 223 minutes of Mathematics Classes week and classes are in a block format. Students in grade 8 have the ability to take Math 8 or Advanced Math (Integrated Math 1 Honors). Students that qualify for Advanced Mathematics have demonstrated a strong ability to move quickly through mathematics and are ready for the challenge of additional work. Integrated Math 1 Honors is designed to prepare students for Integrated 2 Honors in 9th grade. Students needing additional support are eligible to take Math Intervention during the Enrichment Block.
Units of Study
Unit 1 Linear and Inverse Variation
Unit 2 The Pythagorean Theorem
Unit 3 Exponential Functions
Unit 4 Symmetry and Transformations
Unit 5 Making Sense of Symbols
Unit 6 Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
Integrated 1 Honors:
This is an accelerated course for eighth graders focused on the Integrated 1 Honors content standards. Students must meet strict eligibility requirements in order to enter this course. Students will have demonstrated stellar academic performance in previous math classes, excellent work habits, critical thinking skills, independence and a willingness to work above grade level requirements. Instruction in Integrated 1 Honors is fast paced and rigorous. Students may be eligible for Integrated 2 Honors or Honors as 9th graders.
Students needing additional support in mathematics may qualify for specialized instruction with a mathematics specialist. Classroom teachers make recommendations for this program. This program takes place during the Enrichment Block.
CMP3 (Connected Mathematics)
Math in Focus
Mathematics Vision Project
Students have 223 minutes of Reading Classes per week in a block format. 8th graders are eligible to take General Reading 8 and Honors Reading 8. Students who qualify for Honors Reading have demonstrated a strong ability to move quickly through reading materials and are ready for the challenge of additional work.
Download the 8th reading curriculum summary
Units of Study
Unit 1 Story of My Life: Reading Memoir and Biography
Unit 2 Real World Problems in Science Fiction: Dystopian Book Clubs
Unit 3 Reading for Truth: Non-Fiction and World News
Unit 4 What’s in a Poem? Understanding Structure, Craft, and Author’s Purpose in Poetry
Unit 5 Classic California: Discovering the Tenants of Iconic Literature through a Study of Place
Unit 6 Changing the World with Words
Honors Reading 8
Students who qualify for Honors Reading have demonstrated to be strong readers and is comprised of additional rigor and challenge to the current college-preparatory course offering. The English Language Arts teachers use the current Columbia Reading Units of Study for grade 6 as the basis for instruction while further developing units with a strong focus on meaningful class discussions, including thorough comprehension and critical analysis of a variety of genres. The program will emphasize vocabulary, composition skills, research skills, grammar conventions, and sentence construction. Due to the fast-paced, rigorous curriculum of this class, only students who are self-motivated, passionate about reading, and have exceptional work ethic will be eligible.
• MAP Test Results
• SBAC Test Results
• OLSAT Test Results
• District Benchmark Assessment
and teacher recommendation.
The Reading Workshop is a teaching method in which the goal is to teach students strategies for reading and comprehension. The workshop model allows teachers to differentiate and meet the needs of all their students. Reading Workshop helps to foster a love of reading and gives students chances to practice reading strategies independently and with guidance.
– Mini Lesson: (10-15 minutes)
– Independent reading, conferring, small group instruction (35-40 minutes)
– Share (5 minutes)
Units of Study for Teaching Reading: A Curriculum for the Reading Workshop (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University)
Curricular Calendar for Reading K-8 (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University)
Teen Ink: Mentor texts
8th grade students have 223 minutes of Writing Classes per week and classes are in a block format. This course follows Columbia’s Reading and Writing workshop model (see below). In class and at home, students keep a writer’s notebook where they will grow in skills needed for specific writing types as well as develop their personal style as writers. Volume, variety, and thoughtfulness are also areas of emphasis in the writer’s notebook. Students set goals and focus on improving specific skills. In the meeting area, the teacher models strategies to help the students push themselves as writers. Students also receive peer feedback and publish their final pieces. The students will also use the Easy Grammar curriculum to build their understanding of proper mechanics to better communicate their sophisticated writing ideas.
Download the 8th writing curriculum summary
Units of Study
Unit 1 From Monologue to Personal Essay: Establishing Voice in Writing
Unit 2 The Short Story as Social Commentary: Writing Science Fiction
Unit 3 Taking a Stand with Writing: Position Paper Essays and Investigative Journalism
Unit 4 Sifting Through the Layers: Uncovering Poetry through Literary Analysis
Unit 5 Finding Style in Structure: Authoring Poetry
Unit 6 Who I am as a Writer: Creating a Reflective Portfolio
Writing Enrichment Courses:
The Art of Writing
The Art of Writing- creativity and inspiration will flow in this dynamic writing course. Students will free the writing muse with projects that combine creative writing, art, and a touch of marketing.
Speech and Debate
Students will learn the techniques for building a successful commemorative and persuasive speech as well as learn the impact on using technology and visuals effectively to aid in presentations. Students will also analyze great speeches and debates of ancient history, and will learn how to debate effectively with their peers.
Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey
This predictable structure provides a supportive environment in which new learning takes place. The workshop begins with a 10-15 minute “minilesson” in which the teacher introduces and explicitly teaches skills and strategies related to the unit of study. Students then move to independent writing time. During this time, teachers pull students 1:1 or in small groups providing individualized instruction. The workshop closes with a share of new learning, either whole class or with peers.
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Curricular Calendars K-8 (2014-2015)
Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative,Writing,2013
Rancho Santa Fe Middle School ELA
Instructional Software Support:
Google Suite for Education
No Red Ink
Eighth grade students have 223 minutes of Science Class per week and classes in a block format. Students learn position is defined in relation to some choice of a standard reference point and a set of reference directions. Students know that average speed is the total distance traveled divided by the total time elapsed and that the speed of an object along the path traveled can vary. Students learn how to solve problems involving distance, time, and average speed. Students know the velocity of an object must be described by specifying both the direction and the speed of the object they learn changes in velocity may be due to changes in speed, direction, or both. Students know how to interpret graphs of position versus time and graphs of speed versus time for motion in a single direction.
Units of Study
• Structure of Matter
• Earth in the Solar System
• Chemistry of Living Systems
• Periodic Table
• Density and Buoyanc
• Investigations and Experimentation
Accelerated Physical Science 8
Accelerated level science courses offered in high school including AP Physics and Chemistry. A prerequisite requirement is a demonstration of mathematical and literary competency including a recommendation from the student’s current teachers. Similar in structure to the regular sections of physical science, students will investigate the scientific fields of chemistry, physics, and astronomy but will delve more deeply into each topic. Starting with the structure of matter, students will learn how scientists unraveled the mysterious properties of the atom. They will then study the physical properties of matter including density and buoyancy. They will follow with a thorough investigation of the chemical properties of matter and the organization of the periodic table of elements. Students will examine electron configurations and learn how to balance chemical equations as well as doing many hands-on laboratory experiments using state of the art sensors and probe ware. Using carts and tracks, students will explore the world of force and motion as they are exposed to the concepts of velocity and acceleration. Using the graphical capabilities of the computer, students will analyze data collected from their experiments and learn to write lab reports culminating with an exciting trip to an Amusement Park where they will investigate the physics of roller coasters. Finally, students begin their study of astronomy. Starting with the solar system, students will work their way out to the universe at large. They will investigate the births and deaths of stars along with the formation of elliptical and spiral galaxies. Using telescopes, pinhole cameras and planetarium software, students will probe the depths of our universe.
Three, two, one, blast off!!! Wow!!! There’s nothing more exciting than a rocket launch, whether it’s a NASA space shuttle or a simple bottle rocket. Come explore the principles of rocketry and learn how to build rockets from the ground up. Rocketeers will design, build, and launch a variety of rockets powered by air, water, and chemical propellants. They will also learn how to build recovery systems to insure safe landings and investigate the rockets used to launch satellites into low earth and geosynchronous orbit as well as ferrying people to the international space station. We will examine robotic spacecraft sent out to explore the solar system and NASA’s plans to return people to the moon and eventually to Mars. If you ever wanted to become an astronaut or blast off into outer space, this is the course for you. *Same curriculum as Rocketry 7/8, but the course can only be taken once in middle school.
Science Enrichment Courses:
This course introduces students to the nervous system and all of the human senses. Students will participate in hands-on activities and labs to increase understanding of how our senses drive our reactions to the world around us. These include touch (human skin), sight (eye dissection included), hearing (with an in-depth study of the structures of the ear), smell and taste. We will also explore our sense of balance and how our nervous system takes sensory input and turns it into the world we see.
Our Green Planet
This interactive class will explore “hot” issues that affect our planet – from its wildlife, to its waters, and even the air we breathe. We will explore product life cycles and how green our clothes are, human – environment interactions and their effect on our planet’s endangered ecosystems, the effects of global warming on polar ice caps, and then wrap it all up by participating in a mock trial which will help us decide who is responsible for toxic waste.
Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey
CPO Physical Science Textbooks
Calculators, rulers, measuring tapes, stop watches, scales, balances, weights and mas sets
CPO tracks, cars, timers, photogates, physics stands, launchers, pulleys, etc.
PASCO carts & tracks, links, interface ports, motion & force sensors, temperature sensors, pH, light, sound, magnetic, pressure, etc.
Eighth grade students receive 223 minutes of Social Studies instruction per week. Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America’s role in the war. After reviewing the development of America’s democratic institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions.
- Social Studies Course Information
- United States History & Geography: Making a New Nation
- Students trace the routes of early explorers and describe the early explorations of the Americas.
- Students describe the cooperation and conflict that existed among the American Indians and between the Indian nations and the new settlers.
- Students understand the political, religious, social, and economic institutions that evolved in the colonial era.
- Students explain the causes of the American Revolution.
- Students understand the course and consequences of the American evolution
- Students describe the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution and analyze the Constitution’s significance as the foundation of the American republic.
- Students trace the colonization, immigration, and settlement patterns of the American people from 1789 to the mid-1800s, with emphasis on the role of economic incentives, effects of the physical and political geography, and transportation systems
- Students know the location of the current 50 states and the names of their capitals.
- United States History & Geography: Making a New Nation
- Curriculum Resources:
“The American Journey” textbook Glencoe
“A More Perfect Union” Houghton Mifflin (supplemental textbook used in class)
Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI): Interactive class activities and lessons
“The American Journey” Student Works: CD with textbook, audio, and workbooks
“The American Journey”: Chapter resource activities workbook. Reading, writing, skill practice, and critical thinking activities and assignments.
“Creative Strategies for Teaching American History” (Hole, Rinehart, and Winston): Lesson plans and activities
“Eyewitness and Others” (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston): Primary source readings in American History Volumes one and two
“The Constitution: Past, Present, and Future” (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston): Lesson plan and activities
PBS “The Civil War” website
“Liberty!” PBS American Revolution series
“The Presidents” History Channel series
“The West” Ken Burns PBS series
“The Civil War” Ken Burns PBS series
Local History: Los Altos & Ohlones Uses basic map reading skills correctly Identifies the continents and ocean of the world Knows local history
Sixth, seventh and eighth graders will be introduced to the Spanish language through a focus on language and culture while speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the target language. Spanish 1 places an emphasis on correct pronunciation, listening comprehension, vocabulary development, learning the fundamentals of verb conjugations, and the formation of simple, complete, and grammatically correct present tense Spanish sentences. The units covered in this course include an introduction to foundational vocabulary and expressions as well as thematic units called Mis amigos y yo, La escuela, La comida, Los pasatiempos, Fiesta en familia, La casa, and De compras. Sixth graders will move on to Spanish 1.5 upon completion of this course. Seventh and eighth graders completing Spanish 1 with high achievement will have the opportunity to move onto middle school Spanish 2 or may place in Spanish 2 at the high school level (determined by a placement exam if entering a private school). This class is a rigorous course for students at the sixth grade level so please consider a heavy homework load when making course selections.
Incoming seventh graders who have completed Spanish 1 will move on to this level prior to taking level 2 as an eighth grader. This course is also offered to incoming eighth graders who have completed Spanish 1, but may benefit from further review before moving onto Spanish 2. Students at this level continue learning Spanish through a focus on language and culture while speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the target language. Spanish 1.5 continues to reinforce correct pronunciation, listening comprehension, vocabulary development, verb conjugation development, and the formation of simple, complete and grammatically correct present and simple past tense Spanish sentences. The units covered in this course include a thorough review of Spanish 1 material, as well as thematic units called La casa, De compras, Experiencias, and Medios de comunicación. In addition, students do an in-depth study of a Spanish-speaking country. Students completing Spanish 1.5 with high achievement will have the opportunity to move onto middle school Spanish 2 or may place in Spanish 2 at the high school level (determined by a placement exam if entering a private school).
Eighth graders will continue learning Spanish through a focus on language and culture while speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the target language. Spanish 2 is a review of skills from Spanish 1, as well as the acquisition of new skills in the areas of grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, comprehension, and culture. Students continue learning the formation of simple, complete, and grammatically correct Spanish sentences. Students also begin to explore more complex sentence structures. Students at this level review the present tense verb conjugations, but spend most of the academic year learning the different ways to express the past. The units covered in this course include a review of Spanish 1 material as well as thematic units called Tu día escolar, Un evento especial, Tú y tu comunidad, Recuerdos del pasado, and En las noticias. Students completing Spanish 2 with high achievement may place in Spanish 3 at the high school level (determined by a placement exam if entering a private school) or may choose to do high school Spanish 2 in order to thoroughly review all material before advancing at the high school level.
Students learn the Chinese language of Mandarin. This course will be an introduction to the Mandarin language and give students basic vocabulary and language skills to operate in a variety of situations. This course will not count for high school credit, but will be a great starting point for students that may decide to take Mandarin at the high school level.
Rancho Santa Fe School District’s athletic programs are available to all students who demonstrate an interest in participating in athletics. Student athletes will dedicate themselves to the pursuit of individual athletic excellence while maintaining a good standing in both academic and behavioral policies. In addition to developing students’ athletic skills, coaches will focus on instilling the district’s core values and strong character. The administration, parents, coaches, and players will embrace healthy, age-appropriate competition with an emphasis on teamwork, responsibility, initiative, perseverance, respect, honesty, fair play and winning.
For a detailed explanation of each sports team please check out the Overview and Structure of Athletics.
1st Trimester (Sept./Nov.) 2nd Trimester (Nov./March 3rd Trimester (March/May)
Cross Country (Co-ed) Basketball (Boys) Basketball (Girls)
Flag Football (Co-ed) Soccer (Boys) *ISPE/Lacrosse (Boys)
Volleyball (Girls) Soccer (Girls) Tennis (Co-ed)
*ISPE or GPE/Golf (Co-ed) Wrestling (Co-ed) Track & Field (Co-ed)
*Any student interested in the golf team must enroll in General PE or ISPE. Golf team tryouts will be held during the second week of school. If you qualify for the team your schedule will be edited to reflect golf as your fall sport.
General Physical Education
(Trimester 1, 2, 3) This course provides students opportunities to learn through a developmentally appropriate, comprehensive sequentially planned physical education program aligned with the Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools. The focus of this course is the application of movement skills and knowledge to individual and dual physical activities: the assessment and maintenance of physical fitness to improve health and performance, and the requisite knowledge of physical fitness concepts.
(Trimester 1, 2, 3) In Dance P.E., the students will be learning a variety of dance styles and techniques including jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theater. We will also explore the history of dance, and at the end of the year, the students will create their own choreography. Each trimester the dancers will perform on stage in a performance. The first two trimesters the dancers will perform in shows with the other performing arts departments, and in the last trimester will perform at the end of the year dance show.
Independent Study P.E. (I.S.P.E.)
(Trimester 1, 2, 3) Independent study is an alternative opportunity to receive P.E. credit. Students work independently in an organized physical program under the supervision of an instructor and monitored by the Athletic Director. Examples include club sports, martial arts, and equestrian. Upon approval, students must complete a written agreement and document their progress throughout each Trimester. Credit for I.S.P.E is based on the time and value of the student’s work product, as determined by the Athletic Director.
Eighth Grade Music
This class is designed to enhance a student’s musical ability by applying note-reading skills, musicianship, rehearsal techniques to increasingly challenging literature. Students will improve basic musicianship skills through the practice and performance of concert works & exercises in a large ensemble setting as well as develop & improve proper playing technique (embouchure, posture, sticking…etc.). Our songs will come from standard band music but also jazz and contemporary music. Prerequisites: Audition only, instructor approval.
Bands like Cold Play and The Beatles and genres from Rock-n-Roll to Country have all used the guitar. This elective will teach you how to play guitar. In just weeks, you will be able to play along with your favorite artists.
There is not a more important instrument to understand and play than the piano. Join this exciting elective and begin your journey to learning music fundamentals. Because each student has his/her own piano, whether you have played for several years or never touched one, you are welcome to join this class.
The Advanced Choral Ensemble enrichment is an audition-only, advanced level vocal performing group that will learn and perform pop, jazz, and masterwork music. This group will perform at all school music concerts, but will also travel to perform at other choral festivals and events. It’s important that you talk to Mr. Haus for an audition before you are placed in this class. Students will learn not only perform advanced-level music, but they will learn how to read music, arrange songs, and form duets, trios, and quartets within the class.
(Mr. Haus will still run his Friday morning (before school) choir group in addition to this enrichment class. Students in the Friday morning groups will perform at all school music concerts and will travel to perform at other choral festivals and events).
Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey
Music Programs Outside of School Hours (year-long)
(Class meets M 7:45 AM-9:00 AM and T-F before school depending on level. Registration will be held on Band Night, please see website for details) Students will be able to practice their instruments and play as a group. We will prepare for scheduled concerts, competitions, and festivals, but will also be the “band for hire” for other school functions that need musical support! Never played an instrument? No problem! We will help you pick one out and before you know it, you will be a pro.
Choir (Grades 4-8)
The 4-8 Choir meets Thursday mornings before school.
Advanced Drama Elective Offerings for 8th Graders
Trimester 1: The Art of Improvisation
This Drama course is for students who love to entertain and be entertained. Students create and develop characters and skits using the impromptu elements of Improvisation and learn various Language Arts strategies to develop comedy sketches with props, music, and costumes.
Trimester 2: Elements of Acting Class
Students will have the opportunity to act, evaluate, and create short scenes and skits to perform on stage. Students will also study and develop their characters as well as write, direct, cast, and stage their plays and performances.
Trimester 3: Film Acting Class
Do you want to be a TV or Movie Star? Or, learn how the pros did it? Then this acting class is for you. Students will discover the beginnings of The Hollywood film industry and learn the ins and outs of creating head shots for casting calls, choosing and performing audition pieces, creating a portfolio and acting resume, filming and editing audition pieces as well as writing, developing, and acting in an original television pilot episode that we will produce and debut for a live audience
Technology Electives and Enrichment for the Eighth Grade
Apps Design and Coding
GameSalad is used to create games and apps for the iPad or other mobile devices. It aims to open the doors of game design to anyone who wants to create. With GameSalad’s complete set of tools and editors, bring your game to market faster and easier than with any other development platform; and without coding a single line. In addition, students will learn basic programming using software called Alice. Alice is an innovative 3-D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.
During the trimester, students develop and produce quality, original films across genres (animated, documentary, drama, comedy, etc.) by creating a storyboard and revised script, which they will then film and edit.
Students use digital animation software called Toon Boom Studio. This software is a comprehensive program that guides students through the entire digital animation workflow from scripting, sketching, using a graphic Wacom tablet to draw, scan, paint artwork using advanced tools, and lip-sync mouth movement to voice tracks. Final production will feature a full cartoon that will be made into a QuickTime movie for publication.
Eighth grade students are able to sign up for year-long Elective Classes and trimester-long Enrichment Classes. These classes are designed to provide students interested in Art the ability to explore different mediums and develop their artistic abilities.
Art Studio Elective
For those students who have enjoyed art in their K-5 rotations and now want the opportunity to learn more about the visual arts through discussion, research and hands on creation. This course includes a variety of art projects using several different mediums such as pen and ink, collage and clay. It also includes the opportunity to work with a guest artist and create paintings for the Hearts for Healing project. Throughout the year this class will allow students to demonstrate their growing artistic skill set and knowledge of the visual arts, including, but not limited to the elements and principles of art, as well as artistic masters and art movements. At the end of this year long course students will have the opportunity to display two to three of their favorite projects in the school Art Show.
The purpose of this trimester long course is to give students an intriguing overview into the wonderful world of visual arts! Students learn about several artists and art movements all while creating a wide range of projects in several different mediums and styles.
Please contact Dana Dabney, Art Teacher, for more details.
FTC Robotics—Grades 7-8: The First Tech Challenge (FTC) program delves into more advanced engineering and programming concepts. Students are challenged to design robots using metal components, along with a variety of sensors, to compete in a 12’ by 12’ arena. During the contest, robots compete in both “autonomous” and “driver controlled” modes using a game pad. They must work cooperatively and competitively as they are paired up with other teams to accomplish the tasks set before them.
Eighth grade students are offered one year elective courses in a variety of extra-curricular area (see survey link below). In addition, they can participate in three trimester-long enrichment classes focused in three main areas. Students will select one class from Science and Tech, one from Humanities and one from The Arts. The goal is for students to make varied choices that will give them an opportunity to try new areas of interest each trimester. Under Primary Choices please make your 1st choice selections. Under Alternate Choices please keep one and only one of your 1st choices from one of the categories and select two new options in the other two categories.
Grade 6 History
Grade 8 Science
Grade 8 Reading
Grade 7 History
Grade 7 Science
Grade 8 Reading/Writing
Grade 8 Science