Course Descriptions

Language Arts

Middle school language arts instruction at Deerfield-Windsor will consist of reading thought-provoking literature and responding by means of class activities/discussions, writing of various kinds, and performances. Writing generated by thought-provoking literature will provide rich opportunities for cross curriculum projects including critical thinking, analysis, introduction to process writing, vocabulary development, and meaningful grammar instruction.

Language Arts 6
Sixth grade reading will include novel studies, short stories, poetry, plays, and excerpts from non-fiction selections. These readings will be used to help students learn figurative language, themes, and other literary elements, as well as provide them the opportunity to connect reading to their own lives. Grammar skills will be consistently practiced and reinforced within all writing assignments that will take place over the course of the school year. Writing pieces include narrative, compare/contrast, persuasive, and grade appropriate analysis.

Placement
In 7th and 8th grade Language Arts, a student’s eligibility for Accelerated (AC) or College Prep (CP) classes is determined by a committee comprising the department head, the student’s teacher, and the student’s future teacher. Students are evaluated using the following criteria:

  • ERB verbal, reading comprehension, and writing scores (or equivalent test scores)
  • Academic performance during the current year (grade, critical reading level, aptitude for critical thinking, writing ability, ability to work independently, and motivation within the classroom)
  • A writing sample

College Prep Language Arts 7

Seventh grade language arts will build on students’ abilities to deal with increasingly complex texts analytically, write personal narratives and expository pieces with increasing sophistication, speak and listen more effectively, and research with increasing independence. As students identify central ideas and themes in literature, the ability to back claims with explicit and relevant text evidence will be fostered. While continuing to identify basic literary elements, students will identify complexities within and connections between narratives. By concentrating on how authors weave stories together, students will develop richer critical analysis skills as well as improve their own writings as they identify and claim ownership of allusion, analogy, dramatic irony, tone, mood, connotative diction, and other advanced literary tools and devices. Reading to identify writers’ biases and complex rhetorical devices will be stressed in class discussions and research assignments; students will be encouraged to become aware of and use these in their own writings and verbal communications. The power of story in shaping our lives will be examined. Vocabulary, close reading, process writing, and grammar exercises as well as the use of technology will enhance students’ abilities to communicate effectively and practice skills being introduced and developed in seventh grade. Syntax and conventions instruction will encourage students to advance from simpler sentences to increasingly complex, well-written word arrangements. Texts to support instruction will include articles, poems, mythology, short stories, longer works of fiction in a variety of genres, and nonfiction.

Accelerated Language Arts 7

Seventh grade AC English Literature will examine the role that literature has played in our past, how it helps us make sense of our present, as well as the assistance it provides us in shaping our future. Themes include how our past shapes our world, solving problems, having courage, overcoming conflict, and more. Other readings include several short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. Tie-ins to seventh grade Social Studies and Life Science subject matter will be nurtured throughout the year, and grammar studies will be consistently practiced and reinforced within all writing assignments. Studies will also include vocabulary, critical analysis, critical reading, speaking and listening, and working collaboratively.

College Prep Language Arts 8

College Prep eighth grade will involve selections which invite students to discover what it means to be fully human in our technological world. Selections cover themes dealing with coming of age in a multitude of situations, overcoming adversity, solving mysteries, and standing up for what is right. Tie-ins to 8th grade global studies will be nurtured. Students will experience Shakespeare through play and poetry, and multiple opportunities to read and reflect on selections will exist in the form of reading responses, other writings, and class discussions. Grammar instruction will be ongoing as students grow as critical and creative writers, and vocabulary, critical reading and analysis, reading and responding, and using technology will be constantly present in the classroom.

Accelerated Language Arts 8

AC eighth grade will involve the study of non fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian selections as a springboard to understanding the world as it exists now as well as possible futures.Tie-ins to 8th grade global studies will be nurtured. Selections cover themes dealing with coming of age in a multitude of situations, overcoming adversity, solving mysteries, and standing up for what is right. Students will experience Shakespeare through play and poetry, and multiple opportunities to read and reflect on selections will exist in the form of reading responses, other writings, and class discussions. Grammar instruction will be ongoing as students grow as critical and creative writers, and vocabulary, critical reading and analysis, reading and responding, and using technology will be constantly present in the classroom.

Social Studies

Social Studies (6th grade)
This course is a study of American history from the Civil War to the Depression. Emphasis will be placed on the Civil War, Industrial Age, Progressive Era, WWI, and the Depression. The course will also include daily viewing and discussion of CNN10, a ten minute presentation of current events in the state, nation, and world.

Social Studies (7th grade)
1st semester: This course is a study of American history from WWII to modern times. Emphasis will be placed on World War II, the Cold War Era, Civil Rights, Vietnam, Watergate, and War on Terror. 3rd nine weeks: This course is a study of state and federal government and civics education. Emphasis will be placed on the Constitution, Branches of Government, and rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

4th nine weeks: This course will be the study of the state of Georgia. Emphasis will be placed on Georgia geography, history, government, and economics. U.S. historical events are included, as appropriate, to ensure students understand Georgia’s role in the history of the United States. The course will also include daily viewing and discussion of CNN10, a ten minute presentation of current events in the state, nation, and world.

World History I (8th Grade)
Students will examine ancient civilizations through the Middle Ages, paying close attention to change over time. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing five unifying themes of history: social, political, interactions between humans and the environment, cultural, and economic. Primary and secondary sources as well as the traditional textbook will be utilized as students put historical developments in context, make connections between societies and developments, and analyze claims, evidence and reasoning in sources.

Math

Math 6
This course is a discovery of the properties of numbers and shapes, computation and problem solving. Topics covered include operations of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals, geometric applications, ratios, percentages, integers, exponents, and metric system.

In 7th and 8th grade Math, a student’s eligibility for Accelerated (AC) or College Prep (CP) classes is determined by a committee comprising the department head, the student’s teacher, and the student’s future teacher. Students are evaluated using the following criteria:

  • ERB math scores (or equivalent test scores)
  • Academic performance during the current year (grade, aptitude for critical thinking, ability to work independently, and motivation within the classroom)

Pre-Algebra 7
This course is a study of concepts learned in sixth grade with an emphasis on pre-algebra skills. Rules, mechanics, and computations are stressed to enable the student to be prepared for Algebra I.

Pre-Algebra 7: AC
This course is a more in-depth study of concepts learned in the sixth grade with an emphasis on pre-algebra skills and on elements of geometry, with emphasis placed on application.

Algebra 1-A (8th grade)
This course will begin with a review of basic mathematics and pre-algebra topics deemed necessary to be successful in the study of algebra and will continue into Algebra I topics. More time will be spent on each unit of study to allow for enduring and more in-depth understanding.

AC Algebra I (8th grade)
This course is a more extensive review of the basic properties of mathematics and the operations on algebraic expressions. This includes addition of polynomials, factoring, graphing equations, inequalities, and radicals.

Physical Education

The Physical Education Department provides instruction in team sports, individual sports, dual sports, and personal fitness in Middle School. Team sports include softball, basketball, flag football, soccer, speedball and volleyball. Individual and dual sports offered include badminton, tennis, track and field, and pickleball. Administration of the American Alliance of Health, and Physical Education and Recreation Test is also a part of the curriculum.

Science

Earth Science 6
Earth Science is a culmination of different topics including geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. We begin by studying the nature of science and the scientific method, and reference these topics throughout the course. The processes that shape and change our planet are investigated. At the end of the course, we study resources and conservation, and use the knowledge built throughout the year to analyze how the different branches interact with each other to create habitats and ecosystems. We also analyze how resource use and the addition or removal of important species can impact resource use and the ecosystem as a whole. Topics discussed in class are supplemented with lab activities, and students begin learning the basics of writing lab reports.

Life Science 7
This course begins with a study of the methods of science. The compound microscope is utilized extensively as an aid in learning basic structural units of life such as cells, tissues, and organs. This is followed by a study of the kingdoms of living things, including anatomy and physiology. Lab work consists of sheep eye, sheep heart, owl pellet, and frog dissection.

Physical Science 8
This program is based on the study of matter, energy, and motion. The course develops skills and knowledge through lecture and lab activities in measurement, motion, classification of matter, light, sound, heat, electricity, and magnetism. The mathematical measurements and calculations associated with concepts studied are taught during the course.

World Language

Spanish 6
This transitional 2nd language required sixth grade course introduces students to the core elements of the Spanish language. Introductory vocabulary, basic verb and grammatical structures as well as cultural differences are taught throughout the year. Writing, reading, listening and speaking are key components of the class. In order to be successful in this class, students need to be disciplined and self-motivated to review notes, grammar and vocabulary each night. Several websites can be used to help with pronunciation and grammar.

Spanish I (7th and 8th grade)
This course introduces the Spanish language and the culture of countries from all areas of the Spanish speaking world, including the United States. Proficiency in the language is encouraged through listening, speaking, reading, and writing practices. By interweaving language and culture, the course seeks to broaden students’ communication skills while at the same time deepening their appreciation of other cultures. This is a two-year course for 7th & 8th grade middle school students.

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