Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

This booklet contains the descriptions of courses offered at Caro Middle School.  Each full time student will be enrolled in 6 credits for the school year. Required classes are “core” courses that each student must take. These courses will automatically be assigned to each student.  Students may choose from the elective class lists to complete the 6 credit requirement for each year. All students will participate in a 20 minute intervention at the end of the day.  Students are placed according to area of need in reading or math as determined by NWEA Assessment results.  Students testing above grade level may be given the opportunity to assist elementary students in reading and/or math during the 20 minute intervention period.

Please be advised that courses are subject to change based on student requests, staff availability, and other unforeseen circumstances.

6th Grade Required Courses

Language Arts 6     Duration: Full Year

The sixth grade language arts curriculum has a focus on spelling and grammar as developed in the Reading: Great Expectations textbook. It is a research based series developed by Scott-Foresman. Students will use Daily Language Reviews to practice basic grammar conventions, parts of speech, spelling and editing techniques. Students will develop a variety of writing samples with a focus on narrative, argumentative, and informational models. Students will use journals to expand writing skills in sentence and paragraph structure.

Math 6     Duration: Full Year

6th grade Math is the foundation for more advanced classes in the math department.  Topics introduced are: Number Systems with fractions and Decimals; Number systems with both Positive and Negative numbers; Algebra basics with Expressions; Equations and writing equations; Ratios and proportional relationships; Intro to many Geometry concepts and formulas.  Statistics and Probability are both introduced.

Reading Literature 6 Duration: Full Year

The sixth grade reading curriculum uses the Holt McDougal Literature 6 textbook.  It provides a wide range of reading material for the curriculum including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry while meeting the requirements of the Common Core Standards.  Many award winning novels are utilized in the reading program.  Students are also encouraged to do independent reading by scheduled visits to the media center, selecting books of their own choosing and composing various book reports.

Science 6   Duration: Full Year

Sixth Grade Science is a general science course with emphasis in three areas.  Students will learn about Classification, Biomes, and Ecosystems in Life Science; Plate Tectonics, Rocks and Minerals, and Earth’s Resources in Earth Science; and Matter, Forces and Motion, and Changing Energy Forms in Physical Science.  Students will explore these topics individually and in small groups using written material, laboratories, and technology.

Social Studies 6    Duration: Full Year

Sixth grade social studies will focus on the western hemisphere. Students will learn about the history, government, geography, and cultures of North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.

6th Grade Electives Courses

Band 6   Duration: Full Year  

In this class sixth grade students will study instrumental music, establishing the fundamentals of music notation, performance, sight reading, technical development, and vocabulary through year long activities. Securing an instrument is the responsibility of the student. Students perform at two concerts throughout the year and attendance is required at these concerts held after school hours.

Health/Physical Education 6 Duration: One Trimester

This will be a combined class of Health topics and Physical Education.  Some of the Health topics that will be covered are Nutrition, Physical Activity, Body Image, and First Aid. Softball, Basketball, Soccer, Floor Hockey, Frisbee games, Volleyball, Swimming, Bowling, Speedball, and Roller Skating are some of the activities we will do in the physical education portion of the class.

Exploring Writing 6   Duration: One Trimester

Exploring Writing utilizes a step-by-step approach to three forms of writing: Argument, Informative/Explanatory, and Narrative that are covered in the Common Core State Standards.  This class provides a focus for students to gain a mastery of a range of skills and applications necessary for writing.  In addition to writing, students complete a drawing to visually illustrate their assignments, and then are required to present both pieces to the class. 

Math Exploratory 6 Duration: One Trimester

This course is intended to show students how math is used outside the classroom.  This course is a project based class with many hands-on activities.  It expands on different mathematical topics covered in 6th grade to help strengthen a student's math skills.

7th Grade Required Courses

Language Arts 7     Duration: Full Year

The seventh grade language arts curriculum has a focus on writing and grammar developed from the Writing and Grammar Bronze Level Edition textbook by Prentice Hall. Students will develop a variety of writing samples with a focus on narrative, argumentative, and informational models. Students will also write structured journal entries throughout the year. Students will work through an intense study of sentence structure starting with simple sentences and working up through compound-complex sentences. Students will review all eight parts of speech along with clauses, phrases, complements, verbals, and vocabulary. Together with sentence structure, the grammar concepts will allow students to provide fluent, appealing writing.

Math  7 Duration: Full Year

Math 7 is a continuation of the ideas from Math 6 with the deeper integration of Algebra Concepts in all areas.  This course is designed to prepare students for 8th Grade PreAlgebra.  Topics discussed are ratios and proportional relationships, algebraic operations with integers, rational and irrational numbers, creating and solving algebraic expressions and equations, constructing geometric figures as well as key characteristics about them, and applications of statistics and probability. 

Reading Literature 7 Duration: Full Year

The aim of this course is to prepare the students for higher levels of knowledge based on literary analysis with a focus on vocabulary and reading accuracy. They will be using different reading strategies to help with vocabulary and reading comprehension. Students will be exposed to various genres and practices to prepare them for future responsibilities in the ELA program.

Science 7 Duration: Full Year

Students will be exploring concepts in three areas of science: Earth, Physical, and Life.

Earth Science will include the study of the atmosphere, fresh water, and weather factors.  Physical science will include the study of matter (solids, liquids, and gases) and energy (transformations and conservation.) Students will explore populations and communities in Life science.

Social Studies 7     Duration: Full Year

7th grade social studies consists of the study of Asia, Australia, Antarctica, Europe, and Africa.  History, geography, and politics are just some of the topics covered in this class.

7th Grade Electives Courses

Band 7     Duration: Full Year  

PREREQUISITE: 6th Grade Band

In this class seventh grade students will study instrumental music, establishing the fundamentals of music performance, sight reading, technical development, and vocabulary through yearlong activities. Students perform at two concerts throughout the year and attendance is required at these concerts held after school hours.

Choir 7 & 8     Duration: Full Year

This is a performance choir for both male and female students.  The students explore various composers and elements of music including theory, history, and style through performance.  Much time is spent in each rehearsal pursuing musical excellence in vocal technique, music literacy, and sight singing. A choir student’s grade will be based on participation in choir rehearsal, concerts (two of which are outside of school time), singing tests and music literacy exercises.

Computer Applications 7­ Duration:  One Trimester 

The aim of this course is to advance the students within the confines of keyboarding and computer applications.  The students advance their keyboarding skills to a level that prepares them for current and future typing responsibilities.  The students also explore a number of programs to better prepare them for future use, such as Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint, and Prezi.  Students will also discuss and apply knowledge on digital citizenship, ethics, and databases.

Health/Physical Education 7 Duration: One Trimester

This will be a combined class of Health topics and Physical Education.  Some of the Health topics that will be covered are Tobacco, Nutrition, Kidney Disease, and Sexuality Education. Softball, Basketball, Football, Floor Hockey, Frisbee games, Volleyball, Swimming, Bowling, Speedball, and Roller Skating are some of the activities we will do in the physical education portion of the class.

Impact for Success 7 Duration: One Trimester

This course is designed to improve the character and decision making of students.  It will assist students in developing leadership skills, using good judgment, conflict resolution, prioritizing and balancing life issues.

8th Grade Required Courses

Algebra 1 Duration: Full Year

PREREQUISITE: 7th Grade Pre-Algebra

This is a college preparatory course.  First semester will focus on: Expressions, equations, functions, properties of real numbers, solving linear equations, graphing linear equations and functions, writing linear equations, solving and graphing linear inequalities, solving and graphing systems of linear equations and inequalities.  Second Semester will focus on: Exponents and exponential functions, polynomial functions, factoring methods, quadratic equations and functions, radicals and geometric connections, rational equations and functions, probability and data analysis.

Language Arts 8   Duration: Full Year

The eighth grade language arts curriculum is focused predominantly around writing, grammar, and vocabulary.  Curriculum materials used for the course are: Glencoe/McGraw/Hill's Writer's Choice - Level 8, as well as Wordly Wise 3000 Level 8 and Sadlier Oxford's - Vocabulary For Success Level C primers.  In Language Arts 8 students will complete multi-faceted writing assignments ranging from impromptu journal entries to formal academic papers that cover narrative, informational, and argumentative (research-based) topics.  Individual student work may also manifest as oral presentations or brief speeches.  Grammar units will place specific emphasis upon: sentence composition and syntax, proper diction, proofreading skills and writing-based elements such as active vs. passive voice and parallel structure.  Weekly vocabulary lessons and quizzes will aim to increase student vocabulary to higher levels while comparatively strengthening usage and context skills that will be required in 9th grade and beyond.

History 8 Duration: Full Year

The main purpose of this course is to explore American History from the beginning of the United States to approximately the year 1914.  This would include people, ways of life for different groups, and unique characteristics of this time period.  This course requires independent reading, mastery of material, and the writing of at least three formal essays.

Pre-Algebra 8 Duration: Full Year

This class is designed to give our students a strong foundation in Algebra while also preparing them for future study in geometry, probability and data analysis.  The clearly written lessons make even difficult math concepts and methods understandable by providing numerous stepped-out examples in their book and extra help with a Note-Taking Guide that assists students to become better at taking notes and taking tests.  Each lesson's exercise set includes a wide variety of exercises ranging from basic exercises that help students develop and practice skills to challenging exercises that involve logical reasoning and problem solving.

Reading Literature 8 Duration: Full Year

The eighth grade reading curriculum is both a novel-based, and primer-based curriculum.  Students will complete reading selections and activities out of both the Glencoe/McGraw/Hill Lieterature Level 8 anthology, as well as through individual novels that discuss adolescent-based themes such as: coming-of-age experiences, individualism, survival, and personal responsibility.  Students will also work on reader-response journals as well as book reports and projects covering multi-genres such as biography, fiction and non-fiction.  Bi-monthly visits to the school Media Center will also foster and encourage independent reading by the student.  Reading 8 will also consistently progress monitor each student, intervening where applicable to strengthen reading strategy and comprehension weakness.  Programs utilized to help this cause include, but are not limited to: Read Naturally, The Six-Minute Solution, and REWARDS.

Science 8 Duration: Full Year

Science 8 is a course with an emphasis on life science.  The class covers many prerequisites for high school science.  Scientific investigation is taught for an understanding of experimentation.  Students will study more in depth material over ecology including ecosystems, biomes, populations, communities, environmental issues and endangered species.  Students will study how both plant and animal cells function.  The anatomy and physiology of the ten human body systems will be introduced for basic understanding.

8th Grade Electives Courses

Band 8   Duration: Full Year

PREREQUISITE: 7th Grade Band

In this class eighth grade students will study instrumental music, establishing and advancing the fundamentals of music performance, sight reading, technical development, and vocabulary through year-long activities.  Students perform at numerous concerts throughout the year, including MSBOA Festivals.  Attendance is required at concerts held after school hours.

Choir 7 & 8  Duration: Full Year

This is a performance choir for both male and female students.  The students explore various composers and elements of music including theory, history, and style through performance.  Much time is spent in each rehearsal pursuing musical excellence in vocal technique, music literacy, and sight singing.  A choir students' grade will be based on participation in choir rehearsal, concerts (two of which are outside of school time), singing tests and music literacy exercises.

Health/Physical Education 8   Duration: Full Year

This will be a combined class of Health topics and Physical Education.  Some of the Health topics that will be covered are Drugs, Alcohol, HIV and other STI's prevention, and Sexuality Education.  Softball, Basketball, Pickleball, Badminton, Football, Floor Hockey, Frisbee games, Volleyball, Swimming, Bowling, Speedball, and Roller Skating are some of the activities we will do in the Physical Education portion of the class, weather permitting.

German 1   Duration: Full Year

German 1 is an introductory course designed to develop in students the knowledge, understanding, and skills involved in learning German.  The course covers the development of the four skills to foreign language learning: listening, reading, speaking, and writing, with the emphasis on speaking skills.  Audiovisual materials supplement the basic textbook and provide cultural insights and information.

Spanish 1   Duration: Full Year

Spanish 1 is an introductory course designed to develop in students the knowledge, understanding, and skills involved in learning Spanish.  The course covers the development of the four skills to foreign language learning: listening, reading, speaking, and writing, with the emphasis on speaking skills.  Audiovisual materials supplement the basic textbook and provide cultural insights and information.