Academics » Middle School

Middle School

Our middle school faculty provide a rigorous curriculum which continues to advance in knowledge and skills throughout all subjects.  Students who have started with us in lower elementary (Kindergarten and 1st grades) and stayed with us to graduate in 8th grade, most often test as "past high school" on our national Pearson Stanford standardized tests.  Students who join us in later grades are challenged and advance substaintially as well.  This advantage continues with our students as they progress into high school.  Our middle school students are well-prepared for the next phase in their educational journeys.
 
LANGUAGE ARTS (Reading, Writing, Grammar & English, Vocabulary & Spelling):
Our middle school students spend much class time developing their reading comprehension and writing skills which in turn means continuing to advance their studies of grammar and vocabulary. Readers workshop and independent choice reading continues as the development of "love of reading" is still a main theme in middle school.

6th Grade:
     Grammar: All capitalization rules; all punctuation rules; review nouns and pronouns; combining sentences to add variety and formality to writing
     Writing: Descriptive writing with no linking verbs; Responding to literature; Persuasive; Autobiography; Biography; Weekly Journaling
     Literature: A large part of the 6th grade literature is centered around choice readings. Students are given time every day in class to read and encouraged nightly to read. Elements of fiction with short stories including Jack London and Rudyard Kipling; Novel Studies: Where the Red Fern Grows, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and The Call of the Wild; Drama: The Phantom Tollbooth;
     Vocabulary: Greek and Latin roots as well as more focused vocabulary during novel studies

7th Grade:
     Grammar: Verbs and complements; adjectives and adverbs; combining sentences to add greater variety to writing
     Writing: Responding to literature; Persuasive essay; Research paper; Weekly journaling
     Literature: A large part of the 7th grade literature is centered around choice readings. Students are given time every day in class to read and encouraged nightly to read. Review elements of fiction with short stories; Novel studies: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, small book clubs, Drama: Sherlock Holmes in "A Dying Detective" and A Christmas Carol; study of genres; realistic survival fiction book groups; independent choice
     Vocabulary: Greek and Latin Roots in addition to vocabulary that is found in novels read

8th Grade: (Our 8th grade students take English One for high school credit)
     Grammar: Phrases and clauses; conjunctions; sentence structure; agreement; varying sentence structure to make writing more formal
     Writing: Research paper; Personal narrative; Weekly journaling; Literary analysis
     Literature: Poetry; Shakespeare; The Odyssey; Animal Farm; historical fiction; independent choice
     Vocabulary: Greek and Latin Roots; vocabulary collecting 
 
MATHEMATICS:
Our middle school students advance through their math standards for 6th & 7th grades.  Topics include: numbers and expressions, equations and functions, decimals and percent, fractions, ratios, exponents, integers, conversions and proportions, measurement, statistics and data, and multi-staged problem solving.  Their lessons are integrated into many science, technology and STREAM curriculums.  As students enter 8th grade, they are able to take Math 1 for high school credit.  Math 1 involves algebra 1, geometry, and statistics.  
 
SOCIAL STUDIES:
All grades focus of study is organized around five themes:  History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Government, and Culture.
6th grade:
History: Students study the history and culture of various world regions through times of change and continuity. They examine the various factors that shaped the development of civilizations, societies and regions in the ancient world through the Renaissance Period in Europe.
Geography: Students focus on the discipline of geography by using location, place, movement, human-environment interaction and region to understand the beginnings of, expansion of, and decline of early civilizations and societies up to the Renaissance Period.
Economics: Students study how the physical environment and human interaction affected the economic activities of various civilizations, societies and regions.
Civics and Government: Students study the development of government in various civilizations, societies and regions.
Culture: Students learn to recognize and interpret the “lessons of history” that have shaped and molded world cultures and societies throughout the ages.
Text/Materials: All Ye Lands: Origins of World Cultures, Catholic Textbook Project, Ave Maria University. Mapping World History, The Nystrom Atlas of World History, Herff Jones Nystrom
 
7th Grade:
This course follows a rigorous study of the foundation of democratic principles that shaped the history of the United States of America. The main focus involves the critical events, central characters and developments from the Revolutionary Era to contemporary times.
Their themes are woven together in an intertwined study that helps to tell the story of our state and nation in its entirety.
Text/Materials: From Sea to Shining Sea, Catholic Textbook Project, Ava Maria University. Mapping American History, The Nystrom Atlas of the United States History, Herff Jones Nystrom
 
8th Grade:
Our 8th grade takes World History for high school credit. Students use historical thinking to analyze different societies from Absolute Monarchs in Europe through present and modern times. They come to understand the results of global interactions through analyzing the affects among nations, regions, and groups.
Geography: Students learn the themes of location, place and movement to guide them in the understanding of how modern societies are shaped throughout history.
Economics: Students examine the impact of economics on various societies by learning patterns of continuity and change and the impact they’ve had on developing nations.
Governments: Students learn about political thought and organization. They begin to understand government in various societies and regions.
Culture: Students understand cultural values and their influence on modern societies and regions and how they unify and divide peoples of nations.
Text/Materials: World History Patterns of Interaction,Holt McDougal.MappinWorld History, The Nystrom Atlas of World History, Herff Jones Nystrom
 
SCIENCE
In middle school, Mrs. Hillary Shores emphasizes argument-based science inquiry - that is, developing, exploring, analyzing, and refining lines of reasoning and explanation in evidence-based ways. This type of inquiry helps students articulate their individual reasoning, explore the ideas and perspectives of others, and refine a shared understanding of scientific ideas. It also helps students learn how the enterprise of science fundamentally operates through social processes of critique, analysis, and collaboration - all essential skills of scientists and engineers. Students showcase their knowledge during the annual Science Fair. All grades follow the Next Generation of Science Standards.
 
6th Grade: Life Science
The life science curriculum focuses on living organisms, their life processes, and their interrelationships. Emphasis is placed on cellular biology, human anatomy and physiology, genetics, horticulture, animal science, and ecology. Students have the opportunity to observe the natural world by utilizing the learning garden and outdoor classroom areas.
 
7th Grade: Physical Science
The physical science curriculum focuses on non-living systems in the world. Emphasis during the first half of the year is placed on the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force, including Newton’s laws of motion. During the second half of the year, is placed on the composition, structure, properties, and change of matter. Students will learn topics such as the properties of individual atoms, the way atoms form chemical bonds in the formation of compounds, and the interactions between substances through chemical reactions to form different substances.
 
8th Grade: Earth Science (for High School credit)
The earth science curriculum focuses on the function of Earth's systems. Emphasis is placed on matter, energy, plate tectonics, origin and evolution of the earth and solar system, environmental awareness, materials availability, and the cycles that circulate energy and material through the earth system. Students have the opportunity to observe the natural world by utilizing the learning garden and outdoor classroom areas.

By the end of middle school, learners will have developed an understanding that while life, physical, and earth sciences are separate branches of science, each is interrelated and contributes to the beauty and wonderfulness of God’s creation.
 
RELIGION:
Religious studies focus on helping students become faith-filled Christians who keep their moral compasses always pointed towards Christ as they venture forth into their high school years and beyond.  Our students study the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures and stories.  Topics include: the historical events of salvation, the sacraments, the teachings of Jesus, the Stations of the Cross, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, Mary as Mother of the Church, the Holy Spirit and the Saints of the Church.  Our students participate in weekly Mass and many stewardship endeavors through the school year.  In addition, our 8th grade students study Confirmation preparation lessons.