The eighth grade is the culmination of a Tower School education. We continue to teach essential academic skills and we encourage independence and provide a supportive environment for students to find their voices. We provide opportunities for leadership growth through academic, athletic, social, and community-service opportunities. We prepare the students to present themselves in the best possible light, focusing on social skills, self-confidence, and positive group dynamics. Through classroom projects and extracurricular activities, we provide our students with opportunities to succeed through teamwork. Tower graduates are prepared for the challenges of secondary school because they are able to delve beneath the surface, understand the connections between topics and can apply their academic skills with confidence.
- Extensive work with linear functions: graphing, intercepts, and solving systems
- Explore all operations with polynomials and extensive work with factoring
- Explore rational expressions
- Extensive work with quadratic functions: graphing, zeros, quadratic formula
- Integrate ideas from algebra and geometry with graphic representation
- Continue to focus on developing logical reasoning skills
- Read literature of various genres, for pleasure as well as critical insight, and always with an appreciation for the time and cultural context in which it was written
- Develop ideas thoughtfully and logically, supporting them with a body of specific evidence and using precise, vivid language
- Know basic literary and poetic terms and concepts and apply them accurately to specific works of literature
- Write cogently, concisely, and vividly in a range of contexts, both expository and imaginative
- Observe rules of grammar, principles of accurate and well-varied sentence structure, and conventions of punctuation and spelling
- Evaluate the validity of scientific work and create scientifically accurate experiments.
- Understand that scientific inquiry is a dynamic, enjoyable process and appreciate the importance of being curious in everyday life.
- Engage students in actions to take responsibility for the natural environment.
- Model kinematics and dynamics in physical systems to measure the force, mass and acceleration in metric units.
- Conceptualize power, potential and kinetic energy within a Rube-Goldberg contraption and accurately describe the changes in energy.
- Demonstrate an understanding of chemistry through a Personal Interest Project, a student-centered research project culminating in a research paper written in scientific format and a formal oral presentation.
- Use the Periodic Table of Elements in modeling atomic structure and influencing bonding within molecules.
- US history covering Reconstruction through to JFK and the Space Program
- Reading critically and discerning information that is significant to the line of study
- Research and documentation: writing and projects
- Heightened and expanded expectations in 8th grade teach and encourage the student to focus on independent thinking, independent study skills and autonomous expression of their perspective
- Expanded exposure to analytical writing: focus on ability to support analysis through research and the ability to understand multiple perspectives on an issue
- Note-taking skills expanded to include multiple formats
- Study, organization and time-management skills are discussed and implemented
- Presentation skills are honed
- Debate skills are practiced; students become more precise by using reasoning and evidence to support their assertions.
- Projects and activities focus on both individual and collaborative skills
- Class discussions: ability to voice a perspective, hear others’ perspectives and consistently develop essential questions to propel the level of discussion/inquiry
- Assessments: variety of forms are designed to allow students to express their understanding in multiple formats
- Precision of expression in the critical thinking process: apply this understanding both verbally and in written form
Students may select Spanish or Latin as their language option.
Spanish Language Option
- Class is taught mostly in Spanish; students are encouraged to always speak Spanish
- Grammar concepts covered in eighth grade include, among others: review of present tense stem-changing verbs, saber and conocer, reflexive verbs, learn regular preterite, irregular preterite verbs, preterite of stem-changing verbs, including –ir verbs, reciprocal actions, indirect object pronouns, imperfect tense, forms, and uses, preterite and imperfect, differences between the two
- Extensive oral practice through class discussion, group work, and pair interaction
- Further develop writing abilities
- Explore cultural elements of the language; study Spanish and Hispanic culture
- Expand students’ vocabulary
Language Option - Latin
- Become familiar with the system of Latin noun and verb endings
- Learn the nominative, genitive, dative accusative, ablative, and vocative cases of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth declension nouns
- Learn the present, imperfect, perfect and future tenses of verbs in all four conjugations in the active voice
- Learn the infinitive form of Latin verbs
- Learn the imperative mood
- Learn the present, imperfect, perfect and future tenses of six irregular verbs: velle, esse, posse, ferre, nolle and ire
- Learn other grammatical points covered in the first two books of Ecce Romani
- Develop logical skills by studying a complex language that requires scrupulous attention to detail
- Gain confidence and enjoyment that come with the ability to read Latin stories fluently
Tower’s Arts Block program provides upper school students with opportunities in technology, visual arts and musical arts classes. Recent Arts Block trimester offerings include: handbells, photography, woodworking, oil painting, technology, jazz band, marimbas, clay, sculpture, video, chorus, part singing, unaccompanied voice work, multi-cultural works, a cappella and folk groups.
- Develop relevant skills connected with the sport played
- Learn and enjoy the benefits of physical activity
- Develop a high level of sportsmanship and school spirit
- Develop leadership skills and an appreciation for the value of teamwork
- Seek personal levels of excellence
- Experience playing on a competitive team
- Identify the correlation between hard work and improvement
The drama program offers opportunities for burgeoning actors and crew to spread their theatrical wings. Under the guidance of the drama directors, students are responsible for all aspects of the production; acting, singing, dancing, costume design, set design, stage tech, and booth tech. Our goal is for students to develop confidence in themselves, while challenging themselves to reach in new directions. Our productions are designed to highlight our upper school students' talents in order to create a show that our entire school community can enjoy.
We have sent three children to Tower. When our oldest first went to boarding school, he called us and said, 'Thank you for sending me to Tower, I am more than prepared to do this work.' That says it all!
BECKY MCKERNAN, PARENT &