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HHMS 6th Grade Course Bulletin 2021-2022
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                                                                           January 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians:

This booklet is designed to give you an overview of the 6th Grade instructional program at Herbert Hoover Middle School.  It contains information on Montgomery County Middle School courses. Please refer to this resource as you advise your student. The school counselors will support student registration through classroom visits.

We are very proud of our comprehensive program with its emphasis on the whole child. In order to provide a well-rounded curriculum as required by the Maryland State Department of Education, we have structured our electives program to include multiple opportunities for students to be exposed to different experiences with a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Drama, Math/Music/Movement (STEAM3) focus. Our instructional teams will work with you to assure that your students are challenged, supported, and nurtured throughout their three years at Hoover.

If you have any questions, please contact our School Counseling Office at 301-968-3750.

Sincerely,

Yong-Mi Kim, Ed.D.

Principal


Table of Contents

Introduction

 

English

ESOL

World Languages

Mathematics

Science

Social Studies

Physical & Health Education

Grade 6 Quarterly Rotations

Quarterly Rotations/Semester Electives Course Descriptions

Full-Year Music Course Descriptions

For more information, please visit the Hoover Counseling Website:

https://www.hoovermscounseling.org/

Introduction

Excerpts from the Montgomery County Public Schools' policy on middle school education are included as background information to help explain the structure and instructional program of Hoover Middle School. One of the primary purposes of the policy is to ensure that middle schools provide strong emphasis on academic achievement and focus on the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth of students in their middle learning years. Hoover Middle School works diligently with staff, parents, and students to fully implement the policy.

Philosophy

Each student has a unique combination of abilities and talents, learning rates and styles, hopes and dreams, and problems and fears. The rapid physical change in early adolescence creates great diversity and variability in cognitive functioning and personality development.

Middle school education will address the unique needs and characteristics of emerging adolescents in grades six through eight. It is designed to enable all students to make better sense of their world.

Middle school education will prepare students academically for high school and for eventual full participation in their communities. All students will have the opportunity to reach their academic potential, to learn higher order thinking skills, and to develop the abilities to find and analyze information, pose problems and seek solutions, persevere, collaborate, and take responsibility for their own learning.

Curriculum

The middle school curriculum addresses questions young adolescents have about themselves and the world around them and questions posed to them by the world in which they live. It addresses the needs of all students.  Both curriculum content and methodology relate to the interests and needs of young adolescents. They emphasize both product and process.  The MCPS approved curriculum forms the framework upon which the Hoover instructional program is built. In addition, it addresses the requirements of a well-rounded curriculum as required by the Maryland State Department of Education.

Middle school is also a time for exploration. Students engage in a variety of experiences and have opportunities to explore a range of courses. Required and exploratory courses provide opportunities for students to develop personal attributes such as self-esteem, responsibility, integrity, pride in achievements, as well as problem-solving, decision-making, study, and thinking skills.

Interdisciplinary Team

At Hoover the teaching staff is organized into interdisciplinary grade level teams.  English, reading, mathematics, social studies, science, and foreign language teachers are represented. The grade level teams plan and provide for the daily instructional program. Each team has a leader or IRT (interdisciplinary resource teacher). Each grade level has an assigned administrator and counselor. Arts and physical education teachers provide instruction for all students across teams.

The team provides a coordinated support and reinforcement program designed to address individual student needs and assessment measures. Support programs such as peer tutoring, mentoring, after-school tutoring, and extended day academic classes are designed to improve overall student performance. Self-esteem for every student is promoted through activities that enable students to develop skills in goal-setting, problem-solving, conflict resolution, leadership, and organization. These programs provide positive reinforcement for students. Teams also conduct activities that reward, praise, and recognize student efforts.

Support Services for Students

Depending on the programs and the needs of students, support services may be given directly in the classroom, individually, or in small groups. The teacher specialists confer regularly with the grade level and arts teams to ensure a consistent and integrated approach to meeting the needs of these students.

The specialists provide services in the following areas:

Students with Individual Education Plans, Limited English Proficiency, or 504 Plans are supported in mainstream and self-contained classes per their individualized plans.

English

Advanced English Grade 6 (1075)

This course integrates the five English/language arts processes (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing) and the two contents (language and literature) in a thematic organization of six units. Rigor and challenge are essential components of the instructional approach to English 6, and instruction in reading and writing strategies, grammar, and vocabulary is embedded in every unit. Students read, analyze, and study different genres related to each of the themes and complete required common tasks. The common tasks focus primarily on the writing process for three types of writing—argument, narrative, and informative/ explanatory—and they include the use of information, word processing, and presentation technology to address a variety of language skills. Students have opportunities to present their work orally and through various technology tools. All students develop portfolios and revisit their compositions as they work to strengthen their writing skills.

ESOL (English for Students of Other Languages)-Grades 6, 7, 8

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program provides high quality English language development instruction aligned to grade level content standards in English/Language Arts. These courses focus on helping students develop the academic language proficiency needed to be able to learn content knowledge, skills and processes and effectively use language to communicate proficiently in mainstream courses. These courses are designed for the rapid mastery of the English language, focusing on reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. ESOL courses usually begin with extensive listening and speaking practice, building on auditory and oral skills, and support the development of reading and writing.

The State of Maryland is a member of the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium. As a member of WIDA, the Maryland State Department of Education and all public school systems in Maryland use the WIDA English language development standards and assessments to guide the development of ESOL curriculum, assess English language proficiency levels, and inform ESOL instructional placement decisions.

Students who need language instruction to acquire English receive English language development instruction aligned to the English language proficiency (ELP) and content standards. Beginning ESOL students, scoring at WIDA Level 1.0 to 2.9, receive sheltered instruction in English and

other content courses. Intermediate and Advanced ESOL students, scoring at WIDA Levels 3.0 to 4.4,receive English language development (ELD) instruction from a dually certified (English/ESOL) who is also responsible for teaching English content or they receive ELD instruction in a co-teaching model from an English and ESOL teacher. ESOL students can only receive 2 English credits from ELD courses (e.g., English for Beginning ELs, English for Intermediate ELs and English for Advanced ELs).

The Residency and International Admissions Office of Montgomery County Public Schools determines student placement in ESOL classes.  

New Middle School ESOL Courses*

ELP 1 (Double Period)

ELP 2 (Double Period)

ELP 3 (Single Period)

1271-English 6 for ELs I

English/Language Arts I (6th grade) courses build upon students’ prior knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, word usage, and the mechanics of writing and usually include the four aspects of language use: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Typically, these courses introduce and define various genres of literature, with writing exercises often linked to reading selections. These courses also provide an explanation of the English language, enabling students to progress from a beginning level of understanding of English vocabulary and grammatical structures to a more comprehensive grasp of various formal and informal styles of using Academic English in the context of English Language Arts.        

1274-English 6 for ELs II

English/Language Arts II (6th grade) courses build upon students’ prior knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, word usage, and the mechanics of writing and usually include the four aspects of language use: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Typically, these courses introduce and define various genres of literature, with writing exercises often linked to reading selections. These courses also provide an explanation of the English language, enabling students to progress from an intermediate level of understanding of English vocabulary and grammatical structures to a more comprehensive grasp of various formal and informal styles of using Academic English in the context of English Language Arts.

1277-English 6 for ELs III

English/Language Arts III (6th grade) courses build upon students’ prior knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, word usage, and the mechanics of writing and usually include the four aspects of language use: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Typically, these courses introduce and define various genres of literature, with writing exercises often linked to reading selections. These courses also provide an explanation of the English language, enabling students to progress from an advanced level of understanding of English vocabulary and complex grammatical structures to a more comprehensive grasp of various formal and informal styles of using Academic English in the context of English Language Arts.

*ELP 4 recevieve ELD instruction in a co-taught model or with an ESOL teacher teaching an English course with the ‘40’ suffix.

World Languages

Note: Final decisions about the specific offerings will depend on student registration and staffing allocation.

The MCPS world languages program follows the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) standard that “effective language instruction must provide significant levels of meaningful communication and interactive feedback in the target language in order for students to develop language and cultural proficiency.”  The ability to communicate in a culturally appropriate manner with speakers of other languages is the key to success in the increasingly diverse global community of the 21st century.  Hoover currently offers courses in Chinese, Spanish, and French at all grade levels.

Course Level Descriptions

(For students who have not taken the first level of a language course in MCPS but have a background in a language that they wish to continue studying, a placement test will be administered to determine what level is appropriate for the interested students.)

Level 1

Novice-low to novice-mid.  Students begin to learn to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about topics related to daily life. They interpret basic information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and basic grammatical structures are taught within the context of these familiar topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Level 2

Novice-high to intermediate-low.  Students expand their ability to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about topics related to daily life. They interpret information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and grammatical structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Level 3 

Intermediate-mid.  Students continue to expand their ability to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about a variety of familiar topics. They interpret detailed information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and more complex grammatical structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Course Themes

Chinese 1

1A themes are: Getting Acquainted, Family, Classroom, and Calendar.

1B themes are: Chinese Money, My School, Daily Routines, and Food Preferences.

French 1

1A themes are: Welcome to French Class, What Do You like, Family, and At School.

1B themes are: Pastimes, Meals, Clothing, and At Home.

Spanish 1

1A themes are: Introducing Myself, My Likes & Talents, My Day at School, and Our Home

1B themes are: This Is Us, My Free Time, Food, and Vacations

High School Credit 

World Language courses are high school credit bearing courses.  In order to receive credit for high school courses completed while in middle school, middle school students must meet the same requirements as high school students and earn a final grade of A, B, C, or D.  

For students who entered Grade 6 prior to the 2018-2019 school year, the final grade and credit for high school courses successfully completed in middle school are reported on the high school transcript and included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA.

For students who enter Grade 6 during or after the 2018-2019 school year, the final grade and credit earned for high school courses successfully completed while in middle school will be reported on the high school transcript, but will not be calculated into the cumulative GPA unless requested by the parent/guardian. Parents/guardians will be notified annually of procedures to follow in order to include such courses in the cumulative GPA.

Additional information can be found in MCPS Regulation IKC-RA, Grade Point Averages (GPA) and Weighted Grade Point Averages (WGPA).

GRADE 6 OPTIONS

  • Chinese 1A/B Immersion*
  • Chinese 1A/B
  • French 1A/B
  • Spanish 1A/B

*Students who have successfully completed the Potomac Elementary School or Bayard Rustin Elementary School Chinese Immersion Program will register for the immersion version of the course

Mathematics

LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics Grade 6 Course

Course Description:  

The Grade 6 Math Course extends students' understanding of concepts developed throughout the elementary grades. There are intentional connections between and within units in this course. This allows students to explore ideas informally and concretely in order to build toward a more formal and abstract understanding. The intent of this course, through the organization of content, carefully selected pedagogy, and inclusion of the Standards of Mathematical Practice in design, is that students will work collaboratively to deepen their understanding of concepts, practice procedural skill and fluency, and apply their understanding to a variety of contexts.

The Grade 6 Math Course begins with a unit on reasoning about area and understanding and applying concepts of surface area. These materials incorporate opportunities to practice elementary arithmetic concepts and skills. From geometry, students move to studying ratios, unit rates, and percentages using various diagrams. The first semester ends with dividing fractions using diagrams and the standard algorithm. From there, students continue the study of standard algorithms to compute with decimals. Students will then evaluate expressions, solve equations, and study rational numbers before concluding the year with an introduction to statistics.

In Grade 6 Math, there are approximately two units per quarter. The course ends with a culminating optional unit that combines learning from previous units.

 

Topics of Study:  

 

Applied Investigations into Mathematics

Course Description:  

Applied Investigations into Mathematics (AIM) extends students’ understanding of mathematical concepts developed in Mathematics 6 and accelerates the pace of instruction to prepare for Algebra 1.  This course compacts all of the Grade 7 Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and much of the Grade 8 CCSS into a single year.  Students who successfully complete AIM are prepared for Algebra 1.  The remaining Grade 8 CCSS are compacted into the Algebra 1 course. Instruction for AIM will focus on four critical areas:  (1) developing a unified understanding of number, recognizing fractions, decimals (including both those that have a finite or a repeating decimal representation), and percents as different representations of rational numbers; (2) using linear equations and systems of linear equations to represent, analyze, and solve a variety of problems; (3) comparing two data distributions and reasoning about differences between populations; (4) analyzing geometric relationships in order to solve real-world mathematical problems.

 

Topics of Study:  

Science

The middle school science program allows students to investigate both the concepts and practices of Science and Engineering.  At each grade level, topics in Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Engineering are interconnected to show students the relationships that exist between the sciences and the natural world.  Inquiry and laboratory investigations are an integral part of the program.  Problem solving and online investigations are used continually to allow students to investigate authentic problems and reinforce science concepts.  The middle school science program was developed in part through a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant and reflects the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by the State of Maryland.  High expectations and differentiated instruction allow all students a challenging and engaging access to science.

Investigations in Science 6 (IS6)

IS 6 is a problem/project based curriculum.  Instruction is interwoven around a relevant problem/project to allow a focus for student learning.  Students engage in minds-on inquiry and hands-on explorations, productive discourse, and purposeful reading and writing.  Units studied in IS 6 center around topics related to matter and its interactions, ecosystem dynamics, human impacts on the environment, energy, and waves.  Students engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in order to propose solutions to identified problems. Students are awarded 10 SSL hours at the completion of Grade 6 Science for their full participation in SSL activities.


Social Studies

The goal of the MCPS Social Studies Program is to help create literate and well-informed citizens who actively participate in a democratic society.  Social studies is the part of the school curriculum that employs the concepts, facts, generalizations, and skills of history and the social sciences to promote responsible citizenship.  Through the study of history, past events and decisions are examined critically and assessed according to their importance for the present and future.  Our social studies curriculum is a comprehensive study of our community, nation, and world, offering students the skills and knowledge to thrive in an increasingly complex society.

The middle school social studies curriculum is designed to provide students with a firm foundation in the structures and concepts of the systems of geography, economics, politics, and culture that exist in today’s world as well as the historical basis of those systems.  Included in this foundation are the requisite skills necessary for students to independently acquire, interpret, evaluate, and communicate information.  In addition, advanced lessons teach students historical-thinking skills. This includes the ability of students to critically read and write in response to primary and secondary historical sources. This foundation is intended to best prepare students for the rigor of future high school coursework.

There are two major strands that run through all units in grades six through eight.  The first strand is specific present-day content in geography, economics, political systems, or culture.  The second strand is historical.  The history strand progresses chronologically by unit from ancient history to approximately 1000 CE in grade six, early modern world history in grade seven, and U.S. history to 1890 in grade eight.

Historical Inquiry into Global Humanities 6

The goal of the social studies curriculum in grade six is to introduce students to ancient civilizations using a variety of skills and materials.  Students gain knowledge of patterns of settlement and the components necessary for a civilization to develop.  They trace the development of such early cultures as ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China.  Students will explore deeper connections to today, engage in investigative inquiry to strengthen their writing through Document Based Questions, and enhance their learning through relevant literature connections. They will also participate in a culminating Model UN simulation at the end of the year.  The curriculum is divided into four units:  Patterns of Settlement in the Ancient and Modern Worlds; Citizenship and Governance in Classical and Modern Times; The Impact of Economics in Ancient and Modern China; and Cultural Systems:  The First Millennium and Today.

Physical & Health Education

(Physical Education Uniform – Strongly Recommended

Uniform Cost to Be Determined)

Physical Education

Physical Education classes are taught in every grade level and are designed to provide challenges for students to develop, maintain, and refine motor development.  A wide variety of physical activities are provided to meet each individual’s fitness, skill, and interest needs.  Students are given opportunities to experience enjoyment and satisfaction through successful participation in individual, small group, and large group physical activities.  Students participate in a variety of invasion, net/wall, and hitting/striking games with a focus on teaching sport concepts and skills.  In addition, fitness, weight training, and track and field skills are included in all physical education classes.

Health Education

Comprehensive Health Education is taught for a term of nine weeks during Grades 6, 7 and 8. Units of study vary within each grade level:

Grade 6

  • Mental and Emotional Health
  • Personal & Consumer Health
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Healthy Eating
  • Safety & Violence Prevention
  • Disease Prevention

Health skills emphasized throughout the program include analyzing influences; accessing information; interpersonal communication; decision making; goal-setting; self-management; and advocacy for personal, family and community health. A parent information session regarding the content of the Family Life & Human Sexuality Unit and the Disease Prevention Unit is conducted in the fall for parents. Parents give passive consent from these units unless a signed permission slip is given to the teacher indicating student opt out for the FLHS/DPC unit(s). Alternative units of study are available for students who do not opt into the Family Life & Human Sexuality Unit and the Disease Prevention Unit.

Quarterly Rotations/Semester Electives or Full-Year Music Courses

In order to provide a well-rounded curriculum as required by the Maryland State Department of Education, we have structured our electives program to include multiple opportunities for students to be exposed to different experiences with a Science, Technology, Engineering, visual and performing arts, and Math/Music/Movement (STEAM3) focus. Sixth and seventh grade students may elect to take a full-year of four quarterly, paired, nine-week courses or a full-year music course. Eighth grade students may elect to take a full-year of a paired semester courses or a full-year music course. The table below shows the options available to students per grade level. Course descriptions follow.

Fine Arts Courses

Full-Year Music Course

Grade 6

Grade 6 Quarterly Rotation

Or

Band 6

or

Intermediate Orchestra

6th Grade Arts Rotation:

In order to provide a well-rounded curriculum as required by the Maryland State Department of Education, we have structured our electives program to include multiple opportunities for students to be exposed to different experiences with a Science, Technology, Engineering, visual and performing arts, and Math/Music/Movement (STEAM3) focus. Students who choose to enroll in the 6th Grade Arts Rotation will experience four quarterly, nine-week classes across these content areas.

Quarterly Rotations Electives Course Descriptions:

Art Studio 1

In this quarter long course, students will identify and create artworks that communicate universal themes about people, events, and values that unite communities.  Through art production and investigation, students will increase their understanding of why people create art, and develop an appreciation of different cultural and individual artist styles.  Students will learn to appreciate the uniqueness of individual artwork.  Students will work in two and three-dimensional media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and they will use the art elements and design principles to compose personal artworks from observation and imagination.  Craftsmanship, aesthetics and dedication are emphasized.

Computer Literacy

Students acquire knowledge and skill sets connected to Grade 6 content areas involving the use of application, web-based, and multimedia tools. Students use word processing, spreadsheet presentation, programming, and research skills to complete authentic projects. This course focuses on the selection and use of appropriate technology tools and resources to solve problems and accomplish a variety of tasks.

Informational Literacy/Research

With a focus on digital citizenship and informational literacy, students will learn various social media and other digital tools in a responsible and respectful manner.  They will develop inquiry projects, locate and evaluate resources online and in text, demonstrate 21st century digital skills and appreciate literature.  

General Music/Voice

In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn about music and instruments from a variety of world cultures. Students explore various genres of music through singing, performing on instruments, and creating music.

Full-Year Music Course Descriptions—Band, Orchestra:

Band 6

This is a full year course offered to all sixth grade students*. This course is designed to give students a strong foundation in the fundamentals of performance of a wind or percussion instrument. Students will rehearse and perform a variety of different musical styles. Students will perform at all evening concerts. Practice of 20 minutes a day, five days a week is required.

 *Sixth grade students interested in learning to play an instrument need to contact Ms. Tilkens, Band Director, prior to registering. Beginning students will need to come in after school a couple of times a week for several weeks in order to choose an instrument and receive extra help. Through practice and hard work, beginners will be able to catch up to classmates with prior experience.

Intermediate Orchestra 6

This is a full year course offered to all sixth grade students*. This course is designed to give students a strong foundation in the fundamentals of performance on a string instrument. Students will work on proper left hand and bowing technique along with positions and shifting. Students will rehearse and perform a variety of different musical styles. The students will perform, at all evening concerts. Practice of 20 minutes a day, five days a week is required.

*Sixth grade students interested in learning to play an instrument need to contact Ms. Tilkens, Band Director, prior to registering. Beginning students will need to come in after school a couple of times a week for several weeks in order to choose an instrument and receive extra help. Through practice and hard work, beginners will be able to catch up to classmates with prior experience.