Eighth Grade

Meet the Teacher

Ms. Catherine Simpson
8th Grade

I look forward to being your teacher this year, and making this year even better than the year before.  God has blessed me with a job I love; I’m blessed to be teaching you all about Earth science, life science, physical science, and mathematics.  The 8th grade and I will have the year to explore our religion and spirituality together.  Every student should expect to receive homework on a nightly basis in both science and math.  My assignments should take the students between one and two hours to complete.

Middle School Math and Science Curriculum

  •     Sixth grade is a formative year in the development of a student for a number of reasons.  At St. Paul School this is when students begin taking departmentalized courses.  In my class the sixth grade reviews and builds upon their knowledge of decimals, fractions, and percents.  This is the foundation of the sixth grade standards, and these concepts must be mastered to be able to succeed in seventh grade.    
  •     In science class, the sixth grade studies earth science first (plate tectonics, layers of the Earth, earthquakes, volcanoes), then physical science (static electricity, heating systems, and cooling systems), and finally life science where students discover the biomes, symbiotic relationships, and other facts about living organisms.  We usually like to take a trip to the San Jose Tech Museum to supplement our learning in the classroom.  
  •     Seventh grade math takes up exactly where sixth grade math leaves off.  We further develop and reinforce student understanding of operations using decimals, fractions, and percents in addition to integers and a more intense focus on geometry.  Students thoroughly enjoy their exploration of tessellations and their possibilities.  We typically visit the San Jose Tech Museum or Lawrence Hall of Science to further investigate geometry and its applications.
  •     One of my favorite subjects to teach is seventh grade science because the curriculum is so fascinating.  Students begin their year by focusing on the building blocks of all living things, the cells.  After an extensive study into organelles, cells, and tissues the students move into studying human anatomy in a unit where they become specialists.  They meet together in groups to diagnose various symptoms as best they can.  After life science, the class studies water and its many roles on our planet.  They discover the wonders of air pressure, condensation, and the water cycle.  During their final trimester, students engage themselves in the study of physics.  They perform experiments concerning Newton's Laws, and they test their validity in real life situations.  
  •     Eighth grade at St. Paul School is a challenging and magical time for students.  I am blessed to be a part of this formative time in my students' lives.  
  •     In math, the students have the option of two math courses, pre-algebra or algebra.  This insures every student receives an education that is tailored to his/her ability level.  In pre-algebra students study operations with integers, solving multi-step algebraic equations, as well as solving and graphing inequalities to name a few concepts.  
  •     In science, students begin the year with a focus on physical science.  We study the evolution of our understanding of the atom and the elements of the periodic table.  Halfway through the year we switch to life science where the students focus on the reproductive system.  During this time we take advantage of a wonderfully informative program called Crybabies in which students learn what it feels like to have a baby.  As we near the end of the school year we review the rock cycle in earth science.  
  •     Religion is a part of all we do at St. Paul School so it is integrated into every subject.  Our religion curriculum focuses on studying Church history, morality, and the analysis of Scripture.  We also have the opportunity to spend one week at Caritas Creek where the students are able to grow closer to God and each other in nature.  
  •     It is a strong belief of mine that education should be engaging and rigorous.  This year I will put in as much work as I need to in order to help you achieve your goals.  I am always available for tutoring after school, but as middle school students it is your responsibility to talk to your parents to set up an appointment with me.  The best way to reach me is by email at csimpson@st-paulschool.org.