Middle School

Mathematics:

 

Mathematics in middle school builds upon the foundational knowledge that scholars acquired in grades K-5. Using a congruent curriculum to ensure that students do not encounter gaps in standards or knowledge, middle school mathematics is separated into Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Pre-Algebra. 

 

Integrated Mathematics I (6th Grade) focuses on four critical areas:  

  • connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems
  • completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers 
  • writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations
  • developing understanding of statistical thinking

 

Integrated Mathematics II (7th Grade) expands on those areas and focuses on:

  • developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships 
  • developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations
  • solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume
  • drawing inferences about populations based on samples.

 

Pre-Algebra (8th Grade) Focuses on the following skills to ensure readiness for high school Algebra

 

  • Drawing or sketching polygons, circles, or semi-circles from a written description
  • Demonstrating an understanding about the two- and three-dimensional shapes in our world through identifying, drawing, modeling, building, or taking apart
  • Representing geometric figures using rectangular coordinates on a plane
  • Describing how mean, median, mode, range, or interquartile ranges relate to distribution shape
  • Using appropriate statistical measures to compare two or more data sets describing the same characteristic for two different populations or subset of the same population
  • Distinguishing between a random and nonrandom sample.
  • Determining the theoretical probability of simple and compound events in familiar contexts
  • Estimating the probability of simple and compound events through experimentation or simulation
  • Using theoretical probability to evaluate or predict experimental outcomes
  • Describing relative positions of points and lines using the geometric ideas of midpoint, points on a common line through a common point, parallelism, or perpendicularity
  • Describing the intersection of two or more geometric figures in the plane (e.g., intersection of a circle and a line)
  • Making and testing a geometric conjecture about regular polygons

English Language Arts:

 

In the middle school grades students learn to use writing as their voice and reading as their power. As students strengthen their research and formal writing skills, they will explore a vast variety of genres of literature and expand their exposure to literary journals, spoken word, and other unique forms of writing. Students will expand their abstract thinking with metaphors and similes, learn to advocate for themselves through persuasive writing, and express themselves creatively with short stories, poetry, and prose.  

 

Students in grades 6-8 will be asked to develop their English Language Arts skills through:

 

  • active reading of varied texts for what they say explicitly, as well as the logical inferences that can be drawn
  • analysis of literature and informational texts from varied literary periods to examine:
    • text craft and structure
    • elements of literature
    • arguments and claims supported by textual evidence
    • power and impact of language
    • influence of history, culture, and setting on language
    • personal critical and aesthetic response
  • writing for varied purposes
    • developing and supporting argumentative claims
    • crafting coherent, supported informative/expository texts
    • responding to literature for personal and analytical purposes
    • writing narratives to develop real or imagined events
    • writing to sources (short and longer research) using text based claims and evidence
  • effective listening, speaking, and viewing strategies with emphasis on the use of evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class discussions, and extended text discussions
  • collaboration amongst peers

 

Sciences:

Middle School Science delves into area specific scientific explorations of the world around us. Students learn the scientific method and how to apply it in practice in a variety of ways. 

Earth/ Space Science:

Students develop understanding of a wide range of topics in Earth and space sciences that build on science concepts from elementary school through more advanced content, practice, and crosscutting themes. There are six Earth and space sciences standard topics in middle school: 

  • Space Systems
  • History of Earth
  • Earth’s Interior Systems
  • Earth’s Surface Systems
  • Weather and Climate
  • Human Impacts

 

Life Science:

Students develop understanding of key concepts to help them make sense of the life sciences. These ideas build upon students’ science understanding from earlier grades and from the disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts of other experiences with physical and Earth sciences. 

The five life science topics in middle school are: 

  • Structure, Function, and Information Processing
  • Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms 
  • Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems 
  • Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems 
  • Natural Selection and Adaptations. 

 

Physical Science: 

Students continue to develop understanding of four core ideas in the physical sciences. The middle school performance expectations in the physical sciences build on the K – 5 ideas and capabilities to allow learners to explain phenomena central to the physical sciences but also to the life sciences and Earth and space sciences. The performance expectations in the physical sciences blend the core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing usable knowledge to explain real-world phenomena in the physical, biological, and Earth and space sciences. In the physical sciences, performance expectations at the middle school level focus on students developing understanding of several scientific practices. These include developing and using models, planning and conducting investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical and computational thinking, and constructing explanations and using these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas. Students are also expected to demonstrate understanding of several engineering practices, including design and evaluation.

 

Social Studies:

World History:

The primary content for this course pertains to the world’s earliest civilizations to the ancient and classical civilizations of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Students will be exposed to the multiple dynamics of world history including economics, geography, politics, and religion/philosophy. Students will study methods of historical inquiry and primary and secondary historical documents.

Civics:

The primary content for the course pertains to the principles, functions, and organization of government; the origins of the American political system; the roles, rights, responsibilities of United States citizens; and methods of active participation in our political system. The course is embedded with strong geographic and economic components to support civic education instruction.

Additional content includes:

  • Distinctive characteristics of American society
  • Unity/diversity in American society
  • Civil society: nongovernmental associations, groups
  • Nation-states
  • Interaction among nation-states
  • Major governmental, nongovernmental international organizations

US History:

Primary content emphasis for this course pertains to the study of American history from the Exploration and Colonization period to the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War. Students will be exposed to the historical, geographic, political, economic, and sociological events which influenced the development of the United States and the resulting impact on world history. So that students can clearly see the relationship between cause and effect in historical events, students should have the opportunity to explore those fundamental ideas and events which occurred after Reconstruction.

Key knowledge includes: 

  • Change and Continuity in American Democracy: Ideas, Institutions, Events, Key Figures, and Controversies
  • The Gathering and Interactions of Peoples, Cultures, and Ideas
  • Economic and Technological Changes and Their Relationship to Society, Ideas, and the Environment
  • The Changing Role of America in the World

In second grade, students develop the ability to read and write with increased fluency. Students will be asked to write creatively and increase their use of written language as a communication and expression tool. In second grade emphasis will be placed on correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Students will engage in an exploration of different genres of reading material and begin to gain an understanding of the author’s purpose.      

Second grade mathematicians will extend their understanding of base-ten notation, and  build fluency with addition and subtraction within 100. Second graders will learn to recognize and correctly use standard units of measure including a basic understanding of both time and money. In second grade geometry, students will continue to expand their shape knowledge to three dimensional figures. 

Young scientists will further their explorations of the world around them and delve deeper into the earth and its components such as soil, rocks, air, and water. Students will learn new ways to categorize and record their observations utilizing simple charts and graphs. 

Current events are introduced to children in second grade in order to bolster their understanding of the world and their place within it . Students also begin to study other cultures, and what makes cultures unique. 

Students in kindergarten will learn to identify all of the letters of the alphabet and their unique sounds. Students will engage in songs and stories which will introduce them to the foundations of literature such as parts of a book, rhyming words, and sentence structure. Students will learn a variety of sight words as well as how to put sounds together to begin to express themselves through written language. 

Students will learn the principles of numbers and their function in our world. Students will learn patterns, matched sets, counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s. Students will begin to learn mathematical functions such as adding and subtracting as well as the names of all of the basic shapes and their characteristics. 

Kindergarten students delve into the world around them through explorations in science. Students learn about animals, plants, the earth, and how living things grow and flourish. Students begin to learn about the role that humans play in the world at large. Students will engage in hands-on learning through exploration of plants, animals, and many elements of nature. 

Students will learn about their community and its elements and functions through the social studies curriculum. Kindergarteners learn about the people and places in their neighborhood as well as the important jobs of helpers in the community. Through project based learning students begin to understand their role within different settings and groups throughout our community and the world at large.