Welcome to the Eighth Grade

Homeroom Teacher: Steve Grialou




Welcome to Eighth Grade!

2017-18 DANCES:
Friday, October 20 - Dance at SMEDS (7:00 - 10:00)
Friday, February 2 - Dance at St. Albans  (7:00 - 10:00)
Friday, June 1 - Dance at SMEDS  (7:00 - 10:00)
2017-18 Student Council Representative Packet - Packet, Form, and Speech Template


Quote of the Day - Sept. 21

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only little.


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

Important Dates

2017-18 8th Grade Calendar of Events

Every Wednesday dismissal at 2:30pm

High School Shadow Day Information - 2017


  • 9/5 Jesuit High School Application Available Online
  • 9/6-9/8 8th Grade Lunchroom
  • 9/8 Retreat to CSUS Aquatics Center
  • Back-to-School Rally
  • 9/13-9/15 Ashland
  • 9/15 Christian Brothers High School Application Available Online
  • 9/18 St. Francis High School Application Available Online
  • 9/21 Back-to-School Night (7pm) - *Early Dismissal at 1:45pm
  • 9/22 Christian Brothers High School Visit to SMEDS
  • 9/28 Jesuit/St. Francis High School Visit to SMEDS
  • 9/29 Choate High School Visit to SMEDS



  • 10/1 Christian Brothers High School Open House
  • 10/2 Christian Brothers HS Tuition Assistance Application Available
  • 10/4 Deerfield Academy Visit to SMEDS
  • 10/5 Family Bingo Night (6:30pm)
  • 10/6 Student Council Inauguration (9:30am)
  • 10/8 St. Francis High School Open House
  • 10/9 St. Francis High School Financial Aid Application Opens
  • 10/13 Coffee on the Quad (7:45am)
  • 10/15 Jesuit Open House
  • 10/18 Fog Willow Pumpkin Farm (w/1st grade buddies)
  • 10/20 SMEDS/St. Albans Dance @ SMEDS
  • 10/24 & 26 8th Grade Chapel
  • 10/25 Big Trip Orientation/Coffee w/Mrs. Heise (8:15am)
  • 10/27 Fall Rally
  • Fall Carnival
  • 10/30 Change to Winter Uniform
  • 10/30 Christian Brothers High School Shadow Day (8:25-11:30)



  • 11/10 Grandparents Day (Early dismissal at 11:45am)
  • 11/12-11/17 8th Grade Lunchroom
  • 11/7 & 11/9 St. Francis High School Parent Shadow Days
  • 11/13-17 Parent Conferences (by request after school)
  • 11/20-11/24 Thanksgiving Recess
  • 11/29 Jesuit High School Shadow Day (8:15-11:45 w/lunch)
  • St. Francis High School Shadow Day (9:00-2:15 w/lunch)



  • 12/2 Jesuit High School Placement Test
  • 12/6 Field trip to Shriner’s Hospital with Grandparents Club
  • 12/8 Faculty Christmas Luncheon (8th grade hosts)
  • 12/15 Cotillion
  • 12/16 Jesuit MAKE-UP Placement Test
  • 12/18 St. Francis HS Deadline to Submit Financial Aid Application
  • 12/20 Class Christmas Pod Party
  • Christmas Program (7:00pm)
  • 12/21-1/7 Christmas Recess



  • 1/11 St. Francis High School Application Deadline
  • 1/12 Jesuit High School Application Deadline
  • 1/13 St. Francis High School Placement Test
  • 1/13-1/14 Jesuit High School Incoming Freshmen/Parent Interviews
  • 1/15 MLK Holiday (No School)
  • 1/16-1/19 Semester Exams
  • 1/17 Christian Brothers HS Tuition Assistance Application Deadline
  • 1/19 Christian Brothers High School Application Deadline
  • 1/20 St. Francis High School MAKE-UP Placement Test
  • Christian Brothers High School Placement Test
  • 1/23-1/26 Yosemite Trip
  • 1/26 Cotillion
  • 1/23-1/27 St. Francis High School Student/Parent Interviews
  • 1/27 Christian Brothers High School MAKE-UP Placement Test



  • 2/2 SMEDS/St. Albans Dance @ St. Albans
  • 2/5-2/9 8th Grade Lunchroom
  • 2/9 Jesuit High School Admission Decision Letters mailed
  • 2/12 St. Francis High School Admission Letters mailed
  • 2/15 Crazy Day
  • 2/16 Faculty Workday (No School)
  • 2/19-2/23 Winter Recess
  • 2/20 Christian Brothers High School Admission Letters mailed



  • 3/2 Cotillion
  • 3/3 St. Michael’s Benefit Auction
  • 3/13 Empty Bowls Luncheon (Sacramento Convention Center)
  • 3/28 Shakespeare Festival (7pm)
  • 3/30 Easter Recess



  • 3/2-3/9 Easter Recess
  • 3/10 Change to Spring Uniform (FOR THE LAST TIME!!)
  • 3/20 Olympics Day
  • 3/26-4/4 Big Trip - East Coast



  • 5/4 Cotillion (gone on Big Trip, but may be rescheduled)
  • 5/24 Open House (6pm)
  • Early dismissal 2:30pm
  • 5/25-5/28 Memorial Day Holiday
  • 5/31 8th Grade Awards (8:10am)



  • 6/1-6/6 Final Exams
  • 6/1 SMEDS/St. Albans dance @ SMEDS
  • 6/3 Baccalaureate (10am)
  • Brunch Reception to follow
  • 6/4 All School Awards (8:10am)
  • 6/5 First Grade Farewell Chapel
  • 6/6 Final 8th Grade Farewell Chapel
  • Pancake Breakfast
  • Hooky Day
  • Early Dismissal (11:45am)
  • Graduation (6:30pm)
  • Party to follow


Handouts & Forms

Middle School Orientation Forms and Documents


Overview & Curriculum

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.

2017-18 8th Grade History Overview


8th Grade Science

The 8th grade Physical Science curriculum explores Motions and Forces, Interactions of Matter, Science of Science Fiction, and the Bridge Building Challenge.

The primary goal of the 8th grade Physical Science course is for students to improve their understanding of the process of science through hands-on projects that give them a better appreciation for the hidden forces underlying all interactions. Homework is assigned three days a week for students to practice what they have learned in class.

Students will use the Holt California Physical Science textbook and reading packets from outside resources.

Unit 1 Syllabus - 2017



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 "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. The focus will be on character development, theme, and symbolism. 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.

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.


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


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 & Volunteers



Eighth Grade Teachers

Mr. Steve Grialou
Homeroom, History and P.E.

Mr. Jeremy Bolt

Ms. Kami Davis

Ms. Olivia Graffis

Mrs. Veronica Graffis
Mathematics, and Robotics 

Ms. Leslie Hackard

Dr. Nicole Jensen

Mr. Joe Monroe
Literature, Writing and Latin

Ms. Martha Rowland

Mrs. Lia Sioukas

Chaplain Lynell Walker

Accreditations and Memberships