Upper Grades 6-8

Upper Grades Goals:

  1. Gain organization skills 
  2. Learn independence with added responsibility and how to advocate for
  3. Gain self-control, self-monitor, and reflection
  4. Empathy, understanding and appreciation for differences
  5. Rigorous and challenging curriculum to help prepare for the successful
    transition to high school.

Middle School Math

We will be having a busy year in middle school math! We will be doing a combination of hands-on activities, problem-based lessons, technology,  STEM lessons, and projects that apply math to everyday life. There will be on grade level whole and small group instruction as well as individualized remediation and extension to make sure each child is learning to the best of their ability. There will be daily work. The majority will be done in class, but on occasion, may need to come home. There will be a para in class to help support students that need more adult direction during the work time. Additionally, other adults may be present in the classes to help each student succeed. Classes will involve math discussion, problem solving, multiple methods for solving, and a mixture of review of missed skills with higher level thinking. Students will be assessed and graded, not only on tests, but on their daily work, their projects, and other types of work they do in and out of class, as a way of giving a true reflection of each child’s understanding of the math concepts. The expectation is that students come into class willing to try. Students are not expected to be perfect, simply willing to work with the adults to try to understand math. The goal for the year is for students to walk away from the class feeling like they can do math.

Middle School Science

6th Grade Science
In 6th grade science, students will be focusing on matter, motion, energy, and the practice of engineering. A strong emphasis is spent on the engineering design process, the conversion of units (within the International System of Units and metric), graphing data accurately, conducting experiments, and using safety equipment properly.

7th Grade Science
In 7th grade science, students will be introduced to the periodic table of elements and be able to determine the difference between elements and compounds. They will also study ecosystems. Students will learn the difference between plant and animal cells and study how cells function. Students will also be introduced to genetics and DNA. Students will understand viruses, bacteria, and vaccines as well.

8th Grade Science
In 8th grade science, students will be focusing on the nature of science and engineering, matter, the Universe, and the structure of the earth and its processes. A strong emphasis is spent on planets, stars, galaxies and other features within the visible universe, earth’s geological functions, and how energy is transferred. Students will conduct experiments, read and examine data graphs, label and identify layers of the earth, research about types of stars and galaxies, analyze global problems, and research about important individuals that contributed to our understanding of science.

Middle School Social Studies

6th Grade Social Studies
In 6th grade social studies, students will be focusing on Minnesota and all of its unique aspects. Students will learn about the history, geography, economics, and government of the state. A strong focus is spent learning about the Dakota and Ojibwe and their unique culture, analyzing treaties, and coming up with solutions for problems our state faces. Students will also conduct research about important individuals from Minnesota and analyze their impact on the state.

7th Grade Social Studies
In 7th grade social studies, students will be focusing on American History after the American Revolution up until the Cold War. A strong emphasis is spent learning about the functions of the US government, learning how bills and laws are created and passed, the powers of the three branches of government, and how elections are held. Students also participate in a class government, elect a class president, and draft a class constitution that students will be expected to follow. Students will read historical text, examine and analyze primary and secondary sources, conduct research projects, and debate with their classmates about a topic.

8th Grade Social Studies
In 8th grade social studies, students will be focusing on world geography! The course examines the physical and cultural geography of different regions around the world, including Asia, Europe, Africa, and South and North America. Students will analyze primary and secondary sources, examine political and physical maps, identify forms of government around the world, compare and contrast cultures across regions, and come up with solutions to problems that countries/regions face.

Middle School ELA
In middle school ELA, students will be focusing on four forms of language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They will be fine tuning their ability to comprehend complex texts, understand the impact of the structure, organization, and word choice, as well as draw conclusions about the texts. Students will also be expanding skills in writing by fine tuning grammar and spelling. They will also be working on choosing evidence from the text to enhance their explanation of the conclusions they come up with. Students will be working on sentence structure, paragraph structure, essay structure, and story structure. Students will be learning how to collaborate in small group projects and discussions and learn how to ask questions about the text and why the author made specific decisions.