Middle School Curriculum
Classroom technology: Google Classroom
Most work is turned through Google Classroom (GC), which helps our students stay organized, learn how to use computers and technology, and communicate better. Our students use chromebooks, supplied by the school, to access Google Classroom. We ask that all students check GC often, at least once per day. Students can get alerts by downloading the app to their phone or device. Help resources, notes, videos, assignments are available on GC, and it can also be used to post private comments to individual teachers about specific assignments.
We focus heavily on science in middle school! Our 7th graders will spend their year studying the Life Sciences - including ecology, evolution, anatomy, bioengineering, cell biology & disease, and genetics. In 8th grade, we’ll begin studying Physics and Physical science. Our studies will include the chemistry of materials, waves, energy, force & motion, and water. Our science work is always inquiry based and experimental. Our online journaling and scientific testing includes creating complex approaches to scientific testing, creating complex graphs and collaborative mind-maps/concept-webs.
Our 7th graders explore complex mathematical concepts. Each is taught in a unit of 3-5 weeks. In 7th grade, we’ll learn about rates, ratios and proportional relationships, number systems, operations with rational numbers, expressions and equations, inequalities, geometry, and statistics and probabilities. We’ll also do a cumulative push for 8th grade to ensure students are confidently able to tackle more advanced work.
ELA & SOCIAL STUDIES
We work closely with our partners at Facing History to create an integrated literacy and social studies curriculum. Our students learn that people make choices - and the choices they make create history. Our students are encouraged to understand those choices in a historical context, and help them learn about the impact of hatred and bigotry, so that they can stop them from happening in the future.
Our ELA curriculum in 7th Grade connects closely to our students’ social & emotional learning. Our curriculum focuses on Belonging, Change, and Choice, and encourages students to talk about their own changes, and feelings of belong, as we move through the year. We’ll focus on “smartness” - creating analytical paragraphs and argument - as we move through each unit:
Unit 1: Touching Spirit Bear, Coming of Age and Forgiveness - examining Thematic Argument, AP Paragraphs
Unit 2: Of Beetles and Angels, Rules to Live By - studying Non-fiction Reading (Memoir, Speeches) Poetry, Argument
Unit 3: The Graveyard Book, Stories of Belonging - examining Fantasy, Thematic Argument, Point of View Narrative Shift
Unit 4: Chains, American Revolution and Freedom - studying Research and Argumentative Letters
Unit 5: Choices in Little Rock Integrated Unit
Unit 6: World’s Fair Unit: Stories of Refugees and Asylum Seekers
We also continue our focus on vocabulary and grammar. Our vocabulary work is based on the Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop. We move through Level B in 7th grade and Level C in 8th grade. Tests are held every other Friday, and assignments focus on word retention. Our grammar work is focused on sentence structure (independent and dependent clauses), punctuation, parts of speech, and active and passive voice.
Our social sciences work integrates closely with our ELA studies, and builds an understanding of informed civic responsibility. Our 7th grade curriculum will include units on:
Identity and Contracting
The American Identity
Revolution, Constitution & Expansion
Slavery & Civil War
Equality for All (Woman Suffrage)
Choices in Little Rock
Syrian Refugee Crisis