PHILOSOPHY AND CURRICULUM
(5th - 7th Grades)
As a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP), our fifth through seventh grade students make connections between their subjects and the real world through a challenging curriculum framework.
In a Kehoe-France middle school classroom, the students are the center of learning. Students develop knowledge and skills needed in order to take responsible action for the future. Action, learning by doing and experiencing, and service are valued components of the MYP, preparing our students for further education, the workplace and lifelong learning.
Our teachers work with students to guide them to their fullest potential. They receive ongoing professional development to better their pedagogy as well as constantly reflect on their teaching practices to better student learning.
LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
The English language arts curriculum for 5th through 7th grade students emphasize explicit skills instruction in reading and writing. Students read and comprehend a wide variety of literature genres. Greek literature, historical and realistic fiction, non-fiction and poetry are explored. Word relationships and vocabulary building continue to be supported. Students read, write and reflect on literature being studied and connect this to real world issues which helps develop critical thinking skills. Students learn to write for different purposes and develop their own points of view. They learn through the writing process, using writing strategies and applications. Teachers guide students through the process with an emphasis on written and oral English language conventions and spelling.
Mathematics is an important foundation in further studies and in real life occurrences. Students in the middle school math program use knowledge learned and skills developed to communicate mathematically verbally and in writing, apply reasoning to solving problems and demonstrate confidence in their mathematical abilities. In fifth grade, instruction is focused on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions and decimals. Students become fluent with multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They know and use common measuring units to determine length and area; recognize volume as an attribute of three-dimensional space; know and use formulas to determine the volume of simple geometric figures. Students use grids, tables and charts to record and analyze data. In sixth and seventh grade, instruction focuses on developing and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; understanding the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; writing, interpreting and using expressions and equations; developing understanding of statistical thinking; and working with two and three-dimensional figures to solve problems involving area, surface area and volume.
The middle school science program allows for students to investigate, observe, research and experiment scientific inquiries. In fifth grade, students learn that living things grow, change, are diverse, interdependent and interact with the changing environment. Students also study the earth and our universe and how energy and matter interact causing change in our physical world. In sixth grade, the science curriculum emphasis is physical science. Life and earth science concepts are included within the context of physical science. Students learn scientific process skills and participate in investigations and experiments. In grade seven, the science curriculum emphasis is life science. Students learn that all living things are composed of cells which contain genetic instructions that specify traits. To support the curriculum in seventh grade, students participate in dissections and use many hands-on activities.
INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES
In this subject, students inquire into historical, technological and cultural, political, geographical and religious factors that have had an influence on individuals and societies locally and globally. Students in fifth grade study the development of the United States from the Age of Exploration to 1763. Students learn about the colonial government founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the ideals of Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-government. The study of the causes, course and consequences of early explorations through the War of Independence are a focus. In sixth grade, students expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major western and non-western ancient civilizations. Students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did, why they became dominant and why they declined. Students analyze interactions among the various cultures, the contributions and the link, despite time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds. Seventh grade students will study American history from the arrival of early Americans to the present day. Lessons will also present a look at the wars the United States participated in after the Civil War. Students will also learn about the governmental and economic systems of the United States. Research-based projects will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their grasp of the historical concepts that have been investigated.
The key concepts of design are community, communication, development and systems. Inquiry and problem-solving in use with the design cycle help students develop knowledge, skills and understanding to create and test solutions to problems. Students use and apply technology to communicate and represent ideas. By working independently and collaboratively in design, students gain respect and understanding of others’ viewpoints. Through design, students realize and appreciate the past and present innovations and the impact it has on our world.