benchmarks


6TH GRADE

Language Arts

What we do

  • Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings

  • Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information

  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences

  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience

  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking

 

How we do it:

Multi-paragraph writing projects, whole class and small group discussions, encourage critical thinking. Integrating curriculum from other classes, multimedia projects, presentations, collaborative projects, and a variety of other activities demonstrate learning.  Writers’ Workshop, writing mechanics, literature circles and independent reading are integral components of the program.


Math

What we do

  • Make sense of problems and perseveres in solving them

  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively

  • Represent thinking with visual models and equations

  • Use appropriate tools strategically

  • Perform all four operations with fractions, decimals, percents and integers to solve problems

  • Identify and uses factors, multiples, and prime factorization

  • Understand and use the inverse relationships of addition/subtraction and multiplication/division with whole numbers

  • Understand and use ratios and proportions to represent quantitative relationships

  • Demonstrate understanding of linear relationships

  • Solve equations with one variable

  • Use tables, graphs, and equations to model

  • Use proportional relationships to solve problems

 

How we do it:

Our balanced mathematics curriculum acknowledges that every student is unique with individual strengths and areas for improvement and emphasizes conceptual understanding of computational skills as well as  problem solving and reasoning.Combining whole group, small group and independent activities, students are supported as they development mathematical thinking through exploration with manipulatives, testing and reasoning. Starting mid-year, nightly homework reinforces concepts and skills taught during the day.


Science

What we do:

  • Studying Soils Scientifically

  • Rocks and Minerals

  • Erosion and Deposition

  • Plate Tectonics

  • Weather and Atmosphere

  • The Earth in Space

 

How we do it:

The natural desire of middle school students to explore, take things apart and “see what’s inside” helps inform our science curriculum. Societal issues and problems serves as themes for the study of earth science. Through scientific inquiry, laboratory investigation, shared reading and discussions, students explore topics independently and collaboratively. They practice scientific annotation and research skills and present multimedia projects to demonstrate learning.


Social Studies

What we do

  • Conduct in depth studies on ancient civilizations

  • Organize information in note form when prompted

  • Provide basic bibliographic information for sources

  • Identifies fact, opinion, and bias

  • Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on provided sources

  • Demonstrate understanding of content and key concepts in current units

  • Understand the responsibilities of citizenship, actively participates in the promotion of the school and the larger community

  • Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information

 

How we do it

  • Through whole class and small group discussions, multimedia presentations and project-based learning, an emphasis is placed on gaining historical empathy and giving the students opportunities to imagine the world from numerous cultural perspectives. The program is built to develop an awareness of culture in context while encouraging students to be curious, open minded and think for themselves.Students demonstrate their understanding in visual, video and dramatic expressions, in addition to objective testing and essay writing.

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7TH GRADE

Language Arts

What we do

  • Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings

  • Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information

  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences

  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience

  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking

 

How we do it:

Multi-paragraph writing projects, whole class and small group discussions, encourage critical thinking. Integrating curriculum from other classes, multimedia projects, presentations, collaborative projects, and a variety of other activities demonstrate learning.  Writers’ Workshop, writing mechanics, literature circles and independent reading are integral components of the program.


Math

What we do:

  • Mix of pre-algebra and algebra skills including fractions, ratios, rates, statistics, probability, number systems and number theory

  • Algebra includes graphing linear and exponential equations, solving one and two variable equations and understanding the derivation and use of linear equations in standard, intercept and point slope forms

  • Rigorous and consistent approach to solving math problems, from up front estimation to proof and confirmation

  • Proportional reasoning

  • Geometry

 

How we do it:

Our balanced mathematics curriculum acknowledges that every student is unique with individual strengths and areas for improvement and emphasizes conceptual understanding of computational skills as well as  problem solving and reasoning.Combining whole group, small group and independent activities, students are supported as they development mathematical thinking through exploration with manipulatives, testing and reasoning. Starting mid-year, nightly homework reinforces concepts and skills taught during the day.


Science

What we do:

  • Experimental Design: Studying People Scientifically

  • Body Works

  • Cell Biology and Disease

  • Genetics

  • Ecology and evolution of species

 

How we do it:

Societal issues and quandries serve as themes for the study of life science. The natural desire of middle school students to explore, take things apart and “see what’s inside” helps inform scope and sequence of each unit of study. Through scientific inquiry, laboratory investigation, shared readings and discussions, students explore topics independently and collaboratively. Learning is assessed through scientific annotation and research skills, multimedia projects and periodic quizzes and tests.


Social Studies

What we do:

  • China during the Cultural Revolution,

  • Europe during WWII and the Holocaust

  • The medieval Islamic world

 

How we do it:

Through whole class and small group discussions, multimedia presentations and project-based learning, an emphasis is placed on gaining historical empathy and giving the students opportunities to imagine the world from numerous cultural perspectives. The program is built to develop an awareness of culture in context while encouraging students to be curious, open minded and think for themselves.Students demonstrate their understanding in visual, video and dramatic expressions, in addition to objective testing and essay writing.

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8TH GRADE

Language Arts

What we do:

  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

  • Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas following a standard format for citation.

  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

 

How we do it:

Multi-paragraph writing projects, whole class and small group discussions, encourage critical thinking. Integrating curriculum from other classes, multimedia projects, presentations, collaborative projects, and a variety of other activities demonstrate learning.  Writers’ Workshop, writing mechanics, literature circles and independent reading are integral components of the program.


Math

What we do:

  • Mix of pre-algebra and algebra skills

  • Processes of using and defining linear equations, including using equations to model data and deriving models from actual data

  • Four methods of solving systems of two variable equations

  • Systems of inequality and their uses

  • Factoring and simplifying a variety of polynomial equations and exponential expressions

  • Proof and number and properties of real numbers and multiple techniques for solving quadratic equations

  • Function notation and trigonometric ratios

  • Complex rate, ratio, proportion and unit problems

  • Apply statistics to analyzing current social, political and scientific issues  

  • Exponents and scientific notation

 

How we do it:

Our balanced mathematics curriculum acknowledges that every student is unique with individual strengths and areas for improvement and emphasizes conceptual understanding of computational skills as well as  problem solving and reasoning. Combining whole group, small group and independent activities, students are supported as they development mathematical thinking through exploration with manipulatives, testing and reasoning. Open ended and inquiry based projects are assigned  throughout the course of the year. Nightly homework reinforces concepts and skills taught during the day.


Science

What we do:

  • Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Water and other natural resources

  • Energy and Matter

  • Force and Motion

 

How we do it:

  • Environmental impact and societal dilemmas serve as themes for the study of physical science. The natural desire of middle school students to explore, take things apart and “see what’s inside” helps inform scope and sequence of each unit of study. Through scientific inquiry, laboratory investigation, shared readings and discussions, students explore topics independently and collaboratively. Learning is assessed through scientific annotation and research skills, multimedia projects and periodic quizzes and tests.


Social Studies

What we do:

  • The origins of American government

  • The American Dream

  • Manifest Destiny

  • The United States Constitution and branches of government

  • The causes of the Civil War, civil rights movements

  • United States political parties and elections

  • World political and economic systems

  • The role of the media

  • United States foreign policy

  • Democracy

 

How we do it:

Through whole class and small group discussions, multimedia presentations and project-based learning, an emphasis is placed on gaining historical empathy and giving the students opportunities to imagine the world from numerous cultural perspectives. The program is built to develop an awareness of culture in context while encouraging students to be curious, open minded and think for themselves.Students demonstrate their understanding in visual, video and dramatic expressions, in addition to objective testing and essay writing.

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