Middle School – 6th, 7th & 8th Grades

MIDDLE SCHOOL AT ST. CECELIA SCHOOL | 6-8 CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

St. Cecelia  School is an IB Middle Years Programme (MYP). For further information about IB and its programmes, visit http://www.ibo.org.

Religion

Religious education at SCS is a catechetical program designed for the faith development of adolescents. It is based on Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and other sources which aid in helping students acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of their Catholic faith. It encompasses the roots of our faith– the Hebrew Scriptures, the life, values and teachings of Jesus, the New Testament, and the origins and traditions of the Catholic Church. Character development and drug education are also included in the curriculum.  The curriculum begins Sadlier’s Christ in Us,  and Ascension Press Programs, Encounter, Altaration, and Theology of the Body.  Weekly Scripture study using the Breakthrough!  Bible for Young Catholics (St. Mary’s Press), completes the curriculum.

Language Arts

The Middle School Language Arts program promotes and develops critical and creative thinking skills and provides increasing levels of complexity and depth of subject matter.  By the end of the intermediate grades, students will have experienced authentic literature in a variety of genres.  The goal for the students is to develop a passion and love for reading and to become enthusiastic, life long, independent readers and writers.

Middle School students are offered the following two Language Arts classes:

  • Grade level/advanced
  • Honors: Students enrolled in Honors Language Arts will have the opportunity to engage texts at a faster pace and read a greater variety of literature. This particular dimension of our ELA program is designed to specifically help students prepare for honors English and Literature courses in high school.

Each course includes literature, grammar, Accelerated Reading, and Six Traits of Writing.  Language is fundamental to learning, thinking, and communicating; therefore it permeates the entire curriculum.  Teachers collaborate to ensure maximum writing skills are used across the curriculum.  Through a variety of speech and writing activities, students are engaged in challenging projects, encouraging growth and confidence. This comprehensive curriculum ensures our middle school students are prepared and confident to succeed in high school.

Textbooks:

  • 6th Grade: Kinneavy/Warriner’s Elements of Writing, McDougal/Littell Literature, Holt/Rinehart/Winston English Workshop Introductory Course.
  • 7th Grade utilizes Kinneavy/Warriner Elements of Writing, Holt/Rinehart/Winston English Workshop First Course, and McDougal/Littell Literature
  • 8th Grade utilizes Kinneavy/Warriner Elements of Writing, Holt/Rinehart/Winston English Workshop Second Course, and McDougal/Littell Literature

Writing

Middle school writing is a culmination of everything learned in primary and intermediate schooling. The International Baccalaureate MYP framework provides students an opportunity to express their thoughts about in-depth topics. Through the Six Traits of Writing program, students in the MYP are assessed on 4 criteria: analyzing, organizing, producing texts, and using language.

Analyzing assesses students on their ability to identify and comment upon significant aspects of text as well as creator’s choices. It encourages students to justify opinions and ideas, and it allows students to compare and contrast between texts.

Organizing assesses students on how they organize thoughts, opinions, and ideas in a logical manner that is suitable to content.

Producing Text allows students to be assessed on how they produce text using imagination, while exploring new perspectives. It gives students the freedom to make stylistic choices in terms of linguistic, literary and visual devices.

Using Language assesses students on speech, written expression, and sentence structure.

Mathematics

Carnegie Learning carnegielearning.com

Carnegie Learning is a forward-thinking approach to Middle School math instruction.  Student collaborate with engaging materials and real world examples.  This innovative math program combines deep expertise in learning math with a variety of content and engaging instructional tools to help students understand on a deeper, more conceptual level.

MATHia is designed for everyone!  This award-winning intelligent math software is designed to bring a 1 to 1 math coach to every student.  MATHia uses a sophisticated AI technology to provide individual student support and encouragement.

Algebra I Honors:

We offer an Algebra I Honors course that can be taken in the eighth-grade year to motivated students who met the qualifying criteria and who have had the pre-requisite study in Pre-Algebra.  The Algebra I Honors course is designed to provide students with an in-depth level of instruction, an accelerated pace, and a cooperative learning environment.  Topics include properties of real numbers, equations and inequalities, operations with polynomials and functions, graphing linear equations, and operations with rational and radical expressions.  The curriculum prepares students for future success in Geometry Honors and Algebra II Honors.  This course meets the application requirements for various High School Magnet Programs, as well as, the preparation for the State of Florida’s Algebra I End of Course Exam

Science

Science Education for Public Understanding Program:   http://sepuplhs.org/

SEPUP engages students in the study of science by requiring them to use scientific evidence to solve issues and apply science to everyday life.

Social Studies

All SCS Middle School Social Studies classes are introduced to the IB MYP Individuals and Societies Programme.  MYP individuals and societies encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them and equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. It encourages learners, both students and teachers, to consider local and global contexts. MYP individuals and societies incorporates disciplines traditionally studied under the general term “the humanities” (such as history and philosophy), as well as disciplines in the social sciences (such as economics, business management, geography, sociology and political science).

In this subject group, students engage with exciting, stimulating and personally relevant topics and issues. Many sensitive and personally challenging topics require careful consideration in the context of a safe and responsible learning environment characterized by respect and open-mindedness. The study of individuals and societies helps students appreciate the diversity of human culture, attitudes and beliefs. Courses in this subject group are important for helping students to recognize that content and methodology can be debatable and controversial, and for practicing the tolerance of uncertainty.

The IB’s approach to individuals and societies includes a strong focus on inquiry and investigation. Students collect, describe and analyze data used in studies of societies; test hypotheses; and learn how to interpret increasingly complex information, including original source material. This focus on real-world examples, research and analysis is an essential aspect of the subject group.

The study of individuals and societies helps students develop their identities as individuals and as responsible members of local and global communities. These explorations of our common humanity are intrinsically interesting, and disciplines in this subject group are filled with potential for creating a lifelong fascination with “the human story” as it continues to evolve in an era of rapid change and increasing interconnectedness. Studies in individuals and societies are essential for developing empathy and international-mindedness, including the idea that “other people, with their differences, can also be right” (IB Mission Statement). Excerpt from MYP Individual and Societies Guide September 2014/January 2015 page 4.

The middle school program is supplemented using the Pearson series:  My World History, My Florida Civics, and America- History of our Nation: Beginnings Through 1877.

Sixth grade students focus on ancient regions of the world from China and Africa to Ancient Rome and Greece.  Students “dig up the past” through archeology and learn how to navigate building map skills.

Seventh grade students focus on civics, economics and geography, with an emphasis on U.S. political and economic systems, and U.S. geography. Students in this grade level expand their studies of economics and culminate the unit with a trip to the Stavros Center where they experience Finance Park.

Eighth grade classes study exploration to reconstruction, with an emphasis on Colonial America, the American Revolution and the Civil War.  The IB MYP Programme culminates in the 8th grade with Community Projects.  This year long project requires students plan, construct, and implement an outreach activity to benefit the local or global community.