Middle School Curriculum

Language Arts

Our integrated Language-Arts philosophy follows the idea that reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar co-exist together and are dependent upon each other. The course structure will include the following: short stories, writing, novels, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, independent reading, fluency ,reading strategies, and journal writing. Assignments are expected to be completed by class time. Grades will be determined by the quality of the student’s daily work, tests, participation, and overall effort. No extra credit is given.

8th grade Language Arts is designed to assist students in meeting the ICORE and MISIC standards and benchmarks. 8th grade Language Arts focuses on preparing students for high school Language Arts. While refining writing process skills and grammar knowledge, students produce various writing pieces and projects. Oral communication skills are strengthened. The course also includes weekly spelling units.

Math

The 6th grade math class uses the textbook Mathematics: Course 1 published by Prentice Hall. Students in sixth grade math study the basics of mathematics. The year begins with adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers and decimals. Then a fair amount of time is spent adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and mixed numbers. Once students have been exposed to all computation skills they dabble in all areas of mathematics from statistics and percents to geometry and algebra concepts. Much of the sixth grade year is spent developing a firm foundation in many areas of mathematics.

The 7th grade math class uses the textbook Mathematics: Course 2 published by Prentice Hall. Students spend quite a bit of time reviewing adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. They are also exposed to negative numbers and computation with positive and negative numbers. The 7th grade curriculum devotes a fair amount of time to algebra concepts as well as ratios, proportions, and percents.

The 8th grade math class uses the textbook Mathematics: Course 3 published by Prentice Hall. Students review and build on many of the concepts covered in 6th and 7th grade math. Much of 8th grade mathematics is devoted to building a mathematical foundation for high school mathematics; therefore, the students spend much of their time with algebra and geometry. Some specific concepts taught are solving equations and inequalities, two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometry, and graphing equations. Students also dabble in probability and statistics.

Reading

Students in Reading will continue to develop their reading skills in order to become life long readers. Each student will work towards an independent reading goal each quarter.  Whole class novels and literature circles will be used to read and explore books of multiple genres and topics.   Group and independent work will be required.  

Science

During the first semester the 6th grade science class will study about cells, muscles, and matter. During the second semester we study volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, oceans, and forces.

During the first semesters the 7th grade class will study plants, rocks, motion, forces, and energy. During the second semester we study water, air, weather, and geographic locations on earth.

During the first semester the 8th grade class learns about all of the animal phylum, and human behavior. During the second semester students study chemistry and physical science properties, we finish the semester with space travel and assemble model rockets.

Social Studies 

Students will explore the world around them in Social Studies. There is a daily focus on current events at the national and world level.  In sixth grade students will learn about the geography and cultures of the world. In seventh grade,  the focus is on world history and contemporary global studies. In eight grade, students will learn about the early American history and government. Students will learn in a variety of settings from simulations to reading historical documents.  

Special Education

The middle school special education program provides support for students who are slightly below grade level in reading, written language, and/or math. These eligible students receive their instruction at the student's instructional level. This instruction is in a small group setting to allow for individualized instruction with a lower student to teacher ratio.

The middle school special education program also offers each student additional instruction and assistance during the school day. This assistance includes reading aloud of text material, assignments, and tests. Re-teaching concepts and monitoring of assignment completion is also provided. The ultimate goal is for students to be able to return to the general education classroom for full instruction.

Eligibility for special education is determined by thorough testing and review of standardized test scores. Each student has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with academic goals which are monitored weekly and reported on quarterly. A review of this plan is held annually with the staffing team. Progress is reviewed, and new goals are written each year.

Agriculture Education

In 8th grade exploratory agriculture education students experience a variety of areas including many hands on experiences. Each student has 1,000 bushels of corn and soybeans to sell in the nine weeks. They have to calculate income from their sales, determine the storage cost, and come up with there average selling price. Two students serve as grain merchandisers and keep a record of all sales. There is a prize for the student who make the most money from there sales and the merchandisers get paid for there work. Students calculate net weight and bushels from scale tickets. Each student serves as the chairman and conducts a business meeting some hands on activities include: arc welding, waking a western union splice, putting a male and female plugs on an electrical short cord, looking up cash and futures prices on the DTN, making a corsage, welding a garden trowel, calculating income from grain sales, and determining the bushel weight of shelled corn.

Art

Our Middle School Art classes are all exploratories. Classes meet three times a week for one quarter. Class size averages 10-12 students, giving each student a lot of individual attention. All classes do projects in drawing, color, and three dimensions with different mediums, and in a progressive manner from grade to grade.

The 6th graders have a 45-minute every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for one nine week quarter. Tuesdays and Thursdays are P.E. We cover proportional drawing (comic enlargement), six of the old masters (art history reports), methods of clay construction, the art of calligraphy, and Op art design (optical illusions). Teamwork and respect for each other and their artwork are stressed and encourage.

The 8th graders have a 45-minute every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for one nine week quarter. Tuesdays and Thursdays are P.E. We start with a step by step process of drawing using proportions, value, and texture and end with a finished and matted piece, Contemporary American artist (six art history reports). The impression method with clay shows them how to make a clock, face, or pot out of clay. Students gain experience mixing paint in creating strips of tints, shade and compliments and finally they enjoy the craft of glass etching.

Band/Vocal

Charger Band begins in 5th Grade.  All students are invited and encouraged to participate in our band program, which focuses on learning the skills and techniques needed to be successful members of a band.  Band students will receive one lesson per week during the school day, in addition to Band class time.  Band students will have the opportunity to participate in the following events each year:

* 5th Grade: Winter Concert, Solo/Ensemble Contest, River City Honor Band, Spring Concert, Summer Marching Band 

* 6th Grade: Veteran’s Day Program, Winter Concert, Karl King Honor Band, Spring Concert, Solo/Ensemble Contest, Memorial Day Program, Summer Marching Band

* 7/8 Band: Veteran’s Day Program, NCIBA Honor Band, Winter Concert, Karl King Honor Band, Solo/Ensemble Contest, Spring Concert, Memorial Day Program, Summer Marching Band

 

All students in 6-8 are part of the Vocal Program at Laurens-Marathon.  Students will continue to grow their singing skills that were started in elementary school. They will also practice and apply music theory and sight reading to their rehearsal skills.  Students in JH Choir will have the opportunity to participate in the NWICDA Junior High Honor Choir, and students will have opportunities to perform solos and ensembles. Students in 5-8 will also have the opportunity to audition for the OPUS Honor Choir each year.  

 

Band and Vocal classes meet in the same period, and alternate days.  6th Grade is separate from Junior High.  

Family Consumer Science

Middle School Exploratories are divided up into seven week hex classes that meet everyday. Sixth grade exploratory classes do units on bullying, friendship, and making healthy choices. They also practice some basic measuring skills and cook some simple recipes. Seventh grade classes use the Parenting is a Life curriculum. We look at making healthy choices regarding drugs, alcohol abuse, and sexual choices . Students look at the costs of raising a child and teenage parenting. Eighth grade classes practice simple recipes and measuring techniques. Students explore My Plate, healthy breakfasts, and food safety.  We utilize Stem in our sewing unit and sew a pillowcase.

Guidance

The 6th grade guidance exploratory meets ever Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for one nine week quarter. One quarter of the 6th grade class is in guidance at one time. The students attend P.E. on Tuesday and Thursday. In 6th grade guidance, we use information from the Lions-Quest workbook Changes and Challenges: Becoming The Best You Can Be. The activities, assignments, and discussions are based on the ideas that responsibility, skills, and appreciation of self and others are three traits through which we grow, mature and develop. The grade is determined by completion of assignments and positive participation within the class. We work with the six pillars and also do some communication skills.

The 7th grade guidance exploratory meets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for one nine week quarter. One quarter of the 7th grade class is in guidance at one time. The students attend P.E. on Monday and Wednesday. The 7th grade curriculum is Values and Choices: A Human Sexuality Course. The curriculum is based upon worksheets and a video. The main theme of all of the lessons is to learn to make safe choices in situations that they may encounter through adolescence. The grade is determined by completion of assignments, contribution to class discussion, and positive participation within the class.

Tech

In Middle School Tech, students will explore various aspects of Technology and how it applies to their lives.  All grades will focus on Digital Citizenship, and students will learn to find and use legal resources that can be used in Tech and other classes.  6th Graders will have a comprehensive review of typing skills, and Junior High Students will create projects that utilize various programs in their computers.  7th Graders will learn to create podcasts/newscasts using sound effects and loops.  8th Graders will create podcasts and newscasts, as well as videos and short films using various effects and editing.  All students will learn basic photography skills in conjunction with building the school yearbook. 

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Laurens, IA 50554