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MIDDLE SCHOOL CONTENT HUB

MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH OVERVIEW

6th Grade

The expectations of mathematics are based on mastery of the topics at specific grade levels with the understanding that the themes and big ideas re-occur throughout our K-8th curriculum at varying degrees of difficulty, requiring different levels of mastery. During the 6th grade students work deeply with Number Sense and the interrelationship between division, fractions, decimals, and percentages – that is – ratio.

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7th Grade

In 7th grade, students work with practical mathematical problems which provides a framework for energetic thinking and fosters intellectual engagement! The world of problem solving is now opening – no longer sufficient to merely get an answer!

Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community. In 7th grade students are growing more comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation and growing to understand that these may need revision later.

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8th Grade

In 8th grade, students check their answers to problems using different methods, and are able to ask themselves, “Does this make sense?” They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches. Mathematically proficient students are able to consider the meaning of a problem and look for ways to begin. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. Students can consider the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than merely jumping into a solution attempt. 

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Middle School Youth Needs

As children approach adolescence their emotion life expands in many ways. Mathematics can offer an important support in this stage: subjective opinions are not required! Mathematical certainty allow the 6th grader to learn self-confidence and gain trust in intellectual thought processes!

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.  —Albert Einstein

Math Research & Innovations

What does a growth mindset around math look like? It means being open to the curiosity of math rather than seeing it just as computation. Students in our middle school remember that mistakes are important, taking work risks in a safe learning environment that welcomes see the benefit of using visual models, understand that speed is not their focus but deep thinking is!

Jo Boaler, Stanford University, explains why mathematics can be so traumatic for many people and shows a different way that people can relate to mathematics. She also shares the latest brain science to show the ways our brains process mathematics, the importance of visual learning and the importance of self belief to our learning and our experiences.

MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE OVERVIEW

6th Grade

In 6th grade science, students design and conduct scientific investigations and construct scientific explanations based on evidence and observations. Students make measurements using metric units and organize their data. Students learn about fundamental concepts in Astronomy, Physics, Mineralogy (such as the rock cycle): processes that shape Earth’s surface, fossils, natural resources, and the Earth in space. Students also learn about the nature of science as a human endeavor.

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7th Grade

In 7th grade science (physics continues with the addition of chemistry and biology) students design and conduct scientific investigations and construct scientific explanations based on evidence. Students make measurements using metric units and will organize their data using graphs. Students learn about fundamental concepts in life science (such as combustion and human physiology), atmospheric circulation, weather and climate, the water cycle, oceans and other bodies of water.

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8th Grade

In 8th grade science, students design and conduct scientific investigations and construct scientific explanations based on evidence. Students make measurements using metric units and organize their data. Students learn about fundamental concepts in physics fluid dynamics and the mechanical dynamics of the human body, organic chemistry with regards to metabolism as well as in industrial processes. Students also learn about the nature of science as a human endeavor.

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Middle School Youth Needs

In the 6th grade, with a newly emerging sense of self, students begin the journey of forging their own path in life. At this time, the students’ evolving capacity for critical thinking is in the initial stages — the dawning intellect can be noted in their insightful answers and ability to truly understand cause and effect. A sense of lawfulness permeates the 6th Grade curriculum. It is observed in such geometric constructions as the division of a circle. It is also recognized in the patterns of the night sky in astronomy. It is present when studying sound, light, warmth and cold, and magnetism and electricity as conclusions are drawn from observable phenomena in the study of physics.

The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin even, or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity. —Mae Jemison

MIDDLE SCHOOL LANGUAGE ARTS OVERVIEW

6th Grade

In middle school, writing is the foundation of virtually every subject that the students study. Work with language arts is woven into all aspects of the main lesson content and book work.

In 6th grade students are on the threshold of a new developmental phase. The children say goodbye to a younger stage of childhood and greet a new paradigm, a decisive moment in their development. They now take initial steps toward regulating the swings of emotion that accompany the approach of adolescence. Structure and form in the LA curriculum provide much-needed balance for the students to communicate their emotions and perspectives. Literacy skills are essential for students to fully participate in and expand their understanding of today’s global society.

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7th Grade

7th graders take their writing skills to the next logical level expanding on past years’ lessons. Students explore editing and revision as well as using elements of idea, style, structure and clarity. Students develop a new appreciation for “good writing” and an interest in the editing process as their capacity to discern stylistic features and adjustments grows.

Seventh Grade is a year of exploration, awakening and discovery. Students of this age are experiencing a profound developmental stage that finds them stepping on the bridge from late childhood to young adulthood. The 7th grade brings a rich panoramic curriculum that feeds that desire to learn. The students’ doubt and resistance towards authority is reflected in the history/language arts lessons that encompass the Renaissance to the Reformation.

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8th Grade

The Eighth graders might find themselves at the precipice of the unknown. The future is hurtling towards them and they are grasping to meet it and find their own paths ahead. This is often the year of reckoning as skills and understanding of all foundational concepts are solidified through the extensive curriculum and lessons. Virtually everything studied is approached from at least two perspectives, which leads the students to see for themselves that there may be two answers for any one problem, two sides to any one issue and that shades of gray exist throughout history.

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Middle School Youth Needs

Upon reaching the age of 12, the child’s changing consciousness is met with an increased degree of rigor and an introduction to subjects and concepts that will slowly awaken their thinking. The task of the class teacher is to transition students from a dependence on the class teacher as a guide to an active interest in the subject itself. To support this change student work often includes a higher degree of project-based learning and independent research leading towards the Eighth Grade projects.

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
Margaret Atwood

Integrations with Language Arts

“Those who tell stories, rule the world.” —Plato