Middle School Curriculum

 
Our 7th-grade life sciences studies include understanding ecosystems and life cycles…

Our 7th-grade life sciences studies include understanding ecosystems and life cycles…

… including food sources! We dissect owl pellets as part of our lab-based learning.

… including food sources! We dissect owl pellets as part of our lab-based learning.

We talk openly about belonging and participation in society, and how individual choices can change history (image courtesy of  Facing History )

We talk openly about belonging and participation in society, and how individual choices can change history (image courtesy of Facing History)

Our students are encouraged to build a strong understanding of informed civic responsibility through our social studies and ELA work

Our students are encouraged to build a strong understanding of informed civic responsibility through our social studies and ELA work

Students learn how to participate in an active and informed government

Students learn how to participate in an active and informed government

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.

Science

We focus heavily on applied science and critical thinking in middle school! Middle school students start off in 7th grade by studying Life Science. In 8th grade students will focus on Physical Science. Students will use their gained scientific knowledge to explain some amazing phenomena in the world around us. We will explore different scientific concepts through experiments, designing engineering solutions, rich classroom discussions, and readings. By learning and using science in this way, students will be able to use logic to solve problems in not only science, but across multiple fields.

Math

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.

ELA

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.

Social STUDIES

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

  • Reconstruction

  • Equality for All (Woman Suffrage)

  • Choices in Little Rock

  • Syrian Refugee Crisis