Welcome to 8th Grade. My name is Dana Bayer and I am the 8th grade homeroom teacher and Associate Principal. I have been blessed to be teaching at St. Joachim for the past 21 years. I attended the University of California, Davis and earned a Masters in Educational Technology from San Francisco State and a Masters in Catholic School Administration and Administrative Credential from the University of Notre Dame.
8th grade is a special year for students because it marks the transition from elementary school to high school. Students celebrate their accomplishments while preparing academically, spiritually and emotionally for the challenges of high school. 8th graders are leaders in the school and are expected to be role models and mentors to younger students. One of the highlights of the year is the Kindergarten Buddy Program where each 8th grader has a special buddy for the whole year.
We are very fortunate that St. Joachim is a 1:1 school where all students have access to technology and a plethora of resources which allow us to differentiate instruction and help students achieve at their individual levels.
Religion focuses Church history and morality. Students continue to learn about the history and traditions of the Catholic Church while also learning how to put their faith into action by living their lives according to their faith. They explore issues of social justice and learn about organizations that serve others. An important aspect of Religion is giving service to others. 8th graders complete a minimum of 20 service hours per year earned by helping at school, in the parish and in their communities.
Social Studies covers American History from Colonial America through the Civil War and Reconstruction. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are important units of study and students take a field trip to the State Capitol in Sacramento to see government in action. Students learn critically and do research projects and technology projects to show their learning. At the end of the year, students do debates on a controversial issue pertaining to American society and law.
Reading: Common Core Reading and writing curriculum that is based on Collections- our online language arts text book. In addition, we do read two class novels, The Outsiders and To Kill a Mockingbird, and students read other books in literature circle groups to allow them to have a choice in what they read. Achieve 3000, is an online program that is based on reading non-fiction. It has really helped to increase student lexile level and teach students the critical skills needed to read non-fiction.
*Math, English and Science are taught by departmentalized teachers
Special Activities and Events:
Throughout the year, we have many activities including a week at Caritas, a field trip to Sacramento, an end of year retreat and much more. Typical 8th Grade Calendar of Events:
September: 8th Grade day at the Cathedral
Visit to Moreau Catholic H.S.
October: Week at Caritas in Occidental, CA
December: Field Trip with Kindergarten Buddies
May: Field Trip to Sacramento- State Capitol
May: Overnight Graduation Retreat