powerschool powerschool
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

7th and 8th Grade Curriculum

Curriculum: Grades 7 and 8 (Middle School)

Welcome to Collegium Middle School! Students expand upon the foundations from Elementary as they work to prepare themselves for High School and beyond. The Middle School years not only bridge the gap between Elementary education and more independent High School learning but also encourages students to grow as individuals and explore their learning interests to help them prepare and plan for their future outside of school.

Students still have their main core classes, consisting of English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. During Middle School years, students also expand their horizons with minor subjects like Technology, Art, Music, and STEM.

English Language Arts


ELA 7
The English Language Arts 7 curriculum stresses critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for high school and college. Our class focuses on reading, writing, and communication skills. In English Language Arts class, students are encouraged to ask deep, open-ended questions, and exercise high critical thinking. Students develop skills to handle complex ideas, such as recognizing patterns and interpreting information in a variety of contexts. In 7th grade, students will have practice reading and writing informative, persuasive, and fictional texts. Through their studies, students will develop a wide range of vocabulary that they will incorporate in their responses to literature.

ELA 8
The 8th grade English Language Arts curriculum is designed to challenge students and engage them in a comprehensive study of literature and composition. While continuing to develop their reading and writing, the curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking skills. Analysis, persuasion, organization, attention to detail and research are all practiced and reinforced through close reading and well-crafted essays. These critical thinking skills are also reinforced through a variety of other learning modalities, including creating their own commercial, developing a magazine, and writing creatively. The goal of the curriculum is to connect the students to the literature and increase their confidence and abilities to think, speak, and write about complex ideas. By connecting the individual to literature and the humanity it expresses, the curriculum helps the student discover his or her individual voice and build academic confidence for the challenges of high school and beyond.


Math

Students in grades 7 and 8 continue with the Eureka Math program. This program is built upon the Common Core State Standards. These standards create a progression of learning that deepens a student’s ability to use and understand mathematical concepts. There are three key shifts in instruction: rigor, focus, and coherence. What students learn about in the previous grade is built upon in the current grade.

Eureka Math Parent Support

Math 7
Math is all around us, and we use it on an everyday basis, which makes this course vital to both students’ academic and social lives. In Math 7, we engage and challenge our students as they participate in hands-on activities, real world projects and interactive lessons. A favorite example of this work is the Car Project, where students engage in the process of “buying” their own car, learning how to budget, calculate interest rates, and even write a check. Another fan favorite is the Personal Finance Budget Project, which is also a graduation requirement. Students are tasked with navigating a series of real world financial decisions, choosing a profession, and then creating a realistic budget based on their career choice. By engaging in this fun, personalized project, students better understand the application of many mathematical concepts to real-life scenarios.

In addition to the Eureka Math core curriculum, students utilize additional resources such as Study Island, Measuring Up and Khan Academy. At Collegium Middle School, we utilize a holistic curriculum that carefully sequences mathematical progressions into expertly crafted modules, making math a joy to teach and learn.

The Math 7 scope and sequence of modules utilizes the skills acquired in their previous studies to explore new topics in the number system, particularly rational numbers with positive and negative numbers, pre-algebraic expressions and equations, proportional relationships, geometry and probability and statistics.

This approach to mathematics education is designed to provide our students with a rigorous, yet comprehensive study that can reach all students. We provide a foundation for the advancement of study in mathematics to all levels of secondary education, as well as prepare students to be participants in our economic system. Using cross-curricular and interactive personal and virtual experiences, we promote the critical thinking, problem solving and perseverance that will make all of our students successful academically and productive and energized members of our society.

Math 8
Math 8 is an introduction to the abstract concepts that students will tackle when they advance to Algebra 1 and Geometry at the High School level. Students are introduced to the Laws of Exponents which they then use to operate (add, subtract, multiply and divide) with Scientific Notation. Students navigate the real world use of these concepts by investigating scientific ideas such as space and basic physics. As the year progresses, students investigate how things move (slide, rotate, reflect) within a two dimensional plane. Students explore these concepts using their physical selves, transparencies, and online technology that allows them to visualize each of the movements. They also use these movements to explore similarity and congruence of two dimensional figures.

During the second half of the school year, students continue to grow their knowledge and understanding of equations, building off of and continuing learning that began in early elementary school and has progressed each year since.

Students then use their knowledge and understanding of equations as they are introduced to the basics of graphing linear equations and functions. To wrap up the year, students spend time investigating the number system and the various types of numbers they will learn to manipulate at the high school level. Furthermore, throughout the year, students are incrementally introduced to the concept of the Pythagorean Theorem and its real world applications.

Algebra I

There are some students who will take Algebra I while in Middle School.

Algebra 1 at the Middle School level is a course intended to challenge students who [have met eligibility requirements and] are ready to learn abstract mathematical concepts. Algebra 1 students are challenged to apply the conceptual knowledge they learned in bits and pieces throughout their K-7 journey to help them navigate solving equations. Students then use what they learned about equations to graph linear equations in various forms, using paper and pencil, graphing calculators, and online technology. Later in the year, students encounter the abstract idea of Laws of Exponents which they then apply to operating (adding, subtracting, multiplying, and factoring) with Polynomials. Throughout this course, students are encouraged to collaborate and discuss their ideas to help them discover different ways and methods for solving abstract mathematical problems, helping to prepare them for the Algebra 1 Keystone exam in the Spring.


Science


“Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist.” -Carl Sagan. At Collegium Middle School, we encourage and enhance your child’s natural curiosity about science and the world around them. We engage your student’s inquiring mind through real-world applications, hands-on lab activities, interactive digital tools, and engineering internships. In our science classrooms, we immerse your child in an environment that promotes critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and perseverance.

Our curriculum is vertically aligned to seamlessly transfer skills and content knowledge from elementary to middle school. We implement the Amplify Science Program which engages students in a relevant, real-world problems where they investigate scientific phenomena, engage in collaboration and discussion, and develop models or explanations in order to arrive at solutions.* Our model integrates literacy-rich activities which strengthen students’ abilities to think, read, write, and argue like real scientists and engineers.**

In their first year in Collegium’s Middle School, your child will explore topics of Life Science such as biology, ecosystems, genetics, and evolutionary history. In their second year, they will shift focus to Earth and Space Science where they will dive into subjects like geology, astronomy, meteorology, and our changing climate. During this time, students will participate in unique experiences such as dissections, collaborative engineering internships, and interactive labs featuring scientific concepts.

Our goal as a Science Department is to empower every child with the skills and tools they need to enhance their curiosity and analyze future inquiries.

*/** Amplify Science, Amplify Education, 2020

Social Studies

In history class, students will be introduced to a wide array of cultures, peoples, and extraordinary events starting off with American History in 7th grade and World History in 8th grade. They will learn how to open their minds up to new ideas and beliefs, and expand their knowledge through in depth study of primary source documents. Examining both primary and secondary sources, students will strengthen their reading and analytical skills. They will then practice their burgeoning critical thinking skills as they develop their own arguments and opinions using effective and convincing writing strategies they learn in class. They will be engaged as they trace the story of humankind from the building blocks of civilization to today’s high tech world.

History class at CCS is much more than learning names and dates. It is about learning and celebrating the differences that make our world a rich place in which to live. It is about building confidence in students to be able to read and analyze any written source and develop an effective written argument using newly found information. Students at CCS can expect all this and more when they walk into history class.


Minor Studies: Health and PE

7th Grade Health and PE
7th Grade Health & PE at Collegium Middle School centers on the topics of Mental Health and Mental Wellness, helping students understand what they can do to support their own mental health and how to help and care for others. 7th Grade Health also focuses on puberty, relationships, and sex education, where students learn about healthy relationships, changes in their body, respecting yourself and others, and understanding the risks of sex, aligned to both the PA State Standards and SHAPE standards.

PE in 7th grade is geared to building teamwork as well as an understanding of the importance of staying physically active and how it can affect your mental health. The Middle School also holds school-wide, all-day tournaments in the sports of Volleyball, Dodgeball, and Basketball. These tournaments help hold students accountable for their grades (they must have passing grades to participate) and give students the opportunity to work together as a team and practice their skills with other classmates. These tournaments involve all students – whether they want to participate in the tournament or cheer on their friends.

8th Grade Health and PE
8th Grade Health & PE at Collegium Middle School continues to teach about the topic of Mental Health and Mental Wellness, helping students understand what they can do to support their own mental health and how to help and care for others. 8th Grade Health also teaches about Character Development (focusing on developing healthy relationships, character education, and social-emotional learning) through the PA State approved program of Everfi.

blank

PE in 8th grade is geared towards building teamwork and understanding the value of practicing skills (i.e. using both dominant and non-dominant hands, sport-specific, and the mental part of sports) for development. The Middle School also holds schoolwide all-day tournaments in the sports of Volleyball, Dodgeball, and Basketball. These tournaments help hold students accountable for their grades (they must have passing grades to participate) and give students the opportunity to work together as a team and practice their skills with other classmates.


Minor Studies: Spanish

Spanish
Students will develop skills in speaking, writing, listening, and reading Spanish and develop language-learning strategies and skill-building techniques. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the United States. Spanish is also spoken in the second highest number of countries in the world (22)!

Middle School Spanish courses will introduce and reinforce the basic and intermediate vocabulary and grammar concepts needed to engage in conversation about family, school, home life, pastimes, vacations, shopping, daily routines, food, and celebrations, etc. These skills are learned and practiced through various engaging and exciting activities, such as gamification, high-interest cultural videos, etc.,

In addition to frequent exposure to many Spanish-speaking cultures, students will learn more extensively about life in hispanic countries such as Spain, Ecuador, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Peru, Guatemala, and Chile.

Through these components, our Middle School Spanish courses will tie into the five foreign language-learning standards of communication, culture, connections, comparisons, and community.

Foreign language instruction, such as Middle School Spanish, enhances listening, memory, and decision-making skills and prepares students to successfully navigate a global society


Minor Studies: STEM

7th Grade STEM
7th Grade STEM at CCS is a unique blend of hands-on technical skills and wildlife ecology. Course components include several options from Project Lead the Way activities, such as designing and constructing puzzle cubes, creating a custom foot orthosis, and designing a birdhouse. Wildlife ecology is another component of 7th grade STEM class. Students will learn to identify many exciting local wildlife species in our area, how they survive, and about the threats that each of them face. Students will get a chance to see many species of wildlife in our very own outdoor classroom, where they can monitor and track wildlife with game cameras and binoculars.

8th Grade STEM
8th Grade STEM at CCS has a strong focus on robotics. Not only will students be building and programming VEX robots, such as drag racers and clawbots, but they will also be piloting drones and navigating a student-designed obstacle course! Other course activities include a continuation of wildlife ecology from 7th grade. Students will continue to learn about local wildlife species and get a chance to see many of them in our very own outdoor classroom, where they will continue to monitor and track wildlife with game cameras and binoculars


Minor Studies: Art

7th Grade Art
In the art room – every student is an artist! In this class, student artists will be presented with introductory/beginner art-making techniques and strategies through various media explorations. The fundamental skills learned in this class will give artists the necessary tools to express their own personal creativity as they simultaneously build their expertise and confidence in the visual arts. 7th Grade students will investigate the mediums of: drawing, painting, ceramics/clay, sculpture, printmaking, fibers, and other mixed-media styles. Additionally, The 7 Elements of Art (Texture, Form, Color, Shape, Space, Value, and Line) will be referenced throughout the course to get students comfortable with the main “ingredients” that artists use to create art. These elements/ingredients are the building blocks for every artwork – when referencing them to create art, all students can succeed. This exploratory approach will help guide students towards discovering their preferred art-making methods, expand their overall skill-sets, and place emphasis on having an enjoyable *and FUN* experience, too!

8th Grade Art
In this class, student artists will be introduced to intermediate/advanced art-making techniques and strategies through various media explorations. This learning experience will give artists the opportunity to focus on expanding their creativity while using their own inspiration and imagination to produce artworks that they are proud of. 8th Grade students will investigate the mediums of: drawing, painting, ceramics/clay, sculpture, printmaking, fibers, and other mixed-media styles. Building upon The 7 Elements of Art from 7th Grade, The 7 Principles of Design (Contrast, Pattern, Emphasis, Rhythm, Movement, Unity, and Balance) will be explored in 8th Grade to reinforce what artists can create with the “ingredients” of art. At the completion of this course, students will walk away with a personalized portfolio featuring a wide-range of polished work. The valuable lessons that are accumulated throughout the Middle School art experience will stick with students as they grow – giving them the confidence to pursue their art education at the High School level, continue to make masterpieces, and reach their greatest potential as emerging artists.


Minor Studies: Computer Science/Technology

Computer Skills and Applications is an introductory course for Middle School students mapped to appropriate, grade-level standards. The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as problem-solving, programming/coding, computer hardware, and digital citizenship to name a few, while inspiring students to build their own websites, apps, and games. The goal of this course is to empower students with a computer science curriculum that develops digital, problem-solving, and programming skill sets. Projects in this course emphasize and capitalize on the creativity inherent in Computer Science.


Minor Studies: Music

Collegium’s Middle School offers a variety of music programs/studies over the course of a student’s middle school career. Below are some of the courses that may be offered to students.

7th Grade Music
Students in our music classes will be offered a variety of music opportunities to create and perform different genres of music and explore music technology.

Music Studio
This course specializes in the use of DAW technology to create and edit music. Students will explore career paths in music, and participate in project based learning initiatives. Some attention will also be given to general music theory and history.

Performance Ensembles
We offer Concert Band, Jazz Band Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Concert Choir. Our students will be trained in the current pedagogy for students’ instruments and voices. They will learn 21st Century skills to perform, create, innovate and collaborate. We participate in many local area adjudications and performance opportunities.

Modern Band
Students will perform the music they know and love, while also composing and improvising using Rock Band standard instruments, such as keyboards, guitar, drums and vocals.

Ukulele Class
Students will explore how to play the Ukulele chords, scales and riffs. They will engage in music composition, lyric writing, lyric analysis, and performance of both cover songs and original compositions.

Acting Class
Students will learn the basics of stage direction, monologue, dialogue, acting techniques and scriptwriting.

8th Grade Music
Students in our music classes will be offered a variety of opportunities to learn, create and perform different genres of music and explore music technology.

Music Studio
This course specializes in the use of DAW technology to create and edit music. Students will explore career paths in music, and participate in project based learning initiatives. Some attention will also be given to general music theory and history.

Performance Ensembles
We offer Concert Band, Jazz Band Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Concert Choir. Our students will be trained in the current pedagogy for students’ instruments and voices. They will learn 21st Century skills to perform, create, innovate and collaborate. We participate in many local area adjudications and performance opportunities.

Modern Band
Students will perform the music they know and love, while also composing and improvising using Rock Band standard instruments, such as keyboards, guitar, drums and vocals.


Responsive Classroom

Students in both 7th and 8th grade start and end each academic day in Advisory groups. The purpose of these groups is to establish, promote, and strengthen connections between our students as well as our faculty and staff.

During time in the Advisory groups, educators lead students through the Responsive Classroom program. Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to teaching and discipline that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, effective management, and developmental awareness.

For more information about Responsive Classroom, click here.


Word Gen Weekly

In the 2019-2020 school year CMS started with Word Gen Weekly. This program is cross-curricular and building wide. The focus is on a set of words and a topic for discussion, and is shared through the lens of ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies. The program builds a sense of community through in-depth discussions and activities of the topics, as well as creating common, educational vocabulary among all students and teachers. For more information on word gen, click here.

Collegium logo-seal

Collegium Charter School is a tuition-free, independent K-12 public school offering families a choice for their children’s elementary and secondary education. To learn more about our programs, please review our FAQs.

435 Creamery Way, Suite #300
Exton, PA 19341
Phone: 610-903-1300
Fax: 610-903-1317
Contact Us / Visit Campus

X
Collegium is updating the website and page content during our summer break. Also, PowerSchool access was disabled on Monday, June 27th, and report cards will be unavailable until access is restored on Monday, August 8th.
¤