|Middle School Language Arts & Social Studies|
Year One: Study of the United States
Year one of the academic curriculum brings us to the study of the United States. Students will use the text History Alive! by The Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, but we also read quite a bit from primary sources. Each year, students will be doing simulations, act outs, newscasts, newspapers, role playing, as well as persuasive speeches (7th grade) and debates (8th grade).
Unit 1 – A bit of a review – Growth of Nationhood Lewis and Clark; Andrew Jackson; What does it mean to be an American?
Unit 2 – An Expanding Nation Life in the West, Mexican contributions; Mexican American War
Unit 3- Americans in the mid-1800s Era of Reform, Life in North vs. life in South, Slavery
Unit 4 – Civil War Events leading up to it; what factors influenced the outcome; Reconstruction; Simulation; movie Glory
Unit 5 – Migration and Industry Settlers vs. the native population; industrialization; immigration
Unit 6 - The Constitution and the Bill of Rights Principles underlying the Constitution; The Federalist Papers; 8th graders debate a current 1st amendment issue, while the 7th graders deliver a persuasive speech; Mock trial on a couple of cases.
Year Two: Study of World History
The second year of the academic curriculum is the study of the Middle Ages around the world up to the Scientific Revolution. Students will use the text History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond by The Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, but will also read quite a bit from primary sources. Similar to the previous year, students will be doing simulations, act outs, newscasts, newspapers, role playing, as well as persuasive speeches (7th grade) and debates (8th grade).
Unit 1 – Islam Students do a simulation called “Caravan” and complete a project.
Unit 2 – West Africa Students make a book with various activities. African dance, Praise song, Interactive journal, Personal storytelling
Unit 3 – China Students work on a poetry book.
Unit 4 – Medieval Japan Students will do a simulation. They will learn Taiko Drumming and have Aikido for P.E.
Unit 5 – Renaissance Meeting of the Minds. Study of Romeo and Juliet
Unit 6 – Reformation- Exploration - Scientific Revolution Students will do a newscast
7th & 8th Grade Language Arts
Writing: Students work on the writing process that includes brainstorming, organizing, writing a draft, peer and individual editing, writing one or more revision(s), and publishing.
Students will write a variety of work that include personal narrative, literary analysis using the Schaffer paragraph method, persuasive composition (speech and debate), poetry (using figurative language), and a historical newspaper. Students are at various stages in their writing, and we will continue our work with the various traits of writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. Our objective is to become better writers, so that we may better communicate our ideas and our thoughts.
Vocabulary Development: - Students will use Sadlier-Oxford’s Vocabulary Series, Level C.
Grammar: Grammar Mastery for Better Writing – Level 1 by The Center for Learning
Organizing: Students will be responsible for keeping a clean and organized notebook, and there will be periodic notebook checks.
Homework: Homework will be given out Monday through Thursday and will be approximately 20-25 minutes for English and Social Studies respectively. Students will be given time in class to write down the homework in their planner, and their planners should come to class every day.
Middle School Teachers
Aaron teaches 7th and 8th grade science, math, computers, choir, and drama. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from the University of New Hampshire and a teaching credential in physics. He taught high school and college physics for two years, worked in the electron optics industry for two years, and has been an outdoor/ environmental science educator for six years. He plays and gives private instruction in saxophone, flute, Celtic style penny whistle and wooden flute, and voice.
Veronique joined the Spring Hill community in 2009 after having taught for 12 years in Los Gatos and Hermosa Beach. She received her Bachelor's degree in Political Science, as well as her Teaching Credential and Masters in Education from University of California, Los Angeles. She has served as a mentor teacher for her district on several occasions, as well as participated on a middle school task force. She worked for many years with the local high schools in her area to ensure a smooth transfer for the middle school students. Veronique enjoys traveling to foreign countries, as well as backpacking the Sierra with her two daughters and husband. She has a passion for cycling and rode across the Pyrenees for her 50th birthday.