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Middle School Academics

MIDDLE SCHOOL OVERVIEW

Our curriculum is developed through collaborative planning and is based on the Common Core State Standards as well as the Virginia State Standards and the Ministry of Education (Egypt) curricula. The school has an established curriculum review, development and implementation cycle. Curriculum maps are developed with corresponding unit plans. Alignment is found in the maps, unit plans, lesson plans as well as the assessments. Staff track progress and alter planning as demonstrated by student need. Time is provided for grade meetings as well as subject specific meetings with coordinators. Rigor is valued as evident in the common usage of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Needs in each division. Topics and instructional strategies strive for maximum student engagement in the learning process. Project based learning as well as cooperative learning permit individual students to investigate in depth related and relevant topics of interest. Our goal is to help students to see connections and relationships alongside the acquisition of important basic skills. The aim is for its students to become confident performers, presenters and public speakers and work cooperatively and collaboratively. Students are taught to acknowledge their peers’ points of view and respond in an open minded manner. Students from grades three to nine participate in the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) assessment twice a year. The scores are gathered and compared to both the African and International benchmarks. Data from this testing informs the implementation of classroom and individual strategies to address identified student learning gaps and needs.

OUR PROGRAM OF STUDIES 

All students are expected to carry a full program of studies. The courses in Middle School are English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Arabic, Computer, Physical Education, Religion, Arabic Social Studies, Art and Music. You can find our supply list for middle school through this link. ( Middle School Supply List )

English

The Middle School English Language Arts curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The course provides a balance of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language cumulative skills essential for success in the 21st Century. Students read and comprehend a variety of informational and literary texts. Students use a variety of strategies to plan, revise, and edit their writing as they work collaboratively and independently to produce texts. Students complete research projects, present their findings, and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with their peers. They apply knowledge of language conventions to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively.

 

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Read, comprehend, and analyze informational and literary texts, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of grade 6 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed .
  • Use the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to write persuasive, explanatory, and narrative texts.
  • Prepare short research projects to answer questions, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • Acquire and use accurately grade 6 academic and domain- specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English appropriate to a six grade level such as capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • Engage, collaborate, and present knowledge and ideas in a range of discussions and with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues.

 

Mathematics
During middle school, fractions are augmented by negative fractions to form the rational numbers. In Grade 8, students extend this system once more, augmenting the rational numbers with the irrational numbers to form the real numbers. Introduction to functions and equations take place. More understanding of geometric concepts and applications occur.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Develop an understanding of algebraic expressions and concepts, numbers and operations sense.
  • Connect ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems.
  • Complete understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers.
  • Develop an understanding of some geometrical concepts and their formulas and understand related real life applications.
  • Write, interpret, and use expressions and equations and apply on real life situations.
  • Develop an understanding of statistical thinking.

 

Science
During grades six to eight, students begin to form deeper connections between concepts previously learned such as collecting evidence and drawing conclusions, understanding relationships between objects, and critical thinking that leads to designing effective solutions for problems. Students learn problem solving skills by asking questions and defining problems, analyzing and interpreting data and then designing and optimizing a model to develop possible solutions.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules, extended structures, and changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
  • Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances after a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • Collect data on changes in weather condition.
  • Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates and how the cycling of water is driven by energy from the sun.
  • Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geo-scientific processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying times and spatial scales.
  • Use evidence to construct an explanation on how the speed of an object is related to the energy of that object and how energy can be transferred by sound, light, heat and electric currents.

 

Social Studies
Students explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times in terms of the impact on Western civilization.  They are engaged in historical thinking. They draw upon chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research, and decision making. These skills are developed through the study of significant historical substance from the era or society being studied. During grade seven students use skills for historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthened the union. Students will also practice the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by all of the standards for history and social science. During grade eight, students study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the ancient river valley civilizations, including those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, and China and the civilizations of the Hebrews and Phoenicians.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the civilizations of Persia, India, and China in terms of chronology, geography, social structures, government, economy, religion, and contributions to later civilizations.
  • Apply social science skills to understand ancient Greece in terms of its impact on Western civilization.
  • Apply social science skills to understand ancient Rome from about 700 c. to 500 a.d. in terms of its impact on Western civilization.

 

Computer
Students use more advanced filters in MS-Excel such as conditional formatting and math functions. They enhance their critical thinking and solving problems through using logic functions and complex formulas. Students are introduced to advanced programs in digital art, MS- Publisher. During the final stage of middle school, students create a website and publish online. They also learn how to use an animated presentation program for presenting animated stories. Students learn an advanced coding program: MS-Small Basic.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Format spreadsheets.
  • Align information and add borders.
  • Filter data tables.
  • Use math symbols, calculate using functions, create charts, insert images, use logical functions and complex formulas,
  • Use tips and tricks for professional presentation.
  • Insert audio clips, video files and hyperlinks.
  • Code using Scratch using loops and adding backgrounds and sounds.

 

French
In middle school, the French course is based on Virginia Standards for French language FIII aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages DELF A1 junior.

In French III, students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of French, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in French. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Express opinions, preferences, and desires, and elicit those of others.
  • Use level-appropriate vocabulary and structures to express ideas about topics and events found in a variety of authentic French language sources.
  • Understand and respond appropriately to instructions presented in more complex informational materials, such as instructions for understanding public transportation or using technology.
  • Produce well-organized spoken and written presentations to suit the type of audience and the purpose of the presentation.

 

German
In middle school, the German course is based on Virginia Standards for the German language aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of German, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in German. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

 

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to: 

  • Understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • Communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

 

Art
During middle school, students experience emphasis on exploration of studio processes. Using the elements of art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety) as a framework, students investigate a variety of ideas for creating art. Through critical analysis and evaluation, students determine how artists convey meaning through the use of forms, media, and symbols.

 

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Use, and record in a sketchbook/journal, steps of the art-making process, including brainstorming, preliminary sketching, planning, reflecting, refining, and elaborating, to create works of art.
  • Exercise increasing skill and control in the use of media and techniques.
  • Communicate personal ideas, experiences, and narratives through the creation of works of art, using a variety of media.
  • Examine and apply ethical decisions in art making

 

Physical Education
Students in middle school ­apply fundamental skills and knowledge of anatomical structures and movement principles to build movement competence and confidence through acquisition, performance, and refinement of skills. Students use feedback to initiate and maintain practice to improve skill performance. Students assess their health-related fitness status and set reasonable and appropriate goals for development, maintenance, and improvement. Students explain the connection between energy balance and nutrition guidelines, meal planning, and heart rate. Students solve problems and make responsible decisions as they work together. They identify and seek opportunities to participate in regular physical activity at school and outside the school environment.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Create and perform movement sequences in a rhythmic or dance activity.
  • Identify the six components of skill-related fitness (agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed).
  • Analyze movement situations for direction, speed, accuracy, and pathways to improve performance.
  • Refine and adapt individual and group activity skills by applying concepts of relationships, effort, spatial awareness, speed, and pathways.
  • Apply knowledge of the skeletal system to identify types of joints and associated bones, to include ball-and-socket joint, pivot joint, and hinge joint.

 

Music
During the Middle school years, students count, read, and perform music at Solo Literature Grade Levels 1 and 2 of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA). Students focus on instrumental music.  Students begin receiving instruction on wind, percussion, or string instruments of their choice with guidance from the music teacher. Students demonstrate proper care of instruments and become familiar with the technology of the instrument. They demonstrate basic positions, fingerings, and tone production.  Students begin to describe, respond to, interpret, and evaluate works of music and create basic variations of simple melodies.

By the end of middle school students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate preparatory instrumental basics and playing procedures.
  • Demonstrate proper instrumental techniques.
  • Demonstrate ensemble skills at a beginning level.
  • Read and interpret standard music notation while performing music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Begin to use articulations, dynamic contrasts, and phrasing as means of expression.
  • Perform simple rhythmic and melodic examples in call-and-response styles.
  • Create, through playing and writing, rhythmic variations of four-measure selections.
  • Demonstrate musicianship and personal engagement.
  • Sight-read music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Explore historical and cultural aspects of music.
  • Analyze and evaluate music.
  • Investigate aesthetic concepts related to music.

English

The Middle School English Language Arts curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The course provides a balance of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language cumulative skills essential for success in the 21st Century. Students read and comprehend a variety of informational and literary texts. Students use a variety of strategies to plan, revise, and edit their writing as they work collaboratively and independently to produce texts. Students complete research projects, present their findings, and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with their peers. They apply knowledge of language conventions to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Read, comprehend, and analyze literary nonfiction and literary texts, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of grade 7 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed.
  • Recognize, interpret, and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to other texts.
  • Write clear and coherent arguments, informative/explanatory, and narratives in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Develop and strengthen the writing by planning, revising, editing, and rewriting and by using technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing.
  • Conduct short research projects, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
  • Acquire and use accurately specific words and phrases and demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • Engage in a range of collaborative discussions and with diverse partners on various topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

 

Mathematics

During middle school, fractions are augmented by negative fractions to form the rational numbers. In Grade 8, students extend this system once more, augmenting the rational numbers with the irrational numbers to form the real numbers. Introduction to functions and equations take place. More understanding of geometric concepts and applications occur.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Develop an understanding of and applying proportional relationships.
  • Develop an understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations.
  • Solve problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
  • Draw inferences about populations based on samples.

 

Science

During grades six to eight, students begin to form deeper connections between concepts previously learned such as collecting evidence and drawing conclusions, understanding relationships between objects, and critical thinking that leads to designing effective solutions for problems. Students learn problem solving skills by asking questions and defining problems, analyzing and interpreting data and then designing and optimizing a model to develop possible solutions.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Conduct an investigation cells by identifying types of cells and to describing the function of a cell as a whole and the ways the parts of cells contribute to function.
  • Use argument supported by evidence to show how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
  • Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
  • Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
  • Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems and design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave. Emphasis is on describing waves with both qualitative and quantitative thinking.

 

Social Studies

Students explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times in terms of the impact on Western civilization.  They are engaged in historical thinking. They draw upon chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research, and decision making. These skills are developed through the study of significant historical substance from the era or society being studied. During grade seven students use skills for historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthened the union. Students will also practice the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by all of the standards for history and social science. During grade eight, students study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Apply social science skills to understand how early cultures developed in North America.
  • Apply social science skills to understand European exploration in North America and West Africa.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the factors that shaped colonial America.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the causes and results of the American Revolution.

 

Computer

Students use more advanced filters in MS-Excel such as conditional formatting and math functions. They enhance their critical thinking and solving problems through using logic functions and complex formulas. Students are introduced to advanced programs in digital art, MS- Publisher. During the final stage of middle school, students create a website and publish online. They also learn how to use an animated presentation program for presenting animated stories. Students learn an advanced coding program: MS-Small Basic.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Use MS Excel and MS Publisher
  • Create multiple types of publications such as (Calendars, Magazines, Invitation cards, Event brochures, and Newspaper) in a professional way by using [MS Publisher] program.
  • Use computer proficiency to complete projects and coursework for other subjects.

 

French

In middle school, the French course is based on Virginia Standards for French language FIII aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages DELF A1 junior.

In French III, students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of French, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in French. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Use level-appropriate vocabulary and structures to express ideas about topics and events found in a variety of authentic French language sources.
  • Exchange detailed information on familiar topics in a variety of interpersonal contexts.
  • The student will present information orally and in written French, recombining familiar elements to create original sentences in paragraphs that are increasingly complex.
  • Use various verbal and nonverbal presentational techniques, such as voice inflection, visual aids and technological support.

 

German

In middle school, the German course is based on Virginia Standards for the German language aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of German, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in German. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Develop their communicative competence by interacting orally and in writing with other German speakers
  • Understand oral and written messages in German
  • Making oral and written presentations in German.
  • Show a greater level of accuracy when using basic language structures.

 

Art

During middle school, students experience emphasis on exploration of studio processes. Using the elements of art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety) as a framework, students investigate a variety of ideas for creating art. Through critical analysis and evaluation, students determine how artists convey meaning through the use of forms, media, and symbols.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Identify styles and themes in contemporary and historical works of art.
  • Analyze how art and culture influence each other.
  • Identify the uses and impact of persuasive techniques (e.g., selection of images, design, type, media) in print and contemporary media.
  • Compare and contrast various visual arts careers in relation to career preparation.

 

Physical Education

Students in middle school ­apply fundamental skills and knowledge of anatomical structures and movement principles to build movement competence and confidence through acquisition, performance, and refinement of skills. Students use feedback to initiate and maintain practice to improve skill performance. Students assess their health-related fitness status and set reasonable and appropriate goals for development, maintenance, and improvement. Students explain the connection between energy balance and nutrition guidelines, meal planning, and heart rate. Students solve problems and make responsible decisions as they work together. They identify and seek opportunities to participate in regular physical activity at school and outside the school environment.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate and apply mature movement forms and skill combinations competently in a variety of cooperative and tactical activities that include dynamic and unpredictable situations.
  • Demonstrate offensive strategies and tactics, to include creating open space, skilled movement, speed, accuracy, and selection of appropriate skill/tactic to gain offensive advantage.
  • Demonstrate basic abilities and safety precautions in recreational pursuits (e.g., in-line skating, orienteering, hiking, cycling, ropes courses, backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing).
  • ­Create and demonstrate movements appropriate to a variety of rhythm patterns in selected folk, social, world, country, square, contemporary, and line dances.
  • Analyze skill patterns and movement performance of self and others, detecting and correcting mechanical errors and describing balance in the planes of movement for selected movements.

 

Music

During the Middle school years, students count, read, and perform music at Solo Literature Grade Levels 1 and 2 of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA). Students focus on instrumental music.  Students begin receiving instruction on wind, percussion, or string instruments of their choice with guidance from the music teacher. Students demonstrate proper care of instruments and become familiar with the technology of the instrument. They demonstrate basic positions, fingerings, and tone production.  Students begin to describe, respond to, interpret, and evaluate works of music and create basic variations of simple melodies.

By the end of middle school students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate preparatory instrumental basics and playing procedures.
  •  Demonstrate proper instrumental techniques.
  • Demonstrate ensemble skills at a beginning level.
  •  Read and interpret standard music notation while performing music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Begin to use articulations, dynamic contrasts, and phrasing as means of expression.
  • Perform simple rhythmic and melodic examples in call-and-response styles.
  • Create, through playing and writing, rhythmic variations of four-measure selections.
  •  Demonstrate musicianship and personal engagement.
  •  Sight-read music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Explore historical and cultural aspects of music.
  •  Analyze and evaluate music.
  •  Investigate aesthetic concepts related to music.

English

The Middle School English Language Arts curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The course provides a balance of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language cumulative skills essential for success in the 21st Century. Students read and comprehend a variety of informational and literary texts. Students use a variety of strategies to plan, revise, and edit their writing as they work collaboratively and independently to produce texts. Students complete research projects, present their findings, and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with their peers. They apply knowledge of language conventions to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Read, comprehend, and analyze literary nonfiction and literary texts, including stories, dramas, and poetry, with complexity and proficiently.
  • Make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to other texts.
  • Write clear and coherent arguments, informative/explanatory, and narratives in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • Conduct short research projects, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • Clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple- meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content phrases by using context clues.
  • Participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions and with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

 

Mathematics

During middle school, fractions are augmented by negative fractions to form the rational numbers. In Grade 8, students extend this system once more, augmenting the rational numbers with the irrational numbers to form the real numbers. Introduction to functions and equations take place. More understanding of geometric concepts and applications occur.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Formulate and reason about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations.
  • Grasp the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships.
  • Analyze two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.

 

Science

During grades six to eight, students begin to form deeper connections between concepts previously learned such as collecting evidence and drawing conclusions, understanding relationships between objects, and critical thinking that leads to designing effective solutions for problems. Students learn problem solving skills by asking questions and defining problems, analyzing and interpreting data and then designing and optimizing a model to develop possible solutions.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Explain how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
  • Apply Newton’s Third Law of Motion to relate forces when explaining the motion of objects. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • Understand Earth’s place in the Universe, what makes up our solar system, and how can the motion of Earth explains seasons and eclipses.
  • Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
  • Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

 

Social Studies

Students explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times in terms of the impact on Western civilization.  They are engaged in historical thinking. They draw upon chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research, and decision making. These skills are developed through the study of significant historical substance from the era or society being studied. During grade seven students use skills for historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthened the union. Students will also practice the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by all of the standards for history and social science. During grade eight, students study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Analyze the characteristics of the Sub-Saharan African region.
  • Analyze the characteristics of the North African and Southwest Asian regions.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the ancient river valley civilizations, including those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, and China and the civilizations of the Hebrews and Phoenicians.
  • Apply social science skills to understand Western Europe during the Middle Ages from about 500 to 1000 A.D. in terms of its impact on Western civilization.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the civilizations and empires of Africa, with emphasis on the African kingdoms of Axum and Zimbabwe and the West African civilizations of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the political, cultural, geographic, and economic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa from about 1500 A.D. to about 1800 A.D.

 

Computer

Students use more advanced filters in MS-Excel such as conditional formatting and math functions. They enhance their critical thinking and solving problems through using logic functions and complex formulas. Students are introduced to advanced programs in digital art, MS- Publisher. During the final stage of middle school, students create a website and publish online. They also learn how to use an animated presentation program for presenting animated stories. Students learn an advanced coding program: MS-Small Basic.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Learn programming using Small Basic to create simple programs and evaluate them
  • Create multiple types of animation, videos, and illustrations by using Explaindio
  • Learn the basics of creating websites for free by using Com.

 

French

In middle school, the French course is based on Virginia Standards for French language FIII aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages DELF A1 junior.

In French III, students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of French, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in French. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Use level-appropriate vocabulary and structures to express ideas about topics and events found in a variety of authentic French language sources.
  • Understand culturally authentic, level-appropriate materials that present new information in familiar contexts.
  • Understand and respond appropriately to instruction presented in more complex informational materials.
  • Produce well-organized spoken and written presentations to suit the type of audience.
  • Participate in brief oral and written exchanges that reflect present, past, and future time frames.

 

German

In middle school, the German course is based on Virginia Standards for the German language aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of German, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in German. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 8, the students are expected to:

  • Understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance.
  • Catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.
  • Read very short, simple texts.
  • Find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and he can understand short simple personal letters.
  • Communicate using a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities.
  • Use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple term.
  • Write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate need.

 

Art

During middle school, students experience emphasis on exploration of studio processes. Using the elements of art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety) as a framework, students investigate a variety of ideas for creating art. Through critical analysis and evaluation, students determine how artists convey meaning through the use of forms, media, and symbols.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Plan for and reflect on the art-making process, using a sketchbook/journal.
  • Develop and use a process art portfolio as an idea-building resource to create works of art.
  • Refine personal works of art to improve quality of craftsmanship.
  • Synthesize prior knowledge and experience to create works of art.

 

Physical Education

Students in middle school ­apply fundamental skills and knowledge of anatomical structures and movement principles to build movement competence and confidence through acquisition, performance, and refinement of skills. Students use feedback to initiate and maintain practice to improve skill performance. Students assess their health-related fitness status and set reasonable and appropriate goals for development, maintenance, and improvement. Students explain the connection between energy balance and nutrition guidelines, meal planning, and heart rate. Students solve problems and make responsible decisions as they work together. They identify and seek opportunities to participate in regular physical activity at school and outside the school environment.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate and apply movement forms to a variety of cooperative and tactical activities that include dynamic and unpredictable situations with a focus on defensive strategies, to include reducing space, transitioning from offense to defense quickly, communicating with teammates, and selecting appropriate tactics to gain defensive advantage.
  • Create a rhythmic movement sequence to music as an individual or in a group.
  • Demonstrate skill-related components of fitness (agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed) specific to a variety of activities.
  • Apply and demonstrate biomechanical principles of force, motion (laws of motion), rotation, and energy.
  • Describe the relationship between poor caloric intake and health risk factors.
  • Explain the role of energy balance in weight management and body composition

 

Music

During the Middle school years, students count, read, and perform music at Solo Literature Grade Levels 1 and 2 of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA). Students focus on instrumental music.  Students begin receiving instruction on wind, percussion, or string instruments of their choice with guidance from the music teacher. Students demonstrate proper care of instruments and become familiar with the technology of the instrument. They demonstrate basic positions, fingerings, and tone production.  Students begin to describe, respond to, interpret, and evaluate works of music and create basic variations of simple melodies.

By the end of middle school students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate preparatory instrumental basics and playing procedures.
  •  Demonstrate proper instrumental techniques.
  • Demonstrate ensemble skills at a beginning level.
  •  Read and interpret standard music notation while performing music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Begin to use articulations, dynamic contrasts, and phrasing as means of expression.
  • Perform simple rhythmic and melodic examples in call-and-response styles.
  • Create, through playing and writing, rhythmic variations of four-measure selections.
  •  Demonstrate musicianship and personal engagement.
  •  Sight-read music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Explore historical and cultural aspects of music.
  •  Analyze and evaluate music.
  •  Investigate aesthetic concepts related to music.

English

The Middle School English Language Arts curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The course provides a balance of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language cumulative skills essential for success in the 21st Century. Students read and comprehend a variety of informational and literary texts. Students use a variety of strategies to plan, revise, and edit their writing as they work collaboratively and independently to produce texts. Students complete research projects, present their findings, and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with their peers. They apply knowledge of language conventions to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively.

 

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Read, comprehend, and analyze informational and literary texts, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of grade 6 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed .
  • Use the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to write persuasive, explanatory, and narrative texts.
  • Prepare short research projects to answer questions, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • Acquire and use accurately grade 6 academic and domain- specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English appropriate to a six grade level such as capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • Engage, collaborate, and present knowledge and ideas in a range of discussions and with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues.

 

 

Mathematics

During middle school, fractions are augmented by negative fractions to form the rational numbers. In Grade 8, students extend this system once more, augmenting the rational numbers with the irrational numbers to form the real numbers. Introduction to functions and equations take place. More understanding of geometric concepts and applications occur.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Develop an understanding of algebraic expressions and concepts, numbers and operations sense.
  • Connect ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems.
  • Complete understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers.
  • Develop an understanding of some geometrical concepts and their formulas and understand related real life applications.
  • Write, interpret, and use expressions and equations and apply on real life situations.
  • Develop an understanding of statistical thinking.

 

Science

 

During grades six to eight, students begin to form deeper connections between concepts previously learned such as collecting evidence and drawing conclusions, understanding relationships between objects, and critical thinking that leads to designing effective solutions for problems. Students learn problem solving skills by asking questions and defining problems, analyzing and interpreting data and then designing and optimizing a model to develop possible solutions.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

 

  • Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules, extended structures, and changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.

  • Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances after a chemical reaction has occurred.

  • Collect data on changes in weather condition.
  • Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates and how the cycling of water is driven by energy from the sun.

 

  • Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geo-scientific processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying times and spatial scales.

 

  • Use evidence to construct an explanation on how the speed of an object is related to the energy of that object and how energy can be transferred by sound, light, heat and electric currents.

 

Social Studies

Students explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times in terms of the impact on Western civilization.  They are engaged in historical thinking. They draw upon chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research, and decision making. These skills are developed through the study of significant historical substance from the era or society being studied. During grade seven students use skills for historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthened the union. Students will also practice the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by all of the standards for history and social science. During grade eight, students study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the ancient river valley civilizations, including those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, and China and the civilizations of the Hebrews and Phoenicians.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the civilizations of Persia, India, and China in terms of chronology, geography, social structures, government, economy, religion, and contributions to later civilizations.
  • Apply social science skills to understand ancient Greece in terms of its impact on Western civilization.
  • Apply social science skills to understand ancient Rome from about 700 c. to 500 a.d. in terms of its impact on Western civilization.

 

Computer

Students use more advanced filters in MS-Excel such as conditional formatting and math functions. They enhance their critical thinking and solving problems through using logic functions and complex formulas. Students are introduced to advanced programs in digital art, MS- Publisher. During the final stage of middle school, students create a website and publish online. They also learn how to use an animated presentation program for presenting animated stories. Students learn an advanced coding program: MS-Small Basic.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Format spreadsheets.
  • Align information and add borders.
  • Filter data tables.
  • Use math symbols, calculate using functions, create charts, insert images, use logical functions and complex formulas,
  • Use tips and tricks for professional presentation.
  • Insert audio clips, video files and hyperlinks.
  • Code using Scratch using loops and adding backgrounds and sounds.

 

French

 In middle school, the French course is based on Virginia Standards for French language FIII aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages DELF A1 junior.

In French III, students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of French, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in French. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Express opinions, preferences, and desires, and elicit those of others.
  • Use level-appropriate vocabulary and structures to express ideas about topics and events found in a variety of authentic French language sources.
  • Understand and respond appropriately to instructions presented in more complex informational materials, such as instructions for understanding public transportation or using technology.
  • Produce well-organized spoken and written presentations to suit the type of audience and the purpose of the presentation.

 

German

 In middle school, the German course is based on Virginia Standards for the German language aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of German, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in German. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

 

 

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

 

  • Understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • Communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

 

Art

 

During middle school, students experience emphasis on exploration of studio processes. Using the elements of art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety) as a framework, students investigate a variety of ideas for creating art. Through critical analysis and evaluation, students determine how artists convey meaning through the use of forms, media, and symbols.

 

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Use, and record in a sketchbook/journal, steps of the art-making process, including brainstorming, preliminary sketching, planning, reflecting, refining, and elaborating, to create works of art.
  • Exercise increasing skill and control in the use of media and techniques.
  • Communicate personal ideas, experiences, and narratives through the creation of works of art, using a variety of media.
  • Examine and apply ethical decisions in art making

 

Physical Education

Students in middle school ­apply fundamental skills and knowledge of anatomical structures and movement principles to build movement competence and confidence through acquisition, performance, and refinement of skills. Students use feedback to initiate and maintain practice to improve skill performance. Students assess their health-related fitness status and set reasonable and appropriate goals for development, maintenance, and improvement. Students explain the connection between energy balance and nutrition guidelines, meal planning, and heart rate. Students solve problems and make responsible decisions as they work together. They identify and seek opportunities to participate in regular physical activity at school and outside the school environment.

By the end of Grade 6, students are expected to:

  • Create and perform movement sequences in a rhythmic or dance activity.
  • Identify the six components of skill-related fitness (agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed).
  • Analyze movement situations for direction, speed, accuracy, and pathways to improve performance.
  • Refine and adapt individual and group activity skills by applying concepts of relationships, effort, spatial awareness, speed, and pathways.
  • Apply knowledge of the skeletal system to identify types of joints and associated bones, to include ball-and-socket joint, pivot joint, and hinge joint.

 

Music

          During the Middle school years, students count, read, and perform music at Solo Literature Grade Levels 1 and 2 of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA). Students focus on instrumental music.  Students begin receiving instruction on wind, percussion, or string instruments of their choice with guidance from the music teacher. Students demonstrate proper care of instruments and become familiar with the technology of the instrument. They demonstrate basic positions, fingerings, and tone production.  Students begin to describe, respond to, interpret, and evaluate works of music and create basic variations of simple melodies.

By the end of middle school students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate preparatory instrumental basics and playing procedures.
  •  Demonstrate proper instrumental techniques.
  • Demonstrate ensemble skills at a beginning level.
  •  Read and interpret standard music notation while performing music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Begin to use articulations, dynamic contrasts, and phrasing as means of expression.
  • Perform simple rhythmic and melodic examples in call-and-response styles.
  • Create, through playing and writing, rhythmic variations of four-measure selections.
  •  Demonstrate musicianship and personal engagement.
  •  Sight-read music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Explore historical and cultural aspects of music.
  •  Analyze and evaluate music.
  •  Investigate aesthetic concepts related to music.

English

The Middle School English Language Arts curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The course provides a balance of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language cumulative skills essential for success in the 21st Century. Students read and comprehend a variety of informational and literary texts. Students use a variety of strategies to plan, revise, and edit their writing as they work collaboratively and independently to produce texts. Students complete research projects, present their findings, and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with their peers. They apply knowledge of language conventions to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Read, comprehend, and analyze literary nonfiction and literary texts, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of grade 7 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed.
  • Recognize, interpret, and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to other texts.
  • Write clear and coherent arguments, informative/explanatory, and narratives in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Develop and strengthen the writing by planning, revising, editing, and rewriting and by using technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing.
  • Conduct short research projects, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
  • Acquire and use accurately specific words and phrases and demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • Engage in a range of collaborative discussions and with diverse partners on various topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

 

Mathematics

During middle school, fractions are augmented by negative fractions to form the rational numbers. In Grade 8, students extend this system once more, augmenting the rational numbers with the irrational numbers to form the real numbers. Introduction to functions and equations take place. More understanding of geometric concepts and applications occur.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Develop an understanding of and applying proportional relationships.
  • Develop an understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations.
  • Solve problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
  • Draw inferences about populations based on samples.

 

Science

During grades six to eight, students begin to form deeper connections between concepts previously learned such as collecting evidence and drawing conclusions, understanding relationships between objects, and critical thinking that leads to designing effective solutions for problems. Students learn problem solving skills by asking questions and defining problems, analyzing and interpreting data and then designing and optimizing a model to develop possible solutions.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Conduct an investigation cells by identifying types of cells and to describing the function of a cell as a whole and the ways the parts of cells contribute to function.
  • Use argument supported by evidence to show how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
  • Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
  • Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
  • Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems and design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave. Emphasis is on describing waves with both qualitative and quantitative thinking.

 

Social Studies

Students explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times in terms of the impact on Western civilization.  They are engaged in historical thinking. They draw upon chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research, and decision making. These skills are developed through the study of significant historical substance from the era or society being studied. During grade seven students use skills for historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthened the union. Students will also practice the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by all of the standards for history and social science. During grade eight, students study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Apply social science skills to understand how early cultures developed in North America.
  • Apply social science skills to understand European exploration in North America and West Africa.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the factors that shaped colonial America.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the causes and results of the American Revolution.

 

Computer

Students use more advanced filters in MS-Excel such as conditional formatting and math functions. They enhance their critical thinking and solving problems through using logic functions and complex formulas. Students are introduced to advanced programs in digital art, MS- Publisher. During the final stage of middle school, students create a website and publish online. They also learn how to use an animated presentation program for presenting animated stories. Students learn an advanced coding program: MS-Small Basic.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Use MS Excel and MS Publisher
  • Create multiple types of publications such as (Calendars, Magazines, Invitation cards, Event brochures, and Newspaper) in a professional way by using [MS Publisher] program.
  • Use computer proficiency to complete projects and coursework for other subjects.

 

French

In middle school, the French course is based on Virginia Standards for French language FIII aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages DELF A1 junior.

In French III, students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of French, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in French. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Use level-appropriate vocabulary and structures to express ideas about topics and events found in a variety of authentic French language sources.
  • Exchange detailed information on familiar topics in a variety of interpersonal contexts.
  • The student will present information orally and in written French, recombining familiar elements to create original sentences in paragraphs that are increasingly complex.
  • Use various verbal and nonverbal presentational techniques, such as voice inflection, visual aids and technological support.

 

German

In middle school, the German course is based on Virginia Standards for the German language aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of German, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in German. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Develop their communicative competence by interacting orally and in writing with other German speakers
  • Understand oral and written messages in German
  • Making oral and written presentations in German.
  • Show a greater level of accuracy when using basic language structures.

 

Art

During middle school, students experience emphasis on exploration of studio processes. Using the elements of art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety) as a framework, students investigate a variety of ideas for creating art. Through critical analysis and evaluation, students determine how artists convey meaning through the use of forms, media, and symbols.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Identify styles and themes in contemporary and historical works of art.
  • Analyze how art and culture influence each other.
  • Identify the uses and impact of persuasive techniques (e.g., selection of images, design, type, media) in print and contemporary media.
  • Compare and contrast various visual arts careers in relation to career preparation.

 

Physical Education

Students in middle school ­apply fundamental skills and knowledge of anatomical structures and movement principles to build movement competence and confidence through acquisition, performance, and refinement of skills. Students use feedback to initiate and maintain practice to improve skill performance. Students assess their health-related fitness status and set reasonable and appropriate goals for development, maintenance, and improvement. Students explain the connection between energy balance and nutrition guidelines, meal planning, and heart rate. Students solve problems and make responsible decisions as they work together. They identify and seek opportunities to participate in regular physical activity at school and outside the school environment.

By the end of Grade 7, students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate and apply mature movement forms and skill combinations competently in a variety of cooperative and tactical activities that include dynamic and unpredictable situations.
  • Demonstrate offensive strategies and tactics, to include creating open space, skilled movement, speed, accuracy, and selection of appropriate skill/tactic to gain offensive advantage.
  • Demonstrate basic abilities and safety precautions in recreational pursuits (e.g., in-line skating, orienteering, hiking, cycling, ropes courses, backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing).
  • ­Create and demonstrate movements appropriate to a variety of rhythm patterns in selected folk, social, world, country, square, contemporary, and line dances.
  • Analyze skill patterns and movement performance of self and others, detecting and correcting mechanical errors and describing balance in the planes of movement for selected movements.

 

Music

During the Middle school years, students count, read, and perform music at Solo Literature Grade Levels 1 and 2 of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA). Students focus on instrumental music.  Students begin receiving instruction on wind, percussion, or string instruments of their choice with guidance from the music teacher. Students demonstrate proper care of instruments and become familiar with the technology of the instrument. They demonstrate basic positions, fingerings, and tone production.  Students begin to describe, respond to, interpret, and evaluate works of music and create basic variations of simple melodies.

By the end of middle school students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate preparatory instrumental basics and playing procedures.
  •  Demonstrate proper instrumental techniques.
  • Demonstrate ensemble skills at a beginning level.
  •  Read and interpret standard music notation while performing music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Begin to use articulations, dynamic contrasts, and phrasing as means of expression.
  • Perform simple rhythmic and melodic examples in call-and-response styles.
  • Create, through playing and writing, rhythmic variations of four-measure selections.
  •  Demonstrate musicianship and personal engagement.
  •  Sight-read music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Explore historical and cultural aspects of music.
  •  Analyze and evaluate music.
  •  Investigate aesthetic concepts related to music.

English

The Middle School English Language Arts curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The course provides a balance of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language cumulative skills essential for success in the 21st Century. Students read and comprehend a variety of informational and literary texts. Students use a variety of strategies to plan, revise, and edit their writing as they work collaboratively and independently to produce texts. Students complete research projects, present their findings, and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with their peers. They apply knowledge of language conventions to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Read, comprehend, and analyze literary nonfiction and literary texts, including stories, dramas, and poetry, with complexity and proficiently.
  • Make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to other texts.
  • Write clear and coherent arguments, informative/explanatory, and narratives in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • Conduct short research projects, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • Clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple- meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content phrases by using context clues.
  • Participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions and with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

 

Mathematics

During middle school, fractions are augmented by negative fractions to form the rational numbers. In Grade 8, students extend this system once more, augmenting the rational numbers with the irrational numbers to form the real numbers. Introduction to functions and equations take place. More understanding of geometric concepts and applications occur.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Formulate and reason about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations.
  • Grasp the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships.
  • Analyze two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.

 

Science

During grades six to eight, students begin to form deeper connections between concepts previously learned such as collecting evidence and drawing conclusions, understanding relationships between objects, and critical thinking that leads to designing effective solutions for problems. Students learn problem solving skills by asking questions and defining problems, analyzing and interpreting data and then designing and optimizing a model to develop possible solutions.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Explain how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
  • Apply Newton’s Third Law of Motion to relate forces when explaining the motion of objects. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • Understand Earth’s place in the Universe, what makes up our solar system, and how can the motion of Earth explains seasons and eclipses.
  • Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
  • Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

 

Social Studies

Students explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times in terms of the impact on Western civilization.  They are engaged in historical thinking. They draw upon chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research, and decision making. These skills are developed through the study of significant historical substance from the era or society being studied. During grade seven students use skills for historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthened the union. Students will also practice the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by all of the standards for history and social science. During grade eight, students study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Analyze the characteristics of the Sub-Saharan African region.
  • Analyze the characteristics of the North African and Southwest Asian regions.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the ancient river valley civilizations, including those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, and China and the civilizations of the Hebrews and Phoenicians.
  • Apply social science skills to understand Western Europe during the Middle Ages from about 500 to 1000 A.D. in terms of its impact on Western civilization.
  • Apply social science skills to understand the civilizations and empires of Africa, with emphasis on the African kingdoms of Axum and Zimbabwe and the West African civilizations of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the political, cultural, geographic, and economic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa from about 1500 A.D. to about 1800 A.D.

 

Computer

Students use more advanced filters in MS-Excel such as conditional formatting and math functions. They enhance their critical thinking and solving problems through using logic functions and complex formulas. Students are introduced to advanced programs in digital art, MS- Publisher. During the final stage of middle school, students create a website and publish online. They also learn how to use an animated presentation program for presenting animated stories. Students learn an advanced coding program: MS-Small Basic.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Learn programming using Small Basic to create simple programs and evaluate them
  • Create multiple types of animation, videos, and illustrations by using Explaindio
  • Learn the basics of creating websites for free by using Com.

 

French

In middle school, the French course is based on Virginia Standards for French language FIII aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages DELF A1 junior.

In French III, students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of French, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in French. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Use level-appropriate vocabulary and structures to express ideas about topics and events found in a variety of authentic French language sources.
  • Understand culturally authentic, level-appropriate materials that present new information in familiar contexts.
  • Understand and respond appropriately to instruction presented in more complex informational materials.
  • Produce well-organized spoken and written presentations to suit the type of audience.
  • Participate in brief oral and written exchanges that reflect present, past, and future time frames.

 

German

In middle school, the German course is based on Virginia Standards for the German language aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students continue to develop their communicative and cultural competence by interacting orally and in writing with other speakers of German, understanding oral and written messages in the language, and making oral and written presentations in German. They communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in the language and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts in a variety of time frames.

By the end of Grade 8, the students are expected to:

  • Understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance.
  • Catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.
  • Read very short, simple texts.
  • Find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and he can understand short simple personal letters.
  • Communicate using a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities.
  • Use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple term.
  • Write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate need.

 

Art

During middle school, students experience emphasis on exploration of studio processes. Using the elements of art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety) as a framework, students investigate a variety of ideas for creating art. Through critical analysis and evaluation, students determine how artists convey meaning through the use of forms, media, and symbols.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Plan for and reflect on the art-making process, using a sketchbook/journal.
  • Develop and use a process art portfolio as an idea-building resource to create works of art.
  • Refine personal works of art to improve quality of craftsmanship.
  • Synthesize prior knowledge and experience to create works of art.

 

Physical Education

Students in middle school ­apply fundamental skills and knowledge of anatomical structures and movement principles to build movement competence and confidence through acquisition, performance, and refinement of skills. Students use feedback to initiate and maintain practice to improve skill performance. Students assess their health-related fitness status and set reasonable and appropriate goals for development, maintenance, and improvement. Students explain the connection between energy balance and nutrition guidelines, meal planning, and heart rate. Students solve problems and make responsible decisions as they work together. They identify and seek opportunities to participate in regular physical activity at school and outside the school environment.

By the end of Grade 8, students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate and apply movement forms to a variety of cooperative and tactical activities that include dynamic and unpredictable situations with a focus on defensive strategies, to include reducing space, transitioning from offense to defense quickly, communicating with teammates, and selecting appropriate tactics to gain defensive advantage.
  • Create a rhythmic movement sequence to music as an individual or in a group.
  • Demonstrate skill-related components of fitness (agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed) specific to a variety of activities.
  • Apply and demonstrate biomechanical principles of force, motion (laws of motion), rotation, and energy.
  • Describe the relationship between poor caloric intake and health risk factors.
  • Explain the role of energy balance in weight management and body composition

 

Music

During the Middle school years, students count, read, and perform music at Solo Literature Grade Levels 1 and 2 of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA). Students focus on instrumental music.  Students begin receiving instruction on wind, percussion, or string instruments of their choice with guidance from the music teacher. Students demonstrate proper care of instruments and become familiar with the technology of the instrument. They demonstrate basic positions, fingerings, and tone production.  Students begin to describe, respond to, interpret, and evaluate works of music and create basic variations of simple melodies.

By the end of middle school students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate preparatory instrumental basics and playing procedures.
  •  Demonstrate proper instrumental techniques.
  • Demonstrate ensemble skills at a beginning level.
  •  Read and interpret standard music notation while performing music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Begin to use articulations, dynamic contrasts, and phrasing as means of expression.
  • Perform simple rhythmic and melodic examples in call-and-response styles.
  • Create, through playing and writing, rhythmic variations of four-measure selections.
  •  Demonstrate musicianship and personal engagement.
  •  Sight-read music of varying styles and levels of difficulty.
  • Explore historical and cultural aspects of music.
  •  Analyze and evaluate music.
  •  Investigate aesthetic concepts related to music.

MIDDLE SCHOOL GRADING

The school year is divided into two semesters. Each semester is divided into two terms. At the close of each term, students receive a report card indicating the grades earned in each class. Absences, if any, are recorded on their report card which reflects attendance.