6th Literacy Class Description:
In 6th-grade literacy, students will continuously be coached and encouraged in their effort to embrace reading and creative writing. The first quarter will focus on reading and writing personal and imaginary narratives as well as poetry. The second quarter will introduce the strategies needed to read non-fiction text. The second quarter will also focus on the skill of comparing and contrasting two texts, culminating with a four-paragraph compare and contrast essay. The third quarter will begin with persuasive writing and lead to the opportunity of researching a question that students will take a stand on. A five-paragraph argumentative essay will culminate the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the focus will spiral back to narrative works within book clubs and a deeper look into the tone of an author using book club books and poetry.
6th Math Course Description:
In 6th grade, we make a switch from using Investigations as our primary math resource to using CPM Core Connections 1. The three principles of CPM are “cooperative learning”, “problem-based learning”, and “mixed, spaced practice”. Students will learn how to effectively work with teams to learn mathematics through investigation and mathematical discourse.
The following are the main mathematical focuses for 6th grade:
- division of fractions
- integers (positive and negative numbers)
- algebraic expressions/equations
We are excited to embark on this new journey with our 6th-grade students.
6th Social Studies Course Description:
We will embark on a wonderful adventure in the Western Hemisphere. We learn about the five themes of geography (movement, region, human-environment interaction, location and place), the seven elements of culture (social organization, celebrations/traditions, arts/literature, religion, language, economics and government) through history. We will conclude with practical and personal economics (financial goal setting).
6th Science Class Description:
We will focus on Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth Systems. Specifically, we will delve deeper into the state standards focusing on ecosystems, atomic structure, rock and water cycles, changing surface of the Earth, and human impact on the environment.
7th Literacy Course Description:
In 7th Grade Literacy the focus is on the following standards: Oral Expression and Listening, Reading for All Purposes, and Writing and Communication. We practice and build the skills necessary for students to read, write, access, produce, and present information, and to be effective listeners and communicators.
We begin with the study of the narrative genre in both reading and writing. We read a variety of narrative pieces to explore and understand the elements of fiction and their connections to one another. A big project at this time is to produce an original work of fiction in the form of an illustrated children’s book which presents the elements required in a narrative and demonstrates grasp of grammar, usage, and mechanics. We write daily in response to our reading and discuss and analyze connections between stories and real life and the ways literature represents the human experience.
Along with fiction, we read works from other genres including descriptive, persuasive and informational texts, essays, and a selection of poetry. Students read independently each day from self-selected materials and participate in book talks and conferences about their reading. 7th grade students write informational and persuasive texts of various lengths and craft presentations and engage in discussions to demonstrate knowledge and understanding. Students strengthen word knowledge and build vocabulary, become more adept using figurative language, and extend their thinking through reading, writing, and presenting. Throughout the year, we hone students’ proficiency in grammar, usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.
7th Math Course Description:
In 7th Grade Social Studies we focus on the appearance and development of civilizations from across Africa, Europe, and Asia from ancient times until roughly 1500 AD. Recurring topics and themes include:
1. the importance of natural resources, location, and access to trade routes.
2. the important role that stability plays in the development of civilization, as well as the components that lead to stability.
3. the development of culture, governments, belief systems, and technology.
4. the impact of different cultures bumping into one another and beginning the process of assimilation.
Civilizations we focus on include Ancient River Valley Civilizations (Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China), Greece, Rome, Medieval Europe, Enlightenment Europe, pre-Colonial Africa, and Islamic Arabia.
We also add in a large portion of the basics of modern economics as well as a healthy dose of modern current events.
7th Science Course Description:
In 7th Grade Science we spend the year learning about organisms on our planet and how the structure of the Earth and events that have occurred have impacted life. We begin our year taking a closer look at the human body and the systems that make it remarkable. We further our investigation of life by studying the parts of cells, how cells grow, replicate, and heal and how organisms obtain the energy they need to survive. As the year progresses, we analyze how life on Earth has changed over time in response to outside forces. We take a closer look at the physical features and structure of the Earth and analyze possible causes and explanations. Finally, we prepare students for 8th grade science by taking a closer look at compounds and mixtures.
Throughout the year emphasis is placed on critical thinking skills, making observations and inferring possible explanations, analyzing & gathering information, and combining acquired knowledge into non-fiction writing.
Overall topics for the year include:
~Human Body Structures & Functions
~Mitosis & The Cell Cycle
~Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration
~Biological Adaptations & Extinction Events
~The Rock Cycle & Composition of the Earth
~Continental Drift & Plate Tectonics
~Earth formations & events such as: Volcanoes, Mountains, & Earthquakes
~Elements, compounds & Mixtures
8th Literacy Course Description:
This course is designed to help 8th grade students develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Students will read novels, drama, poetry, short stories, articles, and essays. Students will engage in various activities, including individual and group work, research, grammar practice, oral presentations, and use of technology. There will be an emphasis on informative, argumentative, and narrative writing. This course prepares students for academic writing habits at the high school level.
Units and finals:
Unit 1: Narrative writing : Final: Suspense story
Unit 2: Compare and Contrast; Final: Compare and Contrast essay
Unit 3: Research and formal writing; Final: Informative essay
Unit 4: Persuasive Writing; Final: Persuasive Presentation (Ted Talk)
8th Math Course Description:
Math 8 is taught from the CPM Core Connections 3 resources, and the lessons are aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards for 8th Grade Mathematics. We focus on reasoning about expressions and equations, using functions to describe quantitative relationships, analyzing 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional space and figures, and writing numbers using exponents and scientific notation. Connections between graphs, tables, situations, and rules (equations) are discovered, and algebra tiles are used to facilitate solving complex equations. This course lays the foundation for all future math classes.
8th Social Studies Course Description:
This course is a survey of American History beginning with the colonial time period and ending with the Civil War (roughly 1750-1865). This course is designed to help students not only understand the past events, patterns, and decisions, but to also see how they have led to the structure of our present day society and government. Our main topics are the American Revolution, Westward Expansion, Slavery & Disunion, and the Civil War. During the 2nd quarter, we pause in the American History timeline, and focus solely on American Government and Civics. Through the enlightenment of this course, students will comprehend the geographical, political, social, and economic concepts that affect current events.
8th Science Course Description:
In 8th grade science students will be exposed to a variety of scientific disciplines. We begin the year with a short unit on the “Nature of Science,” which focuses on the critical thinking and inquiry approach that scientists use to develop knowledge of the natural world. The Nature of Science Unit provides students with a conceptual framework and set of first hand experiences that will guide their understanding for the entire year. Next we progress to our second unit “Our Place in Space” that explores a variety of topics in astronomy and relating earth science. These topics include models of the solar system and theories of its formation, moon phases, tides, and seasons. Next, we transition to a Unit on “Genetics” where students explore patterns and theories of inheritance as well as the cellular structures that underlay heredity. Our fourth unit “Matter and Motion,” includes two separate strands. The first strand is a brief introduction to chemical and physical changes and the principle of conservation of mass. The second strand develops an understanding of kinematics (describing motion mathematically) and dynamics (explaining motion using concepts such as forces). Our fifth and final Unit, “Energy Transformations,” gives students the opportunity to apply the Principle of Conservation of Energy to understand the motion of objects such as rockets and the energy transformations that power our modern world.
During the course students learn through a variety of means. Students conduct experiments, make subtle observations of the natural world and read challenging scientific texts. Students work collaboratively with peers, just as real scientists work collaboratively with other scientists. Throughout the year, students will engage in hands on experiences relating to model building and engineering. Students use a variety of technological tools that support their learning of the 8th grade science content and prepare them for high school and beyond.
PE Course Description:
Rifle Middle School PE students will be able to make connections about how to improve their health, fitness and quality of life through daily physical activities.
Colorado State Physical Education standards:
1. Movement and Competence Understanding
2. Physical and Personal Wellness
3. Social and Emotional Wellness
4. Prevention and Risk Management
6th Grade PE Students will participate successfully and demonstrate beginning strategies in a variety of activities, games, and sports. Students will understand the benefits of regular physical activity.
7th Grade PE Students will demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Students will understand the importance of creating personal fitness and physical fitness goals.
8th Grade PE Students will demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Students will understand and apply game strategies to physical activities and sports. Students will participate in and understand the benefits of regular physical activity.
Students will explore:
“Simply put, physical activity will help kids learn better. There’s nothing magical going on. Physical activity causes changes in the brain. As a result, we’re seeing changes in behavior.”— Charles Hillman Ph.D
Fine Arts Course Description:
The Visual Arts program here at RMS is a process over product course built around nurturing students creativity, self directedness, and artistic mind set. The program focuses on fostering the studio habits of mind (develop craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore, understand arts community) and encourages students to grow in basic life skills. Much of our program relates to skills beyond the art room including: perseverance, confidence, decision making, and accountability, and increased fine motor skills.
This program explores a wide variety of artistic mediums including clay, printmaking, painting, collage, drawing, mixed media, and sculpture. Beyond art mediums students will study art history, art elements, and learn planning skills such as creating drafts, brainstorming webs, and following plans.
Recent art projects include:
~ Pop Art and contemporary printmaking
~Replicating famous paintings
~ Sculpted letters
~ Mannequin and proportion drawings
~ Slab and coil clay projects
~School mural paintings
ELL Course Description:
The ELD curriculum has been designed to:
• Provide students with a firm base in English through the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.
• Develop students’ competence in English to achieve academically in all content areas.
• Promote understanding, respect, and appreciation for the traditions and values of the United States.