Middle School Curriculum
MIDDLE SCHOOL LANGUAGE ARTS/LITERACY
The Language Arts Literacy Curriculum in grades 6 – 8 incorporates the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLA). In addition, analytical and critical thinking are prevalent throughout the curriculum. To embrace the areas of focus within each ELA strand, the curriculum is set up in units of study with specific reading and writing skills/strategies at the center of each unit.
The units of study are supported with the adopted McDougal Littell Literature series. To meet the middle school needs of all of our readers and writers, numerous resources are available within the series. Technology is embedded in this series in many ways, from student accessibility through the Internet to students highlighting and writing notes on the computer as they read. The curriculum supports the needs of all our students by providing them with the necessary skills and strategies to stretch their thinking and to grow as readers and writers throughout their middle school years.
For more information on the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Language Arts, visit:
To activate the online version of the pupil edition of the McDougal Littell Literature series,
visit: http://www.classzone.com . Please note that the language arts literacy teachers
give students an activation code in order to set up their own access into their grade-level
Grades 6-8 Language Arts/Literacy Course Overview
MIDDLE SCHOOL MATHEMATICS
Today’s students are preparing to enter a world in which colleges and businesses are demanding more than ever before. To ensure all students are ready for success after high school, the New Jersey Student Learning Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math from kindergarten through 12th grade. The standards were drafted by experts and teachers from across the country and are designed to ensure students are prepared for today’s entry-level careers, freshman-level college courses, and workforce training programs. The NJSLS focuses on developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills students will need to be successful.
With the adoption of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, the expectations of the middle school math student have changed. Most computational skills are now mastered in elementary school opening the door for a deeper understanding of math concepts at the middle school level. Math curriculums are more rigorous than in the past. With that in mind, Medford Township Public Schools implemented the Big Ideas Math program in the fall of 2013. This program gives our teachers and students the resources needed to cover all the NJSLA and the Mathematical Processes in depth.
For more information on Big Ideas Math visit:
Big Ideas Math overview: http://www.bigideaslearning.com/programs/
Big Ideas Math Student Log In: http://www.bigideasmath.com/students/
Big Ideas Math Parent Information: http://www.bigideasmath.com/parents/
Algebra 1 lays the groundwork for all mathematics study by establishing the concepts of set theory, axioms, and properties of the real number system. Students will be able to apply their understanding of basic arithmetic skills to perform operations with various forms of algebraic expressions and equations throughout the program. Linear equations and inequalities are studied with emphasis on transforming verbal statements into mathematical symbols. The course extensively explores linear, exponential, and quadratic functions by manipulating and analyzing their equations and graphs. Contrasting the different types of functions and applying them to real world data are explored in this program as well. Data Analysis as it applies to Algebra 1 is also examined.
Eighth grade students are invited into the Algebra program based on the following criteria: PARCC results, Algebra Aptitude Test score, grade point average, teacher recommendation, and previous year’s course level. A matrix system is utilized where students earn points for each of the above listed criteria. The total points accrued through the matrix determines placement for eighth grade mathematics.
Students will be given Progress Assessments periodically through the year. These assessments are created by the Lenape Regional High School District. The assessments that is administered to Shawnee High School Algebra 1 students is the same as the one given to Medford Memorial Algebra 1 students. These assessments, weighted with marking period grades, determine if high school credit will be awarded.
The Medford Township Public Schools Middle School curriculum was updated to reflect the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) beginning the 2017-18 school year. The state of New Jersey recently adopted the NJSLS Science standards that are based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards were developed to create science and engineering learning experiences for students that will carry over to their everyday lives as well as deepen their understanding of the core ideas in science. The curriculum was written using the newest program created by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, My Generation: Science and Technology Concepts for Middle School (STCMS). STCMS is a hands on, inquiry based program with research-based science instruction rich in experiential phenomena and engineering design integrated throughout each unit. Instruction that goes beyond meeting the NJSLS/NGSS standards, STCMS™ steps up to the challenge of meeting the 5 Innovations of NGSS.
● Three-dimensional learning
● Coherent learning progression
● Phenomena and design solution
● Integrated Engineering and the Nature of Science
● Math and literacy connected with science content
Each classroom will have a class set of textbooks, and your child will have access to the textbook online for use outside of the classroom. Your student can log onto the STCMS site and access their book here:
MIDDLE SCHOOL SOCIAL STUDIES
Sixth and seventh grades study World History. The ancient world is the focus of the sixth grade year. Topics include early humans and the ancient times of Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome. In seventh grade, Europe, Japan, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Imperial China, and early America, along with the world’s religions’ influence on history. The eighth grade will study US History, including Native Americans and continue through to the Reconstruction Era. European Exploration and Settlement, Colonies in America, Declaration of Independence, American Revolution, The Constitution and The Civil War are some of the additional highlights.
For more information about the National Geographic Learning Program, visit: