Middle School Curriculum
The Middle School Curriculum of St. Mary's Academy blends innovation with time-tested methodologies, resulting in an educational experience that continuously evolves. Our dedicated faculty and visionary leadership continually explore, synthesize, and create, fostering an environment that stimulates minds and hearts.
Our curriculum integrates elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). This empowers students to not only grasp these disciplines individually, but also to explore their interconnectivity, encouraging innovative thinking and problem-solving.
With every lesson, experiment, and project, we instill in our students the courage to think boldly, the curiosity to question deeply, and the resilience to learn continuously. Our educators embrace the learning process they impart, and they become living examples of the curiosity and exploration they wish to inspire. This immersive approach nurtures an environment where students eagerly embrace thought and action, embarking on a transformative journey, and preparing them for a future full of boundless possibilities.
- Grade 6: A Journey of Discovery and Growth
- Grade 7: Embarking on a Journey of Discovery
- Grade 8: Navigating New Horizons
Computer Science: Igniting Digital Exploration
An exciting journey awaits students with three key themes. First, students cultivate essential tech skills, seamlessly integrating iPads for academic excellence, mastering GSuite+ tools, and embracing digital health and wellness. The second theme brings coding to life, immersing students in Python programming though hands-on mini-projects that unravel the art of writing programs. From syntax to debugging, students ignite their problem-solving acumen and cap it off with a final project. The core curriculum lies in the third theme, fostering independent learning strategies. Empowering students to navigate challenges with coding as their ally, they embark on a path to self-directed discovery, equipped to face an ever-evolving world with confidence and resourcefulness.
Language Arts: Crafting Expressive Narratives
Grade 7 Language Arts is a canvas for creative expression and profound communication. Through a diverse array of literature, students embark on a journey of comprehension enriched by strategies such as annotations, doodle notes, and graphic organizers. They engage in thought-provoking written responses, group discussions, and projects that elevate their thinking and expression. Students explore the power of multiple perspectives by delving into a web of short stories, poems, and novels. Grammar and vocabulary are sharpened through targeted skill work, while developing narrative, argumentative, and expository writing skills unfold.
Mathematics: Charting New Frontiers
In Grade 7 Mathematics, the adventure of discovery takes center stage. Through the immersive Big Ideas - Book 7 Program, students delve into arithmetic, measurements, geometry, and more. We seamlessly blend previously learned concepts with new material, and foster a comprehensive understanding of mathematical language. Our curriculum includes interdisciplinary units, hands-on activities, and simulations that bring math to life in practical ways. Students actively collaborate, problem-solve, and explore new angles as they transition from concrete to abstract thinking.
The advanced math curriculums, presented through Big Ideas - Book 8, opens doors to variables, algebraic expressions, equations, functions, and inequalities. This journey not only refines mathematical prowess but also hones critical thinking and communication skills, setting the stage for future academic success.
Science: Navigating the Web of Life
Grade 7 Science unveils the intricacies of Environmental Biology, a voyage into the heart of life's complexity. Students navigate the realms of ecology, environmental science, cell biology, genetics, DNA, and evolution. Through hands-on exploration and data analysis, students gain insights into real-world contexts, fostering connections to the environment. This curriculum sharpens scientific skills such as hypothesis testing and effective communication. By exploring questions about life's origins, genetic mysteries, and humanity's impact on ecosystems, students emerge as explorers of the natural world.
Social Studies: Unraveling the Threads of History
Grade 7 Social Studies is an expedition through the intricate fabric of history, where stories intertwine and perspectives unfold. From the Antebellum Period to modern times, our curriculum encourages critical thinking and exploration of historical forces that have shaped societies. Guided by themes of "The Great Divide," "Justice Denied," and "Power and Social Change," students engage in discussions, syntheses, and evaluations, cultivating an analytical lens. As they uncover history's layers, students emerge as thoughtful interpreters who embrace the nuance of historical events.
Computer Science: Crafting Digital Fluency
The digital landscape for students comes alive through dynamic curriculum focused on computer science and computational thinking. Through hands-on exploration and Python coding, students will delve into the essential elements of computer science while nurturing problem-solving skills rooted in computational thinking. The studies are designed to be both enlightening and engaging, encouraging creativity, effective communication, and critical thinking. Embracing a holistic approach, the curriculum includes partially unplugged activities to foster a well-rounded understanding. With units spanning two weeks each, students will journey through topics like data representation, decision-making, hardware, and beyond.
Language Arts: Empowering Voices and Ideas
Grade 8 Language Arts is a canvas for empowerment, encouraging students to express themselves with depth, clarity, and confidence. Studies are rooted in choice, process, and community, and is structured around the theme of power. Through thought-provoking units such as "Power of Our Story," "Power of Others," "Power of Our Actions," and "Power of Our Legacy," students engage in critical thinking, vibrant discussions, and reflective writing. Guided by guided questions that explore the dynamics of power, this course fosters skills in writing, analytical thinking, and meaningful discourse, equipping students to navigate and shape their world with eloquence.
Mathematics: Forging Pathways in Numbers
In the realm of mathematics, Grade 8 unfolds a journey of numerical exploration and conceptual depth. Pre-Algebra introduces students to the world of variable, algebraic expressions, equations, functions, and inequalities, fostering a solid foundation for future mathematical endeavors. Through hands-on engagement, critical thinking, and cooperative learning, students develop problem-solving prowess and logical reasoning skills. Algebra 1 is the gateway to further mathematical exploration, establishing a firm footing for advanced concepts. Students build procedural fluency and conceptual understanding, actively engaging in problem-solving and communication. This course embodies our commitment to holistic learning, nurturing not only mathematical proficiency but also teamwork and clarity of thought.
Science: Unveiling the Marvels of the Universe
Grade 8 Science is an integrated exploration that reveals the universe's wonders through chemistry, physics, and environmental science. Through immersive discovery labs and activities, students engage in engineering, mathematical modeling, and data analysis. This multidisciplinary approach nurtures analytical thinking, observation skills, and critical reasoning. With a focus on environmental issues, students apply their knowledge to real-world contexts, cultivating a sense of connection to the world around them. This course is a testament to our commitment to hands-on learning and holistic understanding, preparing students to uncover the mysteries of the universe with curiosity and insight.
Social Studies: Navigating Global Dynamics
Grade 8 Social Studies invites students to explore the world's complexities and their role as global citizens and agents of change. In the World Issues class, students delve into shared global systems, analyzing current events, and understanding their impact. Through the lens of a Foreign Service Officer, students explore six world regions, engaging in hands-on research and presenting findings to their peers. The pinnacle of this journey is the World Affairs Challenge, where students tackle real-world issues using research, teamwork, and innovative problem-solving. This course is an immersion into the intricate relationships between social systems, economies, histories, geographies, and governments around the world, shaping informed, responsible global citizens.