COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

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      SOUTH ALLEGHENY

             MIDDLE SCHOOL COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

     

     

     

     

                The South Allegheny Middle School represents an environment, which allows each child to experience not only emotional growth but also strong academic success through a supportive teaching staff and a responsive administration.

     

     

     

     

              

     

     

     

    English

    English/Communications 7

    Students will engage in rigorous learning and mastery of the following skills:

    -          Conventions of Standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.  These skills will be applied to a variety of written applications including: speeches, business/personal letters, and open ended response to informational material, summaries, journal entries, essays (1-3-1 format), critiques, poetry, and creative composition.

    -          Grade appropriate fiction/drama by reading/listening/performing A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  This fiction unit encompasses a historical overview of 19th century England, with an emphasis on: theme, metaphor, simile, foreshadowing, alliteration, reading comprehension, plot, and the importance of setting. This unit will explore figurative language and the elements of writing.  Also, this lesson is part of an inter-disciplinary exercise that culminates with a field trip to the Byham Theater to experience A Musical Christmas Carol.

    -          Exposure to poetry and poetic devices including: alliteration, assonance, consonance, slant rhyme, rhyme scheme, iambic pentameter, end rhyme, Haiku, Sonnets, Limericks, Concrete poems, Epic poems, Ballads, and free verse.  Students will analyze and create a portfolio accentuating various poetic genres.

    -          Research based learning with emphasis on current real world topics.  Students apply technology, media, and modern citation techniques to craft a speech about the plight of endangered species.  Students are required to apply research towards formulating ideas to help animals considered endangered.  This unit implements research, written, and public speaking skills.

    -          Every section addressed will incorporate: real world applications, project based learning, small/large group interaction, differentiation, and depth of knowledge with a focus on mastery of grade appropriate skills.

     

    English

    Grade 8

    Students are instructed in grammar, usage, and mechanics which is meant to strengthen their writing. Students and taught phrases, clauses, parts of speech, and the development of muli-paragraph essays. Students use the writing process, and it is applied in various genres of writing. All expectations are in correlation with the PSSA Reading, Writing, and Speaking Standards and Eligible Content.

     

    Honors English

    Grade 8

    This is an accelerated course that requires the student to do more independent reading and critiquing of literature.

    Pre Req- Advanced score on PSSA in Reading in 7th gd, 90% in Reading and English every 9 weeks. Must meet BOTH criteria of Honors English 8. Courses with less than 15 students may be deleted from the curriculum at the discretion of the South Allegheny School District.

     

    Reading

    Grade 8

    This course is designed to reinforce and refine reading skills necessary to comprehend complex texts. The students will be provided with activities that allow them to truly interact with novels and other literary works. Students will be actively involved in writing creative and critical responses to stories, poems, dramas, and novels. Emphasis will be placed on skills necessary for proficient results on the PSSA reading tests such as : Fact/Opinion, Predictions, Main Ideas, Literary Devices, Details and Organization.

     

     

    Reading

    Grade 7

    This course is designed to familiarize students with the types of reading skills that they will encounter on a daily basis. The students will be provided with activities that allow them to truly interact with novels and other literary works. Students will be actively involved in writing creative and critical responses to stories, poems, dramas, and novels. Emphasis will be placed on skills necessary for proficient results on the PSSA reading tests such as : Fact/Opinion, Predictions, Main Ideas, Literary Devices, Details and Organization.

     

    Math

    Grade 7

    Review of fundamentals of arithmetic in preparation for pre-algebra and PSSA

     

    Integrated Math 7

    Students will understand the four basic operations of arithmetic as it pertains to solving open sentences. Students will understand the basic vocabulary of algebra, such as terms and variables so they can apply properties of equalities in an effort to solve various algebraic problems.

    Pre-Req- Must have a 90% every 9 weeks in Math 6. Must score advanced on your Math PSSA’s in 6th grade. Must meet BOTH criteria for Integrated Math 7.

     

    Math 8

    Students will understand the four basic operations of arithmetic as it pertains to solving open sentences. Students will understand the basic vocabulary of algebra, such as terms and variables so they can apply properties of equalities in an effort to solve various algebraic problems.

     

    Integrated Math 8

    Students will develop problem solving skills by using algebraic terminology and various equation solving techniques. Also, students will develop the ability to interpret written information into mathematical sentences.

    Pre-Req- Must have scored Advanced or Proficient on the PSSSA’s in Math in 7th grade, must have at least an 80% in Math every 9 weeks in 7th grade. Must meet BOTH criteria for integrated Math 8.

     

    Algebra I

    Grade 8

    Students will develop problem solving skills by using algebraic terminology and various equation solving techniques. Also, students will develop the ability to interpret written information into mathematical sentences.

    Pre-Req- Must have scored Advanced on the PSSA’s in Math in 7th gd and have had at least a 90% in math every 9 weeks in 7th grade.  Must meet BOTH criteria for Algebra I.

     

     

     

    Life Science

    Grade 7

    This course offers an introduction to basic life science concepts. Curriculum includes structure and function of organisms, transfer of energy, basic ecological concepts, evolution, classification, genetics, measurement, and the proper use of scientific instruments. As part of the curriculum appropriate laboratory behavior is required to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all students and instructors in the science classroom.

     

     

     

    Physical Science

    Grade 8

    This course offers an introduction to basic physical science concepts. Curriculum includes fundamental properties of matter, energy, forces, motion, measurements, and the proper use of scientific instruments.

     

     

    American Cultures Grade 7 is designed to introduce students to a more thorough analysis of Colonial and Revolutionary America.  The course also focuses on the constitution and early years of the nation. Students will receive instruction on Pennsylvania History in order to develop a higher level of understanding concerning state history and contemporary issues. The course will continue to develop writing skills through increasingly challenging activities and the continued development of essay skills.

     

    US History

    Grade 8

    This course is designed to provide eighth grade students with a comprehensive course of study of study in United States History. The types of skills that are stressed in this course are basic social studies skills, may and graph skills, citizenship skills and critical thinking skills. Each of these skills will be developed by the use of various teaching techniques.

     

    Art

    Grade 7

    Introductory course that shows students a variety of media incorporating the elements and principles of design. Projects may include painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Students will use references from art history, multicultural images and nature to create their own designs.

     

    Art

    Grade 8

    Introductory course that shows students a variety of media incorporating the elements and principles of design. Projects may include painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Students will use references from art history, multicultural images and nature to create their own designs.

     

     

    Music Appreciation

    Grade 7

    Seventh grade Music Appreciating begins with a study of instrumental music and it’s four families. Students will also gain a basic understanding of music theory

     

    Music Appreciation

    Grade 8

    Eighth grade Music Appreciation is an intensive study of musical theater. It begins with the components and then students will study three musicals in depth. This course ends with a study of the composers of musical theater.

     

    STEM

    Grade 7

    This course is designed to teach 7th grade students the fundamentals of drafting. The students will learn how to read a ruler, along with adding and subtracting of these measurements.

     

     

    Engineering Design and Modeling -Course Description;- Tech Ed 8-Engineering Design & Modeling is an introductory course to engineering. This is a nine week course that will have students work through the engineering design process to complete several hands on activities/projects. Students will learn the importance of working in teams, improving their creativity, and enhancing their problem solving skills. Students will learn various methods of technical sketching as a means to communicate their design ideas as well as learning how to use the 3D modeling software.

     

    7th Grade Modular Technology -Course Description-  7th Grade Modular Technology  students work at multimedia stations where they get information via the computer, view videos, and reading textbooks. They are continuously tested on this information through pre and post–tests as well as exercises. These exercises can be word scrambles, crosswords, fill in the blank, true or false. Etc. Students will also create hands on projects for most of the modules. There are also experiments at various modules that correspond to the theme of that module. In all of our modules they are being challenged in various skill areas such as mathematics, language arts, science, and thinking skills.

     

    STEPS

    Grade 7

    Students will begin exploring careers using Microsoft publisher. They will create flyers and newsletters using this software.

     

    STEPS

    Grade 8

    Students will explore careers while learning how to write checks and research the cost of living. Real world life situations will be explored.

     

     

    Family and Consumer Science

    Grade 7

    This course is designed to introduce students to safety and sanitation procedures in the kitchen as well as correct measuring techniques in both the kitchen and sewing area. Laboratory experiences will enhance students understanding of topics discussed.

     

    Band

    Grade 7 and 8

    Prerequisite – at least one year of elementary band training or audition

    The 7th and 8th grade band is the middle rung of the instrumental music program. This course consists of a daily concert band rehearsal. Basic musical performance skills acquired in the elementary band are reinforced and expanded upon in preparation for entering the high school band Daily ensemble playing of scales, rhythm patterns, and concert arrangements are designed to expose students to light classics, contemporary literature and popular music. Music skills, discipline, personal responsibility, pride and self-confidence are emphasized.

     

    Chorus

    Grade 7 and 8

    Students will learn the fundamentals of singing and prepare music at performance level for two yearly concerts.

     

    Core Review 7 and 8

    This class is designed to give students additional help in their core subjects. Students will receive concentrated instruction and enrichment. Students will be learning specific study strategies for that specific class.