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The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a group of national learning goals outlining what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. They were adopted for English/language arts and math by the state of Wisconsin in 2010. (Previously, Wisconsin only had standards outlining what students should know for grades 4, 8 and 12.)

These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills needed to be successful, while helping families understand what is expected of their students. It’s also important to remember that the CCSS are not a curriculum; they are standards that establish what students need to learn, but don’t dictate how teachers should teach. 

In Shorewood, we are aligning to the Common Core Standards, but are not formally adopting them. This gives our staff more flexibility when designing curriculum, while ensuring our students to be better prepared for the content they’ll see on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (which will begin replacing the WKCE during the 14-15 school year), without drastically changing our curriculum.

Our District and teachers will work together to decide how to best help students reach the standards. Differentiation will still be available for students, meaning students that need extra challenges will receive them, while students that need extra assistance will receive help.

Eighth Grade Math

Eighth graders will continue to learn to write and reason with algebraic expressions, but will also study linear equations with one and two variables. Students are also introduced to the concept of mathematical functions, and prepare for high school geometry by studying congruence and similarities of geometric figures.

Eighth Grade Math Skills:

  • Understanding slope, and relating linear equations in two variables to lines in the coordinate plane
  • Solving linear equations (ie -x+6(x+2/3)=2x-6); solving pairs of linear equations and writing equations to solve related word problems
  • Understanding functions as rules that assign a unique output number to each input number; using linear functions to model relationships
  • Analyzing statistical relationships by using a best-fit line
  • Working with positive and negative exponents, square root and scientific notation
  • Understanding congruence and similarity using physical models, transparencies, or geometry software
  • Understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem (a2+b2=c2) to solve problems

Eighth Grade Math Practices:

  • Make sense of problems and perceive in solving them
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • Model with mathematics
  • Use appropriate tools strategically
  • Attend to precision
  • Look for and make use of structure
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Eighth Grade English/Language Arts

Eighth graders must grapple with works of fiction and nonfiction extending across cultures and history. They’ll work to understand an author, question his/her assumptions, and assess the accuracy of an author’s claims. They must also report findings from their own research and conduct an analysis of sources in a clear way.

Specific Skills:

  • Citing the evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what is explicitly stated and/or implied from a book, poem, article or play
  • Analyzing where materials on the same topic disagree on matters of fact, interpretations or point of view
  • Learning how authors support their ideas through word choice, sentence and/or paragraph structure
  • Building writing around a central idea or point of view; supporting ideas with sound reasoning, evidence, word choices, smooth transitions and different sentence structures
  • Planning and conducting research projects that include several steps and many credible and documented print and digital sources
  • Analyzing the purpose of information presented in diverse media (ie print, TV, web) and evaluating its social, political or commercial motives
  • Presenting findings and claims to others, emphasizing key points with relevant evidence and sound reasoning, adapting speech to the audience and setting, and responding to questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas
  • Using strong, active verbs to create a clear picture for readers
  • Interpreting figures of speech and developing a large vocabulary of general academic words and phrases
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing
  • Write routinely over extended time frames (with time for review and revision) and shorter time frames (ie a single day)


As part of the shift, students will take part in a new system of assessments. As eighth graders, students will take one or two tests: Access 2.0 or the Smarter Balanced Assessment. (The Smarter Balanced Assessment will replace the WKCE beginning with the 14-15 school year.) Specific information about the tests can be found below:

ExamGradeExam Info

Access 2.0
(one hour
to administer starting
15-16 school year)

(ELL students only)

• Elements of CCSS embedded
• Screens & provides an annual summary
• Computer adaptive

Smarter Balance 
(7-8.5 hours to 
administer; exact times
(Administered during 
the last 12 weeks of 
the school year) 

• Assesses English/ language arts and math
• Computer adaptive
• Measures achievement & growth
• Includes variety of question types
• Aligned to CCSS

 * The Smarter Balance exam will take the same amount of time to administer as the WKCE. 

District Calendar

    • TueApr24 Lake Bluff Linkage 5:45 PMSHS Conference Room #116
    • TueApr24 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay08 School Board Town Hall 5:45 PM to 6:45 PMSHS Library
    • TueMay08 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay22 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

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