Middle School Academics

Grade 8 Academics

Grade 8 STEM Electives

STEM electives in middle school are important building blocks in the preparation of all students for demands of college, careers, and the rapidly changing 21st century workforce.  STEM courses teach students to apply mathematics, science, and technical knowledge to innovate and solve problems.  MCPS is committed to providing a well-rounded education for middle school students that includes an engaging, hands-on experience with computational learning.  Middle school STEM electives teach students computational and technological literacy through coding, computer science, engineering, robotics, and other technology and design-related experiences.  This program promotes creative problem solving and an exploration of multiple STEM related fields of study and careers.

In grade 8, students have the opportunity to take a high school technology education credit bearing course.  In these courses, MCPS utilized external curriculum from national organizations such as Code.org and Project Lead the Way to include study of coding, robotics and engineering design processes.


Foundations of Computer Science TE A/B (TEC2002 A/B)*

HS credit

Introduction to Engineering Design A/B (New course code pending)*
HS Credit, Corequisite: Algebra 1 or Higher

Computer Science Discoveries (ITC1000/ITC1001)

Global Technology Systems (ENR1021)

Website Development A/B (ITC2025 A/B)*

HS credit

*Restricted to schools where currently offered

Grade 8 English (ENG1013)
Grade 8 Adv English (ENG1014)

The goal of the Secondary English Language Arts program is to create literate, thoughtful communicators, capable of controlling language effectively as they negotiate an increasingly complex and information-rich world. As students leave elementary school, they encounter new academic expectations such as analyzing varied and complex texts, developing arguments, synthesizing information from multiple sources, examining different perspectives, and engaging in self-reflection. Students work to acquire specific skills and strategies in reading literature, reading informational text, writing, speaking and listening, and language.

MS Academic Literacy (ENG1029)

This course involves implementation of iLit, a reading intervention program designed to meet the needs of struggling readers through differentiated instruction, computer adaptive instruction, background-knowledge-building videos, high-interest literature, and explicit instruction in reading, writing, and vocabulary skills.

Digital Literacy 1 (ENG1030)

The Digital Literacy 1 curriculum focuses on developing critical and creative thinking through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing in a 21st-century approach. Working through a problem-based process, students learn to define real-world problems of interest, research the causes of those problems using real-time global texts, and then create solutions to address the problems. Students will advance their understanding of comprehension, analysis, and evaluation of text as well as vocabulary acquisition through reading complex informational and argumentative texts in a technology-rich medium. Students will collaborate regularly through research and solution phases of their investigations. Students' curiosity and motivation will engage them in their investigations while learning and refining the processes that will enrich all other courses and prepare them for college and career projects.

MS Digital Literacy 2 (ENG1031)

The Digital Literacy 2 curriculum focuses on increasing critical and creative thinking through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing through an integrated approach. By participating in a problem-based process, students learn to define, analyze, and evaluate real-world problems of interest related to standards-based curriculum topics. Students will use research skills to investigate problems using real-time global texts and then create solutions to address the problems. Students will participate in sustained inquiry, analysis, and evaluation of text through reading complex informational, expository, and argumentative texts in a technology-rich medium. Students will hone their communication, collaboration, research, and problem-solving skills and learn to give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products during complex tasks. Digital Literacy creates authentic work for students to engage in by allowing for presentation of their solutions beyond the walls of the classroom.

MS Digital Literacy 3 (ENG1032)

The Digital Literacy 3 curriculum focuses on increasing critical and creative thinking through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing through an integrated approach.

Students will be introduced to a variety of social issues from various perspectives, examine the history of social movements and the impact on social and economic justice, explore their identity, and understand the ways in which communities can respond to these complex issues. Students will explore social justice terminology in order to better advocate for a socially just society. They will have multiple opportunities to participate in book clubs, where they will interact with classmates to analyze social justice texts. Students will participate in sustained inquiry, analysis, and evaluation of text through reading complex informational, expository, and argumentative texts in a technology-rich medium. Students will use research skills to investigate a contemporary social issue using real-time global texts and then create solutions to address the issue at the individual and/or systemic level.

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program provides high-quality English language development instruction aligned to grade-level content standards in English Language Arts. These courses focus on helping students develop the academic language proficiency needed to be able to learn content knowledge, skills, and processes and effectively use language to communicate proficiently in mainstream courses.
These courses are designed for the rapid mastery of the English language, focusing on reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. ESOL courses usually begin with extensive listening and speaking practice, building on auditory and oral skills, and support the development of reading and writing. These courses provide an explanation of grammat- ical structures of the English language, enabling students to progress from a basic under- standing of English words and verb tenses to a more comprehensive grasp of various formal and informal styles to prepare them for grade-level mainstream English courses. ESOL classes may also include an orientation to the customs and culture of the diverse population in the United States.  All ESOL courses are aligned to the grade-level standards and curriculum in Grades 6-8.
 ESOL students will be scheduled into English classes designed to meet their level of academic language proficiency in appropriate ways including sheltered, co-taught, single and double periods. ESOL levels will be aligned to the English Language Proficiency (ELP) levels 1.0-4.4 on the WIDA ACCESS test.

Grade Level 

Course 

New Course Code #

Notes (i.e. HS credit) 

 

Grade 6

English 6 for English Learners (ELs) I

ESL1014

Double Period

English 6 for ELs II

ESL 1017

Double Period

English 6 for ELs III

ESL 1020

Single Period 

 

Grade 7 

English 7 forELs I

ESL1015

Double Period

English 7 for ELs II

ESL 1018

Double Period

English 7 for ELs III

ESL 1021

Single Period

 

Grade 8 

English 8 forELs I

ESL 1016

Double Period

English 8 for ELs II

ESL 1019

Double Period

English 8 for ELs III

ESL 1022

Single Period


Programs

Multidisciplinary Educational Training and Support Program (METS)

Family and Comsumer Sciences (EDU1002, EDU1003)

Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) programs focus on processes and skills that enhance individual, family, and societal well-being. Programs reflect the National Standards for FACS Education and integrate math, science, English, and social studies. A project-based curriculum encourages students to investigate and solve authentic problems. Students learn to use communication and critical-thinking skills as well as current technologies to make informed decisions.

UNIT 1: INDIVIDUAL, FAMILY, AND SOCIETAL NEEDS
UNIT 2: DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
UNIT 3: NUTRITION AND WELLNESS
UNIT 4: PERSONAL FINANCE
UNIT 5: LIVING ENVIRONMENTS
UNIT 6: COLLEGE AND CAREER PLANNING

FINE ARTS

The fine arts are important to every child’s development and play a vital role in providing students with a well-rounded, world class education. Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Art promote academic excellence, creative problem-solving, and social emotional learning, which are essential components of college and career readiness. In order to meet the evolving needs of a 21st century learner, the fine arts focus on developing artistic literacy by engaging in the artistic processes (creating, performing/presenting, responding, and connecting) through authentic materials and techniques. The fine arts introduce students to new world views and cultures, help students to value the perspectives of others, and enable students to creatively express a personal viewpoint. Through artistic experiences, students become independent and divergent thinkers, selfmotivated workers, and innovators. All students have access to fine arts programs in middle school. In Grades 6–8, students may specialize in one or more of the fine art forms.

Dance

Middle School Dance 1 (ART1064)

Students with no previous dance experience should begin at Level 1 in the dance sequence. This beginning course provides a survey of dance styles and elements

Middle School Dance 2 (ART1065)

In this intermediate level course, Grade 7 students will continue to develop technique in a variety of dance styles and skilled application of dance elements. Students may audition to qualify for this level or receive permission from the dance teacher to enter this course. This course may be taken for more than one year.

Middle School Dance 3 (ART1066)

In this advanced level course, Grade 8 students continue to develop and refine dance concepts and skills as they build their repertoire. Students may audition in order to qualify for this course or receive permission from the dance teacher to enter this course. This course may be taken for more than one year. This course is aligned with new frameworks for a level 3.

General Music

COURSE

NEW COURSE CODE 

NOTES

PIANO, MS 1 

ART1048 

Available to students in Grades 6-8 

PIANO, MS 2 

ART1049 

Students must complete Piano, MS 1 or audition 

GUITAR, MS 1 

ART1043 

Available to students in Grades 6-8 

GUITAR, MS 2 

ART1044 

Students must complete Guitar, MS 1 or audition 

GENERAL MUSIC, MS 1 

ART1030 

Available to students in Grades 6-8 

GENERAL MUSIC, MS 2 

ART1031 

Students must complete General Music 1 

GENERAL MUSIC, MS 3 

ART1032 

Students must complete General Music 2 

Choral Music

MS Chorus 1 (ART1040)

Students will create, perform, and respond to music in a variety of styles/genres. Students will develop the fundamentals of proper vocal technique and choral singing in relation to posture, breath control, tone, intonation, diction, blending, singing in harmony, music literacy, and sight-singing. Students will primarily sing state level 2 music. There will likely be a minimum of two school concerts and students are expected to participate in all performances. This course is open to all students, regardless of music background.

MS Chorus 2 (ART1041)

Students will create, perform, and respond to music in a variety of styles/genres. Students will continue to develop the fundamentals of proper vocal technique and choral singing in relation to posture, breath control, tone, intonation, diction, blending, singing in harmony, music literacy, and sight-singing. Students will primarily sing state level 2-3 music. There will likely be a minimum of two school concerts as well as the opportunity to participate in other festivals/performances and students are expected to participate in all performances. An audition and/or a prerequisite of MS Chorus 1 may be required.

MS Chorus 3 (ART1042)

Students will create, perform, and respond to music in a variety of styles/genres. Students will continue to develop proper vocal technique and choral singing in relation to posture, breath control, tone, intonation, diction, blending, singing in harmony, music literacy, and sight-singing in multiple keys and parts. Students will primarily sing state level 3 music. There will likely be a minimum of two school concerts as well as the opportunity to participate in other festivals/performances and students are expected to participate in all performances. An audition and/or a prerequisite of MS Chorus 1 and/or 2 may be required.

Instrumental Music

Beginning Band (ART1037), Beginning Strings (ART1038)

This course is for students with no prior instrumental music experience. Students prepare for participation in performing ensembles and develop technical skills necessary to perform Grade 1 Level music, a performance level established by the National Association for Music Education and not a reference to first grade. Basic instrumental skills are developed by performing a variety of music. Students are taught the elements of musical form, terms and symbols, tone production, instrument care and maintenance, and the importance of consistent practice habits. Cultural context of the music and its historical significance as they relate to performance is studied. Students may attend live performances and perform in public. Students may be concurrently enrolled with 7892, 6845, 6815, and Middle School Band I (6880) or Orchestra I (6800) if necessary to run the course.

Middle School Band I (ART1033), Orchestra I (ART1045)

Students refine skills learned from their elementary Grade 4 and 5 instrumental music programs or in Middle School Beginning Band, String, or Wind and Percussion, and develop more advanced performance techniques. The development of technical skills necessary to perform Grade 1 to Grade 2 Level music is stressed. Emphasis is placed on developing formal rehearsal decorum, following a conductor, and developing pitch and rhythmic security in preparation for performing an independent part in the traditional band or orchestra ensemble. Students also learn melodic form and construction as they examine and perform more complex folk melodies and melodies from master composers. Students discuss the social and intellectual influences that affected the creation of the music they are studying. They begin to develop aesthetic criteria for measuring the quality of instrumental performance. Students may attend live performances and perform in public.

Prerequisite: Attainment of outcomes for Beginning Band, String, or Wind/Percussion Instruments in Grades 4–5 or 6–8.

Middle School Band II (ART1034), Orchestra II (ART1046)

Students develop and refine their technical skills in order to perform music at the Grade 2 Level of difficulty. Emphasis is placed on developing formal rehearsal decorum, following a conductor and developing pitch and rhythmic security in preparation for performing an independent part in the traditional band or orchestra ensemble. Students learn the social, cultural, and intellectual influences reflected in the musical works they are studying and discuss performance styles and musical forms of corresponding historical periods. The study of music theory includes performance and recognition of major scales, diatonic and chromatic intervals, and simple melodic dictation. The critical listening skills that are developed as a result of preparation for instrumental performance are used to help the student formulate criteria for effectively evaluating his/her own performance as well as the performance of others. This band or orchestra represents middle schools at public performances.

Prerequisite: Attainment of outcomes for Middle School Band I or Orchestra I. Students may also audition to qualify for this course. This course may be taken for more than one year.

Middle School Band III (ART1035), Orchestra III (ART1047)

Students distinguish between abstract and programmatic music and learn and discuss the social, intellectual, and historical influences on each. Students develop and refine their technical skills in order to perform music at the Grade 2 to Grade 3 Level of difficulty. In addition, students perform and historically categorize transcriptions of a variety of composers. This band or orchestra represents middle schools at public performances.

Prerequisite: Attainment of outcomes for Middle School Band II or Orchestra II. Students may also audition to qualify for this course. This course may be taken for multiple years.

Theatre

Middle School Theatre 1 (ART1061)

Students in Grades 6, 7, or 8 with no previous theatre experience should begin at Level 1 in the curricular sequence. In this beginning level course, students will explore how the theater is a space that both creates and challenges COMMUNITY. Theatre artists create an ensemble amongst themselves which functions as a safe space for risk-taking and creating. A sustained investigation of COMMUNITY in this intermediate level course engages students to study a variety of dramatic works, participate in the creation and enhancement of ensemble, and question the role of theatre within their COMMUNITY.

Middle School Theatre 2 (ART1062)

In MS Art Theatre 2, Grade 7 students explore a multitude of identities on and off the stage. Personal, familial, and cultural identities can provide a launchpad for exploring self, character, conflict, and personal approaches to theatre. IDENTITY is commonly at the root of nearly all dramatic works and is a defining element in a theatre artists’ approach to performance, design, production, and critique. A sustained focus on IDENTITY enables students to approach a variety of practices, games, dramatic works, traditions, and resources through a common lens, one which reinforces theatre’s eternal focus on “the human experience.”

Grade 8 students with no previous theatre experience may begin at Level 2 with permission of the theatre teacher.

Middle School Theatre 3 (ART1063)

Students in Grade 8 with prior theatre experience may continue with Level 3 in the curriculum sequence. In Middle School Theatre Level 3, students will have the opportunity to refine their craft while exploring ideas about CONFLICT. CONFLICT drives drama. When a character faces an obstacle, the tension created, the decisions made, and the consequences portrayed on stage engage the audience and artists in deeper reflection of the world around them. There are many types of conflicts that theatre artists face both onstage and off. The way conflicts are handled and developed reveal much about the agents involved.

This course is aligned with new frameworks for a level 3.

Visual Art

Middle School Art 1

Students will be provided multiple and varied opportunities explore IDENTITY and the many ways this theme can be represented through visual art. Students will develop a fundamental understanding of ideation, media techniques, formal qualities, and compositional devices. Students in Grade 6, Grade 7, and Grade 8 with no previous art experience in middle school should begin at Level 1 in the visual art sequence.

  • Middle School Studio Art 1 (ART1024): Students will explore a variety of traditional student media and techniques including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and crafts to create artworks.
  • Middle School Digital Art and Photography 1 (ART1018): Students will utilize raster-based digital media and/or digital photography to create artworks.
Middle School Art 2

Students will explore how the theme of RELATIONSHIPS can be used to create artworks that communicate personal meaning and individual ideas. Students will gain a deeper understanding of how artists generate and conceptualize ideas, refine craftsmanship through practice and persistence, and intentionally arrange compositional elements to effectively communicate meaning. Students with no previous art experience may begin at Level 2 with permission of the visual art teacher.

  • Middle School Studio Art 2 (ART1025): Students will refine their ability to use traditional studio media and techniques including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and crafts to create artworks.
  • Middle School Digital Art and Photography 2 (ART1019): Students will design art using both vector and rasterbased software, and/or manually operate a digital camera and utilize photo editing software to create artwork.
Middle School Art 3

Students in Grade 8 with prior visual art experience may continue with Level 3 in the visual art sequence. In Middle School Art Level 3, students will have the opportunity refine their skills and develop their personal artistic style while exploring how INFLUENCE may be communicated through art. Level 3 also offers several specialized art courses that provide advanced level students with opportunities to refine skills and master techniques in specific art media and creative processes.

  • Middle School Studio Art 3 (ART1026): Students will develop a portfolio of work demonstrating proficiency in working with traditional 2D and 3D studio media and techniques including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and crafts to create artworks.
  • Middle School Digital Art 3 (ART1022): Students will refine skills and utilize advanced vector and raster-based software techniques to create works of digital art and design.
  • Middle School Photography 3 (ART1020): Students will refine skills and utilize advanced techniques by shooting and editing photographic images to create artwork.
  • Middle School Drawing/2D Art 3 (ART1023): With an emphasis on drawing, students will develop a portfolio that demonstrates ability to skillfully manipulate 2-D studio media.
  • Middle School Ceramics/Sculpture 3 (ART1039): Students will develop a portfolio that demonstrates ability to skillfully manipulate 3-D studio media.
Innovation Art Design Pathway

These year-long courses integrate visual art and computational thinking. By the end of the course, students will have mastered both the Maryland Technology Education Standards and the National Visual Art Standards. Students will investigate real-world problems, and then seek to design and create meaningful solutions via computational thinking and the artistic process.

  • Middle School Innovative Art & Design 1 (ART1008)
  • Middle School Innovative Art & Design 2 (ART1007)
  • Middle School Innovative Art & Design 3 (ART1016)

Health Grade 8 (HPE1002)

Comprehensive Health Education promotes positive health- related attitudes and behaviors that support self-reliance and self-regulation, while developing health literacy skills and lifelong wellness. The health literacy skills emphasized throughout the program include analyzing influences, accessing information, interpersonal communication, decision making, goal-setting, self-management, and advocacy. Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, the Family Life and Human Sexuality unit will include age-appropriate instruction on the meaning of “consent” and respect for personal boundaries in every grade in which the curriculum is taught. Health Education aligns with Be Well 365 by emphasizing lifelong positive health-related attitudes and behaviors that promote self-reliance and self-regulation for all students.

Key Concepts

  • Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs—accessing information about tobacco and marijuana; accessing information about addiction, and community treatement resources.
  • Personal and consumer health—accessing information about the identification of food borne illnesses, preventing the spread of food borne illnesses.
  • Family life and human sexuality—decision making about appropriate use of social media; sexual behaviors and limits, decision making and contraception; teen pregnancy and parenting; accessing information about maternal changes occuring during pregnancy.
  • Safety and injury prevention—using decision making and interpersonal communication skills to use technology responsibly.
  • Nutrition and fitness—analyzing influences on body image; managing weight; accessing information about eating disorders.

Grade 8 Mathematics (MAT1007)

Mathematics 8 extends students’ understanding of mathematical concepts developed in Mathematics 6 and 7. Instruction at this level will focus on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; and(3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. Students who successfully complete this course will be ready for Algebra 1 in Grade 9.

Mathematics 8 focuses on the Standards for Mathematical Practice to build a climate that engages students in the exploration of mathematics. The Standards for Mathematical Practice are habits of mind applied throughout the course so that students see mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. Through this course, students will do the following:

  • Use linear equations and systems of linear equations to represent, analyze, and solve a variety of problems, including the association between two quantities in bivariate data.
  • Solve and analyze situations using systems of two linear equations in two variables and relate the systems to pairs of lines in the plane.
  • Understand that functions describe situations where one quantity determines another.
  • Use ideas about distance and angles to describe and analyze two-dimensional figures.
  • Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find distances between points on the coordinate plane, to find lengths, and to analyze polygons.
  • Complete their work on volume by solving problems involving cones, cylinders, and spheres.
TOPICS OF STUDY:
  • The Number System
    • Know that there are numbers that are not rational, and approximate them by rational numbers.
  • Expressions and Equations
    • Work with radicals and integer exponents.
    • Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations.
    • Analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations.
  • Functions
    • Define, evaluate, and compare functions and use functions to model relationships.
  • Geometry
    • Understand congruence and similarity using physical models
    • Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.
    • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving volume of cylinders, cones, and spheres.
  • Statistics and Probability
    • Investigate patterns of association in bivariate data
Overview and Parent Guides
Algebra 1(MAT2000 A/B)   

HS credit

Algebra 1 is designed to analyze and model real-world phenomena. Exploration of linear, exponential, and quadratic functions form the foundation of the course. Key characteristics and representations of functions—graphic, numeric, symbolic, and verbal—are analyzed and compared. Students develop fluency in solving equations and inequalities. One- and two-variable data sets are interpreted using mathematical models.

Algebra 1 focuses on the Standards for Mathematical Practice to build a climate that engages students in the exploration of mathematics. The Standards of Mathematical Practice are habits of mind applied throughout the course so that students see mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. Through this course, students will do the following:

  • Develop fluency and master writing, interpreting, and translating between various forms of linear equations and inequalities in one variable, and using them to solve problems.
  • Solve simple exponential equations that rely only on the application of the laws of exponents.
  • Interpret functions (graphically, numerically, symbolically, verbally), translate between representations, and understand the limitations of various representations.
  • Use regression techniques to describe approximately linear relationships between quantities and look at residuals to analyze the goodness of fit and use more formal means of assessing how a model fits data.
  • Compare the key characteristics of quadratic functions to those of linear and exponential functions and select from among these functions to model phenomena.
  • Explore more specialized functions—absolute value, step, and those that are piecewise-defined and select from among these models to model phenomena and solve problems.
TOPICS OF STUDY:
  • Relationships between Quantities and Reasoning with Equations
    • Linear Equations in One Variable
    • Linear Inequalities in One Variable
    • Exponential Equations in One Variable
  • Linear and Exponential Relationships
    • Characteristics of Functions
    • Constructing and Comparing Linear and Exponential Functions
    • Solving Systems of Equations and Inequalities in Two Variables
  • Descriptive Statistics
    • Analyzing Data Representations
  • Quadratic Relationships
    • Quadratic Functions
    • Equations in Two Variables
    • Solving Quadratic Equations
  • Generalizing Function Properties
    • Function Families
Overview and Parent Guides
Honors Geometry(MAT2004 A/B)    

HS credit

Honors Geometry formalizes and extends students’ geometric experiences from the elementary and middle school grades. Students explore more complex geometric situations and deepen their understanding of geometric relationships, progressing toward formal mathematical arguments. Instruction at this level will focus on the understanding and application of congruence as a basis for developing formal proofs; the relationship among similarity, trigonometry, and triangles; the relationship between two- and three-dimensional objects and their measurements; exploration of geometric descriptions and equations for conic sections; and application of geometric concepts in modeling situations.

Honors Geometry focuses on the Standards for Mathematical Practice to build a climate that engages students in the exploration of mathematics. The Standards of Mathematical Practice are habits of mind applied throughout the course so that students see mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations.

Through this course, the student will do the following:

  • Prove theorems and solve problems about triangles, quadrilaterals, and other polygons.
  • Apply understandings of similarity and right triangle trigonometry to find missing measures of triangles.
  • Utilize the rectangular coordinate system to verify geometric relationships.
  • Apply understandings of circles to derive equations and solve problems.
  • Measure two- and three-dimensional objects.
TOPICS OF STUDY:
  • Congruence
    • Experiment with transformations in the plane
    • Understand congruence in terms of rigid motions
    • Prove geometric theorems
    • Make geometric constructions
  • Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry
    • Understand similarity in terms of similarity transformations
    • Prove theorems involving similarity
    • Define trigonometric ratios and solve problems involving right triangles
    • Apply trigonometry to general triangles
  • Circles
    • Understand and apply theorems about circles
    • Find arc lengths and areas of sectors of circles
  • Expressing Geometric Properties with Equations
    • Translate between the geometric description and the equation for a conic section
    • Use coordinates to prove simple geometric theorems algebraically
  • Geometric Measurement and Dimension
    • Explain volume formulas and use them to solve problems
    • Visualize relationships between two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects
  • Modeling with Geometry
    • Apply geometric concepts in modeling situations
Overview and Parent Guides
Honors Algebra 2 (MAT2012A/B)
Math 180 Course 1 (MAT1010)
 

MULTIMEDIA LITERACY

The LCL! course series is of high interest; allows for ease of differentiation; and addresses the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learner. The LCL! strand focus is on increasing literacy in both written and visual texts, authentic use of vocabulary, improving collaboration skills, building confidence and motivation, and providing opportunities for higher-level thinking.
Lights, Camera, Literacy! (LCL!) (ENG1024 and ENG1025)

This course increases literacy in both written and visual text, improves collaboration skills, builds confidence and motivation, and provides opportunities for high-level thinking via specific strategies. Students transfer their skills as viewers of film to skills on the written page, as well as learn how to read visual text and create effective visual communications.

The course focuses on all three areas of the MCPS Moving Image Education—integrating, deconstructing, and creating the moving image. Students transfer reading skills.

Lights, Camera, Film Literacy! (LCFL!) (ENG1023)

This course offers a study of film and film history as the core for teaching more advanced literacy skills. Students learn the physics and history of motion pictures, as well as how to apply filmmaking techniques to their own visual communications.

Students read one novel as well as shorter written text selections and screenplays. The eight units include How Movies Got their Start; Silent Narrative Films; Early Talkies; Early Color; Genre Classics: The Golden Age of Hollywood; Classic Adaptations: The Golden Age of Hollywood and Beyond; Documentaries; Animation; and The Business of Film and Film Festivals. (Completion of Lights Camera, Literacy! is not required.)

Lights, Camera, Media Literacy! (LCML!) (ENG1027)

This course offers a study of media, its history, and basic related physics concepts as the core for teaching even more advanced literacy skills. Lights, Camera, Media Literacy! presents a timeline of media with focus on the history and physics of communication from the earliest times via storytelling by troubadours and griots to today’s mass media world. The units include Storytelling; The Printing Press; Newspapers & Print Advertising; Photography & Film; Radio; Television; Computers and the Internet; and Media & Our World. Students develop related multimedia projects within each of these units. (Completion of Lights Camera, Literacy! or Lights, Camera, Film Literacy! is not required.)

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The middle school physical education program focuses on health-related fitness, movement skills and concepts, and personal and social responsibility. Each physical education unit challenges students to better understand the benefits   of physical activity toward fitness, fundamentals of efficient movement in physical activity and sport, and the essentials of responsibility in a movement setting. The learning tasks in physical education emphasize and teach problem-solving and decision-making skills. Students participate in games and activities that promote fitness, develop tactical awareness, and build social qualities.  Physical Education aligns with Be Well 365 emphasizing lifelong positive health-related attitudes and behaviors that promote self-reliance and self-regulation.

PE Grade 8 (HPE1005)

By the end of Grade 8, students should know and be able to do the following:

HEALTH-RELATED FITNESS:

  • Apply exercise principles to the health-related fitness components to develop, analyze, and refine a personal fitness plan.
  • Apply and analyze methods for measuring target heart rate.
  • Distinguish between nutritional needs that maintain the average healthy body and those for athletic performance

MOVEMENT SKILLS AND CONCEPTS

  • Apply and analyze concepts related to defense and offense in personal development and tactical games activities.
  • Develop, perform, and analyze creative skill combinations.
  • Create, analyze, and refine a personal movement (practice) plan based on a variety of feedback.

PERSONAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Resolve conflicts and make healthy decisions that promote a sense of community and respect for others in physicalactivity settings.
  • Apply, analyze, and refine effective time-management strategies to improve movement skills and fitness levels.

Investigations in Science 8 Course Overview (SCI1004)

In Investigations in Science 8,  students will experience an interdisciplinary approach to science content, exploring all two of the three domains of science (Physical & Earth Science) through hands-on explorations, productive discourse, and purposeful reading and writing.  The curriculum is problem/project-based where students apply their understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to propose solutions to real world phenomenon/problems.  Students will take the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA) during March to assess their knowledge of the concepts learned throughout the middle school science curricular program.

Unit Title Content Focus
1

Weather and Climate


Unit Driving Question(s):

How do the properties and movements of water shape Earth’s surface and affect its systems? Within a natural or designed system, how does the transfer of energy drive the motion and/or cycling of the air and water?  What regulates weather and climate?  How do humans change the planet?

Performance Expectations: 

MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS2-5, MS-ESS2-6, MS-ESS3-5

Unit Anchoring Phenomena

Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, local and regional geography, and affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.  The resulting complex patterns are major determinants of local weather patterns.  Students will explore the many interactions and patterns of around the globe to better understand their effect on weather and climate.  Students will use their knowledge to develop a detailed report that outlines the severe weather risks for a specified location and develop a proposal that details two innovative and sustainable solutions that address the severe weather risks and match the unique needs of the local community. 

2

Earth’s Materials and Processes


Unit Driving Question(s):

How and why is Earth constantly changing?  How do Earth’s major systems interact?  How do the properties and movements of water shape Earth’s surface and affect its systems?   How do people reconstruct and date events in Earth’s planetary history?  Why do the continents move, and what causes earthquakes and volcanoes?  How do natural hazards affect individuals and societies?  How do humans depend on Earth’s resources?  

Performance Expectations: 

MS-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-3, MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-2

Unit Anchoring Phenomena

All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet’s systems. This energy is derived from the Earth’s hot interior. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth’s materials and living organisms. The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. From earthquakes and volcanoes to weathering and erosion, These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future.  Students will learn concepts that enable them to evaluate the potential causes and effects of human-induced earthquakes and  develop a complete public service campaign plan that will help residents and lawmakers understand the best ways to reduce human-induced earthquakes in Maryland and its neighboring states.

3

Forces, Motion, and Interactions


Unit Driving Question(s):

How can one predict an object’s continued motion, changes in motion, or stability?  What are ways that we can describe an object's motion?  What is the law of inertia and how does that apply to the real world?  What is meant by for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?  How do mass and velocity affect the momentum and acceleration of an object?  What is energy and how is it transferred and conserved?

Performance Expectations: 

MS- ETS 1-1, MS-PS2-1, MS-PS2-2, MS-PS3-1, MS-PS3-2, HS-PS2-3

Unit Anchoring Phenomena

Forces, motion, and interactions encompasses the mechanical branch of physics, studying the nature of forces and its impact on the motion of objects.  Students will learn that the motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it and that the greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. Forces on an object can also change its shape or orientation.  Using these learned concepts, students will create a design for an advanced rocket capable of launching large payloads and crew to Earth’s orbit. 

4

Earth, the Solar System, and the Universe

Unit Driving Question(s):

What is the universe, and what is Earth’s place within it?  What is the universe and what goes on in stars?  What are the predictable patterns caused by Earth’s movement in the solar system?  What makes up our solar system and how can the motion of Earth explain seasons and eclipses?

Performance Expectations: 

MS-ESS1-1, MS-ESS1-2, MS-ESS1-3, MS-ESS2-1, MS-PS1-4, MS-PS2-4, MS-PS2-5 MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3

Unit Anchoring Phenomena

Students will learn that the solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects of varying sizes and conditions including planets and their moons that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull on them.  Much of the unit will focus on how the Earth and the moon, sun, and planets have predictable patterns of movement. These patterns, which are explainable by gravitational forces and conservation laws, in turn explain many large-scale phenomena observed on the Earth, moon, and other planets.  Students will be able to explain that patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, predicted, and explained with models.  The universe began with a period of extreme and rapid expansion known as the Big Bang. Earth and its solar system are part of the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of many galaxies in the universe.  Students will use their learning to design a realistic movie set that would simulate a habitable human settlement on another planet.


LITERACY

Digital Literacy 1 (ENG 1030)

The Digital Literacy 1 curriculum focuses on developing critical and creative thinking through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing in a 21st-century approach. Working through a problem-based process, students learn to define real-world problems of interest, research the causes of those problems using real-time global texts, and then create solutions to address the problems. Students will advance their understanding of comprehension, analysis, and evaluation of text as well as vocabulary acquisition through reading complex informational and argumentative texts in a technology-rich medium. Students will collaborate regularly through research and solution phases of their investigations. Students’ curiosity and motivation will engage them in their investigations while learning and refining the processes that will enrich all other courses and prepare them for college and career projects.

Digital Literacy 2 (ENG 1031)

The Digital Literacy 2 curriculum focuses on increasing critical and creative thinking through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing through an integrated approach. By participating in a problem-based process, students learn to define, analyze, and evaluate real-world problems of interest related to standards-based curriculum topics. Students will use research skills to investigate problems using real-time global texts and then create solutions to address the problems. Students will participate in sustained inquiry, analysis, and evaluation of text through reading complex informational, expository, and argumentative texts in a technology-rich medium. Students will hone their communication, collaboration, research, and problem-solving skills and learn to give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products during complex tasks. Digital Literacy creates authentic work for students to engage in by allowing for presentation of their solutions beyond the walls of the classroom.

Challenging Problem or Question

SEMESTER 1: HUMANITIES
SEMESTER 2: STEM

Digital Literacy 3 (ENG 1032)

The Digital Literacy 3 curriculum focuses on increasing critical and creative thinking through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing through an integrated approach. Students will be introduced to a variety of social issues from various perspectives, examine the history of social movements and the impact on social and economic justice, explore their identity, and understand the ways in which communities can respond to these complex issues. Students will explore social justice terminology in order to better advocate for a socially just society. They will have multiple opportunities to participate in book clubs, where they will interact with classmates to analyze social justice texts. Students will participate in sustained inquiry, analysis, and evaluation of text through reading complex informational, expository, and argumentative texts in a technology-rich medium. Students will use research skills to investigate a contemporary social issue using real-time global texts and then create solutions to address the issue at the individual and/or systemic level.

MS Academic Literacy (ENG 1029)

READING

Read 180 (ENG1017)

READ 180 is an intensive reading intervention program designed to meet the needs of students whose reading achievement is below the proficient level. The program directly addresses individual needs through adaptive and instructional software, high-interest reading materials, and direct instruction in reading and writing skills. Students rotate among a small group, teacher-directed lessons, a computer station for reinforcement and practice, and an independent reading center where students read books at their reading level. The program is designed to rapidly accelerate student achievement with the goal of bringing students to grade level.

Historical Inquiry in U.S. History 8 (SOC1021)
Historical Inquiry into American Studies 8 (SOC1020)

Unit 1


Political Change: 

Resistance and Revolution, 

1754-1785



To what extent were American colonists justified in rebelling against British authority and creating their own political system?

Students learn about the purposes of government and how the American democratic system developed to meet those purposes more effectively.  Students study the impact of the French and Indian War and British colonial governance on the colonies and the causes and consequences of the American Revolution. 

Unit 2

 

Creating a National Political System and Culture, 1785-1823

 

To what extent did American responses to inside and outside forces contribute to the creation of a national political culture?

Students learn how American culture is grounded in shared values that have shaped the nation over time.  Students learn  about the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights to understand how the American political system reflects American values.  Students also learn how the U.S. political system was strengthened and challenged by various inside and outside forces during the first five presidential administrations.

Unit 3

 

Geographic and Economic Change Shape the Nation, 1820-1853

 

How did geographic and economic expansion impact the rights of diverse populations in America?

Students learn how there are costs and benefits to expansion and how conflict can result when people try to protect or gain rights and resources. Students evaluate the costs and benefits of geographic, economic, and political expansion from 1820-1853 by studying Native American removal, the spread of slavery, Jacksonian democracy, industrialization, the increase of immigration, and the rise of the Abolition and Women’s rights movements.

Unit 4

 

A Nation Divided 

and Rebuilt, 

1850-1890

How effectively did the U.S. resolve the political, economic, and social issues that led to and resulted from the Civil War?

Students learn about how cultural differences can divide a society and how people react to cultural change and apply these concepts to their study of the causes and consequences of the Civil War, the effectiveness of Reconstruction,  and continuity and change in the postbellum period.

 

WORLD LANGUAGES

Students are encouraged to pursue World Language offerings as early as possible in middle school. The world languages available in middle schools are Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Spanish for Spanish Speakers. Offerings vary by school. The world language courses are high school credit-bearing courses. Please see page 4 for more information about high school credit in middle school. Course numbers are language and level dependent.

Level 1A/1B
HS credit

Students begin to learn to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about topics related to daily life. They interpret basic information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and basic grammatical structures are taught within the context of these familiar topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

NOTE: Levels 1A and 1B may be offered in middle school as full-year courses. In that case, students must pass the full year of 1A and the full year of 1B in order to earn one high school credit.

Level 2A/2B
HS credit

Students expand their ability to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about topics related to daily life. They interpret information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and grammatical structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Level 3A/B
HS credit

Students continue to expand their ability to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about a variety of familiar topics. They interpret detailed information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and more complex grammatical structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Spanish for Spanish Speakers 1 A/B (WLG2141A/B)
HS credit Spanish for Spanish Speakers 2 A/B (WLG2142A/B)
HS credit

Spanish for Spanish Speakers 1 A/B and Spanish for Spanish Speakers 2 A/B are offered at selected middle schools. Spanish for Spanish Speakers provides language instruction for students with proficiency in Spanish, either because it is their first language or it is spoken extensively in their home. Each course integrates history, culture, language, and connections related to the Spanish-speaking world.

World Language Immersion

Students who have completed an MCPS elementary school immersion program may join the immersion programs at the middle school level. Students who did not participate in the elementary program may test into an immersion program, if there is space available. The following middle schools offer these courses: Silver Spring International Middle School (Spanish/French), Westland Middle School (Spanish), Gaithersburg Middle School (French) and Hoover Middle School (Chinese).

The immersion language courses are high school creditbearing courses. Please see page 4 for more information about high school credit it middle school.

Grades 6–8 French (WLG2053 through  WLG2055)
HS credit

A two-period program of instruction enables students to enhance their language development through one period of language class and one period of the MCPS social studies curriculum in French.

Grade 6–8 Spanish (WLG2147 through WLG2149)
HS credit

A two-period program of instruction enables students in Grades 6 and 7 to enhance their language development through one period of language class and one period of the MCPS social studies curriculum in Spanish. In Grade 8, students continue with one period of language instruction.

Grade 6 Chinese (WLG 2034 through WLG 2036)
HS credit

This one-period course continues to build on the language skills acquired in the elementary school immersion program. Students transition into the regular MCPS Chinese 2 course in Grade 7.