Middle School Curriculum

Middle School is designed to meet the individual cognitive and emotional needs of students in grades 6-8, and is the foundation for high school achievement. During these years, students apply their mastery of basic skills and develop sophisticated abstract reasoning and problem-solving. Cedar Crest students utilize their mastery of reading, writing, and computation, as well as enthusiasm for science and social science in literary interpretation, written communication, problem-solving, experimentation, and project development.

Studies in the visual arts, music, and foreign languages ignite the adolescent adventure of painting, composing, performing, and traveling. The practice of sports skills evolves into competitive school athletic events. Eight class hours of electives each week, in humanities and athletics, promotes individual development and multi-disciplinary thinking. Art and performing festivals are impressive displays of Cedar Crest talent.

Physical Science
Physical Science is the study of matter, energy, and theories about our physical world. Units of study include force, motion, energy, matter, atoms, the periodic table, chemical bonding, reactions, solution chemistry, magnetism, sound and light waves, carbon compounds, nuclear chemistry and technology.

Middle school biology is the foundation curriculum for advanced placement science coursework in high school. Students utilize a high school level published textbook. The content is cell development, heredity, plant processes, animal classification, and human systems.

Middle school chemistry/physics is the foundation curriculum for advanced placement or honors science coursework in high school. Students utilize a high school level published textbook. The content intention is to provide a strong foundation for the study of chemistry and physics in high school. Students experiment in laboratory learning a minimum of two hours per week.

Everyday Mathematics®
The University of Chicago Everyday Mathematics® curriculum (EDM) uses an integrated approach to teach computation skills, as well as topics in geometry, discrete math and algebra.

Transition Mathematics
The University of Chicago Transition Mathematics® course interweaves applied arithmetic, pre-algebra, and pre-geometry, while emphasizing the real-world application of concepts and skills.

The Pre-Algebra course focuses on applying percents, decimals and fractions in real-world situations. The use of variables in formulas, as well as writing and solving multi-step equations is explored. Emphasis is on understanding mathematical relationships and developing mathematical models.

Algebra reviews writing and solving multi-step equations. Students master writing and graphing linear equations, as well as quadratic equations. Other topics include solving systems of equations and inequalities, in addition to simplifying and factoring polynomials. The course highlights applications and integrates statistics, probability and geometry.

Geometry integrates synthetic, coordinate and transformational approaches. The course reinforces algebraic concepts and carefully develops an understanding of proofs. Real-world applications are provided throughout geometry.

Algebra 2
Algebra 2 emphasizes facility with algebraic expressions and forms, especially linear and quadratic forms, powers and roots, and functions based on these concepts. Students study logarithmic, trigonometric, polynomial and other special functions both for their abstract properties and as tools for modeling real-world situations.

English Challenge
After reading literary novels students conduct in-class discussions on both objective and subjective topics while learning how the characters overcome challenges. By participating in book discussions, students share their views, learn from each other and hear different perspectives on the same topics. At the end of each novel, a theme is chosen to include critical analysis and quotes supporting the thesis statement and key points. Students work on exercises to improve their grammar, word choice, sentence variety, description and other mechanics.

English Oral Traditions
Middle school students study the various types of oral traditions in the English language, from legends and ballads to poetry and folk tales. They learn how exaggerations can either improve or distract from writing and how to combine multiple elements such as white space, metaphors and description when writing poems to improve the pictures created for the readers. In each genre, students read and discuss the pieces of writing and create their own examples to present in class. Students develop legends in a play format, when they study storytelling. Students continue to work on exercises to improve their grammar, word choice, sentence variety, description and other mechanics.

English Experience
The reading of advanced novels and journalism is an opportunity for students to conduct deep and relevant class discussions on both subjective and objective topics. Students share their personal viewpoints, and come to understand different perspectives. Students write detailed, five-paragraph and persuasive essays, including quotes that support their thesis statement and key points. Students continue to work on written exercises to improve their grammar, word choice, sentence variety, description and other mechanics.

American History
American History is the study of global relations, heritage, citizenship and democracy, technology and society, cultural diversity, geographic diversity, and economic development. These themes provide a framework for studying historical events from the American Revolution to the early 1900’s. This framework helps students understand the connections between historical events and the social, political, and economic challenges of our nation.

World Geography
World Geography instruction is organized around the five themes of geography: location, human-environment interaction, movement, and religion. Students learn about the similarities and differences among the world’s people, understand the Earth’s physical systems, analyze our use and protection of the Earth’s resources, and technological advances.

Ancient World History
Ancient World History is designed to explore the history of world cultures. The course includes early African empires, Medieval China and Europe, India, and Japan. The Renaissance, Reformation, and the Age of Exploration periods are explored. Throughout the study of Ancient World History, students are exposed to the art, architecture and literature of the time period.

Spanish & German
Language Skills: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Identity, greetings, colors, numbers, body parts, physical actions, directions, animals, food, clothing, family, house, classroom, days, weather, transportation, holidays, culture, shapes, calendar, description, seasons, feelings, time, sports, and geography of Germany.
Grammar: Gender, subject pronouns, regular and irregular verbs, negation, adjective agreement, question formation, present tense, object pronouns, and past tense.
Instruction: Repetition, interaction, songs, paired activities, video clips, listening comprehension activities, discussion.
Text: Discovering German, Level 1 and Level 2
Assessment: Observation, oral responses, written activities, presentations, quizzes, and tests.

Performing Arts
African Drumming: including Dalari, Kpatsa, Bakisamba and Tamboo Bamboo.

Visual Arts
Middle school students may choose art electives designed to give students age-appropriate experiences in a variety of media with a central theme. See Middle School Electives for a listing.

Cedar Crest Academy offers varied and evolving electives. Students choose electives each quarter. Some electives are a year-long commitment. Current electives and past offerings include:

  • Chinese
  • Anatomy and Dissection
  • National Parks and Public Land Studies
  • Yearbook
  • Film Analysis
  • Screenwriting
  • Creative Writing
  • Technology
  • Year-End Program Production
  • Civics
  • Health
  • Communication / Public Speaking
  • Youth Entrepreneurship
  • Outdoor Education
  • Songwriting
  • Handbell Choir
  • Guitar
  • African Drumming/Bells
  • Instrumental Composition
  • Middle School Band
  • Choir
  • Techniques of Famous Artists: Renaissance through Impressionism
  • Techniques of Famous Artists: Expressionism through Post-Modernism
  • Graphic Design
  • Paper Art
  • Multicultural Art
  • Jewelry
  • Clay
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Portraiture
  • Community Service

Contact Director, Tracy Moen, at tmoen@cedarcrestacademy.com or 248.625.7270 to learn more about middle school at Cedar Crest Academy.