Sixth Grade

English:  Middle School English is a blend of grammar, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and literature. We work hard to incorporate all of these elements throughout the year.  Sixth grade has a strong focus on grammar. The goal in sixth grade is to introduce the basics (parts of speech) while covering other frame-work topics, like complements, prepositional phrases, and clauses. A strong grammar base helps them immensely throughout the rest of middle and high school. The introduction of the five paragraph essay, and working on this skill so early, definitely makes a positive impact on their writing in later years.

Math:  The sixth grade course continues to develop skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Geometry concepts, measurements, statistics, and ratios are covered and the topic of integers, variables, expressions, and equations are introduced.  The focus in every chapter is on problem solving, critical thinking, and number sense.  This course is designed to provide a solid foundation for pre-algebra.

Physical Science:  The study of science changes beginning in middle school.  Where the elementary grades study all three areas of science – physical science, life science and earth science – middle school allows the students the opportunity to concentrate on one area of science for an entire year.  In sixth grade, students study physical science, which is the introduction to chemistry and physics.  As with the elementary grades, students learn not only by reading and study, but by doing and evaluating.   Lessons are supported with hands-on activities and real-life experiences.  Although the area of study changes after sixth grade, lessons incorporate skills and content that will be used in the other areas of scientific concentration.

World History: 
The sixth grade will travel throughout time and study the world focusing on different cultures and geography.  The journey begins in the ancient world from the beginning of human society to the Renaissance.  The students will be introduced to the geography, landforms, climate, environment, and resources of the ancient civilizations.  The focus will be the spread of civilizations throughout the world, the early modern world, and present time.  Map work is an integral part of the curriculum.

Foreign Language:  The goal of our middle school foreign language program is to give students a solid base in Spanish
or French, to prepare them for high school, and to inspire them to continue their foreign language study.  Taking a foreign language in sixth grade allows the students to continue their language-learning adventure by progressing to the next level.  Throughout the next three years, students will focus on the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

French:
The French program enables students to communicate in another language, while increasing comprehension, and the vocabulary and grammatical skills needed to receive credit for French I at the end of 8th grade.  All French students use the high school French I text book, Bien dit!.  It is accompanied by workbooks, classroom CD’s and on-line support.  Culture is introduced in each unit.  Sixth Grade French students cover chapters 1-3, and are introduced to the language with greetings and leave-taking, numbers 0-30, classroom objects and expressions, likes, dislikes, and leisure activities. They learn about the pronunciation of the alphabet, accents and special characters necessary to French.  Grammar sections cover subject pronouns, subjects and verbs, gender and number of nouns, - er verbs, the irregular and very important verbs “avoir” and “être”, and, also, indefinite and definite articles, conjunctions, contractions with à, and the question word “Est-ce que”. Culture will cover Paris and the surrounding area, art, food, and history.  Students present dialogues and a presentation of a landmark of Paris.

Spanish:

“¡Así se Dice”--  This textbook consists of 11 chapters, each one introducing a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, reading, listening comprehension, speaking and writing activities, multimedia cultural presentations, and interactive activities which reinforce the learning.  There is a strong emphasis on context and conversational examples in each unit.  Students should expect to become familiar with common vocabulary words, comprehend a wide range of grammar patterns, participate in simple conversations, respond appropriately to basic conversational prompts, and analyze and compare cultural practices by the time they graduate from middle school.  Sixth Grade Spanish Class meets every day.  Daily work & practice will be done in class to reinforce the learning.  *6th graders study the first five chapters of the textbook.

Physical Education:  The middle school physical education program plays an important part of the total educational
principals of each student, through the medium of sport, movement, and safety.  Through the
exposure to a wide variety of activities, students will gain the necessary knowledge to understand the importance of and make educated decisions around opportunities to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Christian Education -- Survey of the New Testament:  This course is an exciting walk through the pages of the New
Testament from an academic viewpoint.  Students will have an opportunity to express their creativity through visual arts, projects, biblical skits, and writing.  They will engage one another in games and activities designed to support the curriculum and to help them integrate the material in appealing and age appropriate ways.  After building a foundation of New Testament structure, students will learn the themes, characteristics, literary devices, historical and geographical aspects of the synoptic Gospels (especially St. Mark) and the Gospel of St. John.  They will tour the missionary journey and letters of St. Paul for traditional Christian message and terms.  Finally, they will explore the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit as revealed in Scripture.  They will also thoughtfully extend their service to those in need.

6th Grade Class Trip: Pine Cove
 
2 days and 2 nights in Tyler, Texas at the Pine Cove Ranch.  Students participate in teambuilding experiences including a ropes course and wilderness adventure.  Sixth grade teachers and parent chaperones attend with the grade.

Seventh Grade

English:  Like sixth grade, the seventh grade curriculum covers grammar, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and literature.  However, the focus has shifted more to writing.  Students explore certain grammar concepts in-depth, and usually do so by incorporating what they have learned into their own writing.  They continue to work on five paragraph literary analysis essays, and are introduced to the book review (which is another way to critically explore the material read).

Math -- Intro to Pre-Algebra OR Pre-Algebra:
Introduction to Pre-Algebra - This course establishes and reinforces foundational skills in preparation for Pre-Algebra and Algebra concepts.  Strong emphasis is placed upon integer and rational arithmetic, equations, proportions, and geometrical concepts.  The use of mental math to solve daily problems and to estimate correct answers is encouraged.

Pre-Algebra -  This course covers integral and real arithmetic, exponents, first-degree polynomials, equations and their solutions, inequalities, radicals, probability and statistics.  Coordinate geometry is also explored.  The use of critical thinking skills is necessary for understanding the elements of pre-algebra.
    *Students are placed based upon class performance, teacher and parent recommendations, and standardized testing.

Life Science:  Life science is the study of living things and their environment, including cytology, genetics, microbiology, botany, human anatomy, physiology, and ecology.  In this class the student is an active participant in the learning process doing laboratory activities, computer interactives, and virtual labs using biological concepts.  Students will also participate in community projects to broaden their understanding of biology in action.

American History:  The seventh grade American History curriculum emphasizes the culture, political, social, economic, and geographic development of the United States from the Civil War through the Great Depression.  Students begin to apply this core knowledge by making connections and recognizing the continuity between the ideas, events, and people of history and their lives now.  Students build on previous research skills acquired in sixth grade to develop individual projects related to American History for the Social Studies Fair. They also examine and analyze written and visual information related to current events.   Guided and independent note taking skills are practiced along with developing essay writing through Document Based Questions.

Foreign Language:  The goal of our middle school foreign language program is to give students a solid base in Spanish or French, to prepare them for high school, and to inspire them to continue their foreign language study.  Students will focus on the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

French: 
The French program enables students to communicate in another language, while increasing comprehension, and the vocabulary and grammatical skills needed to receive credit for French I at the end of 8th grade.  All French students use the high school French I text book, Bien dit!.  It is accompanied by workbooks, classroom CD’s and on-line support.  Culture is introduced in each unit.
Seventh Grade French students review the vocabulary and grammar of 6th grade, chapters 1-3, and study chapters 4-6 of the textbook.  They cover the vocabulary of physical descriptions and personal traits, family and pets, school subjects, days of the week, time, school supplies and the numbers 31-201. Sports activities, seasons, months, places in town, weather, food, and place settings are studied.  Grammar covers –re verbs, the stem-changing verbs, the irregular verbs “être” and “faire”, adjectives, adverbs, contractions with “de”, the near future and recent past and idioms with “avoir”, the partitive article, the imperative tense and additional irregular verbs.  Culture sections cover the provence of Quebec and its food, sports, festivals and history.

Spanish:
“¡Así se Dice”- - This textbook consists of 11 chapters, each one introducing a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, reading, listening comprehension, speaking and writing activities, multimedia cultural presentations, and interactive activities which reinforce the learning.  There is a strong emphasis on context and conversational examples in each unit.  Students should expect to become familiar with common vocabulary words, comprehend a wide range of grammar patterns, participate in simple conversations, respond appropriately to basic conversational prompts, and analyze and compare cultural practices by the time they graduate from middle school.  Students will cover chapters 6, 9, 10 and 11 in 7th grade.

Physical Education:  The middle school physical education program plays an important part of the total educational
principals of each student, through the medium of sport, movement, and safety.  Through the
exposure to a wide variety of activities, students will gain the necessary knowledge to understand the importance of and make educated decisions around opportunities to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Christian Education -- Building a Life on the Rock: A Survey of Biblical Values, Christian Ethics, & Moral Virtue:  This course tours classical Scripture based values, philosophical virtue ethics, and legal structures that guide and guard moral decision-making.  The study provides models and practical approaches for making life decisions while taking responsibility for one’s own actions.  Role plays and case studies provide an up close look at life application, dealing with issues such as family values, loyalty, relationships, friendship, inclusion, truth, reputation and integrity.  The students are challenged to become aware of moral issues that arise in the news and to recognize the importance of ethical standards in the workplace.  Finally, they are called to think about the critical needs of their world as expressed in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals as they are challenged to care and to respond to human need such as poverty and hunger.  Highlights of the course includes debate forum, a thoughtful student produced television broadcast dealing with ethical issues in a creative way, and a Green-Friendly Organic Food Fest.

7th Grade Class Trip: Galveston
 
3 days, 2 nights in Galveston, Texas.  Students visit the Texas A&M Research Lab and Sea Camp, a Gulf of Mexico oil rig, and the Lone Star Flight Museum.  7th grade teachers and parent chaperones attend with the grade.

Eighth Grade

English:  The goals of eighth grade English are to provide students with the grammatical terminology and knowledge necessary to discuss and implement correct usage, correct punctuation, and improved sentence structure.  Intensive composition, reading, vocabulary, and grammar skills are integrated with presentation, technology, and collaborative skills.  Students will read a variety of literary genres and will gain facility in literary analysis.  Lessons and assignments are specifically focused on preparing students for college preparatory high school curricula.

Math -- Intro to Algebra OR Algebra 1:
Intro to Algebra 1 - This course begins with the review and reinforcement of pre-algebraic skills and concepts.  It encompasses foundation work in arithmetic, number theory, algebra, geometry, and probability.  Topics from these include integer and rational arithmetic, writing and solving equations, graphing linear equations and inequalities, and geometric formulae.  This course prepares students to take Algebra 1 in high school.

Algebra 1 - is a high school course offered at the middle school level.  The course begins with a comprehensive review or integral arithmetic, operations with real numbers, exponents, graphs, solutions of equations and inequalities, ratio, proportion, percent, and geometry concepts.  Algebra 1 studies products and factors of polynomials, inequalities, systems of equations and inequalities in two variables, radicals, quadratic functions, and geometry.  Higher order thinking skills are required.  Students successfully completing this course will be awarded high school credit.
    *Students are placed based upon class performance, teacher and parent recommendations, and standardized testing.

American and Louisiana History:

First Semester--  The eighth grade first semester curriculum emphasizes the cultural, political, social, economic, and geographic development of the United States from WWII through the Middle East conflicts.  Students continue to build on core knowledge as they make connections and recognize the continuity between the ideas, events, and people of history and their lives now.  Several methods of independent note taking skills are introduced and practiced thus allowing students to help determine individual learning styles. Students continue to develop comprehensive essay writing skills & build on Document Based Questions.

Second Semester --  Louisiana history is designed to give students the opportunity to explore their own ethnic & cultural backgrounds as well as those of others.  They will also experience the rich & varied natural resources and geographical regions of our state.  By studying our past, they gain a better understanding of our future.  Students finish the year with a cultural field trip to South Louisiana, which is a wonderful highlight of material covered in the classroom.

Foreign Language:

The goal of our middle school foreign language program is to give students a solid base in Spanish or French, to prepare them for high school, and to inspire them to continue their foreign language study.  Students will focus on the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

French:
Specifically, Eighth Grade French students review the vocabulary and grammar of chapters 1-6, and study chapters 7-10. These new chapters cover the numbers 1,000-1,000,000, ordinal numbers, clothing, sports equipment, chores, the house and furniture, places in the city, means of transportation, the pharmacy, bank, post office, train station, airport, hotel, and travel items.  Grammar covers ir verbs: , the imperative and past tense (passé composé) with avoir and être, many important irregular verbs, demonstrative and interrogative adjectives. Culture includes the L’Ouest de France, Le Midi, and Le Sénégal and readings from these locations.
The goal of the 8th grade year is to prepare students to earn high school credit for French I and to be able to take French II in high school. Students who pass the credit exam may still elect to take French I in high school.  Students are hopefully ready for a trip to France or another French-speaking country!

Spanish:
¡Así se Dice” - - This textbook consists of 11 chapters, each one introducing a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, reading, listening comprehension, speaking and writing activities, multimedia cultural presentations, and interactive activities which reinforce the learning.  There is a strong emphasis on context and conversational examples in each unit.  Students should expect to become familiar with common vocabulary words, comprehend a wide range of grammar patterns, participate in simple conversations, respond appropriately to basic conversational prompts, and analyze and compare cultural practices by the time they graduate from middle school.  Students will have a complete review and concentrate on reading, culture, writing, and speaking in 8th grade.  At the end of middle school, students will be prepared to pass the Spanish proficiency test to earn credit for Spanish 1 in High School.

Christian Education -- Comparative World Religions:  The survey course is an interesting and insightful look at the major religions and their significant elements such as history and beliefs, traditions and practices, ceremonies and holidays, sacred
writing and places of worship.  Beginning with the student’s own sense of religious identity, the exploration into the world of the “other” helps the student understand the differences that make each of us unique and the similarities in attempting to interpret and cope with the challenges of the human experience. One highlight of the course is The World Feast, which is a tasty way to explore diversity.

8th Grade Fall Class Trip:  Heifer Ranch
 
2 days, 1 night at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas.  Students learn how to work as a team to make a difference and change lives with only the bare necessities through trade and bartering.  Chaplain Kane, eighth grade teachers, and parent chaperones attend with the grade.
 
8th Grade Spring Class Trip:  South Louisiana
 
4 days, 3 nights exploring South Louisiana.  Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans...highlights of Louisiana history, culture, commerce, resources, and food.  Visits to Avery Island, the State Capitol, and French Quarter, just to name a few!  Eighth grade teachers and parent chaperones attend with the grade.