• 8th Grade Science 


    Hello, and welcome to the 2024-2025 school year!  We anticipate that it will be a year full of new learning experiences for all.  Our 8th-grade focus is physical, life, and earth science, which means students will learn about the inorganic or the non-living part of the scientific world. Our goal is to emphasize critical thinking skills and using scientific and engineering design processes. In this class, students will often find themselves reading, writing, computing, and completing hands-on laboratory assignments. Many activities will be technologically based. Our teaching philosophy incorporates high expectations, hands-on instruction, emphasis on students being able to create a claim with supporting evidence, and justification through reasoning. Students will also be able to use writing strategies to explain the development of scientific inquiry, consistent questioning about the world around us, and application to our everyday lives.  

        During the course of the school year, we will attempt to cover the following topics to fidelity using Discovery Education, STC, Explore Learning, and Prentice Hall science content materials:

    Units Covered

    • Evidence of Common Ancestry
    • Human Impact
    • Space Science
    • Interactions of Matter
    • Forces and Motion
    • Inheritance and Variations of Traits



    • Supplemental Prentice Hall Science Explorer reading packets.
    • STC - Smithsonian Science Education Center

    NEEDED MATERIALS: See individual classroom teacher.

    • 2 Science notebook
    • Pens (blue/black) ink
    • #2 Graphite Pencils
    • Black Sharpie Marker
    • Various other project materials that may be required (glue sticks, stapler, paper clips)
    • Ear-Buds (every student must have their own set.)
    • 1 Pocket Folders

    Technology Needed: 

    • Google Chromebook or Computer that has chrome and adobe
    • Access to Google Classroom, Google Forms, Google Meet. 
    • Remind App (Code will be given to you by your teacher)  


     Grades will be calculated categorically and weighted using the following percentages:


    • 25% - Authentic Assessments (Labs, Projects, Portfolios)
    • 25% - Tests (and Summative Evaluations)
    • 20%-  Class work
    • 20% - Quizzes (and Formative Evaluations)
    • 10% - Homework

    Points will be awarded within each category and then averaged into the overall grade according to the categorical percentages.  Overall grades will be awarded according to the following:

    • A+….... 97 – 100 %
    • A…….. 90 – 96 %
    • B+…… 87 – 89 %
    • B…….. 80 – 86 %
    • C+…….77 – 79 %
    • C……… 70 – 76 %
    • D+…….. 67 – 69 %
    • D…….... 65 – 66 %
    • F……… < 65 %

    Extra credit can be earned on quizzes and tests.

    HOMEWORK & ABSENCES: Homework will be posted daily, both in google classroom and on the faculty web page, which can be accessed through the school website. Late work may receive a “0” or half credit.  If you miss class, it is your responsibility to get the missed work.

    LABS: any missed labs will be made up after school at our convenience or students maybe excused.  Student must make a scheduled appointment with the teacher.


    In order to create an environment that is conducive to learning, it is important that norms are established by the students, and that they are acceptable and adopted by all.  

    • Students should maintain self-control during independent study as well as within the parameters of cooperative learning.  
    • Students are to be respectful and courteous to their instructors and to their peers.
    • Students have the ability to communicate with their peers at designated times when working cooperatively but should obey common signals for silence when given.
    • Questions will be posed by students at appropriate times during instruction, but questions can be written and posted in a Question Parking Lot to be answered by the instructor at another time.  
    • Homework is to be completed consistently and within a prescribed deadline for full credit. Late work will be reduced in grades accordingly. (See grading procedure).
    • Negative behavior will be addressed in a series of consequences which will include but not limited to: parent phone – calls, teacher detentions, central detentions, and possible Saturday detentions.  Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences will be utilized in most disciplinary measures.  All interventions will be recorded in Genesis.  Further intervention will include OPA Administration.
    • Detentions will involve a reflective writing assignment that must be signed by parents and given to administration for record. A template will be constructed.
    • Cell phone usage will not be tolerated unless advised by the teacher to use their phones. 
    • Eating and drinking in Science class is prohibited. Water is acceptable when given permission by the instructor.
    • Passes must be utilized at any time students leave the classroom. It is not permissible for students to leave the classroom without permission. Not adhering to this rule will result in higher disciplinary action.
    • Classes will be dismissed at the teacher’s discretion after the sounding of the bell. Students will not be permitted into the classroom late without a pass. Students will receive a consequence if they have not presented a pass or a written excuse. Passes and written excuses will be collected and recorded by the instructor.


    • Communication between home and school is important in helping students succeed and there are ways to maintain that connection.
    • Contact: School you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us. The best way to communicate with us, aside from in-person, is through email. We can also be contacted via telephone during our preparatory periods or after school. You may leave a message with the main office as well and we will return your call as soon as possible.
    • Teacher Webpage: Includes additional information, as well as resources, assignment due dates and class notes: Go to http://www.orange.k12.nj.us/Domain/374 (OPA website) and click on “Faculty” at the top. Then scroll down to teacher's name.



    Looking forward to working with you!

    • LaTasha Thompson     thompsla@orange.k12.nj.us