EAGLE RIDGE ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Eagle Ridge Academy uses the middle school curriculum developed by the Core Knowledge Foundation because of its liberal arts’ emphasis and alignment to classical education philosophy. Core Knowledge Foundation is a non-profit organization that has outlined a guide to specific, solid core curriculum in order to help students establish strong foundations of knowledge, grade by grade.
English, History, Art, and Music are taught in an integrated fashion. The time periods studied in History drive the curriculum; and the objectives covered in English, Music and Art are designed to complete the study of the time period covered in History.
BENEFITS OF CORE KNOWLEDGE
Provides a broad base of knowledge and a rich vocabulary
Motivates students to learn and creates a strong desire to learn more
Provides the knowledge necessary for higher levels of learning and helps build confidence
Provides a common focus to share knowledge and expertise
Decreases learning gaps
Provides a strong foundation of knowledge for success in high school and beyond
Provides a clear outline of what children are expected to learn in school
Encourages parents to participate in their children’s education both at home and in school
History is designed to give students many different perspectives on the people who shaped the world. The middle school history courses require students to evaluate their views and interpretations. Students are active participants on this journey into the past, and apply lessons from this class to their everyday life and their understanding of current events. Class sessions focus on history, geography, archeology, civics, educated reasoning, current events/ connections, and writing. A variety of strategies are used to cover these topics. These strategies may include lecture, whole group and small group discussions, research, and activities.
English introduces students to various literary genres and focuses on English language skills. Class sessions focus on literature, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and writing. A variety of strategies are used to cover these topics. These strategies include lecture, whole group and small group discussions, research, and activities. Students read a variety of novels related to specific periods in history. They also study grammar, vocabulary and spelling; and develop writing skills by connecting writing to the novels and other courses.
This class offers a unique experience of art history and studio art. Students engage in the study of key figures, groups, movements, and art works throughout the course of history as well as the dynamic process of actively creating art. Students gain both historical knowledge and creative skills.
Middle school students have the following music choices: General Music, Orchestra, Band, or Choir. Students will be enrolled in only one music course.
General Music: The general music course teaches a basic vocabulary of music elements that can inform the discussion, appreciation, and study of selected musical works. Each grade also studies a designated core of musical content, with attention to specific historical periods, composers, and genres, as outlined in the Core Knowledge Curriculum. Some in-class music performance, both vocal and instrumental, will accompany these studies, at the discretion of the instructor.
Orchestra: Middle school students have the opportunity to further their musical skills through a large ensemble experience. In an orchestral ensemble, students will choose from one of the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, or double bass. Repertoire will be selected to best fit the needs of the ensemble, and graded, evening performances will be required. In addition to the performance aspect of this course, music theory and history will be taught in accordance with the Core Knowledge Curriculum.
Band: A second large ensemble aimed at furthering instrumental skills is band. As with the orchestral option, students will select one of the following instruments: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, or percussion. Additional instruments may be added at the discretion of the director. Repertoire will be selected to best fit the needs of the ensemble, and graded, evening performances will be required. In addition to the performance aspect of this course, music theory and history will be taught in accordance with the Core Knowledge Curriculum.
Choir: Middle school students wishing to further their vocal music studies may select choir. Participation in this ensemble will involve the study of foundational vocal technique, including but not limited to breathing, sound production, pitch-matching, and tuning. Singing will be a daily expectation. Repertoire will be selected to best fit the needs of the ensemble, and graded, evening performances will be required. In addition to the performance aspect of this course, music theory and history will be taught in accordance with the Core Knowledge Curriculum.
Middle school students will use the Saxon math program. Saxon’s instructional approach breaks complex concepts into simpler increments, recognizing that smaller pieces of information are easier to teach and easier to learn. The instructions, practice, and assessment of those increments are systematically distributed across a grade level. Once a topic is presented, students are continually exposed to the topic in the daily problem sets that follow. The available courses are Saxon Course 2, Course 3, and Algebra 1. Some students may advance into high school math courses if they meet the placement criteria.
The study of Latin helps improve English vocabulary because it is the foundation of the English language, it improves grammar knowledge and understanding through structured grammatical framework, and is a good base for future romance language studies such as Spanish and French. It is the trademark of a Classical Education. Students are placed in middle school Latin I, II, or III based on previous experience, regardless of their grade level.
Middle school science introduces students to various fields of study in life, earth, and space science; emphasizes learning and applying the scientific method. A variety of strategies will be used to cover these topics. These strategies will include lecture, lab experiences, research, projects, whole group and small group discussions, and inquiry activities.
Grade six is designed to be a transition between the classroom setting of grades K – 5 and the rotating structure of grades 7 & 8.
Students will rotate with their advisory between three sixth grade teachers for history, science, and English. Math classes are created based on placement scores.
Grades Seven and Eight:
Students in grades 7 & 8 will rotate between all classes.