Engaging Students and Pursuing Identity in Christ
6th - 8th Grades
The Middle School experience is a beautiful and unique period between the lower school and upper school years. As students begin to learn more about themselves, our Middle School faculty and staff nurture each student's inquisitiveness, exploration, and discovery. Our foundational focus is to support and grow our students' understanding of their identities in Christ and how that identity should affect their lives. Through rigorous, biblically directed academic pursuit, competitive athletics and fine arts, and leadership and service projects, our students are challenged to live their lives as a response to the Gospel.
Sixth Grade Math
This course begins with decimals and fractions and moves quickly onto an understanding of algebraic terms such as variables and constants, and one- and two-step equations. Students will be introduced to and become proficient in integer operations. Basic geometry skills are a part of this course including area and perimeter, types of angles, shapes and lines. Using real-life applications, the students will learn about percents, taxes and discounts as well as ratios, unit rates, and proportions. Learning about metric and standard measures will be a sweet treat as students use their measuring skills in the kitchen to bake a dessert. Students will grow in their critical thinking and problem solving skills through individual and collaborative work in the classroom.
Seventh Grade Math
This course is a continuation of the fundamentals learned from 6th grade math. Students will further their understanding of integers and rational numbers. They will learn to analyze and use proportional relationships to solve real world problems. Project-based learning will help students to understand percentages. Students will take the knowledge that they have learned about equations to begin to understand inequalities. By the end of the year, an understanding of theoretical and experimental probability will be developed. Finally, students will take the geometric skills learned in 6th grade and begin to apply them to finding surface area and volume of different polyhedrons.
This course in pre-algebra stresses the fluency of rational number operations along with an emphasis on mathematical vocabulary. Pre-algebra forms the foundation and methods for solving equations and inequalities. This class prepares students with an introduction to linear relationships. Graphical representations and applications to problem-solving are utilized throughout the course. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation of problem-solving skills and a mathematical foundation that will lead to success in future high school and college-level mathematics. Over the course of the year, students will solve practical math problems through discussion and analysis, strengthen their understanding about numbers, and learn to apply their knowledge and skills in new ways.
Eighth Grade Math
This course is designed to prepare students to embark on their high school journey. Students will understand real numbers, both rational and irrational. They will analyze and solve linear equations. Gathering, interpreting, and graphing data teaches students real world application. Understanding relationships and identifying functions will be a focal point. Then working on graphing linear, quadratic, and exponential functions will progress their understanding of these relationships. Finally, students will begin to understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem to eventually help find distances on a coordinate plane. Group projects will help students bring each of these concepts together.
Honors Algebra I
Honors Algebra I takes a more in-depth look at concepts covered in Algebra I (a 9th grade course), at a more rigorous pace. This course is offered to the middle school student who seeks a challenge and possesses a high aptitude for math. Students dive deep into linear, exponential and quadratic functions. Through the study of functions, students strengthen their knowledge of systems of equations, polynomials, factoring, exponents and radicals. Collaboration is encouraged as students work together to seek the applicability of math in real life situations. This course will also help students develop reasoning and critical thinking skills, which prepare them for advanced high school math courses.
Sixth Grade English
In this course, students will hone their grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills with an emphasis on argumentative writing. The students will organize, research, and support their claim with explicit and implicit evidence, and progress in their critical thinking and written communication skills. The sixth grade English course works in tandem with the sixth grade literature course.
Sixth Grade Literature
In this course, students will read a variety of quality literature from different genres. They will practice literary skills, including drawing an inference, determining and analyzing theme, and determining plot and characterization. Students will be encouraged to see themselves and the world in literature through a biblical worldview lens. The sixth grade Literature course works in tandem with the sixth grade English course.
Seventh Grade English
In this course, students will learn the essay writing process, including developing and supporting their thesis and drawing conclusions. Seventh grade writing will focus solely on Argumentative Writing so that students will learn how to effectively defend their positions on their essay topic.
Seventh Grade Literature
Students will deepen their ability to analyze texts they read, provide evidence, and make inferences which will help them to become critical thinkers. As we examine and discuss many different genres and engaging themes, the goal is to create a love for learning through literary analysis and collaborating with other students.
Eighth Grade Literature
The 8th Grade Literature class objective is to deepen our students' understanding of themselves, literature, and the world around them. Through skill-based instruction and critical thinking, students will engage with a variety of texts aimed to challenge and foster a love of learning. With continual skill-based assessments and frequent writing assignments, our students will hone their skills in critical thinking and dialectics.
Honors Eighth Grade Literature
The Honors 8th Grade Literature class will build on the objectives outlined in 8th Grade Literature while implementing an increase in student rigor. Through increased independence, a larger workload, and more prodding discussion, honors students will be asked to take on a greater ownership of their learning. Students will also be pushed to utilize task-based organization, a high reading/writing stamina throughout the school year.
Sixth Grade Earth Science
The scope of this science class is designed to introduce students to scientific methodology and to a variety of subjects including Astronomy, Meteorology, Geology, and Hydrology, as well as help them to see how we affect and impact the world around us on a regional and global scale
Seventh Grade Life Science
The focus for our 7th grade students is to begin with experiment design, and then progress through such topics as the Basics of Life, Ecology, Cell Structure and Function, Cell Reproduction, and Heredity and Genetics. The second half of the year is geared toward surveying the variety of life from Bacteria to the Animal Kingdom and finishes with Animal Behavior
Eighth Grade Physical Science
Middle School Physical Science explores the concepts in the inorganic world. The first semester tackles concepts of motion, forces and power. Highlights include the adaptation of simple machines to make work easier and the transfer of energy. The second semester serves as an introduction to chemistry with an exploration of the periodic table and the structure of an atom. Students enjoy labs on chemical reactions and the changing states of matter.
It is important when we are learning about history to begin with the roots of civilizations. We need to trace the movements of societies and people across the world. Students will begin by looking at the major ancient empires, and then understand how they rose and fell, and then the rise of European Colonizing Empires. Students will then use the lens of colonization to learn the history of the other continents and see the social and physical impacts of colonization. Students will learn about different major cultures throughout the world and begin to learn the skills that will help them to critically think about and understand the history of the world.
Seventh Grade Geography
Geography is everywhere and it is fun! Geography prepares students for a global future and provides a context for understanding world events. Students learn basic skills and background knowledge for navigating the world and understanding the relationships among people and places. In 7th grade, students will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they investigate the physical geography, climate, economy, culture, political systems and demographics of modern countries in the western hemisphere, South Pacific, and Western Europe. Major local, national, and world events will be emphasized throughout the year.
The purpose of 8th grade History is to give our students a survey of the history of the United States. When looking at the creation of our country, we must give our students a full understanding of U.S. History. Here students will continue to use and improve the skills that they have gained over the last two years. Students in this class should expect to develop a better understanding of the country that we live in, and how this country has come to look like it does today. They should expect to learn the important events and figures of various periods of U.S. History.
In Middle School, we offer world language exposure in each grade level. In sixth grade, students will have exploratory language to develop an understanding and appreciation for different ways of communicating.
In seventh grade, each student will have the equivalent one full semester of world language instruction. Students can choose between Latin or Spanish for the semester.
In eighth grade, students will have the second semester world language instruction with either Latin or Spanish. These courses, combined with the seventh grade courses, will be the equivalent of first year language in the high school and will prepare them to enter second year language in high school.
Students entering ninth grade, after completing seventh and eighth grade first-year language, will continue through year three of either Latin or Spanish to fulfill the two-year high school language requirement.
Middle School Spanish
In Middle School, we offer proficiency-driven Spanish for our students. That means that from the first day, students will begin to feel competent and successful while comprehending Spanish, no matter what previous experience they have had. The courses are taught using Comprehensible Input, Spanish that is made comprehensible by the teacher who gestures, draws, repeats or translates to establish meaning for all students. Proficiency-driven instruction is research-based to help students acquire a language without the stress associated with memorization and drills. Students focus on listening with the intent to understand, tracking the speaker with their eyes, and supporting their classmates in an engaging and active classroom climate. We use a variety of methods to deliver comprehensible input each day that allow students to direct the conversation and show us what is important to them so we can talk about it in Spanish. Story creation is one of the most powerful tools we use in the CI (comprehensible input) classroom; as long as students are in class, they all acquire language because the class content is compelling and entirely comprehensible.
Students with previous experience can advance individually through their FCR (Free Choice Reading) selections while students with no previous experience never feel behind. With comprehensible input, the main directive is to flood them with Spanish they can understand, output by them comes in the form of freewriting and speaking when they are ready. Each student will be developing skills to guide them toward proficiency in Spanish and success in upper level language courses in high school and college.