Middle School Curriculum—6th Grade

 

English

 

In the Middle School the primary objective of the English course is for students to build and enrich their reading, writing, thinking, and communication skills while using language to live more thoughtful, creative, and examined lives. Students use reading and writing to forge a deeper understanding of themselves and their roles in the world around them. We encourage students to gain an appreciation and love of language that will sustain them as lifelong learners.Students read and write extensively in the genres of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Students also learn presentation skills, the conventions of the English language, and mechanics of good writing in the context of literature studies and writing projects.

 

Math In Middle School the focus of mathematics is a balance between an understanding of basic mathematical operations and math concepts, and the abstract application of these concepts. During the middle grades, students solidify attitudes about themselves as learners of mathematics. They arrive at conclusions about their competence in mathematics, their attitudes, their interest, and their motivation. These attitudes will influence how they approach the study of mathematics in later years. Students learn a variety of content, building new mathematical knowledge through problem solving; they apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems; and they monitor and reflect on the process 

 

Latin

 

vocabulary words and grammar concepts. The main objectives include smooth translation of Latin stories which follow the lives of historical Lucius Caecilius Lucundus and his family and household characters, developing good language learning study habits, making connections between Latin and English parts of speech and derivatives as a foundation for modern languages, and cultural enrichment about the fascinating archaeological site of ancient Pompeii in 79 A.D. The Cambridge Latin Course website offers many excellent resources and links for online practice of vocabulary words, grammar exercises and cultural material. Students will research Roman villas, ancient Pompeian culinary delights, and perform Latin plays to culminate their study. Each student will make an artistic project entry on a Classical artifact for the regional Philadelphia Classical Society competition.

 

Learning Systems

 

This course is offered for the first half of the school year. Its main focus is to look at the systems we set in place to achieve our highest success in learning. We first look at what resources we already have in place for students to use here at school. We look at Net Classroom, a website where we post all of our homework assignments, test calendar, and student planner. We then look at ways to map out our work plan for the week.This course will meet for a total of 10 to 12 class sessions during the first semester. We will focus our time in class manipulating different forms of learning systems. We will spend time looking at the following systems:Navigating Net ClassroomStudent PlannersTime ManagementHomework CompletionMemoryTest Taking and PreparationNote Taking for test preparation and for written response

 

Design

 

Design integrates many different skills and academic disciplines that are needed to complete the “real world” task of envisioning livable structures. Because of this, it is useful to think of our work as branching out beyond the typical confines of a traditional school curriculum: Design will operate as an Art-Science-Math-History-English class. The first project of the semester introduces many design topics and skills through a tree house project. Each semester, a culminating project will be pursued that emphasizes group process while arriving at a shared vision of a built environment.

 

Sleuth

 

What happened? Why is that broken? Who made those footprints? When did they leave? Where are they now? In this course, we are detectives, using science and logic to figure out what happened. Working in teams, we examine crime scene evidence and record observations very carefully. Then we use interviews and tests to give us more information. In time, we hope to figure out the solution to the crime. However we need to be mindful and sort through the information very carefully; there may be some superficial or misleading evidence. ArtOur art program helps students enhance their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, as well as learn to think “outside of the box.” The grade 6 art program revolves around the discovery and exploration of new media, first focusing on the technical aspects of art, such as drawing and shading, line, shape, texture, and color theory. The course also includes painting, graphic design, sculpture, and an integrated curriculum project.

 

Music Foundations 

 

In Music Foundations the emphasis is on building basic music literacy skills through various collaborative and hands-on experiences. These include Dalcroze eurhythmics movement activities and music reading using the ideas of Zoltan Kodaly. The year will end with all students putting these skills to use as they participate in a handbell ensemble.

 

Music Ensembles

 

Every 6th grade student takes chorus, string ensemble, or wind ensemble. In chorus students work to develop basic vocal skills and sing rounds and canons to develop part singing. The group sings a varied repertoire from various historical periods and cultures.Students who have played a wind or string instrument for at least two years and have demonstrated an intermediate level of proficiency are invited to participate in Middle School String or Wind Ensemble. The ensembles teach team work, musical skills, and an age-appropriate repertoire, and perform at least twice each year.

 

Computer Technology

 

In the 6th Grade Middle School technology classes, the students learn the basics of using the computer in a hands-on environment where each student has access to a computer for the entire class period. The classes are taught in workshop fashion mainly through exploration and individualized practice. The students are encouraged to explore and experiment rather than ask “how” and “where” when presented with new material. In addition to learning the basics of computer use, students are expected to apply their computer skills to their work in their Middle School classes. As often as possible, the computer teacher will work with the teachers of other subjects to develop specially coordinated projects using the computers or allow students to use the computers to complete work for their other classes.Students will:work independently in Sony Vegas Studio on a self-portrait videocreate a cartoon-like animation in PowerPoint Mini-CoursesAt St. John Academy at Avondale, we believe that each student should have a time in his or her program to explore talents, passions, and interests. Our mini-courses are designed to meet that goal. Each mini-course involves students in combinations of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

 

Mini-courses have included: Italian, Stock Market, Robotics, Drama, Dance, Comedy Club, Yoga, Fishing, German, Math Counts, Guitar, and Digital Photography to name a few. Students in our 8th grade leadership class have the opportunity to present a mini-course of their choice to students or to do an internship with a faculty advisor.

 

Academic WorkshopsWe believe that students will always benefit from having additional support or a challenge in their content areas. Advisors and teachers will offer an array of workshops in which students can participate, including help with editing skills, math skills, reading for deeper content, looking at designing the school for the future, being current with the world of science, or creating digital planner systems.

 

Physical Education

 

All 6th grade students are encouraged to participate in a choice of sports offered each season. During the first few weeks, in order to provide exposure to a variety of sports, the students rotate through the sports offered and then choose one sport to play for the rest of the season. Students participate in a mini-season made up of practices during the school day and conclude with two or three games played against other schools. Sports offered include: Fall: Soccer, Tennis, Field HockeyWinter: Basketball, Squash, Volleyball

 

Middle School Curriculum—7th Grade

 

English

 

At Crossfire Educational Ministries, we believe adolescent readers and writers need to develop the skills of reading for pleasure and reading for purpose with fiction and non-fiction texts. The 7th grade English course is designed to continue the students’ development from concrete to abstract thinking. Students use literature, writing, and discussion to examine the richness of the world around them and within them and to focus on language as a means of expression. The literary content of the course includes novels, short stories, film, and poetry selected to look at the themes surrounding coming of age, diversity, and courage. Students reflect on the readings in formal and informal, analytical, and creative writing pieces. Class discussion plays an important daily role. Grammar, vocabulary, and the writing process are taught both through direct instruction and in the context of reading and writing assignments.

 

History

 

The course title is Conflict, Rights and Revolution in the Twentieth Century. The primary purpose of this course is to increase students’ global awareness. This course is also designed to share a better understanding of the kind of world we as Americans live in today and how it came to be that way through the examination of several key themes including mankind in world war, the struggle for human rights, and the revolutions for civil liberties. During the human rights unit, each student will take an active role in the Junior Model UN of the World Affairs Council based in Philadelphia where they will role-play delegates, participate in lively debate, and vote on resolutions they previously crafted. The course also includes research into personal family histories as part of a grade-wide interdisciplinary unit called Generations.

 

Math

 

The focus of mathematics is a balance between an understanding of basic mathematical operations, understanding math concepts, and the abstract application of these concepts. During the middle grades, students solidify attitudes about themselves as learners of mathematics. They arrive at conclusions about their competence in mathematics, their interest, and their motivation. These attitudes will influence how they approach the study of mathematics in later years. Students learn a variety of content, building new mathematical knowledge through problem solving; applying and adapting a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems; and monitoring and reflecting on the process of mathematical problem solving. The 7th grade math course is a study of pre-algebra topics, including: variables, expressions, and integers, solving equations, multi-step equations and inequalities, factors, fractions, and exponents, rational numbers and equations, ratio, proportion, and probability, percents, linear functions, real numbers, right triangles, measurement, area, and volume, data analysis and probability, polynomials and nonlinear functions and angle relationships and transformations.

 

Science

 

A goal of the science program is to have students appreciate the nature of science, and to become excited about questioning and understanding the natural world around them. The students will further develop science process and research skills, work with others cooperatively in labs and projects, and become more proficient critical thinkers and problem solvers. Many hands-on activities, physical explorations, research projects, and studies of current science events will accompany traditional course work in order to approach the subject matter from many angles. Science in the seventh grade will combine units from life, physical, and earth sciences. It is an inquiry- and activity-based program that will engage students by studying interesting concepts and topics that will be made relevant to the individual student. Topics covered include:Interactions ( Life Science)Diversity (Life Science)Hydrology ( Earth Science, Physical Science)Human Sexuality (Life Science, Social Science)Force and Motion (Physical Science)

 

Latin

 

The three-year study of Latin is critical during the Middle School years. Learning Latin strengthens basic English skills in vocabulary and reading comprehension, focuses on grammar which leads to improved English writing and communication, increases cultural awareness and makes cultural connections, encourages critical thinking and comparative analysis and introduces students to a rich source of mythology, literature, and history. This course introduces the student to formal grammatical Latin and to the classical culture forming the foundation of Western civilization. Grounding the student in Latin (and English) parts of speech, it cultivates the essential skills required to translate unedited Latin. Literary epics and legendary heroes are stressed—Cloelia, Dido, Penelope, Odysseus, Achilles, Hector, and Aeneas—in ancient Mediterranean poetry and art. The course presents many aspects of Roman culture through amusing cartoons and lively stories in Latin, and in background readings. Roman life comes alive through the eyes and words of the great poets, Horace and Catullus.

 

World Languages

 

Each 7th grade student has a choice to study French, Spanish, or Mandarin Chinese. These courses emphasize the skills of language acquisition, listening, speaking, reading, and writing so that students master a body of vocabulary and grammar while expanding their ability to express themselves in French, Spanish or Mandarin. Through a variety of activities and projects, students learn about the culture and civilization of the French, Spanish, and Mandarin speaking worlds.

 

Art

 

Our art program helps students to enhance their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, as well as learn to think “outside of the box.” The 7th grade art program revolves around connected ideas and how one form of expression can consciously lead into a related process. Included is a serialized multi-media exploration of the human head involving creative discovery which grows from understanding standard human proportion. Students work in graphic design and clay, and participate in an integrated curriculum project that includes an art component.

 

Music Foundations

 

The 7th grade Music Foundations course continues the development of basic music literacy skills (music reading and writing) through various hands-on experiences and collaborative projects. The course also helps to develop students' critical thinking skills and creativity. World drumming (African and Latin percussion) will be an integral part of the second semester of Music Foundations.

 

Music Ensembles

 

Students in 7th grade can choose a music ensemble to fulfill their music requirement. In chorus, students work to develop their singing voices and improve their sight reading skills. They work to be able to sing music in three parts as they study a wide variety of literature from various historical periods and cultures.Students who have played a wind or string instrument for at least two years and have demonstrated an intermediate level of proficiency are invited to participate in Middle School String or Wind Ensemble. The ensembles teach team work, musical skills, and an age-appropriate repertoire, and perform at least twice each year.

 

Computer TechnologyIn the Middle School, computer classes are essentially problem-solving classes. The students learn the basics of using the computer in a hands-on environment where each student has access to a computer for the entire class period. The classes are taught in workshop fashion which includes individualized practice, self-learning, and problem-solving. In addition to learning the basics of computer use, students are expected to apply their computer skills to their work in their Middle School classes. As often as possible, the computer teacher works with the teachers of other subjects to develop specially coordinated projects using the computers or allows students to use the computers to complete work for their other classes. Students will:work independently in Adobe Photoshop on various graphic design projectsapply basic animation skills from 6th grade to a more advanced approach used in the Adobe Creative Suite

 

Mini-Courses At St. John Academy at Avondale, we believe that each student should have a time in his or her program to explore talents, passions, and interests. Our mini-courses are designed to meet that goal. Each mini-course involves students in combinations of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Mini-courses have included: Italian, Stock Market, Robotics, Drama, Dance, Comedy Club, Yoga, Fishing, German, Math Counts, Guitar, and Digital Photography to name a few. Students in our 8th grade leadership class have the opportunity to present a mini-course of their choice to students or to do an internship with a faculty advisor.

 

Academic WorkshopsWe believe that students will always benefit from having additional support or a challenge in their content areas. Advisors and teachers will offer an array of workshops in which students can participate, including help with editing skills, math skills, reading for deeper content, looking at designing the school for the future, being current with the world of science, or creating digital planner systems.

 

Athletics

 

Each 7th grade student participates in a team sport each season. Choices include:Fall: Soccer, Field Hockey, Basketball (intramural), Tennis, Squash (intramural),

 

Conditioning Winter: Basketball, Squash, Swimming, Volleyball, ConditioningSpring: Lacrosse, Softball, Baseball, Tennis, Conditioning

 

Middle School Curriculum—8th Grade

 

English

 

The objective of the 8th grade English course is for students to learn to communicate the written and spoken word with clarity, coherence, and thoughtfulness. Scaffolded skill sequences and common themes inform the reading. Relevant films, trips, articles, and poems supplement the reading selections. Exploration of other academic disciplines, other cultures, and ethical issues accompany the literary study. Writing focuses increasingly on formal essays of literary analysis, though students also have opportunities for creative expression and personal response. Collaborative multimedia projects and performances strengthen both digital and personal presentation skills.

 

History

 

The 8th grade history course, The Making of the Modern World, considers the stories of issues the world faces today. The goal of this course is to give students a better understanding of what characterizes the modern world and how the world they live in came to be. Themes include, but are not limited to urbanization, technological advancement, government, globalization, and use of resources. Emphasis is placed on developing academic skills necessary to be a successful student of history as well as an informed citizen of the world. Particular attention is paid to gathering information from a variety of sources:critically examining, analyzing, and interpreting informationpresenting ideas and information in a variety of ways and situationsworking independently and in groups to identify, think critically about, and find solutions to problemsmanaging time, tasks, and resources (organization, note taking, test taking, map making, etc.).

 

Math

 

The 8th Grade Algebra I course includes:Using variables to write mathematical expressions and equationsUsing the set of real numbersSolving equations with variables on one and two sidesAn introduction to functions (linear and quadratic)

 

Graphing

 

Using the TI-84 Graphing calculatorSolving a system of equations containing two or three variables  InequalitiesOperations with polynomials (including factoring)Operations with algebraic fractionsRational and irrational numbersSolving quadratic equations

 

Science

 

The goal of 8th grade science is to have students appreciate the nature of science, become "turned on" to its fascination and wonder, and to improve science process skills. Topics and concepts include:Science Basics – Measurement, the Scientific Method, SafetyFood and Sustainability (Environmental)The Human Body (Life Science)Particles and Matter (Physical Science)Astronomy (Earth Science)The Cell and Heredity (Life Science)Weather and Climate (Earth Science)

 

Latin

 

The three year study of Latin is critical during the middle school years. Learning Latin strengthens basic English skills in vocabulary and reading comprehension, focuses on grammar which leads to improved English writing and communication, increases cultural awareness and makes cultural connections, encourages critical thinking and comparative analysis, and introduces students to a rich source of mythology, literature, and history. This course presents the continuing Latin student with increasingly complex grammatical concepts, an ever-expanding vocabulary, and cultural discussions suitable for 8th graders. Our goal is to cultivate those skills required to translate unedited Latin. Emphasis is on the institutions and great political personalities of the late Roman Republic—Caesar, Cicero, Mark Antony, Cleopatra, and Augustus. The student is presented with many aspects of Roman culture in cartoons and lively stories in Latin as seen through the eyes of the poet Horace. Latin vocabulary and English derivatives are an important area of study.

 

World Languages

 

Students have a choice to study French, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. These courses are continuations of the seventh grade courses and emphasize the skills of language acquisition, listening, speaking, reading, and writing so that students master a body of vocabulary and grammar while expanding their ability to express themselves in French, Spanish or Mandarin. Through a variety of activities and projects, students learn about the culture and civilization of French- and Spanish- and Mandarin-speaking worlds.

 

Art

 

Our art program helps students to enhance their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, as well as to learn to think “outside of the box.” The 8th grade art program brings students to a point where they can respond with confidence to technical challenges and apply their accumulated skills with increased independence. Tonal and imaginative drawing are reinforced and strengthened; graphic design and painting projects reach new levels of challenge and sophistication. Clay containers with fitted lids and life-scale figure sculptures comprise the three-dimensional work.

 

Leadership

 

All 8th graders have a leadership class once a rotation throughout the year. Students learn about their strengths as leaders, work together to accomplish goals, and work in groups on projects that are service-oriented, designed to build awareness, or benefit the St. John Academy Avondale community.

 

Music Foundations

 

The 8th grade Music Foundations course continues the development of basic music literacy skills (music reading and writing) through various hands-on experiences and collaborative projects. The course also helps to develop students' critical thinking skills and creativity. Further immersion into world drumming (African and Latin percussion) will be a part of the second semester of Music Foundations. Students will learn about African influence on spirituals and the evolution of blues and jazz.

 

Music Ensembles

 

Students in 8th grade can choose a music ensemble to fulfill their music requirement. In chorus students work to develop their singing voices and improve their sight-reading skills. They work to be able to sing music in three parts as they study a wide variety of literature from various historic periods and cultures.Students who have played a wind or string instrument for at least two years and have demonstrated an intermediate level of proficiency are invited to participate in Middle School String or Wind Ensemble. The ensembles teach team work, musical skills, and an age-appropriate repertoire, and perform at least twice each year.

 

Computer/Technology

 

Computer classes are essentially problem-solving classes. The students will learn the basics of using the computer in a hands-on environment where each student has access to a computer for the entire class period. The classes are taught in workshop fashion which includes individualized practice, self-learning, and problem-solving. In addition to learning the basics of computer use, students are expected to apply their computer skills to their work in their Middle School classes. As often as possible, the computer teacher works with the teachers of other subjects to develop specially coordinated projects using the computers or allows students to use the computers to complete work for their other classes. Students will:work independently in Adobe Photoshop on a graphic design project in order to create the school yearbookcreate a one-minute self-portrait video in Sony Vegas Studio

 

Mini-Courses

 

At St. John Academy at Avondale, we believe that each student should have a time in his or her program to explore talents, passions, and interests. Our mini-courses are designed to meet that goal. Each mini-course involves students in combinations of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Mini-courses have included: Italian, Stock Market, Robotics, Drama, Dance, Comedy Club, Yoga, Fishing, German, Math Counts, Guitar, and Digital Photography to name a few. Students in our 8th grade leadership class have the opportunity to present a mini-course of their choice to students or to do an internship with a faculty advisor.

 

Academic Workshops

 

We believe that students will always benefit from having additional support or a challenge in their content areas. Advisors and teachers will offer an array of workshops in which students can participate, including help with editing skills, math skills, reading for deeper content, looking at designing the school for the future, being current with the world of science, or creating digital planner systems.

 

Athletics

Each 8th grade student participates in a team sport each season. Choices include: Fall: Soccer, Field Hockey, Basketball (intramural), Tennis, Squash (intramural), Conditioning Winter: Basketball, Squash, Swimming, Volleyball, Conditioning Spring: Lacrosse, Softball, Baseball, Tennis, Conditioning

 

 

 

© 2013 by Sabbathfire-Crossfire Mininstries. All rights reserved.

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • w-googleplus
  • w-youtube