• General Information about Middle School Courses

    Your child’s teachers will indicate his/ her English/Language Arts and Math levels on the course selection form. The reading level will determine the placement in English/Language Arts, as well as Social Studies and Science. Parents/Guardians make the final determination for a student’s placement and indicate this with their signature.

    If your child is a special education student, his/her teacher will indicate the level and the subjects for which he/she has a current IEP (Individual Education Program).


     

    English/Language Arts

    English/Language Arts 6

    English/Language Arts 6 is designed to accelerate student achievement in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course includes blocks of time devoted to teacher-directed lessons on reading and writing, monitored reading, vocabulary development, and grammar and usage. Students enrolled in Advanced English/Language Arts extend their learning with greater depth at an accelerated pace.

    English/Language Arts 7

    English/Language Arts 7 is designed to accelerate student achievement in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course includes blocks of time devoted to teacher-directed lessons on reading and writing, monitored reading, vocabulary development, and grammar and usage. Students enrolled in Advanced English/Language Arts extend their learning with greater depth at an accelerated pace.

    English/Language Arts 8

    English/Language Arts 8 is centered on high-quality contemporary and classic literature, supported by skills instruction and practice in critical reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar and usage. Students enrolled in Advanced English/Language Arts extend their learning with greater depth at an accelerated pace.

    Enhanced Language Arts 8

    Enhanced Language Arts 8 is a year-long course designed to increase students№ abilities to read, learn, and study academic content. Instruction in the enhanced class focuses on reading to learn across the content areas in preparation for the rigors of the high school program. Students will gain additional skills and strategies when reading for information using a variety of content instructional materials. Enrollment in Advanced English/Language Arts 8 is required to take this course.

    Criteria for Advanced Language Arts

    Advanced English/Language Arts 6

    Three of the following:

    • Above reading grade level as indicated on 5th grade report card
    • B average or better in 5th grade language arts
    • Average of proficient or advanced on the 5th grade reading assessments
    • 2006 MSA score of proficient or advanced

    Advanced English/Language Arts 7

    Three of the following:

    • B average or better in 6th grade language arts
    • Average of proficient or advanced on 6th grade language arts assessments
    • Sixth stanine or above on standardized reading test (if available)
    • 2006 MSA score of proficient or advanced

    Advanced English/Language Arts 8

    Three of the following:

    • B average or better in 7th grade language arts
    • Average of proficient or advanced on 7th grade language arts assessments
    • Sixth stanine or above on standardized reading tests (if available)
    • 2006 MSA score of proficient or advanced
    • Students taking Advanced English/Language Arts 8 must also take one of the following:
      • Enhanced Language Arts
      • Spanish I, or
      • French I

    Reading Intervention (Encore Course)

    Specific reading interventions are provided as an encore course for those students identified as needing focused and intensive reading instruction, in addition to the regularly scheduled language arts class. These classes are designed to increase the student№s specific reading need‹decoding skills, fluency, and/or comprehension of text‹in order to achieve higher levels of success and include the following programs:
    Wilson Reading Program
    Corrective Reading, Levels A-C
    Spell Read (in selected schools)
    Soar to Success
    Students are placed in these programs only after testing and/or evaluation by the school’s reading personnel.


     

    Mathematics

    Mathematics 6

    Mathematics 6 is the first standard level course in the middle school mathematics sequence. Students will actively engage in the seven mathematics content and process standards that are outlined by the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum. Students will work towards a fluency in operating with fractions, decimals and percents. Additionally, students will develop an understanding of the following mathematical concepts and their application: integers, proportional reasoning, algebraic reasoning, properties of two-and three-dimensional figures, measurement, and probability and statistics. Students in Mathematics 6 will proceed to either Mathematics 7 or Pre-Algebra 7.

    Advanced Mathematics 6

    This course is meant to prepare students for a more formalized study of mathematics. Students will actively engage in the seven mathematics content and process standards that are outlined by the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum. There is a significant emphasis on algebraic reasoning. Students will be engaged in representing problem situations with symbolic expressions, functions and equations. Students in Advanced Mathematics 6 will be expected to approach these topics at a more rapid pace and develop concepts to a more intense depth using an inquiry approach. Students in Advanced Mathematics 6 will proceed to either Pre-Algebra 7 or Algebra I.

    Mathematics 7

    Mathematics 7 is the second standard level course in the middle school mathematics sequence. Students will actively engage in the seven mathematics content and process standards and their content expectations that are outlined by the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum. An emphasis for students is algebraic reasoning and the mastery of and fluency with rational numbers and integers. Students in Mathematics 7 will proceed to Pre-Algebra 8 or Algebra I.

    Pre-Algebra 7

    In addition to the content objectives in the seven mathematics content and process standards content expectations, outlined by the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum, this course prepares students for the formalized study of Algebra I. Students will use the inquiry approach in order to represent problem situations with symbolic expressions, functions and equations. Students will be expected to solve one-variable equations involving the set of rational numbers efficiently and accurately. They will investigate the relationships among data, in particular linear relationships. This course serves as an introduction to modeling and solving contextualized problems through graphs, tables and symbolic representations. Students will be able to identify functions as linear or nonlinear and contrast their properties using tables, graphs and/or equations. Students in Pre-Algebra 7 are expected to proceed to Algebra I.

    Pre-Algebra 8

    Pre-Algebra 8 is the third standard level course in the middle school mathematics sequence. Students will extend their knowledge in the seven mathematics content and process standards content expectations that are outlined by the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum. In addition, this course prepares students for the formalized study of Algebra 1. Students will be engaged in representing problem situations with symbolic expressions, functions, and equations. Students will be expected to solve one-variable equations involving the set of rational numbers efficiently and accurately. They will investigate the relationships among data, in particular linear relationships. This course serves as an introduction to modeling and solving contextualized problems through graphs, tables and symbolic representations. Students will be able to identify functions as linear or nonlinear and contrast their properties using tables, graphs and/or equations.

    Algebra I (Honors Level)

    This course serves as the first in a foundation for advanced mathematical coursework by providing a complete treatment of the topics in elementary algebra. Instructional emphasis will be placed on modeling real-life situations with expressions, equations, inequalities and systems of equations and inequalities. In addition, students will explore functions as they represent real-world phenomena in the form of tables, equations and graphs through the use of technology. At the middle school level, students must pass the AACPS Algebra I final exam, as well as earn a passing grade in the course in order to receive high school credit in Algebra I.* This course will appear on the student№s high school transcript and become part of a student№s high school GPA. Students must pass the Maryland High School Assessment for Algebra/Data Analysis. This is a requirement for a Maryland High School Diploma. The graphing calculator is used throughout the course.

    Geometry (Honors Level)

    This course serves as the second in a foundation of advanced mathematical coursework. Students will draw and interpret two- and three-dimensional figures; represent problem situations with geometric models; classify figures in terms of congruence and similarity; deduce properties of and relationships between figures from given assumptions; and translate geometric figures to an algebraic coordinate representation. Through the use of dynamic software, students will gain an understanding of the relationships among mathematical figures and become active participants in the inductive and deductive processes of thinking. Students must pass the AACPS Geometry final exam as well as earn a passing grade in the course in order to receive high school credit in Geometry* This course will appear on the student№s high school transcript and become part of a student№s high school GPA (grade point average.) The graphing calculator is used throughout the course.

    Algebra II (Honors Level)

    This course serves as the third in a foundation for advanced mathematics coursework. Students will review linear equations and function, and systems of linear equations and inequalities. They will study matrices and determinants, quadratic functions, polynomials and polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions. They will also study rational equations and functions and quadratic relations and conic sections. Students must pass the AACPS Algebra II final exam as well as earn a passing grade in the course in order to receive high school credit in Algebra II.* This course will appear on the student№s high school transcript and become part of a student№s high school GPA. The graphing calculator is used throughout the course. This course may be taught using distance learning technology. The teacher may be in another school providing instruction in real-time with the use of web-conferencing software, webcams and other technologies.


     

    Humanities/Social Studies

    Humanities/Social Studies 6 – Early World History

    In this course, students investigate early world civilizations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. They use the skills of Social Studies by sequencing events, analyzing cause and effect and analyzing perspective. They will also read and analyze content specific materials: maps, charts, tables, graphs, primary sources and political cartoons. Service Learning requirement and career exploration activities are integrated throughout the year.

    Social Studies 7 – World Studies: Eastern Hemisphere

    In this course, students will explore geographic concepts through an economic, cultural, and political lens. They will learn about Europe, the Middle East/Northern Africa, Africa, Eurasia (Russia and the Central Asian Republics) and the Pacific Rim. They use the skills of Social Studies by sequencing events, analyzing cause and effect and analyzing perspective. They will also read and analyze content specific materials: maps, charts, tables, graphs, primary sources and political cartoons. Service Learning requirement and career exploration activities are integrated throughout the year.

    Social Studies 8 – U.S. History: 1763­-1877

    Students investigate the history of the United States from 1763-1877 in order to answer the question, “How has the American identity evolved?” Through reading and analysis of selected primary and secondary sources, they will draw conclusions about the causes and consequences of important events. Students will take a comprehensive examination at the end of this course. Service Learning requirement and career exploration activities are integrated throughout the year.

    Social Studies Courses are taught on a semester basis.


     

    Science

    In middle school, science students begin a three-year study of Physical, Life, and Earth/Space science which lays the foundation for deeper concepts studies in high school. Students “spiral” through each of these disciplines each year of middle school. Science 6 lays the foundation for this study. Each year builds deeper understanding of science skills, processes, and concepts.

    Science 6

    Students use experimental data to analyze the properties of matter and energy, relate how Earth materials and Earth movements cause geologic events, and model our place in the Solar System. Students evaluate how the environment impacts the survival of organisms and how humans impact the environment. Students practice and apply the skills and processes of scientific inquiry. Students use computers to collect data and run science simulations (GIZMOS) to make abstract concepts more concrete. Students apply mathematics to graph and analyze data from experiments. Students read technical passages to extend their understanding of scientific text and use their oral, written and technology skills to share learning. Project based learning will allow students to identify and tackle real world problems important to students.

    Science 7

    Students use evidence to explain physical and chemical changes in matter and demonstrate that elements share common properties but have a different structure. Students collect evidence to develop an understanding of conservation of energy and how energy changes form. Students do experiments to build the idea that force and mass affect the motion of matter. Students use computers to collect data and run science simulations (GIZMOS) to make abstract concepts more concrete. Students apply mathematics to graph and analyze data from experiments. Students read technical passages to extend their understanding of scientific text and use their oral, written, and technology skills to share learning. Project based learning allows students to identify and tackle real world problems important to students.

    Science 8

    Students analyze the impact of humans on natural resources, and justify decisions to use natural resources based on human impact. Students model changes in Earth materials, and use evidence to analyze changing life forms. Students model and explain the movements of celestial bodies and analyze factors that cause and affect Earth№s weather and climate. Students use computers to collect data and run science simulations (GIZMOS) to make abstract concepts more concrete. Students apply mathematics to graph and analyze data from experiments. Students read technical passages to extend their understanding of scientific text and use their oral, written and technology skills to share learning. Project based learning allows students to identify and tackle real world problems important to students.

    Science Courses are taught on a semester basis.


     

    Special Education

    The Anne Arundel County Public School System is committed to ensuring all students with disabilities have access to appropriate services and educational opportunities to which they are entitled under federal and state laws. The county middle schools offer a full array of special education services to meet the unique needs of diverse learners requiring specialized instruction. Placement in special education is based on the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as written for each student identified as eligible within the IEP team process. A continuum of services is offered to students engaging in the general education content curriculum and pursing a Maryland High School diploma. They may include but are not limited to the following:
    •Consultation
    •Collaborative Teaching
    •Co-teaching/TEAM teaching
    •Self-Contained Classrooms

    Functional Life Skills

    Services are also provided in the appropriate educational setting for students pursuing a Maryland High School certificate. In addition, services such as speech/language therapy, vision services, hearing services, psychological services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and other related services as designated by the IEP are offered. Provision of special education services is a joint effort between general and special educators, working collaboratively to ensure maximum educational opportunities for all students with disabilities. In addition, general and special educators work cooperatively with parents to ensure a full educational opportunity for all students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE).


     

    ESOL

    ESOL: Level 1

    Beginning level English language learners examine authentic literature with a balance of fiction and non fiction, analyze types of text structure used in various writing models, and complete research projects and reports. Instruction includes systematic language development including literacy instruction and extended practice in applying the conventions of written English.

    ESOL: Level 2

    Intermediate level English language learners examine authentic literature with a balance of fiction and non-fiction, write and present narrative, descriptive, technical, and persuasive writing, and complete research projects and reports. Instruction includes application of research and study skills including the use of technology to complete research projects.


     

    Art

    All Art students will have sequential studio experiences in drawing, painting, printmaking, 3-D design, and technology. Enrichment activities may include artist-in-residence programs, collaboration with other students on school-wide art installations and museum trips.

    Art­ 6

    In this course, students will work with a variety of ways of depicting a likeness from observation and examine ways artists have shown details and specific features in their artwork. Additionally, artwork from a variety of different times and places will serve as the basis for imagery. A wide variety of media will be used to communicate ideas based on select criteria.

    Art­ 7

    In this course, students will look at ways artists work from observation, memory, and experience to create artworks that depict characters and action, point of view, and sequencing. Additionally, student artwork inspired by different cultures and artists will explore similar subjects and themes.

    Art­ 8

    In this course students will work with ways to heighten thoughts and expression in their artwork. Knowledge gained from studying other artists and cultures will be applied in solving problems in art. Design skills will be used to solve problems based on observation and life experiences that exemplify personal critical choices.

    Courses are taught on a semester basis.


     

    Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS)

    Family and Consumer Sciences Education provides the student an opportunity to develop life skills, engage in performance-based learning, acquire knowledge and skills and utilize processes, which will enhance the quality of life for individuals and families.

    Grade 6 FACS: Making the Most of Myself

    Units: Healthful Snacks

    It’s Sew Easy

    Making the Most of Myself provides students an opportunity to participate in performance-based learning (“hands-on” experiences). In the nutrition unit, they will apply safety and sanitation skills, learn healthy choices in nutrition, prepare and serve food, and work with other students in teams. In the sewing unit, students will learn the safe use of the sewing machine and select and construct a project. Construction of a meaningful project allows students to apply multiple intelligences and helps build positive self-esteem. Students will purchase project materials.

    Grade 7 FACS: Being a Responsible Family Member

    Units: Being a Great Caregiver

    Textiles in My World

    Being a Responsible Family Member provides students an opportunity to participate in performance-based learning (“hands-on” experiences). In the Caregiver unit, students will study the growth and development of the young child, learn to care for a young child and learn babysitting techniques. In the sewing unit, students will study the importance of textiles in their lives and select and construct a sewing project. Students will purchase project materials.

    Grade 8 FACS: Taking Responsibility

    Units: Personal Nutrition and Wellness

    Managing My Money

    Taking Responsibility provides students an opportunity to participate in performance based learning (“hands-on” experiences). In the Managing My Money unit, students use the decision-making process to develop skills needed for managing their money in order to become informed consumers. In the Nutrition and Wellness unit, students learn how to apply the dietary guidelines to improve their overall health as well as prepare and serve nutritious foods.

    Courses are taught on a semester basis.


     

    Music

    General Music – Semester course

    The basic concepts and techniques involve mental, muscular, visual, and aural skills and are a relevant contemporary extension of concepts and skills learned in elementary school general music. The general music classroom offers a challenging, adaptive, and nurturing musical environment in which students can expand their musical horizons and enrich their musical knowledge. General Music serves as a gateway into active involvement in school and community participation.

    Chorus – Year-long course

    This course emphasizes individual concepts of vocal production, as well as choral techniques appropriate for a large ensemble. Students will develop an understanding of musical accuracy in performance skills and musical sound through movement. Students will perform, create, and listen to choral music with understanding. Comprehensive musicianship is taught through the study of a varied choral repertoire. Public musical performances are expected. Students are expected to advance to the next appropriate level of ability.

    Band – Year-long course

    This course emphasizes good tone production, musical accuracy in performance skills, balance, and interpretation of music within a small group. Comprehensive musicianship is taught through the study of varied instrumental repertoire. Public musical performances are expected. Instruction is offered on the following instruments: oboe, clarinet, flute, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, baritone horn, trombone, tuba, and percussion. Students are expected to advance to the next appropriate level of ability.

    Strings- Year-long course

    This course emphasizes good tone production, musical accuracy in performance skills, balance, and interpretation of music within a small group. Comprehensive musicianship is taught through the study of varied instrumental repertoire. Public musical performances are expected. Instruction is offered on the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, and string bass. Students are expected to advance to the next appropriate level of ability.


     

    Physical Education and Health

    All courses are year-long.

    All students in grades six, seven, and eight will be scheduled for physical education and health education. Students will have instruction in physical education for three marking periods and instruction in comprehensive health education for one marking period. All students are required to wear a school approved uniform while participating in scheduled physical education activities.

    Physical Education for Grades 6, 7, and 8

    The physical education program is based on the Maryland Physical Education Content Standards and the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum that includes exercise physiology, biomechanical principles, social psychological principles, motor learning, physical activities and skillfulness. The program components embedded throughout all instruction are fitness and conditioning, coordination, throwing and catching, striking, speed, timing and accuracy, leisure and recreational games and dance education. Students will be introduced to an array of components, themes, and activities which address each of the content standards. Students will be assessed in physical fitness twice a year though the administration of FitnessGram, a battery of tests used to determine levels of fitness. Reports of these assessments are sent home twice a year. As students return to the 7th and 8th grades, respectively, they progress and refine skills toward content mastery. Activities and units assigned by the teacher are designed to meet the criteria for each component in the approved curriculum guide. Dance Education in each grade consists of improvisation (6), Dance for Athletes (7), and Jazz (8).

    Health Education Unit

    The Health Education Program is based on the National Standards and the Maryland State Department of Education guidelines, reflecting the “Voluntary State Curriculum” for Comprehensive School Health. The specific outcomes and activities are designed to be developmentally appropriate at each grade level. The content/concepts and performance indicators clearly define what knowledge and skills all students must know and be able to do.

    Grade 6

    The students will receive instruction in the areas of tobacco prevention, safety and injury prevention, family life and human sexuality, and disease prevention and control.*

    Grade 7

    The students will receive instruction in the areas of alcohol education, nutrition and fitness, family life and human sexuality, and disease prevention and control.*

    Grade 8

    The students will receive instruction in drug education, safety and injury prevention, and family life and human sexuality.*

    *The family life and human sexuality unit, and HIV/AIDS prevention education were developed in accordance with the standards and procedures established in Maryland State Regulation 13A.14.01.02. Students may be excused from these units of the program upon a written request from their parent or guardian. Appropriate alternate instruction will be provided.


     

    MYP Technology Education

    6th Grade

    Safety Procedures in Tech Labs and Safety Test (2 days)

    MYP InterAct-The Cavewoman that Invented Fire

    Introduction to MYP Areas Of Interaction and Learner Profiles plus Reflection (3 days)

    Caveman to Computers-Mobile Project & Project Timeliner (10 days)

    Starting Small Building Big- Bridge & Structure Basics with Bridge Contest (10 Days)

    7th Grade

    Safety Procedures in Tech Labs and Safety Test (2 Days)

    MYP Global Issues (The Design Cycle & Child Labor Public Service Project) (3 days)

    Six Simple Machines-Introduction to Basic Tools-Ballistics (Catapult) Project (12 days)

    What a Drag-Balloon Racers (8 Days)

    8th grade

    Safety Procedures in Tech Labs and Safety Test (2 Days)

    MYP Global Issues (The Design Cycle & Child Labor Public Service Project) (3 days)

    AMS Design & Build Projects-Bridge for the AMS Maryland Environment (Courtyard) & Earthquake Seismographs (20 days)

    All courses are taught on a semester basis; units may change in order and duration. There is a $10 lab fee.


     

    World and Classical Language

    World Language Connections

    The World Language Connections course provides students with a unique and challenging exploration of languages and cultures. Through the themes of communication, culture, contributions, and communities, students are introduced to Spanish, French, and two other languages. As a result of this learning experience, students will:

    Acquire the tools to enable them to take responsibility for their own language learning;
    Take an active part in the communities in which they live;
    Explore, in multiple ways, the processes and products of human creativity, and,
    Be better equipped to make decisions regarding continued study in a single language.

    The course is taught on an A/B/C day schedule for a full year.

    Introduction to French, Introduction to Spanish

    This course is designed to give students maximum exposure to the target language and serves as a preparation for the Level I course offered in the eighth grade. The content and skills are taught through thematic units that provide opportunities for students to express themselves, do investigations of the target language and culture, describe themselves and others and make decisions for their futures‹all in the context of the target language. Essential content and skills include: greetings, weather expressions, clothing vocabulary, descriptive adjectives, days, months, seasons, colors, numbers, etc. The emphasis of student learning is on the skills of listening and speaking the language. This non-credit course is highly recommended for all students who plan on taking the Level I course for credit in the eighth grade.

    This course is taught on an A/B/C day schedule for two semesters. Classes are taught primarily in the target language.

    French Level I, Spanish Level I

    This course is designed to introduce students to the basics of the target language and culture, and serves as the foundation for the development of the students’ communicative competency and linguistic accuracy in the language. Emphasis is given first to developing the students’ ability to communicate effectively with other speakers of the language, and second, to developing linguistic accuracy. The basic language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing are stressed in the context of “real life” scenarios. The course is taught on an A/B day schedule for two semesters. One credit is earned upon successful completion of the course and a passing grade on a county final exam. Classes are taught primarily in the target language.

    Introduction to Chinese

    In this course, middle school students explore the Chinese language and culture through thematic units that focus on vocabulary development, pronunciation practice through conversation, cultural readings, and interdisciplinary connections. This non-credit course is highly recommended for those students who plan on taking the Chinese Level I course for credit in middle school. One credit is earned upon successful completion of the course and a passing grade on a county final exam.

    Chinese Level I

    This course introduces students to the basics of the Chinese language and culture. Emphasis is given to developing the students’ ability to communicate effectively with other speakers of the language and to developing linguistic accuracy. The basic skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing are stressed. Classes are conducted primarily in Chinese. One credit is earned upon successful completion of the course and a passing grade on a county final exam.