Middle School English
7th grade English engages students in writing and literature experiences. They implement the writing process in several different types of writing such as summarizing key ideas, responding to literature, narrating fictional or autobiographical topics, persuasive essays and research papers. Students learn to support thesis statements with anecdotes, descriptions, facts, and specific examples. They also write book reports and journals. In literature, students read a variety of short stories and novels. Literature studies focus on vocabulary as well as literary components such as character, plot, theme, conflict, and point of view. In addition to literary anthologies, students read grade-appropriate novels.
This course provides students with the tools and skills necessary for critical thinking and analytical, creative, and reflective writing. Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays that include a well-defined thesis, detailed evidence, and reasoning to support arguments. In literature, students read and respond to culturally significant works that reflect and enhance their studies of history. They clarify ideas and connect them to other literary works. They determine the relationship between different forms of poetry, evaluate the structural elements of the plot, compare and contrast motivations of literary characters, analyze setting, identify literary devices, and analyze recurring themes.
Middle School Social Studies
This 8th grade course covers important events that have shaped American History from its roots through the Civil War and Industrialization. During the year, students discuss our country’s beginnings, the development of our democratic government and the constitution as well as early presidents and the birth of political parties. They examine an expanding and changing nation, specifically looking at the different paths of the North and South, reform movements, expansion into the west, the Civil War, and Reconstruction era. Students acquire the ability to evaluate historical evidence, understand cause and effect relationships by looking at igniting events and the consequences that follow, analyze political and economic change, and consider the changing ideals and social conditions of the people.
In this class, 7th grade students study different cultures throughout the world starting with the Roman Empire. Students learn to become academic detectives. They study the roots of Islam and the Islamic Empire followed by the kingdoms of Africa and the civilizations of the Americas, specifically the Maya, Aztecs, and the Inca. Topics covered also include Asian civilizations, Chinese dynasties, and Japan. The culmination of the course is the study of Medieval Europe and the Renaissance finishing up with The Enlightenment in early modern Europe.
Middle School Science
This course is designed for 7th grade students to study living things in their world through cell biology and genetics. Students learn how modern living things evolve, survive, and reproduce through the study of earth and life history. Students also learn how physical principles function in living systems. Lastly, students learn to understand the scientific process including investigation and experimentation.
In Physical Science, 8th grade students conduct inquiry oriented learning of the following subjects: motion, forces, structure of matter, earth in the solar system, reactions, chemistry of living systems, periodic table, density and buoyancy, investigation, and experimentation. Basic concepts in light, mechanics, chemistry are revisited while topics such as lenses, energy transformations, conservation of energy, properties of solutions and solubility are introduced. In addition, students study the structure and composition of the universe.
Middle school math placement is determined by students’ pre-requisite math skills. Students are placed in the math course that correlates with their level of performance and builds concepts in a structured, sequential manner.
Middle School Math
This course covers a range of topics. During the first semester, students evaluate and write expressions, learn about math properties, review integers, solve linear equations and inequalities, and finish with polynomials. Additionally, they work with ratios, proportions, and percents. Second semester starts with graphing linear equations, learning about slope, and solving systems of equations. Students continue working with inequalities, learn about radical expressions and The Pythagorean Theorem, and understand relations and functions culminating with the quadratic formula.
This class is designed to develop the math skills needed to perform everyday problem solving tasks. Students learn about fractions, decimals, percents, different systems of measurements, ratios, graphs, and equations. They learn to integrate the concepts and skills through real life word problems/situations. A solid understanding of basic math paves the way for learning new, more complex mathematics in algebra and geometry.
In this course, students take the math skills they have learned and transition to the more abstract concept of applying those skills symbolically. Operations from previous math classes are applied to more complex problems that become the basis for our increasingly technologically-driven society. Students in the Introduction to Algebra class spend time solidifying the basics of what they have learned in order to understand these higher level expressions with the expectation of mastery in Algebra 1. The program follows the California Mathematics Framework for public schools using the texts, smart board technology-based lessons, and real world experiences as resources to achieve those standards.
In Pre-Algebra, students are exposed to the skills, terminology, and concepts required prior to taking a high school level algebra course. Students in Pre-Algebra are expected to know and work proficiently with basic algebraic terminology and processes by the end of the year. The program follows the California Mathematics Framework using the texts, smart board technology based design, and real world experiences as resources to achieve those standards.
During middle school, students learn to refine, combine, and apply a variety of movement and motor skills learned in elementary school. Students are provided with opportunities to improve their fitness while understanding more advanced concepts related to physical fitness and physical activity. The emphasis is on the application of movement and motor skills, individual and dual physical activities, track and field, and team activities. Students work with other students towards a common goal through team participation. The goals of the class include maintaining physical fitness, developing a positive self-image, and fostering appropriate social behavior.
Middle school students learn about and explore artwork from a variety of historical and cultural contexts in many different mediums. Students create personalized artworks in class that include drawing, painting and sculpture. These artworks showcase the students’ knowledge of art while creating a vehicle for personal expression.
The focus of this 8th grade class is on the social, emotional, and biological development of issues surrounding adolescence and the life transitions one faces. It incorporates lessons on social skills, developmental theories, and learning how to better understand oneself as an emerging teenager. The course is also designed to explain and teach hygiene, health and diet, drugs and alcohol, and the changing human body. Students explore their values, personality, and experiences in order to develop and maintain healthy decision making. These tools better prepare students for high school and success in life.
This middle school theater course helps students understand how cultural influences affect the content and meaning of plays. Students break down scripts and analyze plays looking at character motivation. Through Reader’s Theatre exercises, students use expression, intonation, and inflection to make plays come alive. Students gain practice in demonstrating projection, vocal variety, diction, and gesture in oral presentations.