Curriculum

The Middle School curriculum consists of five core classes. With the exception of math and world language, core subjects are taught on one level, with differentiated instruction as needed. Math is the only class that has different levels in each of the three years; Spanish has advanced sections in both seventh and eighth grades.

MATH

  • Sixth Grade: Math 6, Advanced Math 6, or Pre-Algebra
  • Seventh Grade: Pre-Algebra, Advanced Pre-Algebra, or Algebra I
  • Eighth Grade: Algebra I, Algebra I Advanced, or Algebra II
Math class placement for all students is determined by considering the math level of the previous school year, the grades earned, the score on Pine Crest’s math placement test for rising sixth graders and new students, and performance on the SSAT for new students. It is our goal to place a student in the class where he or she can experience the most success. In the first weeks of school, Middle School teachers and administrators monitor student performance very carefully and make adjustments to math placement as needed.

ENGLISH

  • Sixth Grade: English (grammar, text analysis, and responses to literature)
  • Seventh Grade: English, Creative Writing (nine-week wheel course)
  • Eighth Grade: English, Dramatic Writing (nine-week wheel course)

SCIENCE

  • Sixth Grade: Life Science
  • Seventh Grade: Earth Science
  • Eighth Grade: Physics

SOCIAL SCIENCE

To create a more cohesive and sequential progression of history instruction, Pine Crest Middle School will adopt World Civilization as the seventh grade social science course, and American Government will become the eighth grade course. The schedule for this transition is outlined below:

2016-2017
  • Sixth Grade: Ancient Civilization (3000 BC - 500 AD)
  • Seventh Grade: World Civilization (500 AD - 1500 AD)
  • Eighth Grade: World Civilization (500 AD - 1500 AD)
2017-2018
  • Sixth Grade: Ancient Civilization
  • Seventh Grade: World Civilization
  • Eighth Grade: American Government

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Sixth Grade: This project-based course leads students through the process of designing and creating mobile applications (apps)  for Android devices. Through the use of MIT App Inventor, students learn the basics of programming, including event-handling conditionals, variables, incrementation, and iteration. As a final project, students design and create an original Android app that can be downloaded from Google Play.

Seventh Grade: Students use LEGO® MINSTORMS® EV3 to learn computer programming concepts along with critical thinking. The programming emphasizes sequencing, selection, and repetition along with input/output of the LEGO sensors and motors and event-based programming.

Eighth Grade: Students learn the basics of electronics and microprocessor programming using Arduinos and basic electrical components and sensors. In addition to learning to code using Arduino Integrated Development Environment, students code virtual robots within the MinecraftEdu environment.

WORLD LANGUAGE
 
  • French
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish

All Middle School students are enrolled for a full year of world language study in Spanish, French, or Mandarin Chinese. Choosing a world language course is an important decision; this is a commitment that more than likely will continue through high school.

An advanced track in Spanish in the Middle School begins in seventh grade, and advanced classes in French and Chinese begin in the Upper School.

Native Spanish or French speakers are encouraged to try a different language in Middle School and then test for placement and begin an appropriate course of study at the Upper School level.

ELECTIVES AND WHEEL COURSES

Middle School students are enrolled in a series of wheel courses throughout the school year complemented by a self-selected elective period and after school options. Depending on the grade level and campus, choices may include:

  • Art
  • Band
  • Character Education
  • Competitive Athletics
  • Computer Science
  • Creative and Dramatic Writing
  • Dance
  • Debate
  • Digital Media Production
  • Drama
  • Health
  • Math Applications
  • Orchestra
  • Panther Skills (study and organization skills)
  • Public Speaking
  • Study Hall
  • Tennis Lessons
  • Writing Workshop
  • Yearbook