8th Grade

Welcome to a new year at Flood Brook Middle School! We are the 8th grade core teachers, Cliff DesMarais (English Language Arts) and Tracy Zaino (Mathematics). We would like to tell you a little more about our classes this year. In addition to this site students are part of our class’ Google Classroom online learning platform. This is where they can find information and resources on what we are doing in class and where they will turn in writing assignments.  You can see updated grade information on ALMA or click on contacts to e-mail teachers directly.

Check back periodically to see current examples of student work or scroll down to find links for suggestions on independent reading. You can also look below to see what Mr. Des Marais is reading right now!


The presentation of the math curriculum this year will focus on problem solving and developing reasoning skills. Our goals are to teach students critical thinking skills, the ability to interpret and analyze word problems, and real life contexts for using math. Students will delve more deeply into problems, and focus on working collaboratively to build their skills. Learning happens most effectively in a student-centered, collaborative classroom. To this end, problem sets will be assigned throughout the course, and the class structure will support students in understanding, solving, communicating, reasoning, and checking their work. Students will work individually, in pairs and small groups, and as an entire class to investigate and prove solutions, argue their thinking, and learn to ask questions to gain understanding.

Eighth grade mathematics will cover six major areas of focus this year:

  1. The Real Number System and Exponents
  2. The Pythagorean Theorem and applications
  3. Congruence and Similarity
  4. Linear Equations in One Variable
  5. Linear Equations in Two Variables
  6. Statistics

Language Arts

Language Arts is designed to involve the student in applying reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing skills in an independent manner through meaningful interdisciplinary tasks. Students will continue to develop an appreciation for literature through the study of literary elements in various genres throughout the year.  Emphasis is placed on moving from the literal to the abstract in the students’ critical thinking skills and in the use of language, through reading and writing.

Eighth grade language arts will cover 6 major areas of focus this year:

  1. Close Reading and Writing to Learn
  2. Working with Evidence
  3. Shakespeare Residency
  4. Creative writing
  5. Understanding Perspectives
  6. Research, Decision Making, and Forming Positions

     Find books at your reading level.

    Online Resources for Non-Fiction Reading


    What's Mr. DesMarais Reading (2)