7th/8th Grade Humanities Course Overview, 2021-2022 Salmon Creek School Tanya Turneaure
While all the interaction takes place online, students will do a combination of pencil and paper work, creative projects, and online curriculum. Below is an outline of what you can expect for your child’s middle school Humanities experience.
Reading 7th and 8th grade literature curriculum includes three main elements: 2-3 core novels, independent reading, and literature discussion groups (articles, poetry, historical documents, and short stories). Many of the texts are integrated with the history content. Students will occasionally use 2 online platforms for reading: on Kids Discover they’ll read interdisciplinary selections, and on Edmentum they’ll do reading practice activities. The focus for middle schoolers is enjoyment of reading, as well as making assertions based on inference or textual evidence.
Writing Students write frequently, in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes. They will produce a few lengthy, formal written projects throughout the year, culminating in the eighth grade I-Search. We use the Writing by Design approach, which includes a supportive writer’s workshop atmosphere and rubrics based on the Six Traits of Writing. The goal in middle school is for students to become increasingly sophisticated writers as they look forward to high school, college, and career.
Grammar and Language Work Middle school students will use the online “Learning Path” program on Edmentum to practice their language skills (grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, sentence structure). An initial diagnostic test will place students at their own personal levels of challenge.
History 7th graders study medieval world cultures, which include six major units of study over the course of the year: Feudal Europe, Islam, Americas, West Africa, Japan, and Early Modern Europe. The focus is on culture, the cosolidation of power, and increasing interconnections between cultures. 8th graders study U.S. history, from the origins of the United States, to the development of government and the expansion of territory, through to the early twentieth century. Both curriculums alternate between simulations, projects, literature, and the History Alive textbook.
Art The students will often have art lessons during their regular afternoon enrichment periods. They will study artists, practice art skills, and explore their creativity. Some of the projects relate to the history and literature topics in Humanities class.
At the end of each trimester, students receive two grades for Humanities: one for English Language Arts and one for Social Science/History. Grades are based partially on participation in Zoom classes and completion of classwork, as well as on tests and projects in which students demonstrate that they’ve met standards. Grades are updated on Schoolwise regularly, and students and parents can check grades anytime on their Schoolwise portals.
In middle school, the students make connections between the rights that young teens deserve and the responsibilities that they must demonstate to ensure those rights. We also practice Life Skills, which are integral parts of becoming a responsible citizen. The homeroom class holds weekly restorative circles, which focus on community building, self awareness, communication, and problem solving.
Staying in touch while distance learning is essential! I’ll be emailing weekly activities and updates to both students and parents. Meanwhile, here are key ways to stay up to date on what’s happening in Humanities class.
Google Classroom Google Classroom is the platform on which weekly lesson plans, as well as all major assignments and materials, are posted. Many assignments are completed and turned in on Google Classroom, as well. Parents will get an invitation to join Google Classroom so they can receive a summary of assignments.
Schoolwise Parent Portal The Schoolwise parent portal is an efficient way for you to keep up with your child’s grades. If you have not yet set up your parent portal, you will be getting information that explains how to create your account. Class Website Relevant class information is posted on the Humanities class website.
Contact Information The best way for both students and parents to contact me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also email me to schedule a Zoom meeting during our afternoon Independent Work/Meeting period.