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Eighth Grade

Georgia ELA Curriculum Map and

Other Resources

Big Kids with Big Goals

Eighth graders often feel like the king of the castle. They are usually the oldest grade at middle school and they know the ropes. They have busy social lives, extra curricular activities, are thinking about high school, and many are even taking high school level courses. For your students working on and above grade level, it’s important to help them reach or even exceed academic goals in preparation for the demands of high school. For students who are reading or working below grade level, this is a very important year. Eighth grade students participate in the ELA, Math and Social Studies Milestones. All of these content area exams expect students to read and understand grade level text and vocabulary. By eighth grade, students are more comfortable working on a computer, but often struggle with staying organized, managing their increased workload, focusing for long periods of time, and dealing with the pressure from parents, teachers and peers.

To be considered College & Career Ready, eighth graders reading Lexile levels range between 1010L to 1185L. Eighth graders are expected to read from rich and challenging texts. They are expected to use critical thinking skills and pull from years of prior knowledge. In eighth grade, students read robust text and write informative, argumentative, and narrative essays, as well as making research connections. The ELA Eighth Grade Curriculum Map suggests students participate in up to 7 reading texts, 6-9 writing pieces, in addition to making research connections with written responses and participating in routine writing every nine weeks.

The eighth grade ELA Milestones Blueprint tells us that students will have one 2 point constructed response item and 4 point Extended Constructed Response items for a Narrative prompt, and a 7 point Extended Writing Response for either an Informational or Opinion prompt. Because the writing and language portion will count as 47% of their overall score, it is important for students to have experience with and understand the eighth grade writing rubrics that will be used for Milestones scoring. Also note, 35-55% of the items on the eighth grade Milestones are at a DOK 3 or 4 level requiring higher cognitive demands than the previous levels.

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It’s Time to Use Formative Assessment to Drive Instruction

Eighth grade teachers and students are busy! Teachers usually have several classes, many students, and a wide range of academic strengths and weakness to identify and address. Eighth grade teachers are constantly working to determine who to teach and what to teach for maximum learning gains. Many eighth grade students have learning gaps or misconceptions that make learning new grade level standards challenging. Students who are working below grade level often feel embarrassed and overwhelmed. And while they are still children they are thinking about their futures as adults. Most eighth grade teachers hear, “How am I going to use this is the real world?” on a regular basis. The united goal of students and teachers is to ensure current students have the skills they need to leave middle school and successfully transition to high school. More than ever teachers need reliable data from quality formative assessments throughout the school year to pinpoint areas of concern and drive small and whole group instruction. Students need to better understand the learning expectations and specifically their mastery of standards. This is where Lennections Assesslets come in!

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