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Middle School Courses

The WMA Middle School has developed an integrated academic program that aims to accomplish the following:

  • Stimulate and satisfy the innate and individually unique curiosity of the young adolescent
  • Feature learning experiences that are highly integrated and connected to life lessons
  • Provide a safe environment for each child to explore his or her emerging identity under the guidance of nurturing adults
  • Expose students to a wide range of academic, social and recreational opportunities
  • Allow students to question and explore their environment
  • Involve each student in the richness of the world with the goal of developing caring, responsible and ethical citizens


Courses by Grade

Grade 6

Humanities

  • Grade 6 Theme: Knowing One’s Past
  • Students search for the origins of our civilization and our culture

Math

  • Introduces tools necessary for solving problems, identifying patterns, and developing number sense
  • Introduces algebraic and geometric concepts
  • Uses Prentice-Hall Math 2 Program Text

Science

  • Connects to Grade 6 Humanities theme by investigating past history of Earth
  • Uses the SEPUP text, Issues & Earth Science

World Languages

  • Introduction to French or Spanish

Art

  • Explores art through an archeological perspective
  • Involves research of different ancient cultures
  • Reconstructs ancient artifacts from Egyptian sarcophagi, Greek urns, Roman coins, and Indian mandalas

Health

  • Introduces Mindset curriculum and focuses on the social/emotional components of being healthy

Music

  • Connected to the Grade 6 Humanities theme, Grade 6 Music classes play percussion instruments learning basic rhythms and beats

Physical Education

  • Classes meet twice each week for the entire school year, with the goal of involving students in regular physical activity including a variety of lifelong sports.

Grade 7

Humanities

  • Grade 7 Theme: Knowing One’s Self
  • Students explore the importance of establishing one’s identity

Math

  • Enables students to value mathematics, to build confidence in their ability to solve problems, and to communicate and reason mathematically
  • Continues to explore algebraic and geometric functions
  • Explores patterns and number sense, as well as applications with proportions and percents
  • Leads to either Math 8 or Algebra 1 in Grade 8
  • Uses Prentice-Hall Math 3 Program Text

Science

  • Connects to Grade 7 Humanities theme by learning how to study humans scientifically
  • Uses SEPUP text, Science & Life Issues

World Languages

  • Students continue with French or Spanish, leading to completing the equivalent of one year in an upper school language course

Art

  • Explores the theme of self within a modern European tradition
  • Investigates idea of the self-portrait from the beginning of the Renaissance to the 20th century

Health

  • Connected to the Grade 7 Humanities theme, Grade 7 Health classes discuss establishing a good personal health routine involving proper nutrition and a proper exercise regimen, linking how a healthy diet and exercise program can help nourish a healthy mind

Music

  • Students choose from a number of instruments from percussion, to keyboard, to strings (acoustic or electric) and work to find their “voice” with that instrument

Physical Education

  • Classes meet twice each week for the entire school year, with the goal of involving students in regular physical activity including a variety of lifelong sports.

Grade 8

Humanities

  • Grade 8 Theme: Knowing One’s Community
  • Students study the foundation of our American democracy and the concept of the American dream

Math

Math 8

  • Explores expressions and equations
  • Introduces linear and quadratic functions
  • Prepares students for entry into upper school at Algebra 1
  • Uses Prentice Hall Prealgebra text

Algebra 1

  • Develops a facility for the use of variables in equations
  • Explores graphing linear equations and inequalities
  • Investigates factoring, absolute value expressions, and functions
  • Prepares students for entry into upper school at Geometry
  • Uses Prentice-Hall Algebra 1 text

Science

  • Connects to Grade 8 Humanities theme by investigating how science impacts a community
  • Uses SEPUP text, Issues, Evidence, & You

World Languages

  • Students continue with French or Spanish as their primary language of study, working to complete the equivalent of a second year in an upper school language course.

Art

  • Looks at the many functions of art and the artist from the historical periods studied in Grade 8 humanities class

Health

  • Students continue to focus on the social/emotional aspects of being healthy and maintaining one's health, continuing to work with the Mindset curriculum heading to Grade 9 where it will be a focal point of the upper school's Freshmen Foundations course.

Music

  • Students continue with the instrument they began in Grade 7.
  • Having found their "voice" with that instrument in Grade 7, students now begin to blend their "voice" harmoniously into their musical group.

Physical Education

  • Classes meet twice each week for the entire school year, with the goal of involving students in regular physical activity including a variety of lifelong sports.

All Students

Directed Study

In addition to the coursework outlined below, all students participate in Directed Study, a daily program that creates additional contact time between the classroom teacher and student for continued instruction in a given subject.

Grade 7 Memorials

Course by Subject

Art

Middle School Art exposes students to a variety of materials and techniques while connecting to themes covered in the Humanities classroom.

Grade 6

  • Explores art through an archeological perspective
  • Involves research of different ancient cultures
  • Reconstructs ancient artifacts from Egyptian sarcophagi, Greek urns, Roman coins and Indian mandalas

Grade 7

  • Explores the theme of self within a modern European tradition
  • Investigates idea of the self-portrait from the beginning of the Renaissance to the 20th century

Grade 8

  • Looks at the many functions of art and the artist from the historical periods studied in Grade 8 Humanities class

Health

Health classes meet twice each week for the entire school year.

Grade 6

  • Connected to the Grade 6 Humanities theme, Grade 6 Health classes discuss the foundations associated with good health

Grade 7

  • Connected to the Grade 7 Humanities theme, Grade 7 Health classes discuss establishing a good personal health routine involving proper nutrition and a proper exercise regimen

Grade 8

  • Connected to the Grade 8 Humanities theme, Grade 8 Health classes discuss health issues that impact a community including smoking, alcohol use and abuse, drug use and abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases

Humanities

Our Humanities curriculum connects art, language arts and history to form a better understanding of individual and cultural development. It integrates literature, fine arts, communication, grammar, geography, science, health and technology to create a more complete vision of the world. While exploring the human condition, it promotes competence in electronic communication, word processing, PowerPoint presentation, internet research, public speaking, essay writing, poetry writing and play writing.

Grade 6

  • Theme: Knowing One’s Past
  • Students search for the origins of our civilization and our culture

Grade 7

  • Theme: Knowing One’s Self
  • Students explore the importance of establishing one’s identity

Grade 8

  • Theme: Knowing One’s Community
  • Students study the foundation of our American democracy and the concept of the American dream

Mathematics

Our mathematics curriculum helps students value mathematics, build self-confidence, communicate mathematically, reason mathematically and become mathematical problem-solvers. Our mathematics texts, published by Prentice-Hall, are linked to online support programs.

Grade 6

  • Introduces tools necessary for solving problems, identifying patterns and developing number sense
  • Introduces algebraic and geometric concepts
  • Uses Prentice-Hall Math 1 Program Text

Grade 7

  • Enables students to value mathematics, build confidence in their ability to solve problems, and communicate and reason mathematically
  • Continues to explore algebraic and geometric functions
  • Explores patterns and number sense, as well as applications with proportions and percents
  • Leads to either Math 8 or Algebra 1 in Grade 8
  • Uses Prentice-Hall Math 2 Program Text

Grade 8

Math 8

  • Explores expressions and equations
  • Introduces linear and quadratic functions
  • Prepares students for entry into upper school at Algebra 1
  • Uses Prentice Hall Prealgebra Text

Algebra 1

  • Develops a facility for the use of variables in equations
  • Explores graphing linear equations and inequalities
  • Investigates factoring, absolute value expressions and functions
  • Prepares students for entry into upper school at Geometry
  • Uses Prentice-Hall Algebra 1 Text

Music

Music classes meet twice each week for the entire school year.

Grade 6

Connected to the Grade 6 Humanities theme, Grade 6 Music classes play percussion instruments learning basic rhythms and beats

Grade 7 and Grade 8

Students choose one of four stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello or base) and learn first in Grade 7 to find their “voice” with the chosen instrument and then, in Grade 8, to blend their “voice” harmoniously into their musical group, culminating in a spring concert.

Physical Education

Classes meet twice each week for the entire school year, with the goal of involving students in regular physical activity including a variety of lifelong sports such as volleyball, football and swimming.

Science

SEPUP: Science Education for Public Understanding Program

Our science curriculum challenges students to think like scientists and to perform scientific investigations. It involves them in an issues-oriented inquiry-based program that helps them see that science is connected to their lives. We use the University of California Berkeley science program named SEPUP (Science Education for Public Understanding Program).

Grade 6

  • Connects to Grade 6 Humanities theme by investigating past history of Earth
  • Uses the SEPUP text Issues & Earth Science

Grade 7

  • Connects to Grade 7 Humanities theme by learning how to study humans scientifically
  • Uses SEPUP text Science & Life Issues

Grade 8

  • Connects to Grade 8 Humanities theme by investigating how science impacts a community
  • Uses SEPUP text Issues, Evidence & You

World Language

Our World Languages program is set up to ensure, by students’ successful completion of Grade 8, they are able to complete the first year of the high school language requirement and are on track to complete a course at the AP level before graduating from high school.

Grade 6

Introduction to World Languages: introduces students to a variety of languages: Arabic, French, Latin, Polish, Spanish

Grade 7 and Grade 8

Students choose French, Latin, Mandarin or Spanish as their primary language of study for two years

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