Grades 6-8 Curriculum
Our Art courses provide students creative challenges using a variety of media and creative, problem-solving activities. Students learn to express themselves through a number of two-dimensional and three –dimensional art experiences. The possibilities include drawing with pencils, ink, charcoal or markers, painting with watercolor and acrylic paints, sculpture in-the-round or sculpture in-relief, computer art and a global pursuit of the cultural and historical influences of art. Understanding the personal, social, cultural and historical influences of art help students appreciate their own artwork and the work of others.
English Language Arts
At the middle level, students receive a concentrated focus on reading and writing skills. They improve their reading strategies such as predicting, visualizing, connecting, questioning, clarifying and evaluation through using the series by McDougal Littell. This modern and comprehensive textbook series has a literature component, language study and a book called The Interactive Reader. The series also incorporates the Six Traits + 1 writing program. Throughout the English Language Arts program, students work with computer programs such as word processing, PowerPoint and desktop publishing. Reading progress is monitored using NWEA’s Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) test as well as basic skills pre-testing. Students needing additional reading support are offered multiple individual and small group intervention opportunities through Expert 21, Read 180 and System 44 courses.
Health/Family & Consumer Science (FCS)
A variety of activities are used to engage students and provide them with the knowledge and skills to make health enhancing decisions. The hands-on, interactive curriculum covers topics such as personal health and physical activity, chronic and communicable diseases, personal safety, healthy relationships, personal growth and development, CPR & first aid, stress, drugs, decision making, and nutrition.
We challenge students through hands-on discovery, projects, exploration, group activities, problem solving techniques and differentiated activities. Technology is integrated throughout the Math curriculum to move students into twenty-first century learning. The series math textbook by McDougal Littell, incorporates hands-on lessons, on-line homework help and interactive technology lessons. Instruction is geared toward multiple learning styles and areas of relevance to middle school students who want to expand what is being taught in the classroom. Math courses offered include Math Course 2, Math Course 3 (Pre-Algebra), Algebra 1.1 (Linear Algebra) and Algebra 1.2 (Quadratic Algebra).
Music Education teaches skills and promotes values that lead to personal development, such as self-discipline, dedication, teamwork, self-confidence and practice. Students have the option to take advantage of curricular classes in band, classroom music, choir and orchestra. The performing groups of band, choir and orchestra give evening concerts during the school year and various daytime performances. They may also participate in festivals, honors groups and master classes. There are also co-curricular music groups that meet before or after school. These groups include Chamber Choir, Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Band. We welcome and encourage all students to sign up!
Physical Education aims to build attitudes, work habits and skills that promote lifelong fitness and wellness in each student. Our main objective is for each student to gain an optimal level of fitness and acquire the knowledge and skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students experience individual fitness testing and fitness training, as well as individual and team sports. Building sportsmanship and healthy lifestyle habits are key components to the program. The basis for grading is that students prepare, participate and have fun!
It is our belief that science is best learned through a hands-on integrated experience. Students complete a variety of laboratory experiments, computer simulations, dissections and three dimensional models. These activities encourage teamwork and communication, skills that are integral to the field of science and the world in which we live. There are many experiments and projects that enhance the learning of our students. We encourage students to do their best work at every opportunity. Materials are differentiated to meet the needs of every student. Students are challenged to use the skills of scientific inquiry to do independent research, analyze data, access information through internet resources and develop and carry out their own investigations. Our science curriculum is designed to help students not only achieve on the Science MCA II tests, but also help prepare them for AP (Advanced Placement) classes at the high school level. Science courses offered include Physical Science (6th grade), Life Science (7th grade) and Earth Science (8th grade).
In a rapidly changing and diverse world, it is vitally important for students to understand where humanity has been, where we are and what our mission in the future will be. The Social Studies program helps students understand possible answers to these questions while emphasizing their importance in a global society. Our curriculum in World History, American History, World Geography and Minnesota History allows teachers to best meet the needs of all learners by providing more individualized instruction while still teaching the core concepts of our subjects. The latest resource materials and technology allow students to be actively involved as they explore the beauty and richness of this planet and the people who live on it. Students use Google Docs, Power-Point, Excel, video production and Web 2.0 tools for the projects they present throughout the course.
Spanish is designed to create cultural awareness and to explore the Spanish language. Students develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in Spanish as well as acquire an appreciation for linguistic and multicultural studies.
We offer multiple options for students who are interested in exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The Gateway to Technology program is taught in conjunction with a rigorous academic curriculum and is designed to introduce pre-engineering principles through real-world and hands-on applications. Project Lead the Way (PLTW) opens doors to high school PLTW courses for students who are interested in specializing in a career path of engineering.
Students are introduced to many world languages including American Sign Language, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. In addition to learning languages, students have the opportunity to explore various cultures around the world. Cultural topics include holidays, daily life, education and life as a teenager in other countries.