• Eighth Grade Standards

    1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development

    Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.

    Vocabulary and Concept Development

    1.1 Analyze idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes to infer the literal and figurative meanings of phrases.
    1.2 Understand the most important points in the history of English language and use common word origins to determine the historical influences on English word meanings.
    1.3 Use word meanings within the appropriate context and show ability to verify those meanings by definition, restatement, example, comparison, or contrast.

    2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)

    Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose. The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. In addition, students read one million words annually on their own, including a good representation of narrative and expository text (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, online information).

    Structural Features of Informational Materials

    GRADE EIGHT Reading

    2.1 Compare and contrast the features and elements of consumer materials to gain meaning from documents (e.g., warranties, contracts, product information, instruction manuals).
    2.2 Analyze text that uses proposition and support patterns..50

    Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

    2.3 Find similarities and differences between texts in the treatment, scope, or organization of ideas.
    2.4 Compare the original text to a summary to determine whether the summary accurately captures the main ideas, includes critical details, and conveys the underlying meaning.
    2.5 Understand and explain the use of a complex mechanical device by following technical directions.
    2.6 Use information from a variety of consumer, workplace, and public documents to explain a situation or decision and to solve a problem.

    Expository Critique

    2.7 Evaluate the unity, coherence, logic, internal consistency, and structural patterns of text.

    3.0 Literary Response and Analysis

    Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works. The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students.

    Structural Features of Literature

    3.1 Determine and articulate the relationship between the purposes and characteristics of different forms of poetry (e.g., ballad, lyric, couplet, epic, elegy, ode, sonnet).
    Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text 3.2 Evaluate the structural elements of the plot (e.g., subplots, parallel episodes, climax), the plot’s development, and the way in which conflicts are (or are not) addressed and resolved.
    3.3 Compare and contrast motivations and reactions of literary characters from different historical eras confronting similar situations or conflicts.
    3.4 Analyze the relevance of the setting (e.g., place, time, customs) to the mood, tone, and meaning of the text.
    3.5 Identify and analyze recurring themes (e.g., good versus evil) across traditional and contemporary works. 3.6 Identify significant literary devices (e.g., metaphor, symbolism, dialect, irony) that define a writer’s style and use those elements to interpret the work.

    Literary Criticism

    3.7 Analyze a work of literature, showing how it reflects the heritage, traditions, attitudes, and beliefs of its author. (Biographical approach).51

    Writing GRADE EIGHT


    1.0 Writing Strategies

    Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students’ awareness of audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.

    Organization and Focus

    1.1 Create compositions that establish a controlling impression, have a coherent thesis, and end with a clear and well-supported conclusion.
    1.2 Establish coherence within and among paragraphs through effective transitions, parallel structures, and similar writing techniques.
    1.3 Support theses or conclusions with analogies, paraphrases, quotations, opinions from authorities, comparisons, and similar devices.

    Research and Technology

    1.4 Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches by using computer networks and modems.
    1.5 Achieve an effective balance between researched information and original ideas.

    Evaluation and Revision

    1.6 Revise writing for word choice; appropriate organization; consistent point of view; and transitions between paragraphs, passages, and ideas..52

    GRADE EIGHT Writing

    2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)

    Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
    Using the writing strategies of grade eight outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:
    2.1 Write biographies, autobiographies, short stories, or narratives:
    a. Relate a clear, coherent incident, event, or situation by using well-chosen details.
    b. Reveal the significance of, or the writer’s attitude about, the subject. c. Employ narrative and descriptive strategies (e.g., relevant dialogue, specific action, physical description, background description, comparison or contrast of characters).
    2.2 Write responses to literature: a. Exhibit careful reading and insight in their interpretations.
    b. Connect the student’s own responses to the writer’s techniques and to specific textual references.
    c. Draw supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience.
    d. Support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.
    2.3 Write research reports:
    a. Define a thesis.
    b. Record important ideas, concepts, and direct quotations from significant information sources and paraphrase and summarize all perspectives on the topic, as appropriate.
    c. Use a variety of primary and secondary sources and distinguish the nature and value of each. d. Organize and display information on charts, maps, and graphs.
    2.4 Write persuasive compositions:
    a. Include a well-defined thesis (i.e., one that makes a clear and knowledgeable judgment).
    b. Present detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning to support arguments, differentiating between facts and opinion.
    c. Provide details, reasons, and examples, arranging them effectively by anticipating and answering reader concerns and counterarguments.
    2.5 Write documents related to career development, including simple business letters and job applications: a. Present information purposefully and succinctly and meet the needs of the intended audience.
    b. Follow the conventional format for the type of document (e.g., letter of inquiry, memorandum).
    2.6 Write technical documents:
    a. Identify the sequence of activities needed to design a system, operate a tool, or explain the bylaws of an organization.
    b. Include all the factors and variables that need to be considered.
    c. Use formatting techniques (e.g., headings, differing fonts) to aid comprehension..53

    Written and Oral English Language Conventions GRADE EIGHT


    The standards for written and oral English language conventions have been placed between those for writing and for listening and speaking because these conventions are essential to both sets of skills.

    1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions

    Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.

    Sentence Structure

    1.1 Use correct and varied sentence types and sentence openings to present a lively and effective personal style.
    1.2 Identify and use parallelism, including similar grammatical forms, in all written discourse to present items in a series and items juxtaposed for emphasis.
    1.3 Use subordination, coordination, apposition, and other devices to indicate clearly the relationship between ideas.


    1.4 Edit written manuscripts to ensure that correct grammar is used.

    Punctuation and Capitalization

    1.5 Use correct punctuation and capitalization.


    1.6 Use correct spelling conventions..54


    1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies

    Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication.


    1.1 Analyze oral interpretations of literature, including language choice and delivery, and the effect of the interpretations on the listener.
    1.2 Paraphrase a speaker’s purpose and point of view and ask relevant questions concerning the speaker’s content, delivery, and purpose. Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication
    1.3 Organize information to achieve particular purposes by matching the message, vocabulary, voice modulation, expression, and tone to the audience and purpose.
    1.4 Prepare a speech outline based upon a chosen pattern of organization, which generally includes an introduction; transitions, previews, and summaries; a logically developed body; and an effective conclusion.
    1.5 Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, appropriate and colorful modifiers, and the active rather than the passive voice in ways that enliven oral presentations. 1.6 Use appropriate grammar, word choice, enunciation, and pace during formal presentations.
    1.7 Use audience feedback (e.g., verbal and nonverbal cues):
    a. Reconsider and modify the organizational structure or plan.
    b. Rearrange words and sentences to clarify the meaning.

    Analysis and Evaluation of Oral and Media Communications

    1.8 Evaluate the credibility of a speaker (e.g., hidden agendas, slanted or biased material).
    1.9 Interpret and evaluate the various ways in which visual image makers (e.g., graphic artists, illustrators, news photographers) communicate information and affect impressions and opinions.

    GRADE EIGHT Listening and Speaking.55

    2.0 Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)

    Students deliver well-organized formal presentations employing traditional rhetorical strategies (e.g., narration, exposition, persuasion, description). Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery
    strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0.
    Using the speaking strategies of grade eight outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0, students:
    2.1 Deliver narrative presentations (e.g., biographical, autobiographical):
    a. Relate a clear, coherent incident, event, or situation by using well-chosen details.
    b. Reveal the significance of, and the subject’s attitude about, the incident, event, or situation.
    c. Employ narrative and descriptive strategies (e.g., relevant dialogue, specific action, physical description, background description, comparison or contrast of characters). 2.2 Deliver oral responses to literature:
    a. Interpret a reading and provide insight.
    b. Connect the students’ own responses to the writer’s techniques and to specific textual references.
    c. Draw supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience.
    d. Support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or personal knowledge.
    2.3 Deliver research presentations:
    a. Define a thesis.
    b. Record important ideas, concepts, and direct quotations from significant information sources and paraphrase and summarize all relevant perspectives on the topic, as appropriate.
    c. Use a variety of primary and secondary sources and distinguish the nature and value of each.
    d. Organize and record information on charts, maps, and graphs.
    2.4 Deliver persuasive presentations:
    a. Include a well-defined thesis (i.e., one that makes a clear and knowledgeable judgment).
    b. Differentiate fact from opinion and support arguments with detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning.
    c. Anticipate and answer listener concerns and counterarguments effectively through the inclusion and arrangement of details, reasons, examples, and other elements.
    d. Maintain a reasonable tone.
    2.5 Recite poems (of four to six stanzas), sections of speeches, or dramatic soliloquies, using voice modulation, tone, and gestures expressively to enhance the meaning.

    Listening and Speaking GRADE EIGHT.56

    Mathematical Analysis

    This discipline combines many of the trigono­metric, geometric, and algebraic techniques needed to prepare students for the study of calculus and strengthens their conceptual understanding of problems and mathematical reasoning in solving problems. These standards take a functional point of view toward those topics. The most significant new concept is that of limits. Mathematical analysis is often combined with a course in trigonometry or perhaps with one in linear algebra to make a yearlong pre-calculus course.


    1.0 Are familiar with, and can apply, polar coordi­nates and vectors in the plane. In particular, they can translate between polar and rectangular coordinates and can interpret polar coordi­nates and vectors graphically.

    2.0 Are adept at the arithmetic of complex num­bers. They can use the trigonometric form of complex numbers and understand that a function of a complex variable can be viewed as a function of two real variables. They know the proof of DeMoivre's theorem.

    3.0 Can give proofs of various formulas by using the technique of mathematical induction.

    4.0 Know the statement of, and can apply, the fundamental the theorem of algebra.

    5.0 Are familiar with conic sections, both analytically and geometrically:

    5.1 Students can take a quadratic equation in two variables; put it in standard form by completing the square and using rotations and translations, if necessary; determine what type of conic section the equation represents; and determine its geometric components (foci, asymptotes, and so forth).

    5.2 Can take a geometric description of a conic section-for example, the locus of points whose sum of its distances from

    (1, 0) and (-1, 0) is 6-and derive a quadratic equation representing it.

    6.0 Find the roots and poles of a rational function and can graph the function and locate its asymptotes.

    7.0 Demonstrate an understanding of functions and equations defined parametrically and can graph them.

    8.0 Are familiar with the notion of the limit of a sequence and the limit of a function as the independent variable approaches a number or infinity. They determine whether certain sequences converge or diverge.

    Senate Bill 2X

    High School Exit Exam Highlights

    Senate Bill 2X requires all students completing grade twelve to pass a high school exit exam in language arts and math commencing in 2003-04.

    The bill requires the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and the State Board of Education to approve the exam by October 1, 2000.

    Beginning in 2000-01, grade nine students will be eligible to take the exam.

    Beginning in 2001-02, grade ten students will be required to take the exam.

    The law does not make the exam a requirement for graduation until 2003-04.

    If a pupil does not possess sufficient English language skills to be assessed by the exit exam, the district may defer the requirement that the student

    pass the exam "for a period of up to 24 calendar months of enrollment in the California public school system until the pupil has completed six months of instruction in reading, writing, and comprehension in the English language."

    College Entrance Requirements

    Parents generally know that many colleges require good high school grades for admission. Although grades are important, students do not have to have top grades to get into college. There are colleges for every student. You should also know that students need to take a specific series of college preparatory classes in high school, and the minimum require­ments vary depending on the selected college or university. The a-g requirements noted below are submitted by the Regents of the University of California and are generally the most rigorous:

    a. An English class every semester of every year for four years.

    b. A mathematics class every semester of every year for three years, including algebra and geometry. Four years are recommended.

    c. Two years of a laboratory science beyond the ninth grade. An additional year is recommended.

    d. Two years of history-social science, which are to include U.S. government, world history, culture, and geography.

    e. Two years of the same language other than English.

    f. Two years of college preparatory electives in addition to those required in "a-e" above. One year of visual and performing arts, effective for the entering class of 2003.

    g. One year of visual and performing arts, effective for the entering class of 2003.

    Every high school has a list of acceptable classes and can tell you how many should be taken. At least one class in the area of visual or performing arts is a good choice for many students.

    To gain admission to college, your children must also take either the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT) and submit the scores. Find out when the tests are given and be sure your children sign up to take one of them.

    Eexample, many schools combine some trigonometry, mathematical analysis, and linear algebra to form a precalculus course. Some districts prefer offering trigonometry content with algebra II. . . .

    What is described in this section are standards for the academic content by discipline; the document does not endorse a particular choice of structure for courses or a particular method of teaching the mathematical content.

    Algebra 1

    Symbolic reasoning and calculations with symbols are central in algebra. Through the study of algebra, a student develops an understanding of the symbolic language of mathematics and the sciences. In addition, algebraic skills and concepts are developed and used in a wide variety of problem-solving situations.


    1.0 Identify and use the arithmetic properties of subsets of integers and rational, irrational, and real numbers, including closure properties for the four basic arithmetic operations where applicable:

    1.1 Use properties of numbers to demonstrate whether assertions are true

    or false.

    2.0 Understand and use such operations as taking the opposite, finding the reciprocal, taking a root, and raising to a fractional power. They understand and use the rules of exponents.

    3.0 Solve equations and inequalities involving absolute values.

    4.0 Simplify expressions before solving linear equations and inequalities in one variable, such as 3(2x-S) + 4(x-2) = 12.

    5.0 Solve multistep problems, including word problems, involving linear equations and linear inequalities in one variable and provide justification for each step.

    6.0 Graph a linear equation and compute the x- and y-intercepts (e.g., graph 2x + 6y = 4). They are also able to sketch the region defined by linear

    inequality (e.g., they sketch the region defined by 2x + 6y < 4).

    7.0 Verify that a point lies on a line, given an equation of the line. Students are able to derive linear equations by using the point-slope formula.

    8.0 Understand the concepts of parallel lines and perpendicular lines and how those slopes are related. Students are able to find the equation of

    a line perpendicular to a given line that passes through a given point.

    9.0 Solve a system of two linear equations in two variables algebraically and are able to interpret the answer graphically. Students are able to

    solve a system of two linear inequalities in two variables and to sketch the solution sets.

    10.0 Add, subtract, multiply, and divide monomials and polynomials. Students solve multistep problems, including word problems, by using these techniques.

    11.0 Apply basic factoring techniques to second- and simple third-degree polynomials. These techniques include finding a common factor for all terms in a polynomial, recognizing the difference of two squares, and recognizing perfect squares of binomials.

    12.0 Simplify fractions with polynomials in the numerator and denominator by factoring both and reducing them to the lowest terms.

    13.0 Add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions and functions. Students solve both computationally and conceptually challenging problems by using these techniques.

    14.0 Solve a quadratic equation by factoring or completing the square.

    15.0 Apply algebraic techniques to solve rate problems, work problems, and percent mixture problems.

    16.0 Understand the concepts of a relation and a function, determine whether a given relation defines a function, and give pertinent information about given relations and functions.

    17.0 Determine the domain of independent variables and the range of dependent variables defined by a graph, a set of ordered pairs, or a symbolic expression.

    18.0 Determine whether a relation defined by a graph, a set of ordered pairs, or a symbolic expression is a function and justify the conclu­sion.

    19.0 Know the quadratic formula and are familiar with its proof by completing the square.

    20.0 Use the quadratic formula to find the roots of a second-degree polynomial and to solve quadratic equations.

    21.0 Graph quadratic functions and know that their roots are the x-intercepts.

    22.0 Use the quadratic formula or factoring tech­niques or both to determine whether the graph of a quadratic function will intersect the x-axis in zero, one, or two points.

    23.0 Apply quadratic equations to physical prob­lems, such as the motion of an object under the force of gravity.

    24.0 Use and know simple aspects of a logical argument:

    24.1 Explain the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning

    and identify and provide examples of each.

    24.2 Identify the hypothesis and conclusion in logical deduction.

    24.3 Use counterexamples to show that an assertion is false and recognize that a single counterexample is sufficient to refute an assertion.

    25.0 Use properties of the number system to judge the validity of results, to justify each step of a procedure, and to prove or disprove statements:

    25.1 Use properties of numbers to construct valid arguments (direct and indirect) for or formulate counterexamples to, claimed assertions.

    History-Social Science

    The intellectual skills noted below are to be learned through, and applied to, content stan­dards for grades six through eight. They are to be assessed only in conjunction with the content standards in grades six through eight.

    In addition to the standards for grades six through eight, students demonstrate the follow­ing intellectual reasoning, reflection, and research skills:



    • Explain how major events are related to one another in time.

    Construct various time lines of key events, people, and periods of the historical era they are studying.

    Use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries and to explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems.



    Frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research.

    Distinguish fact from opinion in historical narratives and stories.

    Distinguish relevant from irrelevant informa­tion, essential from incidental information, and verifiable from unverifiable information in historical narratives and stories.

    Assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources and draw sound conclusions from them.

    Detect the different historical points of view on historical events and determine the context in which the historical statements were made (the questions asked, sources used, author's perspectives).



    • Explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place.

    • Understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events including the long and short-term causal relations.




    • The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position.

    Structure of Matter
    • Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity.

    • Elements have distinct properties and atomic structure. All matter is composed of one or more of the elements in the periodic table.

    Earth in the Solar System (Earth Science)

    • The structure and composition of the universe can be learned from the study of stars and galaxies and their evolution.


    • Chemical reactions are processes in which atoms are rearranged into different combina­tions of molecules.

    Chemistry of Living Systems (Life Science)

    • Principles of chemistry underlie the function­ing of biological systems.

    Periodic Table

    • The organization of the periodic table is based on the properties of the elements and reflects the structure of atoms.

    Density and Buoyancy

    • All objects experience a buoyant force when immersed in a fluid.

    Investigation and Experimentation

    • Scientific progress is made by asking mean­ingful questions and conducting careful investigations. To understand this concept and to address the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations.


    • Understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their signifi­cance to the development of American consti­tutional democracy.
Last Modified on June 25, 2010