FMS Core Class Offerings
World History/ Pre History-1500’s 8th Grade Course Description
This course begins with the establishment of the very first civilization in Mesopotamia and explores other early civilizations throughout Europe and Asia, including Egypt, Greece, and Rome. This course also includes a study of the classical contributions of ancient Greece and the rise and fall of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. This course compares the medieval empires of Europe, China, and Japan. This course also discusses the developments of early world religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, their key tenants, and their spread throughout Europe and Asia. This course also introduces students to the early American civilizations and the first explorers who visited there. Differentiation between primary and secondary sources and between B.C. (B.C.E.) and A.D. (C.E.) are common themes throughout the school year. Map skills, chart skills, and reading skills are taught throughout the year as well.
Honors World History/Pre History-1500’s 8th Grade Course Description
The study of world history in Grade 8 addresses the time period from prehistoric man to the 1500s. Content standards for this grade incorporate the strands of economics, geography, history, and political science, with an emphasis on the history and geography strands. Course content focuses on the migrations of early peoples, the rise of civilizations, the establishment of governments and religions, the growth of economic systems, and ways in which these events shaped Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Unique to this course are experiences that provide for the study of how human beings view themselves over time.Instruction is designed to actively involve students in critical thinking and the exchange of ideas, including critical evaluation, interpretation, reasoning, and deduction. Instruction can be accomplished through the use of electronic media such as the Internet, videos, and television as well as by participation in small group and individual activities. Many strategies are used by the teacher to meet the needs of all students. Students who make an 80 or above in 7th grade Social Studies are more successful in this class.
English/Language Arts 8th Grade Course Description
All activities designed for students to complete in eighth grade English derive from Alabama’s College and Career Ready Standards. Through reading literature and nonfiction texts, students in Grade 8 will broaden their abilities in reading and discussion. Students will become more proficient in revising and editing as they master grammar and usage concepts. Other general topics for college-bound English include the writing process (embedded with research), vocabulary acquisition, and public speaking. As students develop their knowledge and skills in these areas, they will also develop the necessary self-confidence for meeting the expectations of high school.
Honors English/Language Arts 8th Grade Course Description
All of the topics in college-bound English apply to honors, but there are a few changes. Students are highly encouraged to have maintained at least an 85 yearly average in seventh grade English before enrolling in honors English in eighth grade. One novel per semester will be assigned to be read independently outside of class. In addition, students will be required to participate in any legitimate writing contest that is presented to them. Students in honors English classes will also be required to complete several more public speaking assignments. The same content standards will be taught in both college-bound English and honors, but there is a much more accelerated pace in honors.
Physical Science 8th Grade Course Description
This class is based on the Alabama Course of Study that outlines the standards for science instruction at the eighth grade level. The course covers topics of basic physics and chemistry.
Basic physics concepts cover how energy, force, and motion affect our environment. Topics included are Newton’s three laws of motion, potential and kinetic energy, speed, mass and weight, law of conservation of energy, magnetism, electricity, Newton’s law of universal gravitation, properties of waves, and wireless communication. Basic chemistry concepts cover how atoms, simple molecules, complex compounds, and mixtures are affected by energy. Topics covered are atoms, the periodic table of elements, chemical bonding and reactions, law of conservation of mass and matter, thermal energy, states of matter, energy transfer, molecular motion, and types of solution and mixtures. An emphasis is placed on development of critical thinking skills, problem solving, hands on activities with AMSTI resources, and technology based instructional tools.
Honors Physical Science 8th Grade Course Description
Content standards in Grade 8 are inquiry-based and include concepts and skills in chemistry and physics that are considered foundational. This focus is designed to prepare students for the physics and chemistry courses that are often taken in high school. The scientific process and application skills should be integrated into the teaching of the required science content to allow students to combine reasoning and thinking skills with scientific knowledge. This Physical Science course provides eighth-grade students with a firm foundation for scientific literacy and for the pursuit of subsequent advanced science courses at the high school level.
Math 8 8th Grade Course Description
This course is designed to prepare students to be successful in higher level math courses such as Algebra 1. The course incorporates various topics that focus on formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; and analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.
Honors Math 8 Algebra I (High School Credit) 8th Grade Course Description
Recommended: Qualifying score on Orleans Hanna Algebra Placement test, High Average or Above Average score on the spring Performance Series test. This course is a formal, in-depth study of algebraic concepts designed for the student who can meet the challenges of rigorous mathematics. It is the first in a series of such courses that move at a faster pace on such topics as inequalities, graphing, mathematical modeling and data collection, among others. This course meets the requirements of the Advanced Academic Diploma and qualifies as (1) 2018-19
Carnegie unit credit toward completion of mathematics courses required for high school graduation.
Career Preparedness/8th Grade (High School Credit) (Semester Long Course)
The Career Preparedness course focuses on areas of instruction, academic planning, career development, and technology. Course content ranges from college and career preparation to computer literacy skills. The area of technology is designed to be interwoven throughout course instruction. Mastery of the content standards provides a strong foundation for student acquisition of the skills, attitudes, and knowledge that enables them to achieve success in school, at work, and across the life span. There is no prerequisite for this course.
** Honors Course Recommended Prerequisites: 85 average or higher in previous corresponding honors course or a 90 or above average in the corresponding regular course, also recommended, high or above average on Performance Series Test. Please review Honors math description for further recommendations. **