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Bennington Public Schools


Middle School Curriculum Guide

2022-2023

Interdisciplinary Teams

An interdisciplinary team is a group of teachers, usually from three to five persons who teach the core academic subjects, who share the same students, the same space, and the same schedule. Team teachers strive to integrate the academic program in which their common students are involved.

Honoring a middle school philosophy, our Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grades will each be divided into teams for the purpose of teaching social studies, math, science, reading and language arts.

Teaming allows teachers to work together, integrate curriculum, focus on student strengths/challenges and  provide assistance. Networking among teachers, parents/guardians, counselors, administrators, and special education is facilitated through the regularly scheduled team meetings. Teaming also fosters students’ sense of belonging and builds on our positive school climate. We are proudly a student-centered school, following a middle school philosophy.

Exploratory Program

The exploratory program consists of all courses not a part of the interdisciplinary core structure. It is important middle level students are exposed to a wide variety of educational experiences that will assist them in making important future educational decisions.

Exploratory courses are short term (usually 6 weeks or alternate day schedules), project-oriented, hands-on, and promote a high level of student engagement/success. The learning activities are often, but not always, completed within the class period.

Advisor-Advisee Program

The Bennington Middle School model is designed to meet the affective needs of the student and to promote positive peer relationships, a positive school climate, covers careers, 21st century skills, social skills, team  building, wellness, procedures and behaviors.

Language Arts

Reading/Literature 6                                                                                                                                                  LA02

 This course will use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) Intro to Literature workbook. It is a research-based and digitally interactive English Language Arts program. This series provides an engaging learning environment designed to help students achieve success with rigorous new state standards and next-generation assessments. HMH offers carefully crafted features for preparing students well for college and 21st century careers and engages tech-savvy students with enhanced interactive learning tools. With our chosen curriculum students will read and comprehend fiction and nonfiction texts demonstrating understanding of main idea, details, cause and effect, compare and contrast, fact and opinion, inference and chronological order. They will also predict, clarify, question, summarize both fiction and nonfiction selections and will self-select and independently read fiction and nonfiction.

Students will also be assigned one novel a semester;  Where the Red Fern Grows and Holes.

English 6                                                                                                LA06

 This course will use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) Intro to Literature. Students will work through the writing process to produce clear and coherent writing.  This writing process includes editing and revising with a focus on grammar and sentence structure. They will write in a variety of modes for different purposes and audiences. Students will build on vocabulary by studying affixes, Greek/Latin roots, and word relationships.

Reading/Literature 7                                                                                LA03                                                                  

This course will use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) Into Literature anthology. Students will learn a variety of strategies to develop vocabulary such as structural analysis, Greek and Latin roots, affixes, and context clues. Students will read and comprehend fiction and nonfiction demonstrating understanding of main idea, details, cause and effect, compare and contrast, fact and opinion, inference and chronological order. They will also predict, clarify, question, summarize both fiction and nonfiction selections and will self-select and independently read fiction and nonfiction. Students will be reading The Giver by Lois Lowry.

English 7                                                                                                LA07          

This is a course designed to develop students' language arts skills.  Writing topics will include grammar, spelling, editing, and revision using the Six-Trait Writing Model.  Students will also participate in speaking and listening activities in small group and large group settings.

Reading/Literature 8                                                                                LA04                                                

This course will use a variety of strategies to develop vocabulary such as structural analysis, Greek and Latin roots, affixes, and context clues. Students will read and comprehend fiction and nonfiction demonstrating understanding of main idea, details, cause and effect, compare and contrast, fact and opinion, inference and chronological order. They will also predict, clarify, question, summarize both fiction and nonfiction selections and will self-select and independently read fiction and nonfiction.

English 8                                                                                                LA08                                                                  

This is a course designed to develop students' language arts skills.  Writing topics will include grammar, spelling, editing, and revision using the Six-Trait Writing Model.  Reading topics will include a Holocaust literature unit.  Students will also participate speaking and listening in small group and large group settings.

Mathematics

*Students taking an above grade level math course must earn an “A” or “B” to progress. High School credit is not given for courses taken at the middle school.

Math 6                                                                                                MA06

The textbook used in sixth grade is Holt McDougal Mathematics. This is course one of the middle school series that will also be used in grades seven and eight. The sixth grade math curriculum focuses on: algebra, fractions, decimals, ratios, proportions, and geometry.

 Math 7                                                                                                MA07                          

Math 7 is a continuation of Math 6 with the introduction to algebra and plane geometry topics.  The textbook used in seventh grade is Holt McDougal Mathematics.  Upon completion of this course student may move on to Pre-Algebra.

Math 8                                                                                                 MA08                                                          

Pre-Algebra is a beginning course in the study of Algebra. We will be working with integers, solving equations and inequalities, working with ratios, proportions and radicals, graphing lines, working with right triangle trigonometry, probability, data analysis, and geometry concepts.  Students will also work on problem solving skills.  Upon completion of this course the student may move on to Algebra 1.

Algebra I                                                                                         MA09          

Algebra I is the first year of studying Algebra.  It continues and expands the concepts of Pre-Algebra.  We will be solving linear equations and inequalities, graphing linear equations and inequalities, working with proportions, solving systems of linear equations and inequalities, and working with polynomials and quadratic equations. The student will develop problem-solving skills.  Upon successful completion of this class the student may move on to Geometry.

Geometry                                                                                         MA10                  

Geometry is used to study shapes and logical processes. It continues and expands the concepts of Algebra I.  Students will work with proofs, geometric shapes, find perimeter, area, surface area, and volume for different shapes, and discuss congruence and similarity.  It will help the student develop problem-solving skills.  Upon successful completion of this course the student may move on to Advanced Algebra.

Science

Integrated Science 6                                                                                SC06

Our curriculum will be taken from the Pearson science series, along with additional teacher supplemented learning experiences. The students will learn about the following: Ecology and the Environment , Chemistry, and Earth’s Structure.

Integrated Science 7                                                                                                                                                  SC07          7th Science is an integrated curriculum that includes Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth Science. The topics covered will include: scientific method, Cells and Heredity, Diversity of Life, Forces and Energy, and Astronomy and Space. Many different teaching strategies will be used to present the material including experiments, observations, demonstrations, videos, lectures, and projects.

Integrated Science 8                                                                                SC08          8th grade science covers: water and the atmosphere, human body, sound and light, and earth’s surface.  Many different teaching strategies will be used to present the material including experiments, observations, demonstrations, films, and lectures.

Social Studies

Social Studies 6                                                                                        SS06

Our social studies curriculum is based on the series Journey Across Time by Glencoe. The focus in sixth grade is on world history to 1000 A.D. including: Paleolithic and Neolithic Eras, ancient river valley civilizations, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and the development and cultural impact of major religions

Social Studies 7                                                                                        SS07                                                                  

This class takes a broad look at the world; starting with the Western Hemisphere first semester and then moving to the Eastern Hemisphere second semester.  For each region the class will take a general survey of the geography, history, culture, government, and economy of the region.  Emphasis is made on current issues within that country and those issues that impact the United States.  

Social Studies 8                                                                                        SS08                                                                  

This class is a look at the concepts and central ideas in the development of the United States with an intense analysis of how it relates to the present.  A chronological approach is taken in this study of American History with an emphasis upon the areas of civics, the form and function of government, economics, geography, historical analysis and historical research. The course will cover the time from Colonial America to the Progressive Era.

Exploratory Classes

Physical Education

Physical Education 6                                                                                  PE06

​​The primary purpose of the physical education program is to provide students with the opportunities to gain the knowledge, understanding, and skills to practice healthy physical activities throughout their lives. All students are taught to work together and treat others with respect and good sportsmanship

Physical Education 7                                                                                PE07                                                              

The primary purpose of the physical education program is to provide students with the opportunities to gain the knowledge, understanding, and skills to begin a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  In addition this course will promote skill development in the areas of teamwork, leadership, respect, and sportsmanship.

Physical Education 8                                                                                PE08                                                       

The primary purpose of the physical education program is to provide students with the opportunities to gain the knowledge, understanding, and skills to begin a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  In addition this course will promote skill development in the areas of teamwork, leadership, respect, and sportsmanship.

Technology & Living

Technology & Living                                                                IA06 /IA07 /IA08 /IA28 /IA38                                                

This class is designed for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  Technology & Living is an exploratory class that exposes students to a variety of subject matters in both Skilled and Technical Sciences and Family and Consumer Science.  Students will be grouped in pairs and then will be expected to complete a fourteen-day mini course on their assigned subject.  Each day will involve a combination of reading and hands-on activities designed to expose students to information which affects the modern world around them.  Students in 6th and 7th grades will rotate on a yearlong A/B schedule with P.E.  Eighth grade may take up to 18 weeks of Technology & Living in 6 week blocks.  

Computers

6th Grade Computers

This course will focus on the touch method of keyboarding. Emphasis will be placed on the proper techniques of keyboarding, correct body posture, and speed/accuracy development. Students will continue to develop their keyboarding skills by completing composition exercises. The students will discuss and learn about the importance of internet safety and cyber citizenship.

7th Grade Computers

Students will develop a basic understanding of Microsoft Office Software. Using the programs Word, Excel and PowerPoint, students will be able to identify parts of the screen including the ribbon, quick access toolbar, and program window controls. In Word, they will create and edit documents, format text, edit line and paragraph spacing, and use features such as tables, default tabs and custom tabs. With Excel, students will create and edit worksheets, format data, and work with formulas, charts and graphs. Using PowerPoint, the students will learn presentation basics, as well as enhancing features such as transitions, animations, and customization. Proper keyboarding skills and speed development will be reinforced in this class.

8th Grade Digital Design with Photoshop

Digital Design with Photoshop is a course designed to provide hands-on experience with Adobe Photoshop. This Introductory Adobe Photoshop course familiarizes students with the editing capabilities of Adobe Photoshop software. Students learn how to use the Adobe Photoshop interface and access its expansive set of features.

8th Grade Graphic Design

Graphic Design is a class that teaches creativity and technology.   This class is designed for ALL students who are interested in learning how to design and then create.  In this class students will use design as a creative process in communication.  Students will also explore various methods used to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. Coursework will be completed on Adobe Illustrator.

8th Grade Hands on Coding

Explore the science and art of computer programming using the BBC MicroBit, a credit-card sized computer with built-in sensors and wireless communication, and the MakeCode visual programming environment from Microsoft. Students will learn about concepts such as loops, variables, sensors, actuators, conditionals, and Bluetooth radio through a series of fun individual and group project. NO CODING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED.

Art

Art 6                                                                                                FA06

Art through the ages.  Students will learn the elements and principles of design through a variety of projects by exploring ideas and materials.  The history and influence of art through the ages will be explored and infused in art projects for 6th grade.

Art 7                                                                                                FA07

Art of today and tomorrow.  Students will investigate, design and implement and the elements and principles of design in art through a variety of art projects.  Contemporary, modern art, and art of the future, will be the focus of art in 7th grade.

Art 8                                                                                                FA08                                                                                

Art 1: 

Do you like to doodle?  Do you like to experiment with color and paint?  Then this course is for you!  Students will learn the basics of drawing and painting, while learning techniques, art skills and concepts.  Art history, art appreciation, problem solving and critical thinking are integrated through the lessons as a framework through the curriculum.

Art 2:.                                                                                                  FA18

Do you like to take selfies and take pictures of your friends?  Write your name in different ways?  Work on art in your own way while learning a variety of different art techniques? Work independently? Take art 2! Students will learn the fundamentals of printing, calligraphy, collage and photography, while learning the value of attention to detail and craftsmanship in art.  Art history, art appreciation, problem solving and critical thinking are integrated through the lessons as a framework through the curriculum

Art 3:                                                                                                 FA28

 Life is messy and art should be too!  Do you like to build?  Take risks?  Get your hands dirty?  Then take this course! Students will learn how to use a variety of art tools to create 3D sculptures using a variety of media, such as cardboard, paper and clay. Students will also be exposed to the world of ceramics and pottery wheels, to create 3D art projects while investigating the significance of art through contemporary, historical and cultural contexts.  A portion of this course will be an artist research slide show and presentation.

Speech and Drama

Speech/Drama 6                                                                                        LA16                                                                                                                

In this course, students will be developing interpersonal social communication skills by practicing formal introductions and using strategies to connect with others through face-to-face conversation.  Students will develop public speaking skills through delivering presentations about themselves and other informative topics.  In addition, students will explore dramatic presentation through developing characters and duet acting.

Speech/Drama 7                                                                                        LA17

In this course, students will be developing interpersonal social communication skills by interviewing a classmate and presenting them to the class.  In addition, students will explore dramatic presentation through performing reader’s theater for entertainment.

Speech/Drama 8:

Play Production (2 hexter class):                                                                        LA18

Yes, it is still fun to pretend!  During this trimester, students will be engaged in learning basic acting theory, planning, producing, and performing a short play.  Students will also learn a little history of theater and the different forms of theater out there.

Video Production (1 hexter class):                                                        LA28

Yes, one picture is worth a thousand words! In this course, students will learn how to create and put together projects using basic video techniques.  In addition, students will be engaged in a variety of video productions such as interview projects and commercials.  Each person will be responsible for his/her own culminating video project.

Creative Writing (1 hexter class):                                                                        LA38

Tired of writing essays and reports?  Here is a chance to write the stories and poems that are burning inside your imaginations!  In this course, students will produce creative writing products such as short stories, poems, and plays.  

World Language

Spanish                                                                                 FL06 / FL07 /FL08 / Fl18                                                                                         

Grade 6 will review the introductory chapter of the Spanish textbook. Grade 7 will learn vocabulary relating to birthday and family vocabulary. Included in these classes will be a variety of readings based on the unit vocabulary, listening activities, speaking practice individually and in pairs, and a variety of writing opportunities. Spanish 8 A and B will be focused on preparing students to take Spanish 1 at the high school level.

French                                                                                                  FL28 / Fl38

French 8 A and B will acquaint the students with the basics of the French language. Included will be topical vocabulary with an oral emphasis throughout. The students will be introduced to basic elements of conversation with emphasis on pronunciation as well as proper responses to different situations. The focus of French 8 will be to prepare students to take French I at the high school level.

Health

Health 6                                                                                                PE02        

Health 6 introduces students to health utilizing various dimensions of wellness. This class focuses on the challenges and changes of becoming an adolescent.  Students are encouraged to practice self-discipline, responsibility, good judgment and the ability to get along with others. Classroom learning experiences encourage students to utilize 21st Century skill sets through different modes of learning involving group work, active learning scenarios, topic extensions, discussion posts, reading/writing assignments, topic related videos in addition to online resources/activities.

Health 7                                                                                                PE03

Health 7 focuses on aspects of human growth and development. Topics include: understanding the importance of sleep, mental/emotional health, alcohol and addiction, the life cycle which encompasses changes during puberty, introducing the reproductive/endocrine systems, infant and child development, personal health.  Classroom learning experiences encourage students to utilize 21st Century skill sets through different modes of learning involving group work, active learning scenarios, topic extensions, discussion posts, reading/writing assignments, topic related videos in addition to online resources/activities.

Health 8                                                                                                PE04

Health 8 will explore many aspects of health. A variety of topics will be included, but not limited to: overall wellness, goal setting, preventing and responding to violence, promoting healthy relationships, and drugs/addiction. Classroom learning experiences encourage students to utilize 21st Century skill sets through different modes of learning involving group work, active learning scenarios, topic extensions, discussion posts, reading/writing assignments, topic related videos in addition to online resources/activities.

General Music

Music 6: World Music Drumming 

This six-week exploratory class is full of projects and activities that will explore the music and culture of drum ensembles from West Africa. Students will create music together using drums, marimbas, and other small percussion instruments. Focus will be placed on the essential principles of this style of music: Respect, Teamwork, Communication, and Community.

Music 7: Intro to Ukulele

This six-week exploratory class serves as an introduction to the ukulele. Students will learn how to read and play basic chords, perform simple strum patterns, and fingerpick simple melodies using standard notation and TAB. No experience is necessary. Ukuleles will be provided.

Music 8: Intro to Guitar

This six-week elective class serves as an introduction to the guitar. Students will learn how to read and play basic chords, perform simple strum patterns, and fingerpick simple melodies using standard notation and TAB. No experience is necessary. Guitars will be provided.

Music 8: Intermediate Ukulele

This six-week elective class serves as a continuation of Music 7: Intro to Ukulele. Students will learn how to read advanced chords, create strum patterns, and fingerpick more advanced melodies. Students will also be introduced to Ukulele Ensemble music. Having some ukulele experience is required. Ukuleles will be provided.

Music 8: World Music Drumming

This six-week exploratory class is full of projects and activities that will explore the music and culture of drum ensembles from West Africa. Students will create music together using drums, marimbas, and other small percussion instruments. Focus will be placed on the essential principles of this style of music: Respect, Teamwork, Communication, and Community.

 

 Choir

6th, 7th & 8th Grade Choir                                                                                              Choir is a non-auditioned ensemble for all students interested in vocal music. Students will learn healthy vocal technique and vocal pedagogy. Students will use music theory and build sight reading skills to improve music literacy.  The choir will sing a wide range of choral music and learn how to use critical thinking skills to evaluate and interpret musical scores. This ensemble will have public 3-4 performances in the evenings, over the course of the school year.

Band

Band 6                                                                                                MU56

Students in 6th grade are eligible for this class. Beginners are welcome. This class focuses on building the skills needed to move from beginning to intermediate musicianship. Instrumental technique, rehearsal routine, music theory and group dynamics are the main topics of study. Equipment care is also covered. This class meets every day. The majority of class time is spent playing instruments.

Band 7                                                                                                             MU57

Students in 7th grade are eligible for this class. Beginners are welcome. Please get the instructor's approval if you are beginning or have taken time off. This class focuses on building the skills needed to move from beginning to intermediate musicianship. Instrumental technique, rehearsal routine, music theory and group dynamics are the main topics of study. Equipment care is also covered. This class meets every day. The majority of class time is spent playing instruments.

Band 8                                                                                                 MU58

Students in 8th grade are eligible for this class. If new to band, please get the instructor's approval before registering, beginners are welcome. This class is where students gain the final skills that allow for them to be successful in the high school band. Students should be expecting to continue their participation through high school in order to get the most good out of this class. Lessons can be taken after school. The 8th grade band will participate in as many as two contests during the Spring semester. Topics of study include music theory, instrumental technique, equipment care, marching technique and rehearsal routine. Students may be asked to switch instruments in order to balance the instrumentation. This class meets every day

Guidance Department

The primary concern of the counselor is to aid the students who have questions concerning their academic, personal, or social life.  This is accomplished through private conferences and group discussion. The counselor discusses questions with students concerning future courses and possible vocations and careers.

The goal of the guidance program is to develop within the students an understanding and acceptance of themselves so that they can make intelligent vocational, educational and social choices.  Students are assisted in formulating goals, which are unique to their personal talents, capacities and interests.  Guidance can help the students believe in themselves, to respect themselves and others, and to recognize that achievement can be a personally satisfying experience when goals are clarified.

Counseling is the heart of the guidance service.  It is defined as the process of an experienced and qualified individual helping a second person to understand oneself. They will be given opportunities to make appropriate adjustments and decisions in the light of these insights, to accept personal responsibilities for choices, and to follow those courses of action which will help them grow.

The following services are provided: making self-evaluations, planning high school programs, preparing for post-secondary education and training, studying vocational and career options, counseling students individually and in groups, administering individual and group tests, conferring with parents regarding student progress and concerns, making referrals to various agencies, scheduling classes and assisting with curriculum planning, and conducting follow-up studies with various groups.

Library & Media Department

The mission of the Bennington Library Media Program is for all students, teachers, and administrators to develop the skills and judgment to become efficient, ethical, and effective lifelong learners.

Students will learn the skills and abilities needed to become a proficient consumer and producer of information using a variety of sources and formats.

Teachers will develop a working instructional partnership with your school librarian across the curriculum.

Administrators will form an instructional partnership that benefits the entire learning community.


We Believe that the Library Media Center:

                                

Special Education Program

The Resource Program offers services to students who qualify as having a handicapping condition under Rule 51 (ex: SLD – Specific Learning Disability, OHI – Other Health Impairments, BD – Behavior Disorders). The process to qualify begins with the classroom teacher, the teacher makes a referral to the Problem Solving Team ( PST ). Every effort is made to offer each student the best education possible in the least restrictive environment. For further information about qualifying for Special Education services, please contact the building principal or the Student Services Director at the district office. If a student qualifies for special education then a team, including parents, develops an Individual Educational Plan.

Grading

Grading Scale:                         

A = 4.0 = 100 – 93  = superior achievement                        

B = 3.0 = 92 – 86 = above average                                 

C = 2.0 = 85 – 77 = average                                         

D = 1.0 = 76 – 70 = below average                 

F = 0.0 = 69 – 0 = failing                                         

P = passing

NP = not passing