An Introduction to Middle School
Students have a great time learning in 6th grade. In Social Studies they travel through ancient civilizations, which parallels with religion. In Religion they tour the Old Testament, from creation to the prophets. Language Arts takes the students through character analysis and they learn how to write research papers. Poetry and oral narratives are explored. All students do many cross-curricular activities. Math focuses on computing and problem solving with fractions, mixed numbers, decimals, proportions, and percentages. Solving algebraic equations is also introduced. Weekly, the students visit the computer lad where each student has his assigned computer. In the lab, the students view standards-based streamline videos supplied by Catholic Telemedia Network. In science, they include internet research and mapping with GPS. In language arts, the students prepare presentation which they deliver to the class. In Social Studies, student create an iMovie of an “Interview With a Character From Greek Mythology.” Fields trips vary but include museums, theatrical plays, and hands-on activities. The students have a separate science, music, Spanish, religion, and computer teachers, which is an advantage because they learn from teachers who specialize in those areas.
The math curriculum follows the California standards using Prentice Hall Mathematics with PH Success Net. Our Math Specialist provides a challenging curriculum. In both seventh and eighth grade, we have academic grouping, where the seventh graders follow either the PH course 2 or the course 3 curriculum, studying a combination of pre-algebra, fundamental geometry, and basic math skills. At the eighth grade level, students follow PH course 3 or Algebra 1 course work. The curriculum involves projects and technology, interactive group work, in addition to traditional whole-class instruction. Simple Solutions is our homework program. After school assistance is available three days per week.
Students follow a comprehensive course of studies in language arts, English, reading, and computers teachers collaborate to teach language arts. Students read from various genres. A Shakespeare play is read and seen on stage in both seventh and eighth grades. The Accelerated Reader program is used in the seventh and eighth grade to encourage independent reading practice and the acquisition of reading skills.
In the sixth grade, students study character analysis and learn the methods of writing effective research papers. Students develop knowledge of literary concepts, techniques, and analysis. Proficiency in reading strategies, comprehension skills, and critical and creative thinking are also enhanced.
All Middle School students work towards the mastery of the conventions of grammar and build vocabulary and spelling skills through reading and a core spelling/vocabulary list. Catholic philosophy is frequently applied in analyzing literature and assessing the behavior of characters.
Middle School history cover Ancient Civilization (6th Grade), World History (7th Grade), and American History (8th Grade).
A variety of methods are used to explore and explains the topics. In addition to textbooks, explanation, and note taking, students also see videos, DVDs, and listen to audio tapes to gather information. Students use the Chrome books for Internet research. They do a variety of critical thinking and interpretive skills. Among these are debates regarding controversial issues in history. Other projects involve oral reports and the use of PowerPoint and hyper-studio presentations. Many projects such as newspapers and brochures call for the use of the original art work and computer generated design.
Research papers, essays, and original narrative poems are processed on the computer. One project that uses a variety of methods is on the Founding Fathers. Students work as partners of this assignments. In this cross-curricular (history and computer technology) project the students research their topics using the Internet. They prepare a live interview and PowerPoint presentation which is preformed in front of the class. Students also create a life size figure of the Founding Father that is used to record information about that person.
Students use the Junior Scholastic magazine to stay informed of current events. During presidential elections, 8th grade students stage mack campaigns, film debates, and hold an election. This project instills knowledge of history and government as well the importance of good citizenship.