Middle School Course Catalog

Art

The class focuses on the foundations of art elements, principles, aesthetics, and art history.  Students will create 2-D and 3-D media including, but not limited to: drawing, painting, sculpture, pastels and mixed media.  This studio class will provide hands-on experiences.  Unit of studies include but not limited to: still-life, landscape, pottery, sculpture, cartooning and animals.  Students will develop production skills to express individual ideas, thoughts, and feeling.

CCR College and Career Readiness

This middle school course supports students in identifying goals, priorities, aptitudes, and interests; with the goal of helping them make informed decisions about their future plans. The “Ramp up to Readiness” curriculum is a resource used in this course which explores academics, admission, career, financial, and personal and social readiness goals in preparation for High School, College and Careers. Students explore the correlation between learning styles and careers, examine how careers have transformed over time, discover college and explore postsecondary education incorporating the use of Naviance. Naviance is a comprehensive college and career readiness online resource for middle and high school students that helps align students strengths and interests to their postsecondary goals.

Computers Media Skills

In this course students will examine the use of computers, software, and the Internet as a career tool. While students are enhancing their keyboarding skills in this course, they will study Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Web Design, Google and Publisher.  Students create numerous projects using these programs.  

This course is a challenge-based learning course where students collaboratively explore research to identify a problem or challenge that is important or of interest to them.  A problem or challenge can be service oriented, direct, indirect, advocacy or design orientated with the goal of creating a better version of a product or designing a new product to address the identified challenge.   Students are challenged to develop 21st century skills in the areas of collaboration, communication and problem solving using critical thinking and creativity.   Students will be empowered through opportunities in experiential learning, individual awareness and self-evaluation, collaboration, collection of evidence through exploration and individual choice.

Language Arts

Language Arts curriculum encompasses all aspects of reading, writing, speaking, and listening through a gradual release and workshop model.  Students will complete formal papers in narrative, informative (compare and contrast), and argumentative genres using the writing process.  They engage in Shared Inquiry discussions, partake in differentiated literature circles, and explore the use of language for different effects in different contexts and for different purposes.  Students will learn how to think critically and practice critical thinking on a daily basis through reading various texts and genres of fiction, nonfiction, narrative, poetry and drama.  Many interdisciplinary connections are made with other content areas.

Language Arts curriculum encompasses all aspects of reading, writing, speaking, and listening through a gradual release and workshop model.  Students will complete formal papers in narrative, informative (compare and contrast), and argumentative genres using the writing process.  They engage in Shared Inquiry discussions, partake in differentiated literature circles, learn roots and affixes in our Words Their Way vocabulary program.  Student’s reading will be monitored.  Students will learn how to think critically and practice critical thinking on a daily basis through reading various tests and genres of fiction, nonfiction, narrative, poetry and drama.  Many interdisciplinary connections are made with other content areas.

Language Arts curriculum encompasses all aspects of reading, writing, speaking, and listening through a gradual release and workshop model.  Students will complete formal papers in narrative, informative (compare and contrast), and argumentative genres using the writing process.  Students engage in Shared Inquiry discussions, partake in differentiated literature circles, learn roots and affixes in our Words Their Way vocabulary program.  Student’s reading will be monitored.  Students will learn how to think critically and practice critical thinking on a daily basis through reading various tests and genres of fiction, nonfiction, narrative, poetry and drama.  Many interdisciplinary connections are made with other content areas.

 

Math

This course includes a review of concepts in Algebra and provides an extension of algebra concepts. Topics include: equations, linear relations, systems of equations, parabolas, quadratic equations, powers and roots, exponents and logarithms, trigonometry and polynomials, data displays, standard deviation and normal distribution, and probability.  Students passing this course receive a high school credit in math. 

This course includes the study of plane and solid geometric figures and their measurements.  Students will apply properties of geometric figures and utilize the concepts of congruence, similarity, parallelism and rules of angle measurement. It includes deeper development of concepts studied in earlier grades such as: area, surface area, volume, scale factors, Pythagorean Theorem and angle relationships and expands understanding of trigonometry, circle properties, train properties and proof.  Students use tools of geometry to visualize geometric concepts.  Students passing this course receive a high school credit in math.

This course includes an in-depth study of the algebra of lines and expands number concepts to the real number system.  Specific concepts in algebra include: understanding functions (both linear and nonlinear) in arithmetic and geometric sequences, graphing linear functions, slopes of parallel and perpendicular lines, solving systems of linear equations graphically and algebraically.  Students work with the Pythagorean Theorem and its converse and solve problems by using a line of best fit to make predictions.   Functions will be represented with symbols, verbal descriptions, graphs, and tables.  Students will model real-world situations using functions and solve problems arising from these situations. Students will also study probability and analysis.  Students passing this course receive a high school credit in math.

Math 6 continues to develop mastery of the concepts in each of the four Minnesota math curriculum strands: Algebra, Number Sense, Geometry and Measurement, Data and Probability.   The goal of 6th grade Math is to build a solid foundation, enhance math skills and create success.  There is an emphasis of skills in numerical operations (including basic operations and their proper order, with positive rational numbers and positive integers), measurement patterns, simple functions, geometry and concepts of data analysis, including statistics and probability.  

Middle School (MS) Algebra is designed to give students the requisite skills that provide a foundation for all future mathematics courses with an emphasis on linear relationships.  Students will deepen their understanding of the real number system, justify steps in generating equivalent expressions, distinguish between linear and nonlinear functions and translate linear functions from one representation to another, solve and interpret equations and inequalities symbolically and graphically, display, interpret, and draw conclusions about data using scatter-plots, and express linear equations in various forms and convert between these forms.  Throughout the course, mathematical concepts will be taught with an emphasis on real world application.

Pre-Algebra develops mastery of the concepts in each of the four Minnesota math curriculum strands: Algebra, Number Sense, Geometry and Measurement, Data and Probability.  Special focus is placed on the foundations for algebra.  Students are introduced to integers and continue to develop mastery of beginning algebra concepts.  There is a strong focus on proportions and ratios, evaluating algebraic graphs and solve equations graphically and numerically, interpreting solutions in their original context.

Music

This course helps students develop techniques for playing brass, woodwind, and percussion and their ability to perform a variety of concert band literature styles. Band is for students who play an instrument and will work to develop rehearsal, performance and music reading skills and fundamentals necessary to attain a high level of musicianship and confidence. Students will explore a variety of musical styles.  There will be several opportunities for performances each year, including field trips and small ensembles.                   

This course helps develop students’ vocal skills within the context of a large choral ensemble in which they perform a variety of styles of repertoire. Choir is an ensemble-based course in which students work together as a team to develop their vocal skills.  Choir members work on proper vocal technique, rehearsal skills and learn a well-rounded background in music fundamentals.  Each student develops independent singing and reading skills to attain a high level of musicianship and confidence.  Students will explore a variety of styles of music, including world music, art songs, contemporary music, and pop music.  

This course helps develop students’ technique for playing strings along with woodwind, brass, and percussion. This course emphasizes collaboration through rehearsal and performance experiences in creating and responding to music.      

Phy Ed / Health

This course emphasizes the knowledge and skills that promote sound bodies and minds, prevent disease and dysfunction, and reduce risk. Students will focus on a variety of topics including mental and emotional health, diseases and disorders, chemical use/abuse (tobacco, alcohol, drugs), CPR/First Aid, physical fitness, stress management and human growth, development and sexuality.

                                                                                   

Physical Education (PE) courses in the middle school are based on the acquisition of knowledge and skills that provide the foundation for sport, a physically active lifestyle, and social development through physical activity. Activities typically include those that increase strength, endurance, and flexibility: reinforce safe technique: teach the rules and conventions of games and sports: and explore the relationship between physical activity and health. Specific content depends upon state standards for each grade level. 

Reading

This course is designed to teach students to read and comprehend complex informational text independently and proficiently through inquiry-based learning.  Students will increase their reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge through the use of rigorous non-fiction real world text.  Students practice close interactive reading with the goal of successfully mastering comprehension of key ideas and details, recognizing how various authors’ writing is structured, and integrating knowledge and details using critical reading strategies.  

Science

Physical science serves as an introduction to chemistry and physics.  This class explores the concepts of matter, motion, and energy through the context of engineering and technology. Students will engage in inquiry investigations throughout the year and will complete a project that investigates the impact engineering design has had on society. Topics include: scientific world view, the particle model of matter, changes in matter, forms of energy, energy conversions, force, and motion.

Life science explores the concepts of structure and function in living systems, interdependence among living systems, and evolution in living systems, and human interactions with living systems. Thorough inquiry activities, students will learn how empirical criteria, logical argument, and skeptical review are critical to understanding the natural world. Topics include: nature of science, cells, heredity, evolution, simple life, human body systems, infectious disease, animals, plants, and ecology.  

Earth Science focuses on the structures and processes of the Earth, such as rocks, plate tectonics, meteorology, human interactions with Earth’s systems, as well as astronomy focused on the solar system.  Earth and space science explore the concepts of geology (earth structure and process), meteorology (interdependence within the earth system), astronomy (the universe) and human use of natural resources. 

Social Studies

Students study Minnesota history and its government, citizens, economics, and geography; placing the state and its people within the context of national history. They engage in historical inquiry and study events, issues and individuals significant to Minnesota history, beginning with the early indigenous people of the upper Mississippi River region to the present day.  Interpretation of graphs, tables and maps will assist students in developing content knowledge skills.

This course provides continued development of understanding and skills in the social studies disciplines: history, geography, civics, government and economics.  Students learn about people, issues and events of significance to this nation’s history from 1800 to the current era of globalization. They examine the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and Supreme Court decisions for their lasting impact on the American people, economy and governance structure.

This course provides continued development of understanding and skills in the social studies disciplines: history, geography, civics and government, and economics.  At this grade level, students focus on the world and its unique people and places.  A world-regional approach to studying the planet and focus on five essential questions.  How do geographers interpret and show information on maps?  How do people interact with their environment?  How did history affect these regions today?  How do economies affect life in regions today?  How do people preserve their traditional culture while adapting to modern life?                                                  

Stem: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

This course integrates technology-oriented applications of mathematics and science into pre-engineering activities for students. STEM education engages students in activities, projects, and problem-based learning, which provides hands-on classroom experiences through the use of technology.   Students create, design, build, discover, collaborate and solve problems while applying what they learn in math and science.

 

World Language

Students will explore a variety of cultural themes through language and culture of the Chinese-speaking world, stressing the ability to speak and listen to basic daily conversation in Chinese.  Learn to read and write basic Chinese characters and develop an appreciation for the uniqueness of the Chinese culture through situational and daily conversations.  Songs, verb and vocabulary activities, videos, CDs, computer and internet lessons may aid skills.  Chinese includes World Cultures and explores various cultures using vocabulary and language skills through a variety of interactive activities, games, songs and technology.  Students passing this course receive a high school credit in world language.

Designed to introduce students to Spanish language and culture, courses in this classification prepare students to communicate authentically in Spanish by interpreting (reading, listening, viewing), exchanging (speaking and listening; reading and writing), and presenting (speaking, writing).   Students will explore a variety of cultural themes through language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world, stressing the ability to ask for and give information and to describe situations in Spanish.  Develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in Spanish, and increase your awareness of Hispanic culture. Spanish includes World Cultures which explores several cultures using vocabulary and language skills through a variety of interactive activities, games, songs and technology. Students passing this course receive a high school credit in world language.