middle school curriculum overview

LANGUAGE ARTS

English Language Arts are an integral part of our middle school program that all students study. Students are challenged to grow in their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in preparation for a successful high school learning experience. The program uses a mixture of both non-fiction and fiction texts and heavily focuses on writing and grammar.

MATH

6th grade math combines the practice of foundational math skills with an exploration of basic pre-algebraic and geometric concepts. Topics include: whole number operations, integer, decimal, fraction, and percent computation; variables and variable expressions; data displays; congruence; similarity; and geometric figures.

Students begin Pre-Algebra by reviewing negative numbers and variables. The focus of the course then shifts to solving equations, beginning with simple one-step equations and building to more complex, multi-step equations. Additional topics include fractions, rates, ratios, proportions, percentages, probability, data displays and geometry, with an emphasis on the inclusion of variables.

Algebra I builds on the work accomplished in Pre-Algebra. Students explore increasingly complex linear functions and equation and inequality manipulation including solving systems of equations and inequalities. Students also explore exponential and quadratic equations, FOILing and factoring, and properties of exponents.

Geometry introduces and explores logical and spatial reasoning through the use of both inductive and deductive reasoning. Algebra is a necessary prerequisite for this course, as students often use geometric principles to set-up and solve algebraic equations. Connections are made between the concepts and their applications in the real world.

SCIENCE

In 6th grade science, students explore the Earth's structure and its place in the universe by working individually and in groups. They look at space, weather phenomena, geology, energy resources, and tectonic plates. Students in 6th grade are introduced to the processes of gathering and analyzing scientific data, creating models, and formal nonfiction writing.

7th grade science is an overview of common strands in physical science that involve the various forms of energy. Students connect the scientific inquiry processes to everyday problem solving through culmination projects in which they apply the concepts they have learned. Additionally, students reinforce their observation and analytic skills through hands-on and virtual labs.

8th grade Science focuses on Life Sciences and introduces the concept of scientific inquiry through laboratories. It examines the wonders of living organisms and the complexity of cellular structure and function, organization of living organisms, and the interaction of life forms. Students are able to apply this scientific knowledge to their daily life and discuss its effect on the world at large.

VISUAL ARTS

6th, 7th, and 8th grade art classes allow students to explore a range of art media while gaining a working knowledge of the elements and principles of design. Students will also build the skills necessary for creating artwork that fully and accurately expresses their creativity and ability.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The middle school physical education program gives our students a physical outlet during the school day, supports physical development in early adolescence, instructs in how to make healthy choices and live a healthier lifestyle, and teaches foundational skills for participation in competitive and recreational athletics. Classes are held in the school gymnasium, on the outdoor turf field, and in the fitness room at TIS. The goal of the middle school PE program is to create an inclusive atmosphere where students can participate in sports and build confidence and awareness of themselves. Additionally, students are prepared to take part in TIS sports at a more competitive level.