Middle School Curriculum

Middle School Curriculum

Middle School Curriculum

Academics

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Key Facts

Our middle school curriculum is designed to form the whole child- academically, spiritually, and socially. Our academic curriculum, based on MA State Frameworks and aligned with Academic Benchmarks of the Archdiocese of Boston. Students study traditional subjects, including Catholic religion, and have electives in Art, Drama, Health & Wellness, Physical Education, and STEM incorporated into the schedule. 

We offer class sizes of approximately 20 students in order to personalize learning and offer all students a supportive environment. 

Our program is constantly evolving. Please see the dropdown sections below for a more specific description of our offerings in each grade.

Sixth Grade Overview

6th grade Art

Middle school students have art class once a week. A variety of mediums are used to expose students to various techniques. The goal of middle school art is for everyone to have fun and be creative.

 

6th grade Drama

Sixth grade drama is focused on acting.  Beginning in September, students study ensemble and community building, character creation, improvisation, monologues and partner scenes.  

 

6th grade English

In 6-8 English Language Arts, we work to develop students who see themselves as skilled, engaged readers and see reading as a portal to lifelong learning.  Students discover the power of language while developing writers who express their thinking with confidence. The 6-8 English Language Arts program empowers readers and writers who develop ideas through the use of evidence, independently apply strategies, present ideas in an organized manner, and demonstrate awareness of task and audience.  Our curriculum is based on the 2017 English Language Arts and Literacy Framework. 

 

Grade 6 English Language Arts students begin to see themselves as skilled, engaged readers and start to use reading as a portal to lifelong learning and explore the power of language while developing writers who express their thinking with confidence.

 

6th grade Latin

The Latin and Greek alphabets, basic Latin grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, and English derivatives from Latin vocabulary will all be major focal points of Latin 6. In addition, students will learn about important aspects of Roman civilization, the Roman family, the early Roman Catholic Church, and Greco-Roman mythology. This course covers the red Unit 1 Cambridge Latin Course textbook, as well as readings and illustrations from D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. The students will learn about the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of Classical antiquity and develop a personal connection to the world of ancient Rome and its influence on modern societies and cultures. The Latin 6 students will take the Introduction to Latin level of the National Latin Exam.

 

6th grade Math

??Students will build a solid understanding of number sense with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions.  We will explore seven major units focused on Numbers, Number Operations, Ratios & Proportions, Expressions, Equations, Geometry and Measurement/Data. 

 

6th grade Religion

Students spend this year immersed in God’s Word in Sacred Scripture, and explore how the Bible, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, records God’s plan of salvation.

- Basics of how to use the Bible and Magisterial authority.

- How and why we should pray with Scripture.

- How the Bible is different from other books.

- The four senses of Scripture.

 

6th grade Science

The curriculum enables students to construct concepts and solve problems through inquiry and exploration. Students work through a series of chapters centered on Life, Earth and Physical Science. Some topics include cells, bdy systems and world biomes. 

 

6th grade Social Studies

Students delve into ancient civilizations and explore the development of religion, government, trade, communication, and daily life.  This class also includes tie-ins to geography and present day events in the global areas being studied. As students learn about each ancient civilization, they will use the
acronym G.R.A.P.E.S. as a guide.
    Geography
    Religion
    Achievements
    Politics
    Economics
    Social Structure

The ancient civilizations that we explore are: Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome. 

6th grade Spanish

In Middle School, Spanish both builds on the Spanish introduced in the Lower School while making accommodations for new students to the Spanish language. Increasingly complex vocabulary and grammar are introduced, while also introducing students to the culture of the Spanish speaking world. By the end of 8th grade, most students will be prepared to take Level 2 Spanish in High School.

 

6th grade STEM

In middle school, STEM is not only a separate class, but woven into other elements of the curriculum as well. The skills learned are valuable to students as they learn and work in the 21st century. The curriculum for this course is in development and will be updated here when complete.

Seventh Grade Overview

7th grade Art

Middle school students have art class once a week. A variety of mediums are used to expose students to various techniques. The goal of middle school art is for everyone to have fun and be creative.

 

7th grade Drama

Seventh grade drama is focused on technical elements of theater.  Throughout the course of the year, students investigate design elements including costumes, sets, lighting and more.  

 

7th grade English

In 6-8 English Language Arts, we work to develop students who see themselves as skilled, engaged readers and see reading as a portal to lifelong learning.  Students discover the power of language while developing writers who express their thinking with confidence. The 6-8 English Language Arts program empowers readers and writers who develop ideas through the use of evidence, independently apply strategies, present ideas in an organized manner, and demonstrate awareness of task and audience.  Our curriculum is based on the 2017 English Language Arts and Literacy Framework. 

 

Grade 7 English Language Arts continues to build upon the skills developed in Grade 6. Students continue to explore the power of language while developing as writers who express their thinking confidently while learning to use evidence, apply strategies, organize ideas, and demonstrate awareness of task and audience.


7th grade Latin

Seventh-grade Latin builds on the skills learned in Latin 6 but is also open to students with no previous knowledge of Latin. Students in Latin 7 will learn about the daily lives of families in the Roman empire, including Pompeii, Roman Britain, and Alexandria, Egypt in the Cambridge Latin Course red Unit 1 and blue Unit 2 textbooks. They will learn the Latin language in its cultural contexts and discover its importance for the Roman Catholic Church, Romance languages, the English language, and the foundations of Western civilization. The students will learn the Latin and Greek alphabets, Greek and Roman mythology, Roman history, Latin vocabulary, grammar, and English derivatives. They will also learn more about the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of ancient and modern world cultures. The Latin 7 students will take the National Latin Exam.

 

7th grade Math

7 Traditional–  The class follows the math standards of pre-algebra for middle school students. We learn about fractions and percents as well as introduce algebraic expressions and equations. 

 

7 Honors– The class follows the math standards for middle school students  except we move at a much quicker pace then the traditional class. We concentrate more on complex algebraic expressions and equations and push the thought process to acquire a deeper meaning of the work at hand.  

 

7th grade Religion

Students explore Jesus and the Gospel message, with an emphasis on unifying themes in Scripture and an in-depth examination of the four Gospels.

- Personal growth: the origin, dignity, and destiny of the human person.

- An exploration of each Sacrament.

- Prayer: its elements, qualities, and challenges; ways of praying; Mary and the saints as models of prayer.

 

7th grade Science

We integrate four major topics into the curriculum: Earth & Space Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Technology / Engineering. Grade 7 focuses on understanding various systems and cycles present in our world. 

 

7th grade Social Studies

It’s commonly said that history is 90% geography and 10% common sense. In 7th grade Geography, we investigate why that’s the case. As we study civilizations in Africa, Asia, and Europe, we will apply the 5 Themes of Geography to the people that lived there and see how their environment shaped them. In class, we will use primary sources to investigate many different cultures and ideas, and also engage in several immersive simulations where you’ll get to decide how each country will act - and potentially rewrite history!

 

7th grade Spanish

In Middle School, Spanish both builds on the Spanish introduced in the Lower School while making accommodations for new students to the Spanish language. Increasingly complex vocabulary and grammar are introduced, while also introducing students to the culture of the Spanish speaking world. By the end of 8th grade, most students will be prepared to take Level 2 Spanish in High School.

 

7th grade STEM

In middle school, STEM is not only a separate class, but woven into other elements of the curriculum as well. The skills learned are valuable to students as they learn and work in the 21st century. The curriculum for this course is in development and will be updated here when complete.

Eighth Grade Overview

8th grade Art

Middle school students have art class once a week. A variety of mediums are used to expose students to various techniques. The goal of middle school art is for everyone to have fun and be creative.

 

8th grade Drama

Eight grade drama is focused on play production. In the fall, students learn about playwriting and directing. Using what they have learned in 6th and 7th grades, students will produce a play in the spring semester.

 

8th grade English

In 6-8 English Language Arts, we work to develop students who see themselves as skilled, engaged readers and see reading as a portal to lifelong learning.  Students discover the power of language while developing writers who express their thinking with confidence. The 6-8 English Language Arts program empowers readers and writers who develop ideas through the use of evidence, independently apply strategies, present ideas in an organized manner, and demonstrate awareness of task and audience.  Our curriculum is based on the 2017 English Language Arts and Literacy Framework. 

 

Grade 8 English Language Arts uses a variety of texts to engage and explore the power of language at a deeper level. At the same time, students gain independence in becoming writers who express their thinking with confidence: using evidence, applying strategies, organizing ideas, and demonstrating awareness of task and audience.

 

8th grade Latin

Eighth-grade Latin builds on the skills learned in Latin 7 but is also open to students with no previous knowledge of Latin. The students in Latin 8 will learn about the daily lives of families in the Roman empire, including Pompeii and Roman Britain and Alexandria, Egypt in the Cambridge Latin Course red Unit 1 and blue Unit 2 textbooks. If students have sufficient prior experience, we will also delve into the green Unit 3 textbook. The students will learn the Latin language in its cultural contexts and discover its importance for the Roman Catholic Church, Romance languages, the English language, and the foundations of Western civilization. The students will learn the Latin and Greek alphabets, Greek and Roman mythology, Roman history, Latin vocabulary, grammar, and English derivatives. They will also learn more about the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of ancient and modern world cultures. The students will take the National Latin Exam. This Latin 8 course will prepare students to take Honors Latin 2 or Latin 2 on the high school level. Our Latin program is fully coordinated with the Latin program at Arlington Catholic High School.

 

8th grade Math

8 Traditional– The class follows the math standards for Algebra 1. We strengthen our algebraic skills as we work through basic and complex equations.  We generally cover about 70 percent of the algebra 1 book.  We solve algebraic equations and learn about linear equations, a system of equations, and factoring of polynomials. 

 

8 Honors– The class will challenge the students to think beyond the box. It is an extensive Algebra 1 class that moves at a good pace. We cover Linear equations, a system of equations, and quadratic equations. Additionally we introduce 4 chapters on rational expressions and equations as we push their thought process further algebraically. 

 

8th grade Religion

Students build on their understanding of personal growth, with an emphasis on our vocation to love and our responsibilities to God and each other.

- Morality: conscience formation through prayer and an objective moral standard.

- Church History: our identity as Catholics; how the saints have shaped the liturgy, hierarchy, and doctrine of the Church.

- Citizen and Government: the natural rights of persons; the purpose of government.

- God's Plan for Marriage and the Family: our identity as male and female; purposes and abuses of sexuality; resisting temptation so as to avoid sin and grow in virtue.

 

8th grade Science

We integrate four major topics into the curriculum: Earth & Space Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Technology / Engineering. Grade 8 takes the topics studied in Grade 7 to the next level of abstract thinking with analysis, interpretation, and explanation of the causes, effects, and relationships within those systems and cycles.

 

8th grade Social Studies

Without a proper training in Civics it is impossible to understand America as it exists today. Our 8th graders will read and grapple with the ideas listed in the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Massachusetts Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and many other seminal founding texts to understand the philosophy and design of our government and society. Beyond that, students will be equipped with the skills and context necessary for them to engage with their government, understand the responsibilities of citizenship, and be encouraged to affect change in the real world.

 

8th grade Spanish

In Middle School, Spanish both builds on the Spanish introduced in the Lower School while making accommodations for new students to the Spanish language. Increasingly complex vocabulary and grammar are introduced, while also introducing students to the culture of the Spanish speaking world. By the end of 8th grade, most students will be prepared to take Level 2 Spanish in High School.

 

8th grade STEM

In middle school, STEM is not only a separate class, but woven into other elements of the curriculum as well. The skills learned are valuable to students as they learn and work in the 21st century. The curriculum for this course is in development and will be updated here when complete.

Archdiocese of Boston Academic Benchmarks

General Principles and Goals

  1. The theory and practice of the Church’s social teachings are embedded into the curriculum.
  2. Scripture and Catholic intellectual tradition are used in all subjects to help students think critically and ethically about the world around them.
  3. The moral and spiritual life of the school, through its culture, climate, and curriculum, is designed to help students identify, define, and live in accordance with core principles of Catholic social teachings and habits of mind that aid in the development of strong moral character.

 

Expectations for Teachers’ Instructional Design

4.  Classroom instruction is designed to help all students’ strengthen and grow their multiple cognitive intelligences, meeting the needs and capabilities of all students and their individualized learning needs.

5.  Classroom instruction is designed to engage and motivate all students through the implementation of rigorous, standards-based instructional objectives, activities, and assessments aligned to best practices in cognitive learning science.

6.  Classroom instruction is designed to intentionally address Catholic habits of mind and the affective dimensions of learning, which include emotional, social, moral, spiritual, and motivational development.

 

Expectations for School Curricula across Academic Disciplines

7.  Curricula prepare students with the knowledge, understanding and collaborative skills to become creative, reflective, literate, critical, and moral evaluators, problem solvers, and decision makers.

8.  Curricula prepare students to think and to learn within and across all academic disciplines to better uncover God’s revelation.

9.  Curricula prepare students to become socially responsible global citizens by providing access to learning experiences within and across core subject areas (English language arts, mathematics, religion, social studies, science) that address questions of how to live morally in our current society.

 

Expectations for Interdisciplinary Learning Opportunities

10.  Classrooms provide students the chance to use the engineering design/problem solving process (i.e., ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve) to develop meaningful solutions to challenges in our classroom, school, and community through the lens of the Catholic worldview.

11.  Classrooms provide students the chance to become expert and responsible users of technology, able to create, publish, and critique digital media and respectfully communicate in ways that reflect their understanding of content, Catholic culture, and technology skills.

12.  Classrooms provide students the chance to express Catholic culture and faith through the arts: dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts.