Middle School Curriculum
What Your Middle School Child Can Expect at School
Mathematics: Reasoning for the Real World
In middle school we continue to teach mathematics as a way to solve real-world problems. Our students are expected to be resourceful, reason about numbers, and explain
and defend their solutions and the strategies used to find them.
Middle school students move from arithmetic on to algebra. Their curriculum focuses on ratios and proportional reasoning applied to real-world problems and quantitative relationships.
By the end of sixth grade, students will be fluent with multi-digit division and calculations with multi-digit decimals.
Eighth graders will have an understanding of functions, and will be expected to be fluent with calculations of positive and negative fractions and decimal numbers.
Science: Understanding and Explanation
Students will build on the ideas taught during elementary school to explain phenomena related to the physical sciences and also to the life, earth, and space sciences. Students blend the core ideas of physical science with engineering and understand concepts to explain real world phenomena.
Students will focus on four life science core ideas:
- From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
- Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
- Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
- Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Earth and Space Sciences: Students will continue to learn the three core ideas of Earth and Space Sciences, and also build on elementary school ideas to explain more in-depth phenomena in both earth and space sciences, and also physical sciences.
Engineering: Students will have exposure to engineering design from elementary school, and the goal for middle school is to more precisely define problems and use a more thorough process for finding solutions.
Literacy: Analyzing and Critical Thinking
The ELA learning program Collection helps our students develop the ability to analyze complicated text, determine evidence, think critically, and clearly express themselves. It also utilizes both digital and print materials to transcend traditional teaching methods which resonates very well with our students.
By using new and modern technology we are more likely to keep our students engaged and interested in the materials they are reading. Students are more likely to retain content when it is combined with media, audio, and visuals.
Collections also provides students the tools they need to use critical thinking and expand their curiosity in order to take on challenging concepts and prepare for high-stakes assessments.
Health and Physical Education: Emerging Athletes
Health: Middle school students will be able to identify the short-term and long-term impacts of their nutritional choices and its relationship to health. They will be able to identify the impact of nutrition on disease, and given the tools to make healthy choices.
Fitness: Our students will be able to demonstrate motors skills and movement patterns they need in order to perform a variety of physical activities at a more advanced level. They will learn and understand the relationship between the skills they learn in class and activities outside of class by developing their own team game.
Social Studies: Analyzing Our Culture
Middle school students expand their knowledge of history by studying the people and events of ancient civilizations. They will study the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, and Asia in the years A.D. 500–1789. They will also study the geography of these civilizations that were forming during medieval and early modern times.
Also during middle school students will start to learn about the events that framed the Constitution up to World War I, focusing on the United States’ role in the war. We focus on the cause and effect of the Civil War, as well as the rise of industrialization.
Technology: STEM and STEAM
At all levels of their education, our students are exposed to, and educated in the latest trends in technology. Our middle school students all have access to computer labs, and technology is incorporated into their academic curriculum as well.
We focus our technology programs around the principles of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), and robotics. We want our students to be excited about technology, and understand all of the opportunity that can come with being educated in it.
Art: Emerging Talent
Exploration is an important part of our middle school art curriculum, and it includes all the pillars of the standards-based elementary-level program while adding on new skills. Courses in dance, music, theatre, 13 and the visual arts are offered in order to build upon students’ abilities and knowledge at a higher level than they learned during elementary school.
IUSD art teachers enjoy collaborating with visiting artists as well as local community members to give our students a well rounded experience in their art program studies.
Music: Exploring Ensembles
Music instruction in the middle school continues with general music experiences available to all students and includes elective performance classes in orchestra, band, choir, and other ensembles.
A standards-based program provides instruction for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of student participation. Through singing and playing, students are challenged to develop their performance skills as they receive subject-centered, standards-based music instruction.
World Language: Formal Training
Once students enter middle school their world language studies become more extensive and sophisticated than in elementary school. They will be formally tested in the areas of gender, tense, and idiomatic expressions. Students will also be expected to understand how to use the language in real-world situations.
Having this knowledge of additional languages will help out students grow both academically and personally. Being able to communicate with a wider variety of people will foster intellectual growth as well as professional opportunity.