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Middle School

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Middle school is made up of students in the 5th-8th grades who attend 45-minute classes. 

As students transition into middle school, teachers work with them to build organization and study skills as a foundation for academic success. Students may begin to participate in Student Council and more extracurricular activities. Fifth graders also build teamwork skills and character through field trips and special activities. They also can deepen their participation at Mass by becoming altar servers. Students begin to use their own personal Bibles in religion class and experience different ways of praying to grow in their friendship with Christ. Each year during Lent, the fifth grade class presents the Living Stations of the Cross, working hard to perform each station in a “freeze frame” while other students read the prayers and reflections.

In sixth grade, the students serve as Safety Patrol for the school. The Safety Patrol, working in groups of 4-5, helps  maintain order in the parking lot during drop-off time. Each year in the spring, the sixth grade attends Camp Lakewood for two nights and three days. While at camp, the students participate in both team-building activities where they work with others, and individual activities where they learn to improve social skills as well as their self esteem.

By seventh grade, students are becoming more familiar with the comings and goings in the middle school. The use of Chromebooks, student planners, and study skill strategies become a normal part of their routine. Students are given more project-based work in order to build independent work skills.

The eighth graders, in their final year at Saint Joseph, are the leaders of the whole school.  The eighth graders step up to help in several ways throughout the year, assisting younger students and teachers or participating in activities like recycling. Each year the eighth grade attends a regional mass celebrated by the Archbishop. The students also serve as Ambassadors for Saint Joseph School during functions such as Open House and Meet the Teacher Night. In history class, the eighth grade get the privilege of having speakers come into the classroom and talk; one year the speaker was an actual Holocaust survivor. The eighth grade also takes field trips to the Civil War Museum and the Holocaust Museum.
 
Please refer to the High School page for a list of secondary schools our students typically attend.

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Grade 5

English

  • Determine the correct usage of punctuation through written language, using punctuation mechanics
  • Determine all forms of nouns; common, proper, singular, plural, and possessive
  • Identify all forms of verbs; action, helping, and linking
  • Implement the correct form of adjectives; including comparative/ superlative
  • Identify and know the difference between an adjective and adverb
  • Be able to identify a preposition and phrase in which is connected
  • Construct a complete sentence using all forms of grammar and the seven parts of speech correctly
  • Continue to improve basic written expression skills, which include proper punctuation, accurate spelling, word choice, fluency, and organization
  • Be re-introduced to a five paragraph essay model
  • Focus on three paragraph essays – Introduction- Body – Conclusion – ensuring student ideas are implemented appropriately
  • Review how to organize paragraphs in an essay response, using 3-5 or 5-7 sentences in length
  • Be introduced to the idea of self- editing any and all written expression assignments
  • Develop the necessary skills and experience in reading a variety of age appropriate, grade level novels
  • Use literary evidence when reading appropriate grade level novels
  • Identify and explain the author’s purpose
  • Use context clues
  • Identify, describe, and use literary skills and story elements correctly; identifying characters, setting, theme, main event(s), climax, resolution, foreshadowing, making predictions, inferring, and listing differences and similarities

Social Studies

  • Types of maps and learning to read a map
  • Citizenship
  • Exploration
  • Colonization
  • American Revolution
  • The Constitution
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction
  • Industrialization
  • World War 1
  • World War 2

Math

  • Students continue to investigate multiplication and division, expanding beyond single-digit math facts into more complex problems
  • Students review and deepen their understanding of fractions, including adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators
  • Students receive an introduction to statistics in the form of data interpretation from histograms, line graphs, bar graphs, and circle graphs
  • Students learn how to add and subtract decimals
  • Students reinforce measurement concepts, including an introduction to area and volume geometry

Science

Engineering and Technology
  • Design Process
  • Technology Effect on Society
Matter
  • What is Matter
  • Properties of Matter
  • How matter changes
Energy and Matter in Organisms
  • How Energy Transfers in Plants
  • How Organisms use Matter and Energy
  • How Organisms Interact
Energy and Matter in Ecosystems
  • How Energy and Matter Moves through Ecosystems
  • How Organisms Change Their Ecosystems
Systems in Space
  • Gravity
  • Daily Patterns
  • Yearly Cycles
  • Sun
Earth’s Systems
  • Earth’s Major Systems
  • How Earth’s Systems interact
  • Resource use and Earth
  • How People Transform Earth

Theology

The 5th grade curriculum focuses on the Apostles' Creed, salvation history, and the Bible. First semester includes major events of the Old Testament, and second semester focuses on the life of Jesus. Students also have two weeks of Family Life instruction. Students learn using a variety of methods, including skits and projects. They learn to use and pray with the Bible, including the Sunday Gospels. They visit the adoration chapel regularly and observe the liturgical seasons. Students continue to work on developing Christian virtues, character and their personal prayer life.

Grade 6

English

  • Continue to improve basic written expression skills, which include proper punctuation, accurate spelling, word choice, fluency, and organization
  • Be re-introduced to the outline of a five paragraph essay – Introduction – Body (3 Paragraphs) – Conclusion
  • Focus on each paragraph included in an essay response using 5-7 sentences in length
  • Be introduced to the idea of poetry reading and writing
  • Continue to self-edit any and all written expression assignments
  • Begin to peer edit writing pieces
  • Determine the correct usage of punctuation through written language
  • Determine all forms of nouns; common, proper, singular, plural,and possessives
  • Identify all forms of verbs; action, helping, linking, transitive, intransitive, and all tenses
  • Determine and identify the differences between adjectives and adverbs
  • Be able to identify a preposition and phrase in which is connected
  • Construct a complete sentence using all forms of grammar and the seven parts of speech correctly
  • Recognize and put into practice the process of paragraph formations
  • Gain an understanding and implement the six writing traits
  • Develop necessary skills and experience reading a variety of age appropriate and grade level novels
  • Use literary evidence when reading appropriate grade level novels
  • Identifyand explain the author’s purpose; persuasive, informative, and entertainment
  • Identify, describe, and use literary skills and story elements correctly; identifying characters, setting, theme, main event(s), climax, resolution, foreshadowing, making predictions, inferring, and listing differences and similarities
  • Read and evaluate nonfiction compositions and materials
  • Use various forms of graphic organizers to evaluate written material; Venn diagrams, compare and contrast charts, and T-Charts
  • Continue to build on grade level appropriate vocabulary and implement their knowledge throughout language arts

Human Geography

  • Mapping and World Geography
  • Exploring geographical features of our world today
  • Exploring human culture from around the world
  • Human-Environmental Interaction and the impact it has had on our world today
  • Applying the 5 Themes of Geography to our World Studies
  • Mapping of and study of Africa, The United States, Canada, Russia, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, and as many places in the world we possibly can- inclusive of cultural, political, and economic systems in the world today.
  • Various speakers/field trips/projects throughout the school year
  • Recognizing Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Development of critical thinking skills in today’s political and worldview environment and applying Catholic Social Teaching to same

Math

  • Use of Ratios to Solve Problems
    This includes: comparing two quantities; unit rates; tables of equivalent ratios; percent problems; measurement conversion.
  • Application and Extension of Fractions
    This includes: quotients of positive fractions
  • Computation with Non-negative Multi-digit Numbers
    This includes: division of multi-digit numbers; operations with decimals; common factors; multiples.
  • Systems of Rational Numbers
    This includes: locating rational numbers on a number line; ordering rational numbers; additive inverses; absolute value; order of operations.
  • Application of Arithmetic and Algebraic Expressions
    This includes: writing and evaluating expressions; meanings of variables; equivalent expressions.
  • Solving One-Variable Equations and Inequalities
    This includes: substitution to verify solutions, writing and solving equations; graphing solutions of inequalities; one variable two-step equations.
  • Relationships Between Dependent and Independent Variables
  • Area, Surface Area, and Volume
    This includes: area and perimeter of polygons; volume of prisms; graphing on a coordinate plane; reflections; distance between points; nets of three-dimensional figures.
  • Statistical Variability and Distributions
    This includes: spread of data; displaying data in dot plots, histograms, and box plots; measures of center; describing patterns of data.

Science

Cells
  • The Characteristics of Cells
  • Observing cells with a Microscope
  • Cell Structure and Function
  • Lab: Surface Area to Volume Ratio in a Cell
Organisms as Systems
  • Levels of Organization in Organisms
  • Plant Bodies as System
  • Animal Bodies as System
  • Information Processing in Animals
Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth
  • Inheritance
  • Asexual and Sexual Reproduction
  • Plant Reproduction and Growth
  • Animal Reproduction and Growth
Matter and Energy in the Living System
  • Matter and Energy in Organisms
  • Investigating Decomposers
  • Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
  • Matter and Energy in Ecosystems
Relationship in Ecosystems
  • Parts of an Ecosystem
  • Resource Availability in Ecosystem
  • Patterns of interactions
Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Biodiversity in Ecosystems
  • Changes in the Ecosystem
  • Maintaining Biodiversity
The History of Life on Earth
  • The Fossil Record
  • Patterns of Change in Life on Earth
  • Evidence of Common Ancestry
Evolution
  • Genetic Change and Traits
  • Natural Selection
  • Speciation and Extinction
Human Influence on Inheritance
  • Artificial Selection
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Human Senses
Dissections
  • Sheep Brain
  • Frog

Theology

During the first semester, 6th grade religion focuses on the themes: “God ordered all of creation to the good” and “all of God’s creation and communication with man is to communicate God’s love and goodness and to invite us to share that love and goodness” These themes will be studied through a survey of Salvation History and The Moral Law with a particular emphasis on the 10 Commandments. The second semester focuses on an in-depth study of the Mass, the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Students also have two weeks of Family Life instruction. Students are introduced to a number of saints, visit the adoration chapel regularly, and observe the liturgical seasons. They continue to work on developing Christian virtues, character and their personal prayer life.

Grade 7

English

  • Apply correct usage of semicolons, colons, hyphens, dashes and parentheses
  • Differentiate and show understanding of compound and complex sentences and subordinating conjunctions
  • Recognize pronouns such as interrogative, demonstrative, reflexive and intensive
  • Identify and use correct verbs such as perfect tenses, progressive forms, active and passive voice, and inverted and interrupted order
  • Identify the indirect and direct object and its relation to the direct object
  • Recognize and use collective and compound nouns appropriately
  • Recognize adjective and adverb phrases and their placement in the sentence
  • Combine related simple sentences into complex sentences by using subordinating conjunctions to develop sentence fluency
  • Diagram sentences to show visual representation of the structure of a sentence
  • Apply the writing process in various types of writing such as persuasive, expository, and five paragraph essay
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative language and connotative meanings using context, affixes, or reference materials
  • Analyze how the setting, characters, and plot of a text affect each other and contribute to meaning
  • Analyze how an author develops his/her point of view or purpose and distinguishes it from those of others
  • Compare and contrast information presented in different mediums
  • Review, revise, and edit writing with consideration for the task, purpose and audience
  • Read and comprehend informational text independently
  • Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems 
  •  

Science

Circulation of Earth’s Air and Wind
  • Circulation in the Earth’s Atmosphere
  • Model of Formation of Wind
  • Circulation in the Earth’s Oceans
  • Lab: Exploring the Density of Water
Weather And Climate
  • Influences on Weather
  • Weather Prediction
  • Model of Air Mass Interaction
  • Influences on Climate
Geological Processes and History
  • The Dynamic Earth
  • Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition
  • Model Erosion and Deposition
  • The Rock Cycle
  • Model Crystal Formation
  • Earth’s Plates
  • Model the movement of Earth’s plates.
  • Earth’s Changing Surface
Earth Through Time
  • The Age of Earth’s Rocks
  • Modeling Rock Layers to Determine Relative Age
  • Earth’s History
Earth’s Natural History
  • Natural Hazards
  • Interpreting and analyzing Data
  • Natural Hazard Prediction
  • Reducing the Effects of Natural History
Resources on Earth
  • Natural Resources
  • The Distribution of Natural Resources
Using Resources
  • Human Population and Resource Use
  • Resource Use and Earth System
Human Impact on Earth System
  • Human Impacts
  • Reducing Human Impacts on the Environment
  • Climate Change
Design And Modeling Science and Computer
  • Design Process
  • 3D and Multiview Drawings
  • Computer Aided Design software
  • 3D printing

Theology

Seventh grade religion is centered on the key questions of how and why God shares His Life and Love with us. These questions will be studied through a survey of Divine Revelation, the saving mission of Jesus Christ, and the Sacraments. Students will explore how faith and reason, scripture and tradition, and grace and virtue enrich and support each other. They will be introduced to the life of grace: its riches, its manifestations in the Church and Her Saints, and its applications to their own lives.  7th grade religion also includes two weeks of Family Life instruction. Every class period, students are invited to engage in and deepen prayer. They visit the adoration chapel regularly and observe the liturgical seasons.
 

World History

  • Mapping
  • History, Culture, Geography from a worldview perspective
  • Citizenship and Economic Systems ranging from the very first social groups to today’s political and economic systems
  • Political Systems from a worldview beginning with Egypt and moving toward today’s political systems from a worldwide cultural perspective
  • World Cultural Belief Systems
  • Recognizing Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Development of critical thinking skills in today’s worldview environment and applying Catholic Social Teaching of same
  • Various speakers, field trips, and projects throughout the school year

Grade 8

English

  • Apply correct usage of comma, semicolon, colon, and parentheses in appositives, complex and compound sentences, and essential and nonessential clauses
  • Distinguish between essential and nonessential clauses, using appropriate relative pronouns
  • Show correct usage of interrogative pronouns such as who and whom
  • Identify and demonstrate correct use of verbals and verbal phrases such as participles, infinitives,  and gerunds
  • Apply correct use of subject-verb agreement in written work
  • Combine related clauses into compound-complex sentences to vary sentence structure
  • Create and evaluate various types of writing such as persuasive, expository, research, and five paragraph essay
  • Diagram sentences to show visual representation of the structure of a sentence
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings using context, affixes, or reference materials
  • Analyze how literary devices are used to develop setting, reveal character, advance the plot, and contribute to meaning
  • Analyze how an author’s choice concerning a text’s organization or overall structure contributes to meaning
  • Compare and contrast information presented in different mediums
  • Read, revise, and edit writing with consideration for the task, purpose and audience
  • Read and comprehend informational text independently
  • Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems 

History (American) 

 
  • Recognizing Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Current Events in our world today and their relevance to our lives and our faith
  • Government and Civics
  • Development of critical thinking skills in today’s political and worldview environment and applying Catholic Social teaching to same
  • Early exploration overview
  • Revolutionary Era, War of 1812 Civil War, World War I, World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam Conflict, Bosnian War, The Holocaust, The Civil Rights Movement
  • Economic and Political structures both in the United States and abroad as they relate to the American Political and Economic Systems we have in place today
  • Various speakers/field trips/projects throughout the school year 

Science

Energy
  • Kinetic and Potential Energy
  • Transformation and Transfer of Energy
  • project : Build a toy that teaches the transfer and transformation of energy.
Changes in Energy
  • Temperature and Heat
  • The Structure of Matter
  • Properties of Matter
  • Atoms and Elements
  • Molecules
  • Lab: Measuring Density
  • Investigation of Pressure Changes
  • Project: Build Models of Molecules
States of Matter and Changes of State
  • States of Matter
  • Changes of State
  • Investigation:  Observing Changes of State
Chemical Processes and Equations
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Chemical Equations
  • Investigation of Pressure Changes
  • Thermal Energy and Chemical Processes
Chemistry of Materials
  • Natural and Synthetic Materials
  • The Life Cycle of Synthetic Materials
  • Project Build a lunch container that keeps food cold.
Forces and Motion
  • Forces
  • Gravity and Friction
  • Newton's Law of Motion
  • Investigation Collision of Objects
Electric and Magnetic Forces
  • Magnetic Forces
  • Electric Forces
  • Fields
  • Electromagnetism

Theology

Eighth grade religion equips students for living and engaging fully in the life of the Church. Students study the nature, history, and doctrine of the Church. Through the Confirmation preparation program, students are formed in prayer, scripture, knowledge of and relationship with the saints, and service education. 8th grade includes two weeks of Family LIfe instruction. Students visit the adoration chapel regularly and observe the liturgical seasons. 

Math in Grades 7 and 8

The progression of Math classes in grades 7 and 8 is either:

Math in Grade 7 and Pre-Algebra in Grade 8, or
Pre-Algebra in Grade 7 and Algebra in Grade 8
 

Grade 7 Math

  • Analysis of Proportional Relationships
    This includes: Computation of unit rates, understanding slope as a direct variation, comparing two proportional relationships both mathematically and visually as they appear on a coordinate plane.
  • Application and Extension of Rational Number Operations
    This includes: A fluency of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with rational numbers; the relationship between integers, absolute value, and their distance on the numberline; conversion of rational numbers to decimals;
  • Use of Algebraic Expressions and Equations
    This includes: simplifying and faction expressions; use of equivalent representations; writing and solving equations and inequalities; using estimation and mental computation strategies to assess reasonableness of solutions.
  • Construction of Geometric Figures and Understanding the Relationships Between Them
    This includes: Understanding of scale drawings; using tools to construct shapes; knowing the formulas for measurements of two- and three-dimensional geometric figures and understanding the relationships between those measurements; and solving for missing measurements of geometric figures.
  • Drawing Inferences of a Population
    This includes: Analyzing different data distributions using statistical measures, comparing the numerical measures of center, measures of frequency, and measures of variability; and understanding the purpose, efficacy, and validity of using random sampling when collecting data.
  • Application of Probability Models.
    This includes: Determining the probability of a simple event; predicting outcomes and performing experiments that model theoretical probability; explaining outcomes; finding probabilities of compound events. 

Pre-Algebra

  • Exploration of the Real Number System
    This includes: generating equivalent expressions, understanding the relationship between a decimal and its fraction, approximation of irrational numbers and their respective place on the number line.
  • Operations with Radicals and Integer Exponents
    This includes: Generating equivalent expressions; solving equations with square and cube roots; expressing quantities in scientific notation and approximating differences between numbers written in scientific notation; using scientific notation to solve problems
  • Proportional Relationships, Lines, and Linear Equations
    This includes: Graphing direct variation; graphing linear functions; writing equations for linear functions using multiple forms
  • Linear Equations and Inequalities
    This includes: Solving linear equations; being able to identify linear equations with one solution, no solution, and infinitely many solutions; characteristics of perpendicular and parallel lines; solving and analyzing systems of linear equations
  • Congruence and Similarity of Geometric Figures
    This includes: Verifying congruence or similarity; application of rigid transformations; describing the effect of dilations, translations, rotations, and reflections of figures on a coordinate plane; interior angle sum of triangles; relationship between interior and exterior angles of triangles; and angle properties when parallel lines are cut by a transversal.
  • Measurement of Geometric Figures
    This includes: Use and application of the Pythagorean Theorem in formula and in finding the distance between points in the coordinate plane system; volume and surface area of cones and spheres.
  • Patterns of Bivariate Data
    This includes: construction and interpretation of scatter plots; patterns of association between two variables; data presented in a two-way table.
  • Evaluation of Linear Functions
    This includes: Function notation, relationship between relations and functions, graphing functions, recognizing constant rate of change (slope); modeling relationships; determining parameters.

Algebra 1

  • Properties of Rational Exponents
    This includes: rewriting expressions; using units to solve problems; conversion of units and rates; using appropriate quantities.
  • Interpretation and Use of Algebraic Structure
    This includes: creating equivalent expressions and equations of polynomials; finding zeros of quadratics by factoring; finding maximum and minimum of quadratics by completing the square.
  • Equations that Describe Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Relationships
    This includes: creating and graphing linear, quadratic, and exponential equations in two variables; systems of equations and inequalities and interpreting data points as a solution or non-solution; solving literal equations for a specified variable.
  • Process of Solving Equations and Inequalities in One Variable
    This includes: quadratic formula; analyzing methods for solving quadratics; solving systems of equations algebraically and graphically; graphing solutions; solving problems involving systems of linear inequalities.
  • Operations on Polynomials
    This includes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of polynomials; division of polynomials by monomials.
  • Functions and Their Properties
    This includes: domain and range; function notation; interpreting functions in terms of context; average rate of change within an interval; graphing; identifying key features of a graph; translating between equivalent forms of a function to reveal properties of the function.
  • Construction and Comparison of Linear, Quadratic, an Exponential Models
    This includes: growth and decay of exponential functions; identifying increasing and decreasing intervals; arithmetic and geometric sequences; recursive and explicit forms; finding terms of a sequence.
  • Summarize, Represent, and Interpret Data
    This includes: shape of data distribution; effects of outliers; relative frequencies; scatterplots of bivariate data; correlation coefficients; correlation vs. causation