Welcome to the Eighth Grade

Teacher: Veronica Graffis - Homeroom, Mathematics and Science




Welcome to Eighth Grade!



Room Parent Announcement

Upcoming 8th grade events:
Wednesday, May 24th - 8:15am to 9:00am in the iMAST Building. 
 Students will perform in their school uniforms, and family and friends are welcome to attend the concerts.
Thursday, May 25th Open House from 6:00pm to 7:30pm"-Dinner by Jill"
Early dismissal(11:45am)
Friday, May 26th-No school
Monday, May 29th-Memorial Day-no school
Thursday, June 1st - Eighth Grade Award Chapel
Friday, June 2nd- End of The Year Dance at SMEDS
Sunday, June 4th- Baccalaureate 10am and Brunch at Kaplon's home *please RSVP by 5/25
Monday, June 5th -All School Awards Chapel
Tuesday, June 6th -Chapel with First Grade Buddies
Wednesday, June 7th - Eighth Grade Farewell Chapel, Pancake Breakfast (hosted by all dad's, email to follow from Rob Gaon-chairperson) Hooky Day at the Micheli's home
Thursday, June 8th - Early dismissal (11:45am) Graduation 6:30pm and Graduation Party to follow at the Nickum's home for all graduates and their families.


For homework and calendared assignments in academic classes, please visit the St. Michael's Haiku Site: https://smeds.haikulearning.com.


September 2016

  • Tuesday, September 6: Jesuit High School Application Available Online
  • Wednesday, September 7–Friday, September 9: 8th Grade Lunchroom
  • Friday, September 9:Retreat to CSUS Aquatics Center and Back-to-School Rally
  • Wednesday, September 14 – Friday, September 16: Ashland
  • Monday, September 15th: St. Francis High School and Christian Brothers High School Applications Available Online
  • Wednesday, September 21: Christian Brothers High School Visit @ SMEDS
  • Thursday, September 22:Back to School Night at 7pm and Early Dismissal 1:45 pm
  • Tuesday, September 27:Jesuit & St.Francis HS Visit @ SMEDS                  


October 2016

  • Sunday, October 2: Christian Brothers High School Open House at 11:00 am – 2:00 pm RSVP Online
  • Thursday, October 6:Family Bingo Night at 6:30 pm
  • Sunday, October 9: St. Francis High School Open House at 12:00 pm -3:00 pm RSVP Online
  • Friday, October 14: Coffee in the Quad 7:45 am                                 
  • Friday, October 14:St. Michael’s/ St.Alban’s @ SMEDS Dance  7:00 pm-10:00 pm 
  • Sunday, October 16:Jesuit High School Open House at 12:00 p.m -3:00 p.m RSVP Online
  • Tuesday, October 18 :Fog Willow Pumpkin Farm w/1st Grade  Buddies  10am-2pm
  • Tuesday, October 25:8th Grade Chapel
  • Wednesday, October 26:8th Grade Big Trip Coffee with Mrs. Heise 8:15 a.m
  • Friday, October 28: Fall Rally
  • Friday, October 28: Fall Carnival
  • Friday, October 28th Christian Brothers High School Shadow Day 8:25 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.(return to SMEDS)                                      
  • Monday, October 31:Change to Winter Uniform        


November 2016

  • Friday, November 4: St. Francis High School Shadow Day 8:00a.m.-.2:15p.m. (includes lunch-no to return to SMEDS) and Jesuit High School Shadow Day 8:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. (Includes lunch-no return to SMEDS)
  • Monday, November 7: 8th Grade Lunchroom
  • Friday, November 11:Grandparent’s Day and Early Dismissal 11:45 a.m.
  • Monday, November 14 – Friday, November 18:Parent Conferences (by request) After school                          
  • Saturday, November 19:Jesuit High School Placement Exam 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Monday, November 21 –  Friday, November 25: Thanksgiving Recess
  • Monday, November 28: Classes Resume


December 2016

  • Saturday, December 3 :Jesuit High School Placement Exam Make-up
  • Monday, December 5: Shriner's Hospital Trip with Grandparents Club
  • Tuesday, December 6:Christmas Luncheon for Faculty 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 15: Class Christmas Pod Party 2:20 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 15:Christmas Program 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, December 16: Winter Cotillion
  • Friday, December 16 – Monday, January 2:Christmas Recess
  • Tuesday, January 3: Classes Resume


January 2017

  • Thursday, January 12:St. Francis HIgh School Applications Due
  • Friday, January 13: Jesuit High School Applications Due
  • Saturday, January 14: St. Francis High School Placement Test
  • Saturday/Sunday January 14-15:Jesuit High School Interviews                                                             
  • Monday, January 16:MLK Holiday- No School
  • Thursday, January 19: Christian Brothers HIgh School Application Due
  • Tuesday, January 17-Friday, January 20: Middle School Semester Exams                   
  • Friday, January 20: New Year’s Cotillion
  • Friday, January 20: St. Albans/ St. Michael’s Dance @ St. Albans
  • Saturday, January 21: Christian Brothers High School Placement Exam 8:00 am – 1:00 pm 
  • Saturday, January 21: St.Francis High School Make-Up Placement Exam 8:00 am – 1:00 pm 
  • Tuesday, January 24 –  Friday, January 27: Yosemite Trip                                                         
  • Saturday, January 28:Christian Brothers High School Placement Make- Up Exam
  • Saturday, January 28 :St. Francis High School Interviews


February 2017

  • Friday, February 3:Faculty Workday- No School
  • Monday, February 6 – Friday, February 10: 8th Grade Lunchroom
  • Friday, February 10: Class Valentine Pod Party 2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
  • Friday, February 17:Crazy Day/ Winter Rally
  • Monday, February 20th – Friday, February 24: Winter Recess
  • Monday, February 27:Classes Resume


March 2017

  • Saturday, March 4: St. Michael’s Benefit Auction
  • Tuesday, March 14: Empty Bowls Luncheon
  • Friday, March 17:Spring Cotillion
  • Thursday, March 30: 7th & 8th Grade Shakespeare Festival 7:00 pm


April 2017

  • Monday, April 3: Change to Spring Uniform
  • Thursday, April 13: Spring Rally & Olympics Day                                           
  • Friday, April 14th - Monday, April 24:Easter Recess
  • Tuesday, April 25: Classes Resume     


May 2017

  • Thursday, May 4 -   Friday, May 12: 8th Grade Big Trip                                      
  • Friday, May 12 :Farwell Cotillion
  • Thursday, May 25: Open House and Early Dismissal 11:45 am
  • Friday, May 26: No School
  • Monday, May 29: Memorial Day-No School


June 2017

  • Thursday, June 1: 8th Grade Awards Chapel 8:10 am
  • Friday, June 2: Middle School Exams
  • Friday, June 2: End of the Year Dance
  • Sunday, June 4: Baccalaureate 10:00 am (Brunch Reception to follow)
  • Monday, June 5: All School Awards
  • Tuesday, June 6: Chapel with 1st Grade Buddies
  • Wednesday, June 7:8th Grade Farewell Chapel, Pancake Breakfast, and Hooky Day                                        
  • Thursday, June 8: Last Day of School, Early Dismissal 11:45 am, Graduation Ceremony 7:00 pm, and Party to follow


Middle School Orientation Forms and Documents



8th Grade Back to School Night Slide Show


As a result of their study of United States History in 8th grade, our students will be able to relate to their roles as United States citizens with active responsibilities beginning in 4 or 5 years. They should be prepared to recognize lessons learned from this country's earlier history and be able to apply a number of those lessons to current problems and situations. Each student should be able to cultivate an awareness of the differences between his or her life here in Sacramento and the lives of others in different locations and different circumstances.


8th Grade Science

The 8th grade Physical Science curriculum includes units on Introduction to Physical Science, The Structure of Matter, The Atom, Interactions of Matter, Motions and Forces and Studying the Universe and a Forensics Unit.

The course will meet four class periods per week and students will be expected to write formal lab reports on all group labs completed throughout the year. Students will use the Holt California Physical Science textbook and have access to the Premier Online Edition. Each student will receive a password and instructions to access the online textbook and other supplemental materials.

The primary focus of lab time during the fourth quarter will again be the Lego Mindstorm Robotics Unit. http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/content/lego/index.htm.

Integration of math, art and technology will be a priority throughout the year.


Grammar 8 will help students understand more about what makes sentences and paragraphs clear, engaging, and specific. After a review of basic grammar concepts, special attention will be given to sentence types. Sentence combining skills and sentence revision techniques will be practiced. The study of verbals will highlight their power to strengthen image and action in sentences.  The use of model texts and diagramming will strengthen overall understanding. Our punctuation and mechanics study will focus on clarity and refinement through comma usage, correct word usage, and understanding of active and passive voice.


Literature and Writing

The eight grade literature class will begin the year with the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. The focus will be on character development, theme, and symbolism. While reading the novel we will read various short stories and poems of the time period and of African American authors and poets.

The writing class will review the five paragraph essay and their first writing assignment will be a comparison and contrast essay on two short stories.


Foreign Language


Listening + Speaking + Reading + Writing

Spanish class will follow an immersive approach that incorporates listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each unit will include activities, homework assignments, projects or assessments that will incorporate one or more of these elements.  Verbs and simple sentence structure will be taught along with each unit so that students’ writing, reading and speaking develop simultaneously. Grades will be based on homework, participation, projects, tests and quizzes.

2016-17 Eighth Grade Spanish

Useful Links:



The students will review stages 9-10 and finish the first book by the end of the quarter. Their will be a comprehensive review and then we will begin the second book. All of the vocabulary words are on quizlet.com.

2016-17 Latin Overview


8th Grade Mathematics

The middle school math curriculum at St. Michael's is designed to ensure that the majority of our students complete Algebra 1 in their eighth grade year. In fifth through eighth grade students are split into differentiated math groups. There is an accelerated group and a grade level group as well as differentiation within each group. Math sections vary by the pace at which the concepts are presented and by the degree of rigor. The two math groups allow for students to be among like learners and work at an appropriate pace. Each group will be presented with a core curriculum where the topics covered are typically the same but will vary in breadth and depth.

Students have been placed based on standardized test results, previous teacher recommendation and beginning of the year diagnostic assessment. Because math is developmental, students acquire mathematical reasoning at different times in their chronological and cognitive maturation, so their math placement is fluid. Placement is evaluated on a regular basis.

8th grade Algebra will cover concepts in the Foundations of Algebra, Equations, Inequalities, Functions, Linear Functions, Systems of Equations and Inequalities, Exponents/Polynomials, Factoring Polynomials, Quadratic Functions/Equations, and Rational Functions and Equations.

Students will also have access to the Holt California Algebra 1 textbook and to the Premier Online Edition.
Each student will receive a password and instructions to access the online textbook and other supplemental materials.

Parents may also wish to access the publisher's parent online resources using the following link: http://go.hrw.com/hrw.nd/gohrw_rls1/pKeywordResults?keyword=MA8CA+Parent&

Projects will include a biography on a famous mathematician, a factoring book, a bridge building engineering project and the creation of a proportional articulated body.

Helpful Websites:

Math Games:

Websites used during class and for homework assignments:

Helpful Bridge Websites:
         Bridge Truss Designs
         Newton's Apple Bridge Video
         Nova Build a Bridge
         The Toothpick Bridge
         Truss Bridge Wikipedia
         How to Build a Toothpick Bridge
         How to Make a Bridge Out of Toothpicks
         Building Bridges From Toothpicks
         Build a Virtual Bridge


Computers and Technology

Eighth grade students are going to planning an authentic, viable college tour. Their travel will be recorded in blogs and on spreadsheets as they visit four potential destinations. The tools at the forefront of this project will be Google Sheets, Google Slides, Screencastify, and Google Earth.

Students will then continue their studies of digital safety and responsibility. They’ll openly discuss within groups and the class about the best practices and the actions they will take in certain situations. Common Sense Media, a research-based organization promoting digital responsibility, will be utilized for lesson content.  


Physical Education

Classes will focus on health-related fitness: body composition, cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, strength, and flexibility. Additionally skill-related fitness concepts such as agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed will be incorporated into daily activitie

In the first quarter our units will include flag football and our first racket sport: pickleball. Students will have daily physical fitness activities, and one day a week the concentration will be on cardiovascular fitness thru middle distance endurance as well as circuit training targeting agility, balance, and coordination.
Nutrition and heart rate monitoring will be an ongoing discussion during our school year.



The St. Michael's Library is available for students to do research, self-select books for leisure reading, and to enhance library skills. Books in the collection support the curriculum and provide selections for leisure reading.

Visit the St. Michael's Library Website at
Stop by and say hello to Ms. Martha Rowland, Librarian

Field Trips, Class Parties, Lunchroom & Volunteers

Field Trips

Friday, September 9: 9:00-12:00-Aquatics Center retreat. (Parents will be billed on their October statement.)
Tuesday,October 18: 10:00-2:00-Fog Willow Pumpkin Farm with 1st Grade Buddies. (Parents will be billed on their October statement)
  • Betsy R
  • Carin W
  • Lisa R
  • Melissa W
Tuesday, January 24 - Friday, January 27: Yosemite Outdoor Education

Tuesday January 24th: Yosemite Drivers

  • Alden P
  • Allen W
  • Danielle G
  • Donna C
  • Laura L

Friday January 27th: Yosemite Drivers

  • Andy R
  • Alden P
  • Laura L
Tuesday, March 14: 10:15-2:00- Community Service at Empty Bowls Luncheon
  • Rob G
  • Nena A
  • Lisa N
  • Sadia N
  • Gina W
  • Dani G
  • Pam A
Thursday, May 4 -Friday, May 12: East Coast Big Trip

Class Parties

December 15th: POD Party

  • Chair: Gina W
  • Carin W
  • Nena A
  • Melissa W


  • February 10th: Valentine POD Party
  • Chair:
  • Lori P
  • Besty R



November 7th-10th: Lunchroom

  • Monday 11/7: Josh H and Volunteer Needed
  • Tuesday 11/8 Lisa R and Volunteer Needed
  • Wednesday 11/9 Dave W and Audrey S
  • Thursday 11/10: Two Volunteers Needed

February 6th-10th: Lunchroom

  • Monday, Feb 6: Becki W and Kim Z
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7: Lisa R and Ben H
  • Wednesday, Feb. 8: Dave W and Susan S
  • Thursday, Feb. 9: Dolores H and Josette L
  • Friday, Feb. 10: Melissa W and Susan S

Other Class Volunteers

March 4th-Auction Class Rep: High School Spirit Swag

  • Jesuit Basket:
  • Christian Brothers Basket:
  • St. Francis Basket:


Friday, October 28th : Fall Carnival

  • 1 dozen cupcakes: Carin
  • 1 dozen cupcakes:
  • 1 case of water: Sadia N
  • 1 case of water:

Game #1 Teen Lounge(adults only)

  • 5:15-6:30pm  
  • 6:30-7:30pm
  • 7:30-8:30pm

Game #2

  • 5:15-6:30pm
  • 6:30-7:30pm: Adams
  • 7:30-8:30pm

March 30th 7-8pm: Shakespeare Snack Bar





Sunday, June 4th: Baccalaureate Committee

  • Chair: Annie K
  • Donna Clark
  • Bukola G
  • Melissa W

Wednesday, June 7th : Pancake Breakfast All Dads Welcome!!!

  • Chair: Rob G
  • Chris M
  • Giuseppi R
  • Josh H
  • Mark P
  • Allen W

Wednesday, June 7th : Hooky Day Committee

  • Chair: Liza M
  • Betsy R
  • Gina W
  • Nena A
  • Carin W
  • Audrey S
  • Kristin E

Thursday, June 8th: Grad Night Party Committee

  • Chair: Lisa N
  • Sadia N
  • Melissa W
  • Pam A
  • Lori P

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Eighth Grade Teachers

Mrs. Veronica Graffis
Homeroom, Mathematics, and Robotics 

Mr. Jeremy Bolt

Ms. Kami Davis

Ms. Sharon Fabriz

Mr. Steve Grialou

Ms. Leslie Hackard

Mr. Rick Hauch

Dr. Nicole Jensen

Mr. Jim McArdle

Mr. Joe Monroe
Literature, Writing and Latin

Ms. Martha Rowland

Mrs. Lia Sioukas

Chaplain Lynell Walker

Accreditations and Memberships