English Language Arts
The 5th/6th Grade ELA curriculum includes the study of literature, vocabulary, grammar, and composition. Representative novels, poems, and plays serve as an introduction to these genres in the middle grades. Projects allow for artistic and dramatic expression to accompany literature study. Composition work focuses on formal and creative writing while daily edits improve mechan- ics and usage. Writing assignments include paragraph development, short narratives, and expository essays. Both literature and online resources provide vocabulary for study. Grammar study consists of a review of the parts of speech, the parts of a sentence, and an intro- duction to complements, prepositional phrases, and introductory clauses.
7th Grade ELA is an integrated study of literature, composition, grammar, and vocabulary. Literary genres covered include novels, poetry, short stories, plays, and nonfiction. Journaling and discussion serve as catalysts for analytical as well as creative writing. Students compose personal narratives, poetry, and analysis essays. Specific revision and editing strategies emphasized in this course include sentence combining, paragraph organization, content elaboration, word choice, and precise language use. Grammar instruction includes the review of parts of speech, parts of the sentence, phrases, clauses, and usage issues. Vocabulary study is incorporated through the study of literature and the use of online resources. Individual and group presentations focus on develop- ment of public speaking skills.
8th Grade ELA balances the study of literature, writing, vocabulary, and grammar. The curriculum reinforces and enhances the recognition and effects of the literary elements. Students have ample opportunity to articulate analytical observations in response to literature through class discussions and writing. Assigned literature includes novels, drama, poetry, and short stories, which are studied through the lenses of historical perspective and the authors’ styles. Students explore writing through a variety of modes including analytical, descriptive, narrative, and poetic. In addition, students learn to distinguish and use various elements of language, according to their writing purpose. Vocabulary study centers around terms related to the literature, the literature itself, and online resources.
The major focus of our 5th and 6th grade math program is threefold: first, to provide the students with a solid, basic foundation in mathematics in the areas of computation, concepts, and problem solving; second, to create a challenging and enriching atmosphere; and, finally, to help all students believe that they are capable of excelling in math. The school year begins with an investigation of our numeration system while comparing it to others. This leads into a study of the arithmetic and applications of negative numbers, fractions, and decimals. Algebraic reasoning and the process of creating and solving elementary equations with one variable is introduced along with an in-depth study of ratios, proportions, and percents. We end the year with explorations of geometry and simple probability and statistics.
The core of 7th grade mathematics includes a sound development of the real number system, an introduction to probability, a survey of basic geometric concepts, and the consideration of area and volume of simple geometric figures. Algebraic topics are introduced, and the foundation is established for future work with open sentences, relations, and functions. Students are introduced to the use of the T1-84Plus graphing calculator. An accelerated path of study is a fast-paced mathematics course with a focus on Algebra I concepts along with the additional exploration of matrices, inverse functions, exponential and logarithmic equations, basic trigonometric functions, and conics. Extensive use of the TI-84 calculator is an integral part of this course.
The standard mathematics course for 8th grade students is Algebra I. Topics considered include open sentences with one variable, linear functions, solving and graphing systems of linear equations and inequalities, exponents and polynomials, factoring, simplifying rational expressions, solving rational equations, solving and graphing quadratic equations, and radical expressions and equations. Students use the TI-84Plus graphing calculator and explore problem-solving strategies. An advanced course is available for highly motivated math students, and it is taught at a fast pace. The advanced course covers the topics taught in Algebra I plus matrices, inverse functions, exponential and logarithmic equations, basic trigono- metric functions, and basic probability and statistics binomial expansion using Pascal’s Triangle, and a brief introduction to symbolic logic. Extensive use of the TI-84 Plus graphing calculator and Desmos software is integrated throughout the course.