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Middle School

math teacher and students

MATHEMATICS

The Middle School Math curriculum for Grades 6, 7, 8 consists of four categories from the PA Common Core standards

  • Numbers and Operations
  • Algebraic Concepts
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

6th graders are focused mainly on operations with fractions, decimals, percents, and ratios.  As the students move toward high school, there is heavier emphasis on algebraic topics such as functions and laws of exponents in order to prepare them for Algebra 1 in 9th grade.   Our students learn through a variety of methods, including hands-on experiences and group projects from the school district-endorsed Math Assessment Project.  Students use TI-73 graphing calculators to assist and enhance their learning, but are not dependent on them to solve problems. To enrich our curriculum, programs are offered before and after school such as Extended Day, Math Club, and Math Counts.

Middle School literacy activity with students

Literacy

The Penn Alexander Middle School Literacy curriculum helps prepare students for the rigorous and diverse demands required to be successful, literate individuals in the 21st Century.  The curriculum equips the students with the necessary strategies, tools, and skills that ensure each child is prepared for high school readiness, with aims towards college and career readiness.

Throughout the year, students receive instruction in four genres: narrative, expository. argument and poetry.  Close reading strategies are explored in the 6th grade year.  Students are guided to consider and explore the discipline of reading as students of literature for academic purposes.  While the practice of pleasure reading is still encouraged and supported, a purposeful philosophical shift in the approach to reading and analyzing literature is cultivated.

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teacher and student dressed in costume for mock trial

Social Studies

The Social Studies curriculum for middle school students at Penn Alexander focuses on project based instruction across grades 6th, 7th, and 8th.  The curriculum also includes many different types of texts, including novels and the use of primary and secondary sources.  During the 6th grade year, students experience elements of geography and explore ancient civilizations.  During the 7th grade year, students participate in war simulations and read about the experiences of soldiers and citizens during these periods of history.  During their final year at the middle school, students examine different periods of American history with a heavy focus on primary documents.

students with science experiment

Science 

Middle school Science is inquiry-based, and uses interactive textbooks as its foundation.  Students work collaboratively on projects and labs, and they also work independently to complete their intensive science fair projects.

In 6th grade, students focus on Earth Science and learn about water, soil, and space.  The 7th grade year is devoted to Life Science, and students use microscopes, study zebra fish embryos, and spend many hours in our outdoor classroom and garden spaces. In 8th grade, students learn Physical Science through chemical reactions, STEM activities, and labs that get them moving!

Last modified: December 12, 2017