Middle School Curriculum

Language Arts

In the middle school, the language arts program develops mastery of skills while allowing students to express their creativity and individuality. The areas of study are writing, vocabulary, grammar, literature, speaking, and reading comprehension. Grade level projects, both group and individual, are emphasized. Project choices range among artistic endeavor, written expression, dramatic and musical presentation, and the use of technology. The students study grammar, mechanics, and usage intensively. Advanced levels of Shurley English are used to solidify knowledge and lead to more effective oral and written communication.

All middle school students participate in the annual Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) essay contest. Students are guided through an age appropriate research paper focused on a presented DAR topic. Students strengthen their skills at writing a term paper and apply much of their early knowledge of American history. Each year at least one of our students is a top essay winner in the city of Bristol.

In eighth grade, the students also take a class in formal public speaking. Each student is required to give a speech in Monday morning assembly. Through this exercise, the students gain great confidence in their ability to communicate in front of a group.

Novel studies continue in middle school with increasingly challenging literature. The lists for these studies are the following:

Sixth Grade

Prince Caspian
Anne of Green Gables
The Westing Game
The Cay
The Hobbit

Seventh Grade

Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Outsiders
The Pearl
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare)
Treasure Island

Eighth Grade

The Silver Chair
The Last Battle
And Then There Were None
The Wind in the Willows
As You Like It (Shakespeare)

Our goal is to produce students who are literate, with exceptional skills of both oral and written communication.

Math

At Sullins Academy, we recognize that each child is a unique individual with special talents and skills. We also recognize that students progress at different rates mathematically. In addition, academic excellence in the math discipline requires a strong foundation of basic skills and algebraic concepts before advancement to the next level.

In sixth grade, all students are enrolled in general mathematics/pre-algebra. In the seventh and eighth grades, Sullins Academy offers two math courses per grade level to accommodate the range of individual needs.

Math placement for seventh and eighth grade courses is based on mastery of the previous course. Mastery is defined as an overall average of 90% or higher, in addition to an 85% or better on cumulative exams. Special consideration may be given to students who maintained a 90% average, but made an 80 - 84% on the final exam. In this case, they will retake the final exam. They may advance at this point to the next math course on a probationary status. This means that they must maintain a 90% or above for the first trimester to remain in the next math class or else will return to the previous math course.

The middle school math curriculum is as follows:

Sixth Grade

General Mathematics/Pre-Algebra

This course is a rigorous preparation for higher mathematics. The class continues to expose students to a wide range of problems and introduces both algebraic and geometric concepts. It offers repeated opportunities to apply critical thinking while simultaneously reinforcing basic computational skills.

Seventh Grade

Algebra I Part A

This course is an overview of the first half of Algebra I. It focuses on simplifying expressions, linear functions and inequalities, and systems of equations, while simultaneously reinforcing basic computational skills. It facilitates connections between algebra and arithmetics using “real world” applications. Algebra I Part A continues to develop critical thinking through problem-solving.

Eighth Grade

Algebra I Part B

This course is an overview of the last half of Algebra I. It provides a brief review of linear functions and then focuses on exponential and quadratic functions as well as statistics and probability. Algebra I Part B continues to develop critical thinking through problem-solving.

Algebra I

This course is an overview of Algebra I in its entirety. It focuses on linear, exponential, and quadratic functions as well as statistics and probability. It facilitates student connections between algebra and arithmetics using “real world” applications. Algebra I continues to develop critical thinking through problem-solving.

Geometry

Geometry is offered as an 8th grade math course to more talented math students who have accelerated their program in mathematics. Prerequisites include 92% in the Algebra I course, a strong score on the Algebra I end of course standardized test and the teacher recommendation.

Science

In middle school, the science curriculum is specialized by grade. The Glencoe Science series provides the primary texts.

Sixth Grade: Earth Science

This course is classroom based with supporting lab work. Topics covered include atoms, mixtures and compounds, matter, sea water, currents, waves and tides, subsurface land features, marine life, astronomy and space, plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes.

Seventh Grade: Life Science

Equal time is given to classroom learning and lab work. Topics include characteristics of living things, origins of life, classification, cell structure, viruses, chemistry of life, cellular transport, energy processes, cell reproduction, DNA and RNA, genetics, bacteria, protists, fungi, invertebrates, chordates, vertebrates, and comparative anatomy.

Eighth Grade: Physical Science

This is a lab-based course, with the text used as reference. Topics include motion, forces, energy and work, thermal energy, electricity, magnetism, waves, light, mirrors and lenses, matter, solids, liquids, gases, atoms, and the periodic table.

The middle school is equipped with both a science classroom and a science lab. The lab has microscopes, workstations with electrify, water, and gas hookups, a vented demonstration hood, and a prep room for the safe storage of chemicals and equipment. All middle schoolers present individual projects at the annual science fair. This event is always a great success. Students take enormous pride in demonstrating their knowledge and creativity to the entire community.

Social Studies

Social studies in the middle school makes an exciting, in-depth exploration into world geography, American history, and world history.

Sixth Grade students study the world’s cultures. Each region of the world is investigated within the context of culture, geography and history. The students gain an appreciation and understanding of the diversity of world cultures.

Seventh Grade social studies builds upon the skills and knowledge of American history acquired in the lower and intermediate schools. After a brief overview of early American history, the curriculum concentrates on the history of World War I to the present. In addition, seventh graders complete a civics course covering the dynamics of the American constitution and government.

Eighth Grade turns to an ambitious study of world history. This curriculum emphasizes early civilizations from Ancient Mesopotamia until the end of the Medieval Era. The coursework focuses on the various contributions of these civilizations to the modern world. Hands-on projects, like the mummification of a chicken, enhance the experience.

All middle school students participate in the annual Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) essay contest. Students are guided through an age appropriate research paper focused on a presented DAR topic. Students strengthen their skills at writing a term paper and apply much of their early knowledge of American history. Each year at least one of our students is a top essay winner in the city of Bristol.

 
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