Panorama Community Schools

8th Grade

Grade 8 – Through exploratory courses, 3-5 class periods: Introduce Overview of Educational Structures Available to Americans with Appreciation to World Trends 
  •  Choose 1 of these sayings, think on it, read on it, google it, be ready to share in your own words
    1. Life is About Becoming An Expert in the Midst of Continual Change. Our curiosity is unlimited and so then should be our efforts to understand. Enjoy the search. Enjoy becoming an expert at what interests you  = Expertise is Makes for Fulfilling Lives & Careers  (CWebner; 347 million results for googling "Reasons to become an expert")
    2. In China, Bill Gates is Brittany Spears. In America, Brittany Spears is Brittany Spears - That is the Problem (Thomas Friedman), MonkeyGirl interpretation
    3. Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion; when the sun comes up, you better be running. (Origin Unknown, Thomas Friedman); Benjamin Juru's Linkedin perspective on this saying, 2014
  • What are the Goals of our Education System?  What do you hope HS graduation will give you?
    • Take-A-Ways 
      • Confidence in your ability to perform basic life skills (continual learning, solving problems, working and living with others)
      • Find and follow your passions! The more exciting and satisfying themes in your life are big help when searching for work, relationships, and setting life goals.
      • Think of yourself as becoming an expert.  You get to decide what you become an expert at.
        • Once you become an expert at one thing, it is easier to become an expert at another thing.
        • True discovery and power usually comes from combining our areas of high interest & expertise (crossing the streams).
      • We accomplish more together than one person can alone, so we need to know how to work together.
        • Whether we lead, are a partner, or have a follower role, in each we need to develop our soft skills to be most effective.
  •  Activities & Discussion Items
    • Using Panorama Guidance pages; 3-2-1 with class discussion 
      • 3 Questions You Have About Something You Saw On Guidance Pages
      • 2 Things You Didn't Know but Learned
      • 1 Thing You Saw But Already Knew
      • To do this activity -  learn/disccover how to download a pdf file, "write over it" with pdf editing tool when giving your answers, then save it (spend no $). Teach me & will share too - Please email me steps you found/used to download "3-2-1", edit it, and save it to your "google docs", share file (and your explanations) with Mr. Druivenga and Mr. Webner
    • COLLEGE SORT; class discussion, using marker board, to understand common, categorizing post-secondary options for commonly known colleges  
      • PUBLIC - tax dollars help pay for costs at U of IOWA, ISU, & UNI (Iowa's Regent Universities)
        • College/University Degrees - Bachelor (4yr), Master (BA + 2yr), Specialist (MA + 1yr), & Doctorate (BA + 4 or more yr) 
        • Vocational Awards - Certificate (1 yr or less), Diploma (1 yr), Associate Degree (2 yr)
      • PRIVATE - tax dollars do not help pay for costs, Iowa's Private College examples in Des Moines are Grandview & Drake
      • FOR PROFIT - companies own these and they make money delivering college, For Profit College examples in Iowa are Vatterot, Kaplan, ITT, & Waldorf/Forest City
      • NCAA - Division 1Division 2 , Division 3
      • NAIA 
      • Money also affected by Athletic Membership - NCAA 1, 2, 3, NAIA, Junior College Association
      • Many students are required to take algebra class at college if their HS grade or admissions test score is lower than estimated for success as college freshman. This is called remediation.
    • Value for Education in Grade 8 - What is the Value for Pre-Algebra?
      • How many extra hours will a student need to work to pay for retaking algebra at community college, state university, & private college? 
      • How many weeks will it take to earn that money?
      • What ways are there to avoid these kind of costs (and longer lasting debt) for college? 
  1. algebra skills is top variable for graduation from 4 year college
  2. number of math courses taken that increase with difficulty is best predictor success at college as research of ACT. Even though math is only 1 of 4 subtests (above average ACT scores used by colleges to target students for scholarship recruiting).
  3. take free college courses during HS (especially Grade 12)
  4. consider college programs that include working in a paid internship during college
    1. Iowa Western CC's Design Technology program,
    2. John Deere Technology - Van Wall Equipment offers a full tuition scholarship with internship as part of the sponsorship the company provides for students who achieve a John Deere Agricultural Technician degree. To complete their degrees, candidates are able to attend school at Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar, IA or Southeast Community College in Milford, NE.
  5. consider college programs whose costs are paid for student (DMACC Workforce Training Program)
  6. consider colleges that have students work to reduce their debt - University of Ozarks is also called "Hard Work U"
  7. college students are advised to work about 20 hours per week when taking courses, more than that could hurt your college grades. BUT, working 40 hr./week when not taking courses is a common "earn as you learn" strategy to avoid extra college debt. If taking courses during Fall and Spring Semester you are a "full-time" student for 30 of the 52 weeks in a year, so 22 weeks when not in classes you can work many more hours per week.
      • Take Aways -
        • learn the MS/HS material (reason to be confident & feel empowered)
        • look like you are learning with a good grade & test scores (ACT, Accuplacer, ALEKS offer free practice)
        • find part-time work to help pay for college during college years
      • How is a Job different than a Career?
        • Jobs are what we do for money.
        • Careers are what we choose as our life's work.
          • Many jobs can contribute to a career.
        • Vocations means the work we choose to do, whether being a doctor or electrician, but our culture usually means trades when using the word vocational
        • Trades programs prepare us for "hands on" careers, teaching skills of a trade that usually involve safety training and certifications, also referred to as "blue collar", vocational, and "hands-on jobs". Tradespeople are carpenters, auto mechanics, electricians, beauticians, waitresses and waiters, and many more occupations.
        • Tradespeople are trained through the oldest of programs, called apprenticeships, as well as in community colleges and specialty institutes. State of Iowa is supporting apprenticeships = 4 page list of apprenticeship jobs in Iowa here (
        • Professions are also the work we choose to do, but our culture usually means work at a higher level of expertise when using the word professional.
          • Professional jobs are possible for those who have gone to a 4 year university, and sometimes "graduate school", to become qualified to work within a profession that has certain criteria.
            • Professionals are doctors, lawyers, accountants, economists, professors, teachers, and many more jobs
              • Guidance Counselor Mr. Webner had to earn a 2 yr Masters Degree in Counseling and Human Development before he could become a school counselor (and in many states you must have a Bachelor Degree to get into a Masters program).  Mr. Webner got his Bachelor for teaching at UNI and his Master Degree at U of Iowa.
              • When you hear someone being called "Doctor" they may be a medical Doctor, or have earned a Ph.D degree (Doctor of Philosophy) at a university. You can earn a Ph.D in medicine, music, engineering, and many more. 
              • Both Master degrees and Ph.D usually take 2-3 year each to complete
                • Bachelor Degree (4 yr) + Master Degree (2 yr) + Ph.D (2 yr) = 8 years of university learning 
      • What does the word "college" seem to mean versus what it really means?
"College" seems to mean a 4 yr college or university, but it really includes all the programs that offer certificates, diplomas, and degrees after a high school diploma has been earned.
  1. ABC news article of top 10 jobs that do not require college
  2. Apprenticeship guidance webpage
  3. U.S. Military enlistment as soldier (Enlisted soldier may have a college certificate, diploma, or associate degree, buy you must have advanced training, like a bachelor degree, to be an Officer in our military - see description of Officer)
Review the options that exist after graduating from high school, webpage listing midway in article/
  1. College - all kinds (from 13 week phlebotomy program at DMACC to earning a Ph.D in medicine)
  2. Employment - best kind gives you benefits, like health insurance, and encourages you financially to get certificates or college degrees (remember to consider "earn while you learn" in Iowa apprenticeships).
  3. Military - pick a U.S. Military branch (Army, Army National Guard Reserves, Navy, Air-force, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines) and serve your country, receive training while earning salary, be an enlisted soldier after high school, or if you have a bachelor degree you can serve as an officer, for 4-6 years, or entire career if you choose.
  4. AmeriCorps - serve others in this national program patterned after the Peace Corps, but for young people without college education, every state has programs you can apply for during your senior year of HS (allowance $ and college scholarship $ included)
  5. Job Corps - free job training, room and "board" (food), this is a national program with at least one training facility in each state. Iowa has a Denison Job Corps campus and an Ottumwa Job Corps Campus that works with Indian Hills Community College.
  6. Combine the above options in any way you choose! Here are some examples (which sounds best to you?):
    1. Go to university full-time, live & eat in college dormitory, work part-time (many students do this, some don't graduate from college instead choosing to work full-time as openings are available).
    2. Attend a community college for associate of arts degree (live & eat on campus), transfer to university for two-three more years to earn bachelor degree, living in apartment and cooking for self, also working part-time.
    3. Live at home full-time, work part-time, attend college full-time (DMACC VanKirk Center in Perry, IA Associate of Applied Science 2yr degree OR online!).
    4. Serve Part-Time in Army National Guard Reserves, attend college full-time, live & eat on college campus.
    5. Serve Part-Time in Navy National Guard Reserves, work full-time, live in apartment with friends.
    6. Attend ISU full-time as student, participate in part-time ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) to become an Officer in Military (and ROTC has 4, 3, 2 year academic scholarships at most 4 year universities).
College options to complete college courses for free during high school continue to expand. Historically our government has encouraged college education when national security militarily and economically is in jeopardy of loosing power globally:
  • "Russian" Sputnik orbit & "Space Race" lead to HS students take more math & science in HS and earn college scholarships to pursue math and science at college.
  • 1987 - 2008 Iowa, and whole U.S., pass legislation (PSEO, SYP, Concurrent Enrollment with community colleges) to increasing encourage HS students to take college courses for free while in high school.  What world events may have contributed to the U.S. once again raising educational standards & encouraging college experiences for high schools? [(World Population Pie Chart & Statistics)/Look on clothing tag &/or phone to see where it was made for clues]  ___________________________________
"DMACC" (Des Moines Area Community College) is our educational partner for delivering college courses at Panorama HS 
  1. Most popular are online college courses because of the flexibility in scheduling in a student schedule. Most of the courses require an ACT of 21 and 3.5 GPA, but others do not have any academic requirement.
    1. More popular courses without academic requirements are Medical Terminology 1, Intro to Criminal Justice, Intro to Business.
    2. More popular online courses with academic requirements are Social Problems, Intro to Sociology, Intro to Psychology, Composition 1 & 2, Intro to Accounting, Western Civilizations, U.S. History
  2. Panorama's teachers also deliver college courses during the school day - 
    1. Communication Skills (Mrs. Arganbright)
    2. Applied Mathematics & Intro to Engineering and Design (Mrs. Ploeger)
    3. Elementary Functions (a math after Trigonometry the kids call Pre-Calc), & Calculus 1 (Ms. Jarnagin)
    4. Agricultural Business Management (Mr. Babcock)
    5. Career Development Skills and Occupational Experience (Mr. Hameister)
    6. Meteorology; study of weather, & Physics, study of energy and matter, began with Ancient Greeks exploration of astronomy, light, and mechanics (Mr. Faraci)
    7. Intro to Painting & Intro to Drawing (Mrs. Lindstrom)
  3. Taking courses at other locations is also popular (Perry, Iowa - VanKirk Academy/Career Academy Programs, AC/GC HS/Hospital, Carroll, IA - DMACC campus, Ankeny, IA - DMACC campus, West Des Moines - DMACC Campus, Waukee, IA - APEX Programs
Practice Using Personality Interest Survey and Matching to Possible Careers
Practice Creating HS Course & Activity Plans using: 
  1. Your Courses Count: Iowa Regents' Course Requirements for Admission chart - if you want the option of attending a 4 year college or university after high school, then use this course plan in your PHS 4 Year Plan Sheet
    1. Understand the 4 variables used in the Regent Admission Index formula - this academic planning tool is also good guide for private universities
  2. Understanding Class Scheduling Gr.9-12 Worksheets with vocabulary 
    1. Block Schedule allows for more than 4 years of subject area to be earned while in PHS - this gives you, the student, a competitive edge over students at other schools who can only reach Regent Admissions Minimum Course Requirements (see Building Your Future, Your Courses Count graphic on back of your IOWA, ISU, UNI pocket folder), SO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS PHS ADVANTAGE! Take more than 4 years of English, Math, Science, & Social Studies - OR - take the Regent U's Minimum loads and then TAKE FREE COLLEGE COURSES & PROGRAMS either in Liberal Arts or Trades!!!
      • Panorama uses a modified block schedule with Periods 1, 2, 3 as 80 minutes blocks and afternoon Period 4, 5, 6 as 45 minutes semester periods.
  3. Gr8 Request on Infinite Campus of Gr9 Electives,  - this is form 8th graders will use with parents in Term 4 to request elective courses for Grade 9, but there are too many courses to be taken in just one year of HS so use the given course areas (much like the Career Pathways areas) to look for courses to include in your PHS 4 Year Planner
  4. PHS Course Descriptions 2017 - this is the Infinite Campus description listing of courses high school students take, organized alphabetically by subject area (similar to the Career Pathways areas). Look this over for interesting courses to include in your PHS 4 Year Planner
  5. PHS 4 Year Academic Planner (use and adjust your plans each year of HS)
    1. Completion of PHS 4 Year Planner, using given links here as references - including Occupational Outlook Handbook, typically takes at least two forty minute period for 8th Graders (it gets easier; most Seniors could map this practice course selection exercise in 10 minutes)
    2. Parents sign the computer version of this 4 year plan and students submit to Mr. Druivenga...
    3. PHS Course Book 2018-19 is reference to read about the courses available
  6. Complete the interactive website,; it has a  high school course planner used after taking a career interest survey which provides recommended high school courses. Compare the course recommendations to your practiced use of the PHS 4 Year Planner, update it the PHS 4 Year Planner for your best guess at an occupation or career of your choosing, then share it with a parent, have your parent sign it, and return it to Mr. Druivenga. (Panorama will switch to Xello online academic planning in 2018-19).
Term 4 Review before selecting Grade 9 elective courses with parents - 
  •  Goals of HS, Review in the PHS 4 Year Planner, Iowa Regents Admissions Requirements
Perspectives on School
Six Major Purposes of Education - 1min:53sec on youtube