Curriculum Guide

Welcome to Hilton Head Prep Middle School. Middle School is a place of transition for young adolescents who are growing at a rapid pace socially, emotionally and intellectually. Our goal is to provide a trusting foundation where they could begin to make choices, take on more responsibilities and learn to advocate for themselves in a supportive environment. Our skilled Middle School faculty lead sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders in discovering students' capacities for leadership and the necessary qualities of confidence, ethics, responsibility and respect.

Middle School provides and environment in which students will develop a strong academic background and a sense of ethical and social responsibilities. Critical thinking, creativity, cooperative learning, innovation and inquiry are the primary focal points of the Middle School program. Students are encouraged to participate in activities to explore and develop both their interests and talents.

The close personal relationships developed in the classrooms, on the playing field, in the performing arts and in the advisory sessions make Hilton Head Prep a special place for Middle School students. With caring adults who nurture them and guide them through their time at the Middle School, students become proficient learners and also gain understanding of how to be better citizens in an ever-changing world.

Middle School provides a rich and varied experience. Hilton Head Prep believes that upon completion of the eighth grade, every student will have the necessary integrity and academic skills to be a contributing member of the upper school. We are here to help and assist you and your child during this next step into their academic journey.

Darcy Devrnja
Head of Middle School
Grades 6-8

Overview

English 6

Sixth grade English is a course in literature, discussion, composition, revision, and critical analysis. The primary goals of the course are to further develop the students’ abilities as readers, writers, and independent thinkers who will experience success at the upper school level and beyond. To achieve these goals, students will read novels, short stories, plays, nonfiction articles, and poetry; write essays, memoirs, journal entries, short stories, poems, and speeches; create complex projects and final products; view films, multi-media presentations and live productions; and speak, write, and edit using the conventions of standard English grammar and usage. Students read the following whole class novels: Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, The Land I Lost by Huynh Quang Nhoung, Tangerine by Edward Bloor, and Crossover by Kwame Alexander.

English 7

Seventh grade English expands upon the skills learned the prior year. It is a course in literature, discussion, composition, revision, and critical analysis. The primary goals of the course are to further develop reading comprehension skills at school level and beyond. Students will use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression, analysis and social interaction. They will develop the skills involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts; develop critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analyzing literary and non-literary texts and engage with text from different historical periods and a variety of cultures. Students read the following whole class novels: Peak by Roland Smith, Pam Munoz Ryan, The Land I Lost by Huynh Quang Nhoung, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, and Crossover by Kwame Alexander.

English 8

Eighth grade English provides instruction in literary skills through different genres such as fiction, poetry, drama, novels, non-fiction, and informational texts in order to prepare students for the upper school and beyond. Stories and novels will take on more complex themes, active reading and comprehension strategies will be expanded upon, and overall expectations will increase. A concentrated focus on spelling and vocabulary skills as they pertain to the English language and SAT preparation will take place in this course. Students will participate in journal writing, homework, quizzes, tests, book report projects, and presentations. Students will engage in a variety of texts from different historical periods and cultures.

Mathematics Department

Math Sequence Chart - Grades 6-9

Pre-Algebra - 6

The pre-algebra class in middle school develops the skills and concepts needed for the foundation of algebra. Topics include: (1) operations with real numbers, (2) linear equations and inequalities, (3) graphing linear equations, inequalities and systems of equations (3) relations and functions, (4) polynomials, (5) algebraic fractions, (6) geometry, (7) exponents, and (8) reading, solving, and interpreting word problems.

Math 6

Math 6 focuses on the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as well as the concepts of powers and roots. Math 6 also explores fraction concepts, decimals, percents, estimation, number theory as well as number sets and number systems. All of these concepts lead into pre-algebra.

Algebra I - 7

Algebra I will help students acquire and demonstrate knowledge of concepts such as algebra, geometry, statistics, probability, logical reasoning, and discrete mathematics, as well as the definitions and properties within them. Learning experiences will focus on developing critical thinking and decision-making skills as well as applying knowledge of the aforementioned concepts in practical real-world situations. Middle school students successfully completing algebra I receive upper school division credit for the course. The grade is placed on the transcript; however, the algebra 1 year-end average is not factored into the student’s upper school grade point average.

Foundations of Algebra - 7

This transition course is designed to serve as a bridge from pre-algebra to algebra. Learning experiences will include but are not limited to topics including operations with rational numbers and integers, relations and functions, ratios and proportions, graphs, inequalities and operations with polynomials. A solid foundation is set as problem solving strategies are emphasized and reinforced throughout the curriculum to provide students with the tools necessary to solve problems in an organized way.

Pre-Algebra - 7

The pre-algebra class in middle school develops the skills and concepts needed for the foundation of algebra. Topics include: (1) operations with real numbers, (2) linear equations and inequalities, (3) graphing linear equations, inequalities and systems of equations (3) relations and functions, (4) polynomials, (5) algebraic fractions, (6) geometry, (7) exponents, and (8) reading, solving, and interpreting word problems.

Geometry - 8

Prerequisite: Algebra 1

Geometry is designed to foster development in deductive thinking skills utilizing geometric proofs as a vehicle. Topics include, but are not limited to, logic and reasoning, Euclidean geometry of lines, planes, angles, triangles, similarity, congruence, geometric inequalities, polygons, circles, and geometric constructions. Middle school students successfully completing geometry receive upper school division credit for the course. The grade is placed on the transcript; however, the geometry year-end average is not factored into the student’s upper school grade point average.

Algebra I - 8

Algebra I will help students acquire and demonstrate knowledge of concepts such as algebra, geometry, statistics, probability, logical reasoning, and discrete mathematics, as well as the definitions and properties within them. Learning experiences will focus on developing critical thinking and decision-making skills as well as applying knowledge of the aforementioned concepts in practical real-world situations. Middle school students successfully completing algebra I receive upper school division credit for the course. The grade is placed on the transcript; however, the algebra 1 year-end average is not factored into the student’s upper school grade point average.

Foundations of Algebra - 8

This transition course is designed to serve as a bridge from pre-algebra to algebra. Learning experiences will include but are not limited to topics including operations with rational numbers and integers, relations and functions, ratios and proportions, graphs, inequalities and operations with polynomials. A solid foundation is set as problem solving strategies are emphasized and reinforced throughout the curriculum to provide students with the tools necessary to solve problems in an organized way.

Social Studies Department

Humanities - 6

Focusing on both human and physical geography, sixth grade Humanities expands students’ understanding of the world in which they live through the study of people, resources, and landscapes in particular regions. This study focuses not only on the significance of geography in the development of the human cultures, but also on the everyday lives, problems, and accomplishments of the people as they are reflected in history and literature. Our study will emphasize the development of social, economic, and political structures in these civilizations while strengthening students’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. This course is closely tied to 6th grade English, so students will also make connections to the novels read in that course.

American History - 7

American History traces the development of the United States from the beginning with Native American civilizations and European contacts to the present day. The course will focus on the colonial era, the foundation of the American political system, the development of the American economy, the longstanding struggles within American society, and America’s critical role as a leader in world affairs during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Government, Economics, and International Relations - 8

Government, Economics, and International Relations are the main focus areas in eighth grade history. Students become a part of a community of learners where they work to understand the past to gain a better understanding of today’s globalized and interdependent world. The course is student centered with the instructor providing the framework for challenging, meaningful and diverse learning opportunities. Students will improve their geography skills, particularly the United States and will have many opportunities to improve both their written and verbal communication skills.

Science Department

Integrated Science -6

The focus of sixth grade science is to introduce the students to the scientific method, measurement and data collection as well as proper lab practices and the applications of science fair. In addition, using an integrated approach, the students cover all disciplines of science including the cell and viruses (Life), The properties of matter, the atom and periodic table (Chemistry) and the role of water/weather in our atmosphere (Earth). The students participate in many lab experiments throughout the year and learn how to write formal lab reports.

Life Science - 7

Curriculum has a primary focus on the life sciences. Seventh grade Life Science will continue working with cell processes after sixth grade science covered the cell and cell organelles. Seventh grade starts by learning water's properties so that cell processes like transport and passing materials through a membrane can be explained. This is followed by studying cell energy (ATP) processes of photosynthesis and cell respiration. Other Units include: (1) genetics and heredity, (2) evolution, (3) reproduction, growth and development of both plants and animals, (4) human systems, and if time (5) ecology. Throughout the year the students are asked to learn to become independent thinkers by working on various labs and activities, writing formal lab reports and also conducting a 5 month long science fair project.

Physical Science - 8

Eighth grade science curriculum has a primary focus on the physical sciences including waves, astronomy, the atom, periodic table, chemical reactions, and chemical formulas in depth. They also study physics and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Throughout the year the students work on various class lab activities, write formal lab reports and conduct a 5 month long science fair project.

Biology - 8

Biology is the study of living things. The focus of the course is to explore the biological sciences from the molecular level to the various levels of complexity of living things including differences in life forms and functions while emphasizing ecological interactions. This course details the understanding of biological concepts while emphasizing the scientific thought process. By using classroom lecture and laboratory experiences as a foundation, the student will then exercise critical thinking skills with the use of presentations, essays, and projects.

World Languages Department

Chinese I - 6

MS Introductory Spanish - 6

Spanish I is a basic level of Spanish language learning. Grades 6, 7, and 8 will receive Level I vocabulary and grammar skills to develop towards confidence in both presentational and interpersonal language use. Within the grades, there are levels of course work ranging from Introductory, to Intermediate, to Advanced. This is not meant to limit students into a “level” but rather to help places them with students of similar knowledge levels and create a more comfortable and equal learning environment.

All level courses focus on the development of communicative language skills through grammatical and cultural topics, while deepening a level of understanding for linguistic functions of the language. Active participation and repeated reinforcement of both old and new material will be essential pieces of the course.

Spanish 6th Grade is a semester long course that is repeated each term. Foreign language in 6th grade is divided into two semesters- one Spanish and one Chinese.

MS Intermediate Spanish - 7

Spanish I is a basic level of Spanish language learning. Grades 6, 7, and 8 will receive Level I vocabulary and grammar skills to develop towards confidence in both presentational and interpersonal language use. Within the grades, there are levels of course work ranging from Introductory, to Intermediate, to Advanced. This is not meant to limit students into a “level” but rather to help places them with students of similar knowledge levels and create a more comfortable and equal learning environment.

All level courses focus on the development of communicative language skills through grammatical and cultural topics, while deepening a level of understanding for linguistic functions of the language. Active participation and repeated reinforcement of both old and new material will be essential pieces of the course.

MS Advanced Spanish - 8

Spanish I is a basic level of Spanish language learning. Grades 6, 7, and 8 will receive Level I vocabulary and grammar skills to develop towards confidence in both presentational and interpersonal language use. Within the grades, there are levels of course work ranging from Introductory, to Intermediate, to Advanced. This is not meant to limit students into a “level” but rather to help places them with students of similar knowledge levels and create a more comfortable and equal learning environment.

All level courses focus on the development of communicative language skills through grammatical and cultural topics, while deepening a level of understanding for linguistic functions of the language. Active participation and repeated reinforcement of both old and new material will be essential pieces of the course.

Middle School Electives

Overview

The Middle School elective program encourages students to pursue interests and passions beyond the core curriculum. Students in grades 6-8 are required to take electives each semester. Students will take one elective during the Monday, Wednesday, Friday rotation and a different elective during the Tuesday-Thursday elective. Study Hall/Academic Support is built into the school day and is not considered an elective.

Performing Arts - Mrs. Hamilton & Mr. McCabe

This course will encourage students to develop communication and performance skills, self-confidence, and the ability to work well with others. Projects include Readers Theater, character study, performing scenes training in blocking, movement, costuming, properties, stage management and other technical aspects of theater will also be introduced. There will be evening performance for students to present some of their work for families and friends.

Any student that takes this class will participate in some aspect of the middle school play.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Visual Art - Ms. Dillon (6th and 7th grade only)

Students will work to increase their skills and understanding of art-making and creative expression, aesthetic valuation, the historical and cultural context of world art, and studio habits of mind. The Elements and Principles of Art and Design serve as a foundation for the class. Assignments will be in a variety of two- and three-dimensional media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture, as well as more challenging materials. Students should be prepared to do work such as sketching outside of class time.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Ceramics - Mrs. Carson (8th grade only)

This class is designed for students who have an interest in working with clay, and gives students experiences in making functional as well as sculptural pieces, using a variety of techniques. Well thought out forms, designs and functional uses along with good craftsmanship are emphasized.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Band - Ms. Thomas

Beginning Band is the first full year of music instruction on their instruments. Ownership or rental of instruments is encouraged. This beginning band class develops skills on a variety of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. Emphasis is given to providing a strong fundamental approach to their instrument. Rehearsal from the required Music Text will be accomplished during this elective period, as well as developmental music theory. Performance outside of normal school hours are required as part of this course. Purchase of a book will be required for this course.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Advanced Strings - Ms. Klimoff

Open to all string players (violin, viola, cello, string bass) with at least one year of playing experience on the string instrument. Students must be recommended by Ms. Klimoff for this class. There will be performances and competitions for this Advanced Strings group.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday


American Sign Language Introduction - Mrs. Foley

This class is an introductory into American Sign Language. Student will have the opportunity to grasp the understanding of communicating through sign language by practicing with their peers.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Law - Mr. Sheehan

Future attorneys, law enforcement officers, and public officials can get an early start in this program, which provides students with realistic experiences and foundations needed in the field of law, criminal justice and/or public affairs. Students learn to recognize the citizen's role in maintaining a just society based on law and are exposed to a broad range of law-related issues. In our realistic courtroom, students are able to be part of the wheels of justice, as they take apart in a mock trial. Students taking this course are required to take part of the SCISA Middle School Mock Trial Competition.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Journalism - Ms. Payne

The Journalism elective will teach students the fundamental skills of producing a publication, including copyrighting and editing, layout and design, interviewing and photography. Students will work collaboratively to produce a new edition of the middle school newspaper each month. Language skills will be reinforced as the publication will be read by fellow students and teachers. An electronic device is required for this course.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Environmental Science - Mrs. Benedik

Have you ever felt like you wanted to do something to help the environment, but didn't know what to do, or how to do it? Environmental science will teach you ways that you can make a difference, and make our community and world a better place. In this class we will explore our earth from the tiniest one-celled organisms to the largest land animals. We'll go to the beach and Forest Preserve to better understand our beautiful island ecology.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Computer - Mrs. Sullivan

Students will be introduced to some advanced features of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Students will also learn the basics of Microsoft Excel.

Rotation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Science Fair - Mrs. Benedik

This course will give you the opportunity to stay on top of your deadlines, conduct further research and collect data while on campus if needed. Mrs. Benedik will be there to explain expectations and assist with the scientific process that goes into completing your project.

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

Public Speaking & Debate - Mrs. Hamilton

This course will center on communication theory and public speaking. We will examine the types of speeches: Informational, Persuasive, Personal Information, Social, Ritual/Ceremonial Speech. We all need the ability to make a good impression when we make a presentation. We will focus on putting together coherent, sequential presentations including the use of props and Power Point when they support the subject matter. Students will work in non-competitive teams to support one another as they learn to become more at ease and fluid while making presentations in classroom as well as interview situations. Students will learn to construct, as well as deliver several short speeches during the term within the classroom setting.

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

International Relations - Mr. Sheehan

This course is designed to stimulate students’ interest in international relations and foreign policy. As a result of their experiences in the class, students will become more astute observers of the international scene and better understand the problems facing the world. Strong emphasis is placed on both the historical background and the many issues and conflicts that are part of our interconnected world. Students will engage in discussions, problem solving, debates, negotiations, and conflict resolution as part of a series of simulations that based on issues taken from the headlines of the day.

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

Podcasting: A Contemporary Oral Tradition - Mr. McCabe

Do you enjoying sharing stories? Do you like good music? Do you want to learn more about something you love? In PODCASTING: A CONTEMPORARY ORAL TRADITION you'll have the chance to share stories, explore good music, and research topics that interest you. And, moreover, you get to present it all to the WORLD. Through the class, students will learn about what Podcasts are and their history, then have a chance to make their own Podcast. To do so they'll develop and utilize skills in interviewing, research, and audio production.

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

Visual Art - Mrs. Carson (8th grade only)

Students will work to increase their skills and understanding of art-making and creative expression, aesthetic valuation, the historical and cultural context of world art, and studio habits of mind. The Elements and Principles of Art and Design serve as a foundation for the class. Assignments will be in a variety of two- and three-dimensional media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture, as well as more challenging materials. Students should be prepared to do work such as sketching outside of class time.

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

American Sign Language Advanced - Mrs. Foley

This class is for students who have had some exposure into American Sign Language. Student will have the opportunity to grasp the understanding of communicating through sign language by practicing with their peers.

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

Chinese (grades 7 & 8 only) - Mrs. Qi

Students will develop growing proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and gain understanding of the structure of the language. They will also gain a familiarity with and appreciation of the culture of the linguistic community.

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

Yearbook - Ms. Payne

This course is a computer-based class designed to teach students how to produce a school yearbook using computer software. Students will participate "behind-the-scenes" to help meet deadlines by entering information, adding photographs, and proofing the yearbook. This course also focuses on writing though captions and sports/activity summaries including student experiences through quotes. Students will collaborate with upper school students as well as Mrs. Hopman to make this year's yearbook the best yet!

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

Beginning Strings - Ms. Klimoff

This elective is for students who have had some experience with strings.

Rotation: Tuesday, Thursday

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