8th Grade Math Curriculum
In 8th grade, we place high expectations upon our students. This is a time to begin advancing with mathematics. In 8th grade students start learning how to think and reason algebraically. They learn about linear equations and think about the algebraic solution. 8th graders start learning about functions. There is always an important unit on functions that helps to set the student up for success when they graduate to high school mathematics. Students learn to master important fundamental skills in 8th grade. Functions and rate of change thinking are the foundation for much of high school mathematics. They learn about scientific notation, which is used in every hard science and is particularly important in General Chemistry in college. 8th grade mathematics skills are the foundation upon which all of high school math builds.
We first developed our mathematics curriculum in early 2020, during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Students were dismissed from school. And parents wanted their kids to keep learning! We worked with out tutors to develop a core mathematics curriculum for our students. We wanted the curriculum to cover every detail. It would spare nothing—preparing our students fully for the next years of school. We designed the curriculum to focus attention on key topics, while still covering the details of every lesson.
UNIT 1: NUMBERS
The first unit that we have for 8th grade math is “numbers.” This is an important first unit because it addresses scientific notation, which is an invaluable skill for students to have. Secondly, exponents and roots are discussed at length. Exponents and roots are used extensively in high school, so it makes sense that they are such an integral part and focus of this first unit.
- Introduction to Scientific Notation
- Square and Cube Roots
- Exponents and Negative Exponents
- Properties of Exponents
- Irrational Numbers
UNIT 2: SOLVING EQUATIONS
The second unit has an emphasis on solving equations. We focus first here on equations with only one unknown. We then spend a significant amount of time putting the word problems into action. We drill students on word problems, having them set up equations and solve for the unknown. We also begin solving multivariable problems.
- Solving Equations With One Unknown
- Word Problems
- Multivariable Problems
UNIT 3: LINEAR EQUATIONS
The importance of linear equations to the study of mathematics cannot be overemphasized. Linear equations are used extensively in every form of science. Knowledge of linear equations can be used to read and interpret graphs. Linear equations are useful for analyzing data, making predictions, and calculating rates of change. This section introduces students to linear equations and linear functions. Students learn about slope-intercept form and how to graph linear functions. They spend time learning how to interpret information derived from linear function graphs. A strong understanding of linear equations is a critical element to success in high school algebra courses.
- Solutions to Linear Equations
- Introduction to Functions
- Slope-Intercept Form
UNIT 4: GEOMETRY & TRANSFORMATIONS
This section is very important because all students will study geometry in high school. The fundamentals learned in this section will prepare students for high school geometry. Additionally, the core ideas learned in this lecture prepare students for success in their other science courses. It is important that students begin to understand transformations now, because this is often a challenging topic that haunts students in more advanced classes.
- Pythagorean Theorem
- Triangle Angles
- Intro to Transformations
- Translations, Reflections, Rotations
UNIT 5: SYSTEMS OF EQUATIONS
Systems of equations allows students to solve problems with multiple unknown variables. The techniques in solving systems of equations are useful throughout a students math and science career. It has been known to resurface in chemistry and physics courses. They are also used extensively in high school mathematics. That’s why we have devoted a unit specifically to system of equations. Students learn about substitution and elimination while working through simple straightforward problems.
- Into to Systems of Equations
- Solving System of Equations
- Word Problems
UNIT 6: UNDERSTANDING DATA
Here students begin to appreciate the all powerful importance of data. They say that mathematics is the language of science. That is proven here. The analytical skills learned here in this unit will prepare students for all of their future science courses.
- Understanding Scatter Plots
- Introduction to Lines of Best Fit