LANGUAGE ARTS and SOCIAL STUDIES:
Over the timespan of two years, 6th and 7th Grade students will be engaged in eight units of study with collaboration between Language Arts and Social Studies. The goal of this collaborative approach is to broaden students’ understanding of significant historical events by making history come alive through hands-on activities and the use of interactive learning tools.
The units of study are comprised of:
The Gilded Age
Progressive Era & Imperialism
World War I
Roaring 20’s and The Great Depression
World War II
The Cold War
The Civil Rights Movement
As applicable, these units of study will be approached from a STEAM perspective as students will complete assignments in a variety of other classes. Students will be immersed in novel studies, interactive notebook activities, and will complete multiple writing assignments. Grammar and writing mechanics will be taught through mini-lessons in Language Arts. A great emphasis will be placed upon the stages of writing which includes prewriting, organization, writing, editing, and publishing a solid five-paragraph essay. Published works will be graded for content in Social Studies and writing mechanics in Language Arts. The novel studies for this year will include Code Talkers: A Novel About Navajo Marines of World War II, The Journey That Saved Curious George, A Night Divided, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, One Crazy Summer, and Towers Falling. These novels will allow the students to compare and contrast historical fact against fiction. The novel study will also include lessons on plot development, character analysis, theme, figurative language, and vocabulary. Short stories will be taught to provide opportunities to expose students to the elements of fiction. In addition to our emphasis on history, a poetry unit will be taught in the spring which will include a study of several poets and poetic devices. Additionally, students will participate in the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Essay Contest.
The pervading goal throughout the Middle School math program is the development of logical reasoning skills, problem solving skills and the ability to communicate one’s ideas. Sixth grade math is more concrete, emphasizing computational mathematics, geometry, and probability/statistics. Sixth grade students will be placed in Mathematical Foundations or Pre-Algebra.
Mathematical Foundations Concepts: Statistics/data, probability, algebraic thinking, rates/ratios, numeric operations, measurement, geometric properties, geometric relationships, operations with integers, algebraic expressions and equations, functions, and algebraic inequalities.
Pre-Algebra Concepts: Statistics/data, probability, operations with integers, variables, linear expressions, linear equations, inequalities, rational/irrational numbers, ratios/rates, application of percents, transformations, coordinate graphing, geometric shapes, and geometric properties.
EARTH SCIENCE: This course is classroom based with supporting lab work. Topics covered include atoms, mixtures and compounds, matter, seawater, currents, waves and tides, subsurface land features, marine life, astronomy and space, plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
In Middle School Spanish classes, students read a variety of short chapter books in Spanish. These books are designed for the beginning learner and help students strengthen their comprehension of written Spanish. Each book is accompanied by vocabulary and grammar lessons that strengthen knowledge of the language while reinforcing reading and listening skills. Culture lessons and speaking practice are also integrated into the lessons with each book. Students are prepared to take Spansih II in high school after completing this course.
Students in Middle School classes have a unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge through teaching others in our Study Buddy program. In their 6th grade year, students participate in this program at Sullins by teaching mini lessons to our Junior Kindergarten students.
Middle school students continue with keyboarding lessons until a minimum of 45 wpm is obtained. Students focus on utilizing appropriate technology and refining techniques to convey a message. This means students will choose an application that best suits an assignment: infographic, presentation (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi), spreadsheet, word processing, etc. Emphasis is placed on creation that suits a particular audience. They are introduced to multi-faceted projects and exercises to develop abstract thinking skills as well as collaborative skills with others. Students are able to distinguish between copyrighted and public domain software and must be able to articulate both positive and negative aspects of computers and technology.
During the middle school years, students will develop their Studio Habits of Mind and will demonstrate how to use the tools, materials, and techniques of various media to make intentional choices in original art. Students will use size, placement, and overlapping to create depth and will experiment with tints and shades to create intensity. Characteristics of ancient art history periods and movements will be studied, as well as, contemporary artists.
Middle School students have music once a week for the entire year. In this class they sing songs from various genres of music to learn concepts of music theory and to improve vocal technique. They also continue their study of terminology and advance their skills at reading music. The Sullins middle school student will enjoy taking ownership of their programs by taking part in the creative process of a program by writing a “Pop Opera.” He/She will develop acoustic performance skills by learning about “busking” in the Busking/Street Entertaining module. They will learn about the recording studio by visiting the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The Sullins graduate will leave with an appreciation of different composers of all genres, musical styles and develop their own “Giant Jam” session.
Sixth grade students are enrolled in a weekly class called Organization and Study Skills. Students complete a variety of exercises designed to help them develop good study skills, as well as the organizational skills that help them to create a workable daily schedule that is conducive to them meeting deadlines and keeping up with daily class responsibilities.
Middle school curriculum focuses on team sports, cooperation, team-building, and individual skills. Sports include volleyball, soccer, baseball,tennis, football, basketball, and hockey. Middle school students play hockey on rollerblades. Students participate in bi-annual fitness testing. Cross curricular projects include anti-tobacco posters in art and a language arts based research paper on famous athletes and their educations.