Academics → Middle School Academics → Grade 8 Academics
Foundations of Computer Science TE A/B (TEC2002 A/B)* #
Introduction to Engineering Design A/B (TEC2017 A/B)* #HS Credit, Corequisite: Algebra 1 or Higher
Computer Science Discoveries (ITC1000/ITC1001)
Global Technology Systems (ENR1021)
Website Development A/B (ITC2025 A/B)*
*Restricted to schools where currently offered
# This course satisfies the one credit Technology Education requirement for High School Graduation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. The English Language Proficiency (ELP) levels are directly correlated with the ELP levels 1.0-4.4 on the WIDA ACCESS test.
English 6 for English Learners
English 6 for ELs II
English 6 for ELs III
English 7 forELs I
English 7 for ELs II
English 7 for ELs III
English 8 forELs I
English 8 for ELs II
English 8 for ELs III
Multidisciplinary Educational Training and Support Program (METS)
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
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.
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
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.
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.
NEW COURSE CODE
PIANO, MS 1
Available to students in Grades 6-8
PIANO, MS 2
Students must complete Piano, MS 1 or audition
GUITAR, MS 1
GUITAR, MS 2
Students must complete Guitar, MS 1 or audition
GENERAL MUSIC, MS 1
GENERAL MUSIC, MS 2
Students must complete General Music 1
GENERAL MUSIC, MS 3
Students must complete General Music 2
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Grade 8 Math Course builds on the learning from both the Grade 6 Math and Grade 7 Math Courses. There are intentional connections between and within units in this course. This allows students to explore ideas informally and concretely in order to build toward a more formal and abstract understanding. The intent of this course, through the organization of content, carefully selected pedagogy, and inclusion of the Standards of Mathematical Practice in design, is that students will work collaboratively to deepen their understanding of concepts, practice procedural skill and fluency, and apply their understanding to a variety of contexts.
Students begin the Grade 8 Math Course with transformational geometry. They then apply the proportion relationship learning from grade 7 to study linear relationships in a variety of contexts and using a variety of representations. The first semester ends with students building on their prior work with linear equations and an introduction to linear systems. In the second semester, students are introduced to functions and then apply their understanding of linear relationships and functions to contexts involving data with variability. Work from grade 6 about exponents extends to include all integers and the properties of exponents. In Grade 8 Math, students encounter both scientific notation and irrational numbers for the first time. The year concludes with the study and application of the Pythagorean Theorem and a study of volume.
The Algebra 1 A/B Course is designed to explore, analyze, and model real-world phenomena through a mathematical lens. Exploration of linear, exponential, and quadratic functions forms the foundation of the course. Students develop conceptual understanding and fluency in solving equations, inequalities, and systems by explaining and validating their reasoning with increased precision. Students deepen their understanding of functions and their ability to represent, interpret, and communicate about them. Key characteristics and representations of functions—graphic, numeric, symbolic, and verbal—are analyzed and compared. Students use these representations to model relationships and constraints, but also reason with them abstractly. One- and two-variable data sets are interpreted using mathematical models. Gathering and displaying data, measuring data distribution, and interpreting statistical results encourages students to collaborate, communicate, and explore new tools and routines. They then take these insights to a unit on two-variable statistics, where they extend their prior knowledge of scatter plots and lines of best fit. Throughout the units of study, classroom activities provide students with opportunities to engage in aspects of mathematical modeling. Modeling prompts are used so that students experience and engage in the full modeling cycle.
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:
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
By the end of Grade 8, students should know and be able to
do the following:
MOVEMENT SKILLS AND CONCEPTS
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
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.
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?
MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS2-5, MS-ESS2-6, MS-ESS3-5
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.
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?
MS-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-3, MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-2
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.
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?
MS- ETS 1-1, MS-PS2-1, MS-PS2-2, MS-PS3-1, MS-PS3-2, HS-PS2-3
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
Challenging Problem or Question
SEMESTER 1: HUMANITIESSEMESTER 2: STEM
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.
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.
Resistance and Revolution,
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.
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.
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.
A Nation Divided
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
The immersion language courses are high school creditbearing courses. Please see page 4 for more information about
high school credit it middle school.
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.
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.
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