6th - 8th Grade
What Do We Teach?
CCSS standards are used as a foundation for learning targets in all subjects. Religion instruction is derived from the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese. Music and PE are taught weekly and integrated throughout all daily instruction.
How Do We Teach?
Instructional methods include a variety of individual, partner, small group and whole group instruction and support. Daily conversations and conferences with, and among students, under teacher guidance, are designed to motivate, engage, and increase learning. We recognize that even in kindergarten students are at different levels of learning and not all are at the same pace. Therefore, we differentiate our instruction to provide all students with an “achievable stretch”. We utilize a lesson design called Core Instructional Methods or CIM. As part of this structure, every lesson has clear, targeted objectives that are shared with students. The teacher provides a mini-lesson from 10 - 15 minutes, students engage with each other and practice what is learned, then all students are informally assessed to evaluate learning.
How Do We Know Students Learn?
Assessments are done in consistent and ongoing ways. At these levels, assessments include:
Informal anecdotal record keeping done by the teacher
Classroom based assessments (CBAs) and tests
Rubrics (both student and teacher based
Writing samples/published pieces – evaluation
STAR Enterprise online assessments in reading, math, and literacy depending on grade
Instruction begins to scaffold to deeper comprehension skills during middle school grades. Students gather, comprehend, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and summarize reading material to write, present, and speak about their reading. Students experience reading more focused selections, mentor texts, multi-media texts, plays, poetry, and novels. Online and in print research is part of every subject. Through reading primary texts and books, thematic units with integrated subject matter help students to read more closely, annotate, find key details and integrate their learning with personal experience. Students compare texts and do more in-depth character and plot study. Direct instruction continues to utilize reading strategies, while students gain deeper understanding in a variety of genres including literature, biographies, informational text, poetry, fantasy, sci-fi, and opinion writing. The text becomes more complex in all subjects and we prepare students for reading across the subjects.
Writing is taught using the writing process of “Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing, Publishing”. Areas of concentration are personal and fictional narratives, persuasive essays, opinion letters, memoir, and informational/research reports.Students are expected to write more, publish more in depth narrative, opinion and informational pieces throughout the year. Students also focus on writing essays that demonstrate strong organization, ideas, personal craft and voice,, elaboration, evidence, more complex vocabulary and conventions.
Is taught using the Envisions program that was introduced in the primary grades. Students are encouraged to use their critical thinking skills in approaching word problems, and use strategic tools to solve numerical expressions. Math lessons include study of concepts in place value, operations (with a special focus on multiplication and long division in 4th and 5ht grades)), fractions, interpreting data, algebra readiness, and geometry. Daily review in previous concepts learned contributes to mastery in mathematical fluency.
Instruction provides hands-on activities and exploration to help develop skills of scientific concepts, critical thinking, and vocabulary in areas of physical, life and earth science. Students investigate a variety of topics and learn the steps of the scientific method. They learn to ask questions, make observations, collect data, and formulate hypotheses when conducting experiments.
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Is integrated throughout the day. Students will engage in various prayer opportunities, and develop a stronger relationship with God through the Rosary, Scripture, and participating in the liturgical seasons of the Church. Knowledge of the signs and symbols of the Sacraments are strengthened, and students will learn how to model their lives after the saints. Furthermore, these grades work together to lead the school in the Living Stations of the Cross during Lent.