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Middle School

Grades 6-8

Engaging Minds

Accel Management Platform for Education curriculum offers rich and engaging content that has been carefully designed to meet the standards required by states. Students are engaged in a variety of activities and assessments appropriate to the courses being studied, including labs, journals, written assignments, discussions, group and individual projects, formative assessments, objective tests, and written exams.

ENGLISH 6

Semester A – English 6 is divided into two main categories: Storytelling and Heroes. Assignments include writing a narrative essay and completing a book report.

Semester B – English 6 covers the main topics of Myth and Poetry.  Student assignments include writing an original fairy tale and composing a poem.

MATH 6

Semester A – Students begin the first semester of this course with a review of basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers. More complex concepts are built on these basics. Students learn how to add, subtract multiply and divide integers, decimals and fractions. The course also includes lessons on ratios and proportions.

Semester B – The second semester of Math 6 introduces students to the order of operations and how to use them in solving application problems. Building on these concepts, students are then introduced to the basics of algebra and algebraic expressions. Students then learn how to apply these problem-solving skills to percents and solving single and multiple step equations. An exploration of Geometry, probability and statistics concludes the second semester.

SCIENCE 6

Semester A – Life Science is the study of cells, heredity, biological populations and their changes over time. It includes human biology, ecology, diversity of organisms and the history and nature of science. In this course, students will have the opportunity to conduct and design experiments, identify and classify organisms. Students will work on developing skills in data recording, classifying, measuring, observing, hypothesizing, analyzing, evaluation and inferring.

Semester B – Life Science is the study of cells, heredity, biological populations and their changes over time. It includes human biology, ecology, diversity of organisms and the history and nature of science. In this course, students will have the opportunity to conduct and design experiments, identify and classify organisms. Students will work on developing skills in data recording, classifying, measuring, observing, hypothesizing, analyzing, evaluation and inferring.

SOCIAL STUDIES 6

Semester A – The first semester of Social Studies 6 introduces students to the beginnings of ancient civilization. We will trace the path of human origins in Africa and follow the path of migration around the Earth. This course will help students understand why we study history and the process in which we form conclusions about events in the past. Students will begin to learn about the major ancient civilization around the world and their cultures. Modern civilizations can trace their foundations to these ancient civilizations, and their cultures and histories teach us much about ourselves and the modern world in which we live.

Semester B – In the second semester of Social Studies 6, students will continue to examine ancient civilizations and their cultures. In this semester we will continue to trace the path of human civilization from the Mediterranean through the Eastern world. An emphasis will be placed on critical thinking and connecting themes in history to our modern world.

HEALTH

This course will help the student understand the importance of making decisions that will affect his or her physical, emotional, mental and social health. This course will provide students with the knowledge and resources they will need to make responsible informed decisions about their health. Students will have an opportunity to evaluate their own values, opinions and attitudes about health.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

To improve and maintain optimum health, it is necessary for people of all ages to participate in physical exercise. There is little doubt that, in addition to students in schools, the number of adults participating in sports and recreational activities in the United States has increased in recent years. Physical education is much more than just fitness and exercise. A well-planned program will cause you to think and express your emotions about different situations. In addition, a good program can make a valuable contribution to your education. These experiences will help you develop a sense of wellness. Emphasis in this course is placed on the value of these sports as possible lifetime activities and on creating a clear explanation of the rules and basic principles of a variety of sports. The sports covered in this course are archery, bicycling, golf, skiing, tennis, volleyball, baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. Information about the playing area and equipment, basic rules, safety considerations, and terminology for each sport are included in the discussions. For the most part, the information presented in each lesson applies to sports programs throughout most sections of the United States.

ENGLISH 7

Semester A – Through analysis of written, spoken, and multimedia texts, students will become more critical consumers of information and of various forms of media. They will also synthesize and organize ideas to prepare structured essays in several different modes, including narrative, persuasive, and expository. Each lesson will guide students in learning and applying specific strategies for reading and writing different types of texts.  A review of basic English mechanics is included in many of the writing lessons, along with a discussion of levels of formality required for different purposes and audiences. This course provides instruction in many modalities, including audiovisual presentations and videos, interactive activities, projects, and discussions. Opportunities for teacher feedback are frequent, detailed, and varied.

Semester B – The second semester of Language Arts 7 builds on the skills and concepts introduced in the first semester. Students tackle more difficult texts and themes in Semester B, and the level of analysis demonstrated and required is more in-depth. In this part of the course, students study the English language closely—both its history and evolution, and the less obvious ways it can be used to convey meaning.  The reading assignments are selected to guide students in understanding how language can be used to convey broader themes in poetry, drama, and humorous or satirical texts.  Students continue to develop their writing skills through multi-draft assignments and projects. Emphasis in this semester is on recognizing the multiple levels of meaning that any word or phase might convey, and in writing one’s own texts with these concepts in mind.

MATH 7

Semester A – In this first semester, students work with problem-solving skills, beginning algebra skills, geometry, decimals, fractions, data analysis, number theory and patterns, percents, and integer use. Projects measure the student’s ability to integrate and apply the course objectives.

Semester B – In this continuation of the first semester, students work with fractions; unit conversions; proportions and rates; percents; geometry topics including lines, angles, polygons, polyhedrons, perimeter, area, surface area, volume, and transformations; squares and square roots; permutations and combinations; and probability. Real-life application of concepts is emphasized in all units.

SCIENCE 7

Semester A – In the first semester students will learn about the scientific method and hone their understanding of using scientific measurements to Earth and Space Science. Also included are lessons on Earth maps and globes including detailed instruction on how to find specific locations using latitude and longitude. Much of the first semester focuses on space science. Students will learn about Earth movements, seasons, the Moon, tides, solar and lunar eclipses, the Sun and its role as the main source of light and energy in the solar system. They will learn about planets, asteroids, meteors, comets and their orbits and how force gravity holds it all together. Outside the solar system there are lessons on stars, constellations, nebula, the Milky Way and galaxies beyond. There have been many recent discoveries in space science. Accordingly, careful attention has been given to presenting the most updated information available in areas of discovery such as stars with planets and the latest methods of detecting them as well as a look at NASA’s most recent Curiosity landing on the Martian surface.

Semester B – In the second semester study zeros in closer to home: Earth science. Yet, the coursework is uniquely integrated and applied to disciplines of study outside of Earth science. Starting with the Earth’s interior students study rocks and minerals, volcanoes, earthquakes, undersea ridges, trenches and mountains and how the study of Earth’s geologic history helps explain these phenomena. On the Earth’s surface students study weathering, soil and erosion as well as water in all its forms the water cycle, oceans and ocean currents. Above the Earth they will study the atmosphere: its composition, air pressure and air movement. This knowledge is then applied to lessons on how human populations are affected by natural resources, renewable and non-renewable, both on and inside the Earth. These lessons are integrated with lessons that discuss how humans and living organisms are affected by air and water pollution, acid rain, changes in the ozone layer and how these conditions influence biodiversity, habitat loss and species survival. The course is capped off by lessons that take an in-depth look at the process of technology design giving students a look at of how scientists and technical designers work together to achieve common goals. Lastly, students are taught about the kinds of professions that currently exist in the science and technology fields and learn about the necessary academic preparation needed to gain employment in these branches of study.

SOCIAL STUDIES 7

Semester A – This study of the history of the United States emphasizes how ideas, events, and philosophies have shaped the nation. Students will learn about America’s past while mastering the skills of historical interpretation. Study begins with the earliest arrivals of people and ends with the conclusion of the Civil War.

Semester B – This course is a continuation of the first semester with an emphasis on how historical ideas, events, and philosophies have shaped the United States. Beginning with Reconstruction, this course uses the same skill development approach to guide students through U.S. history to the present.

ENGLISH 8

Semester A – In this exciting course, students will master the subtle and complex art of the Standard American English writing style, allowing them to express their ideas more clearly and effectively than ever before. As students become experts on sentence structure, verb tenses and punctuation, they’ll learn not only what the grammar rules are, but the logic behind them. Alongside this rigorous language instruction, students will analyze the poetry of legendary writers such as Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost, and Jane Kenyon. In addition, they will practice effective research techniques and prepare complete and polished reports and essays. Their work will also cover formal letter writing, biographical essays, and creating a bibliography. Students will use strategies such as the Sign and Design Mind and Clustering to help form their ideas and develop stories and arguments. Entertaining videos and diverse reading selections provide a wealth of information. Peer discussions and teacher feedback also contribute to help students learn the processes needed to become more effective writers.

Semester B – The purpose of this course is to build upon the skills presented in English 8A and enhance the focus and style of academic writing. Students continue to develop advanced traits of formal language through challenging activities and exercises that get at the heart of precise communication. Through careful study of parts of speech, verb forms, and sentence clauses, students will be prepared to write at the High School level without distracting errors that get in the way of self expression. Students will complete six units of varying topics, comprised of five lessons each. Besides grammar instruction, each unit encourages a love of literature with captivating and age-appropriate novels and stories. Detailed Novel Study Guides challenge students to go beyond basics like plot and setting to really analyze and engage with literature. In addition, the student will outline, draft and revise a polished research paper, while learning the importance of avoiding plagiarism, citing sources, and organizing arguments. This ability to craft a strong thesis and prove it with evidence will equip students for creative and logical writing in high School and beyond.

PRE-ALGEBRA

Semester A – Pre-Algebra A will help students move from the world of simple mathematics to the exciting world of Algebra and Geometry. They will develop skills that will be necessary throughout their life. Students will stretch their thinking by learning to solve real world problems. Learning math and algebra concepts can be fun. Abstract ideas can be challenging for many students but the challenge is one they can meet. Concepts are presented with a little humor, making the learning fun. Students will enjoy learning each new concept and develop a deeper understanding of the math skills they already have. Each concept is presented using examples of the skills, concepts, and strategies students will need. Scaffolding of ideas is provided to ensure student learning. The course is offered in a six-unit format containing 5 lessons each for a total of 30 lessons. Students will study text pages, watch videos, interact with flash presentations, and complete practice problems. The pace is controlled by the student and reviewing the material is encouraged.

Semester B – Pre-Algebra B will continue to move students into the exciting world of the unknown, Algebra. Building on what they have learned in mathematics and Pre-Algebra, students will expand their skills. They will be introduced to increasingly abstract concepts. Pre-Algebra B will provide the student with a concrete understanding of the basics for algebraic thinking. With numerous hands on activities and demonstration videos, they will have multiple opportunities to enhance their process solving skills. Students will be given different assessment opportunities to demonstrate mastery of each skill. The course is offered in a six-unit format containing 5 lessons each for a total of 30 lessons. Students will study text pages, watch videos, interact with flash presentations, and complete practice problems. The pace is controlled by the student and reviewing the material is encouraged.

SCIENCE 8

Semester A – This is an introduction to the Physical Sciences and scientific methodology. The objectives are to impart a basic knowledge of the physical properties and chemistry of matter. Skills are developed in the classroom, and reinforced through homework reading, and interesting labs that relate to everyday life.

Semester B – This is an introduction to the Physical Sciences and scientific methodology. The objectives are to impart a basic knowledge of the physical properties and chemistry of matter. Skills are developed in the classroom, and reinforced through homework reading, and interesting labs that relate to everyday life.

SOCIAL STUDIES 8

Semester A – In this course students will understand the significance of government, law, and politics.  They will examine the United States foundational documents and how they shaped the Unites States government.  Students will examine the purposes and functions of federal and state government, law, and political systems.  Learners will evaluate their role and civic responsibility to their families, communities, and country including voting and being a productive member of society.   Learners will follow a step-by-step approach for successfully completing each lesson, which includes textbook reading, interactive activities, supplemental reading, lecture, video clips, and Power Point presentations to enhance and reinforce learning. Learners receive frequent feedback from teacher and peers through discussions.

Semester B – This course takes a more individualistic approach as students closely examine topics such as the justice system, local government, the environment, and the economy.  Learners will understand the role that they play in each of these topics and the differences that they can make.  Students will get to know leaders and influential people that have championed many causes including civil rights and the environment.  Learners will also learn proper ways to interact in society including interpersonal skills and respecting differences in others including disabilities.  By the end of semester B students will have a deeper understanding of their civic responsibilities as well as the difference one individual can make in society.

ELECTIVES, GRADES 6-8

2D Art

Close your eyes and imagine you’re standing in an art studio the smell of paint, the heat of the kiln, and the infinite creative possibilities that linger in the air. This is where art is born, and in 2D Studio Art, you’ll learn how to bring your art visions to life. Whatever medium you prefer painting, drawing, photography this course will teach you the design elements and principles needed to create a work of art, explore your artistic inspirations, travel back in time to look at art in different cultures, and gain insight about the art of critiquing. If you’ve ever dreamed about making a living as an artist, this course will give you the tools and background that you need to turn those dreams into a reality!

Digital Photography

What do you think makes a photograph great? Do you want to take fun, interesting photographs of people, places, and pets to post for your friends or hang on your wall? Photo images are everywhere today. Sometimes we see hundreds in one day. But it’s obvious that not all photographs are the same – some are definitely cooler than others. In Middle School Photography: Drawing with Light, you’ll learn how to take those excellent, jaw-dropping photographs that you see in magazines and on your favorite social media sites. You’ll learn the basics of using a camera and how to avoid common photography mistakes. Once you get the hang of this process, you’ll be taking photos that will amaze your friends and have them wondering how you do it!

Exploring Music

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘music’? Do you think about your favorite band or artist? Or do you think about instruments and scales and chords? The word music means something different to everyone. Which is why in this Music course, there’s a little bit of something for everyone! You will learn about how we hear music; how music affects our lives; important elements of music like rhythm, pitch, and harmony; different musical genres; singing and your voice; various instruments; music composition; and the history and culture of music over the years. Tune up your understanding and appreciation for all things music by signing up for this course!

Fitness

Students explore the importance of physical activity. Topics include: sports and recreation, sportsmanship, leadership, and exclusivity, safety while being active, and developing lifelong healthy habits, such as daily activity.

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