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Middle School

Curriculum Overview

ENGLISH AND LANGUAGE ARTS

In the English Language Arts program, students are held to a high standard and are rigorously prepared for the high school English experience. Students read and discuss literature and are expected to respond to material through creative and analytical writing as well as in an oral format. Incorporated into the writing curriculum is a review of essay structure. Students then hone and perfect the four- and five-paragraph essay to respond to questions about their reading. In addition to literature, there is a comprehensive skills program that focuses on strengthening students’ vocabulary, grammar, and spelling.

MATHEMATICS

Mathematics at The Laurel Hill School emphasizes problem solving, mathematical reasoning, and real-world applications. All New York State standards are incorporated into our daily lessons and both tutorials and advanced study are available to our students. All of the methods used help to prepare our students for the New York State Mathematics Assessments given in March and also to prepare our advanced eighth grade students for the early administration of Integrated Algebra Regents Examination given in June.

  • Math Lab is incorporated into the Mathematics Lessons. These “hands-on” activities enhance the students’ learning experiences.
  • Students practice their communication skills by reading to interpret directions, discussing possible solutions with their group, and in writing results and reasons explaining how they arrived at their solutions.
  • Real life applications are incorporated into the projects.
  • Technology is also used to investigate and explore possibilities. Creativity is always encouraged in ways to solve problems and in presentation of the final project.
  • Benchmark practice is used to reinforce learned skills.
SCIENCE

The science program follows-up, reinforces and enhances skills, concepts, and information learned in previous grades. Students begin to study Chemistry and Earth Science. Eighth grade students prepare for early administration of the New York State Earth Science Regents.

  • The ultimate goal of the sixth grade science program is to develop the students to be critical observers, analytical thinkers, and active and concerned citizens who are aware of their surroundings and their global environment. Sixth grade will acquire knowledge and practical skills related to science through experimentation and discovery. Life Science and Earth Science will have special focus.
  • The seventh graders begin the year focusing on Regents level chemistry. The basic building blocks of chemistry are discussed in depth; studies include the atom, isotopes, the periodic table, and the physical and chemical properties of elements. Each concept is explored with experiments and hands-on activities.
  • The eighth grade course is an intensive study of Earth Science and incorporates 1200 minutes of laboratory experience including written research and laboratory reports. The program also incorporates computer technology along with discussions of current events relating to Earth Science and science in general. In addition to the core curriculum of Earth Science, the students prepare for the New York State Eighth Grade Science Assessment given at the end of 8th grade. Advanced students may also take the Earth Science Regents.
SOCIAL STUDIES

The Middle School Social Studies Program aims to familiarize students with the basic vocabulary, skills and concepts of the historian. Students are continuously introduced to the geography of the areas that are being studied. Methods of deductive reasoning are encouraged to determine the political, economic, and social impact of climate, landforms, and population on a community. The classroom atmosphere encourages discussion, critical thinking, opinion making, and interpretation of history and current events to promote inferences about the future.

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