CURRICULUM

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College and Career Readiness

 

In order for our scholars to compete in the real world of college and careers, we must set high expectations for them now in school.  Our teachers use these high expectation to design a curriculum for their students that is both challenging, exciting, and meaningful. 

 

At West Prep teachers use a consistent and demanding approach to student learning.  For example, teachers use project based learning, and universal by design approach when teaching their units of study.  Then they design assessments and performance tasks for students that force them to find meaning and make connections with what they are learning and the real world.  Any given day you may find students in the science lab conducting an experiment, or in Social Studies engaging in debate, or teaching their math class a new way to solve problems.

 

Curriculum Maps Click on a map below to enlarge

 

ELA Curriculum Calendar

 

Social Studies Curriculum Calendar

 

Science Curriculum Calendar

 

 

Math Curriculum Calendar

Sixth Grade

What are we learning in English Language Arts?

Expeditionary Learning is an intensive close reading curriculum which pairs grade level fiction texts with common core aligned nonfiction texts. The curriculum model challenges students to think critically and take active roles in their classrooms and communities.The Expeditionary Learning curriculum includes authentic reading materials. Authentic reading materials include published works that are typically encountered by students in daily life, such as in magazines, books or newspapers. The use of authentic reading material may mean that some material is emotionally charged or may use language outside of a student's particular cultural experience. Students will actively read, cite evidence, discuss, write, and grapple with the curriculum’s essential questions. Expeditionary Learning provides students with the academic platform necessary for college and career readiness. 

 

2nd Quarter: 6th Grade Module 2

Right now we are nearing the end of our second unit: Myths: Not Just Long Ago. In this unit, scholars are reading original myths and then analyzing key elements and themes that can relate to our modern world. Scholars will be writing analytical essays to answer the question: Why does mythology matter?

 

Our next module of study scholars will investigate the question: What are “rules to live by”? How do people formulate and use “rules” to improve their lives? How do people communicate these “rules” to others? In this module, students consider these questions as they read the novel Bud, Not Buddy, Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, President Barack Obama’s Back-to-School Speech, “If” by Rudyard Kipling, and informational research texts.

 

Where can I find more information?

https://www.engageny.org/resource/grade-6-english-language-arts

 

1st Quarter: 6th Grade Module 1

Reading Closely and Writing to Learn:

Myths: Not Just Long Ago

In this module, students are involved in a deep study of mythology, its purposes, and its elements. Students will read Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief. In this module, students will read with a focus on the archetypal journey and close reading of the many mythical allusions. Through the close reading of literary and informational texts, students will learn multiple strategies for acquiring and using academic vocabulary.

Where can I find additional information?

Expeditionary Learning Curriculum:

http://commoncoresuccess.elschools.org/curriculum/ela/grade-6

 

Resources:

The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan

The Hero’s Journey

The Fates, E.M. Berens

Theseus and the Minotaur, Nathaniel Hawthorne


What are we learning in Social Studies?

Through the curriculum this year, your child will learn about ancient civilizations while making connections between social issues common to both the ancient and modern world.  Your child will learn to think and work like an historian while intentionally developing literacy skills, integrating the English Language Arts (ELA) skills of reading and writing with an alignment to the Common Core State Standards.  

Your child will learn about major issues in Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, and their own community, focusing on evidence-based reasoning, introducing and supporting claims through sources.  

 

The Sixth Grade regularly uses New York City’s museums, other cultural institutions, and their resources to complement classroom instruction.

 

2nd Quarter:

Our current unit is Becoming an Historian in Ancient Greece.  Students are learning about the societal structures of Ancient Athens and Ancient Sparta, including educational values.  Students will come to understand that societies and cultures are influenced by socioeconomic and gender differences by investigating and making connections between who is educated in the past and the present.  

 

Where can I find more information?

Please ask your child daily what they are doing in class.  The following are suggested questions to promote this conversation:

  1. What did you discuss in class today?

  2. What are you doing in Social Studies that relates to real-life?

  3. How much “seat time” did you have today?  What does that mean? Why is “seat time” important?

  4. Did you “play school” today?  What did that look/sound like?

 

Resources:

Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook https://login.discoveryeducation.com/

Pandora of Athens, 399 BC by Barry Denenberg

CNN’s Documentary, Girl Rising http://girlrising.com/

 

1st Quarter: In unit 1, your child is introduced to reading, thinking, and working like an historian. Students will become detectives to uncover a murder mystery at West Prep Academy.  Together, we will come to understand that historians investigate the past like law enforcement solves crimes.  Scholars will learn how to formulate a claim and cite textual and non-print evidence to support their claims.  

 

Where can I find additional information?

Please ask your child daily what they are doing in class.  The following are suggested questions to promote this conversation:

  1. What did you discuss in class today?

  2. What are you doing in Social Studies that relates to real-life?

  3. How much “seat time” did you have today?  What does that mean? Why is “seat time” important?

  4. Did you “play school” today?  What did that look/sound like?

Resources:

Pandora of Athens, 399 BC by Barry Denenberg

Discovery Education Techbook:

http://www.discoveryeducation.com//what-we-offer/techbook-digital-textbooks/index.cfm

Reading Like an Historian

https://sheg.stanford.edu/rlh

Thinking Like an Historian

http://teachinghistory.org/


What are we learning in Math?

2nd Quarter:

We are nearing the end of our second unit which has students digging up old knowledge of adding, subtracting and multiplying with whole numbers, fractions, and mixed numbers and applying this knowledge to dividing. In early December, we will begin Unit 3, Comparing Bits and Pieces, where we will use ratio thinking to solve multi-step problems. This includes part to part comparisons and part to whole comparisons. The main tool being used in Unit 2 is the bar model, and for Unit 3 will be ratio tables.

 

Where can I find more information?

Learnzillion.com is a great website with free videos and guided practice problems. You can use key words from the homework to find helpful videos and practice. You can even go to earlier grades to brush up on important concepts that might still be confusing. Try it out!

 

Resources:

Khan Academy, like learnzillion, has videos and guided practice. This is a great resources for all students.

Unit 2

https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-sixth-grade-math/cc-6th-arithmetic-operations/cc-6th-dividing-fractions/v/conceptual-understanding-of-dividing-fractions-by-fractions

Unit 3

https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-sixth-grade-math/cc-6th-ratios-prop-topic

 

1st Quarter:

Developing “number sense” is some of the critical work done in Unit 1. Throughout the first 6 weeks of school, scholars will be in small groups playing strategic games, solving real world problems, and learning how to have rich discussions around what they are noticing and understanding about real-world and mathematical problems.

 

Scholars will be working specifically with the language of factors and multiples, will be instructed on how to use bar models to represent all kinds of mathematical problems and situations, understand negative numbers in context, and use the coordinate plane to understand absolute value and distance as a positive difference between two points.

 

By the end of this unit, your scholar will be able to draw a rectangle model to represent problems, reason about when situations require division, multiplication, addition subtraction, and explain mathematical reasoning and ask questions about the mathematical reasoning of others.

Learnzillion.com (Make a free account! This website has amazing support!)

http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/introduction/

The standards

Below are the standards we will address in the first unit. The standards are in the order that students will be working on them, though they will show up in many times in this unit and later units. The codes will be useful with learnzillion. Make an account, type in the standard, and you will find TONS of videos and guided practice problems.

 

  • 6.NS.B.4

  • 5.OA.B.3

  • 5.NF.B.5

  • 5.OA.A.1 → which prepares students → 6.EE.1

  • 5.NBT.B.6 → which prepares students → 6.NS.B.2

  • 6.SP.B.5a → which prepares students → 6.SP.B.5c

  • 5.G.A.1 → which prepares students → 6.NS.C.6

  • 6.NS.C.5

  • 6.NS.C.6a

 

Play the factor game online!

https://illuminations.nctm.org/Activity.aspx?id=4134

 

 

 

 

 

Play the product game online!

https://illuminations.nctm.org/Activity.aspx?id=4213


 

What are we learning in Science?

2nd Quarter:

In science, our current unit is on the diversity of life. Diversity of life is seen through the study of cells. Students will understand how cells are the primary source for biodiversity, and will learn to classify organisms according to similarities and differences at the cellular and organism level, as well as using internal and external structures in living things. Students will also study how different organisms have different energy needs to live. They will understand that energy flows through ecosystems in one direction, usually from the Sun, through producers to consumers and then decomposers, in which its balance is the result of interactions between living and nonliving things. Students will be able to construct models of biomes and/or ecosystems they investigate and that will visually represent their explanation about how energy is used and transformed by different organisms in an ecosystem.

 

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, and animal and plant cells, are observed to describe their structure and to explain how these cells make different organisms.

 

Where can I find more information?

During this unit and the rest of the science units for the year, students will be given their discovery education techbook login, where they can access videos and articles on the information we are learning in this unit. http://www.discoveryeducation.com/

 

Major Assessments:

Characteristics of Living Things Presentation

New Organism Essay

Yeast Lab Report

 

1st Quarter:

In lieu of developing a science community, students must also begin thinking like scientists. This will be fostered via labs where we 

analyze the process and parts of a scientific investigation. This unit is designed to introduce students to the process of science as well as to have them begin thinking like scientists by first communicating as scientists. This unit engages students in the scientific 

process/method. Students will become familiar with the steps in the scientific method as well as the variables in an experiment. The coupling of science content and skills will allow students to strengthen their science knowledge and have them thinking, acting and communicating like scientists!

Here are just some of the long-term activities that we will be doing:

  1. Investigating items in a mysterious garbage bag.

  2. Mentos and Diet Coke Lab.

Resources for the Unit:

Introduction to Scientific Method​

 Using the Scientific Method (Refer to download)

Assignments:

 

Writing Piece:

Students

Mini 4 paragraph fictional essay on the contents of the mysterious garbage bag.

 

Summative Assessment

Chemical Reaction Lab Report (mentos-lab): Students have to perform a lab (pre-lab, lab report and post-lab) where they research the scientific processes that are involved in the chemical reaction when mentos is placed in carbonated beverages (soda). Students will be prompted to ask and answer why this reaction occurs. During this lab students have to change variables in the experiment to observe any changes. Students will then be asked to illustrate their skills and knowledge in a written lab report, illustrating written and visual representations of the knowledge attained.

 

Upcoming Events:

West Prep Academy would like to invite you to join us at New York Hall of Science for our 1st annual Family Science Day.

 

Date: Sunday October 25, 2015

 

Time: 9:00am to 3:00pm

 

Please email Ms. Bristol at tbristol@ms421.org if you are interested in chaperoning or attending.

Look out for more information

Seventh Grade

What are we learning in English Language Arts?

2nd Quarter:

In ELA, the 7th graders are focusing on Expository Writing. We are concluding our analysis of A Long Walk to Water by writing essays about the factors that helped Salva survive the war. In the following unit, we will be reading “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and will analyze how Hawthorne used the setting to develop the mood of the story.

 

Where can I find more information?

 

Expository Essays are graded using the New York State Expository Writing Rubric.

A checklist version of the rubric is below.



Criteria

Checklist

 

Content and Analysis:

 

 

o   The introduction answers the focus question / writing prompt.

o   The introduction previews the topic of each body paragraph.

o   The introduction provides some background information on the text/ topic.

Command of Evidence

o   There are at least two quotes in each body paragraph.

o   Each quote aligns with the topic of the body paragraph.

o   Evidence is from the beginning,  middle and end of the text.

Coherence, Organization and Style

o   Each body paragraph has a distinct topic.

o   No “I” or “my” or slang in formal writing.

o   The conclusion answers the focus question and summarizes the essay.

Control of Conventions

 

o   Underline the title of the text.

o   Capitalize the first letter of names of people and places and titles.

o   No spelling mistakes.

1st Quarter:

In English we are learning about multiple perspectives within a literary text. Our first Expeditionary Learning Unit focuses on a novel

called A Long Walk to Water which includes the journeys of a former “Lost Boy” and a girl 

responsible for bringing water to her family. The Unit will culminate in scholars writing poems that incorporate two perspectives. In addition to reading to analyze perspective, scholars are writing tosupport their claims. This includes citing evidence from a supporting text, and explaining evidence in such a way that strengthens their ideas. As the year goes on we will progress to writing transitions within our essays to show how the many ideas we write about, build upon each other.

 

Where can I find additional information?

7th Grade Scholars will be working towards mastering all of the 7th Grade Common Core reading and writing standards. These standards can be found at http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/7/

Resources:

Below are a list of the texts we will be reading this year

 

Unit 1:

A Long Walk to Water

http://commoncoresuccess.elschools.org/curriculum/ela/grade-7/module-1

 

Unit 2:

“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Unit 3:

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: http://commoncoresuccess.elschools.org/curriculum/ela/grade-7/module-3

 

Unit 4:

“Golden Apples of the Sun” by Ray Bradbury

 

Unit 5:

“The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Unit 6:

Othello by William Shakespeare  

 


What are we learning in Social Studies?

2nd Quarter

In this Unit we are covering the 13 colonies, events leading up to the American Revolution, and The American Revolution itself. Some topics that will be discussed are The French and Indian War, Propaganda, Treaty of Paris, Proclamation of 1763, Stamp Act, Boycott, Tea Act, Militia, Loyalists, Boston Massacre, and The Boston Tea Party.

Where can I find more information?

http://www.landofthebrave.info/causes-of-the-american-revolutionary-war.htm

http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/ushistory/causesrevwar.htm

http://www.ducksters.com/history/american_revolution/causes_revolutionary_war.php

 

1st Quarter

This unit we are studying Geography and early exploration of the Americas.  We will cover Christopher Columbus and his discovery of present day Dominican Republic.  We will also discuss the cultural diffusion and the Columbian Exchange and their effects on the worldthen and now.  After the Columbian Exchange we will move into the first colonies of present day America focusing heavily on Roanoke and Jamestown.  We will discuss how these colonies led to further colonization of present day America and what affect it had on those who already lived there.

 

Where can I find additional information?

http://www.history.com/topics/jamestown

 

Resources:

History.com   

 


What are we learning in Math?

2nd Quarter

In this Unit, the students will extend their knowledge of ratios, proportions and proportional reasoning. Students will learn to:

  • Use ratios, rates and percents to compare quantities.

  • Scale a ratio, rate, or percent to solve a problem.

  • Set up and solve proportions.

  • Find unit rates and use them to solve problems

  • Recognize and connect proportional situations from a table, graph, or equation.

 

Where can I find more information?

Learn more about the standards: http://www.corestandards.org/

 

Resources:

LearnZillion.com (search ratios, rates, unit rate, proportions, and percents)

Khanacademy.com (search ratios, rates, unit rate, proportions, and percents)

ixl.com-Grade 7

  • Ratios and Proportions- J

  • Proportional Relationships- K

  • Percents- L​

 

1st Quarter

Unit 1 (Integers and Rational Numbers) is about the following concepts:

  • Extend the number system to include the rational numbers (positive and negative integers, fractions, and decimals)

  • Locate and compare the values of rational numbers using a number line

  • Develop and use algorithms for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing rational numbers

  • Solve problems involving rational numbers

Where can I find additional information?

The main goal of this unit is for scholars to “apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions”. Below is a list of the learning standards associated with this unit.

7.NS.A.1

  • Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers; represent addition and subtraction on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram.​

7.NS.A.2

  • Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division and of fractions to multiply and divide rational numbers.

7.NS.A.3

  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers

For more information on the common core standards associated with this unit, please visit http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/7/NS/

 

Resources:

Here are some additional resources that scholars can use to further their understanding of the mathematics in Unit 1.

https://www.khanacademy.org/

https://www.ixl.com/

https://learnzillion.com/


What are we learning in Science?

2nd Quarter:

This unit studies the surface of planet Earth, as well as the natural phenomena that causes the surface to change over time. Students will be able to make different types of models representing the lithosphere that will best help them describe changes in the surface of the planet. In addition, they will analyze data from earthquakes and volcanoes, and charts that represent the long history of Earth, drawing conclusions about how these forces of nature provoke short-term, long-term, and permanent changes to the surface of the planet

 

Where can I find more information?

Discovery Education Website Topic: Earth Science  (All students received log in information)

http://www.discoveryeducation.com/

Study Jams (Topic: Rocks & Minerals)

http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/

http://www.kidsgeo.com/geology-for-kids/ ( Research Topics: Earth Layers, Rock Cycle, Weathering and Erosion)

http://www.learner.org/interactives/rockcycle/diagram.html

Interactive Rock Cycle

1st Quarter:

Our Scientific Method and Measurement Unit is one of the most exciting topics that we will discuss this year! Here are just some of the activities that we will

be doing:

  • Color Blindness Experiment

  • Length, Mass and Volume Lab

  • Alka-Seltzer Lab

 

Essential Question:

  1. How do scientists investigate the natural world?

Big Idea:

  1. Students will understand that the central purpose of scientific inquiry is to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing and creative process.

Where can I find additional information?

Studyjams.com    (Topic: Scientific Method)

 

Resources:

 

Discovery Education (Science Techbook)

Topic: Scientific Method

Eighth Grade
 

What are we learning in ELA?

2nd Quarter 

This Quarter students will be introduced to the American classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This Pulitzer prize winning novel will capture 8th graders with themes such as advocacy, discrimination, and pathos . Students will continue the 8th English Language Arts practice of reading, writing, and discussing the text over a course of 4 weeks.

 

Where can I find more information?

Determining a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.  http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/#CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2

Analyzing how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspect of a character or provoke  a decision.

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/3/

 

Resources:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

http://www.engageny.org/resource/grade-8-ela-module-2a-unit-1-lesson-8

http://literarydevices.net/allusion/

 

1st Quarter:

First Unit- SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

"Inside Out and Back Again": A Story of the Vietnamese Refugee Experience

 

During the first unit scholars will read several books and articles that discuss The Vietnam War. Though many of the texts in this class will be more historical in nature, the main book "Inside Out and Back Again" will cover the journey of a young refugee girl, who moved to the United States to escape the tragedy of war. This is a story of faith, hope, and identity. Scholars will grapple with the notion of leaving a home. They will also read, write, and discuss about how going through tough times can reveal someone's character. Expect scholars to have various homework assignments through the unit. Most of the homework assignments involve the main book "Inside Out and Back Again". Scholars will be bringing this book home regularly to read and complete short writing assignments.
 

The main skills of this unit include:

  • 1) Citing evidence to develop an argument.
  • 2) Understanding how authors use word choice to change meaning.

 

The central questions of this unit include:

  • 1) What is home?
  • 2) How do critical incidents reveal character?

 

Standards:  W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Where can I find additional information?

 

Expeditionary Learning Curriculum Website:

http://elschools.org/

 

**Each students has an independent reading text. They are encouraged to read at least 1 hour daily after school.

 

Or you can always ask your child daily what they are doing in class.  

The following are suggested questions to promote this conversation:

  • What did you discuss in class today?
  • What are you doing in class that relates to real-life?
  • How much “seat time” did you have today? 
  • What does that mean? Why is “seat time” important?
  • Did you “play school” today?  
  • What did that look/sound like?

 

Resources:

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai​

About “Inside out and Back Again”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inside_Out_%26_Back_Again

 

 

 

What are we learning in Social Studies?

2nd Quarter

We are focusing on post civil war America. How did the states come together to make one country? How were former slaves treated now that they are free? What is the industrial revolution, and how did the invention of new technology change the United States? What problems did Reconstruction resolve? What problems did it fail to resolve?

 

Key Terms:

Oppression

Carpetbaggers

Reconstruction

Industrial Revolution

 

Where can I find more information?

Resources:

Discovery Education Social Studies:www.discoveryeducation.com

www.engageny.org/resource/new-york-state-k-12-social-studies-framework

 

 


What are we learning in Math?

2nd Quarter

Linear Equations

During this unit, students will learn that a linear equation is an equation for a straight line. There are many ways of writing linear equations, but they usually have constants (like “2” or “c”) and must have simple variables (like “x” or “y”). Students should be able to explain how changes in rate, the y-intercept, and the selected inputs for the equations effect the output in and out of context to real-world applications.

Slope-Intercept form is the most widely used form of a linear equation: y = mx + b

 

Where can I find more information?

Common Core Standards (8.EE.B.5, 8.EE.B.6, 8.EE.B.7): http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/8/EE/

EngageNY Module 4 Linear Equations:

https://www.engageny.org/resource/grade-8-mathematics-module-4%20

 

Resources:

Linear Equations on www.khanacademy.org

Linear Equations on www.ixl.com

 

1st Quarter

In Unit 1, “Exponents and Scientific Notation,” students will be learning to:

  • Establish a structure of exponents, formed by the process of repeated multiplication or repeated division.

  • Represent numbers in scientific notation and manipulate those numbers using the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

  • Use scientific notation to help demonstrate very large and very small numbers when solving real world applications.

 

Where can I find additional information?

Exponents and Scientific Notation Family Letter

 

8th Grade Common Core Standards on Exponents and Scientific Notation

 

Resources:

Khan Academy:

 

 Exponents:

 

Scientific Notation:

  

Use assignment headers to search watchable lessons and practice problems on

www.learnzillion.com

 

Use assignment headers to search skills practice problems:

www.IXL.com

 


What are we learning in Science?

2nd Quarter

Forces and Motion on Earth

During this unit, students will learn the effects of different types of forces on the motion of objects, through the study of the Newton’s laws of motion. Students should be able to explain how changes in motion, perspective, and reference of objects, depend on different variables such as mass, direction of motion, and frame of reference.

 

Where can I find more information?

NYC 6-12 Science Scope and Sequence

http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/49FC3DAF-2A6A-42B5-80DC-9587487B0243...

 

Resources:

Discovery Education Science Techbook: Forces, Motion, and Engineering

www.discoveryeducation.com

 

1st Quarter

In Unit 1, “Reproduction, Heredity, and Evolution,” students will be learning to explore:

  • Embryonic Development

  • Genes

  • DNA

  • Asexual Reproduction

  • Cell Cycle & Mitosis

  • Sexual Reproduction

  • Meiosis

  • Mendel & Heredity

  • Darwin & Natural Selection

  • Change Over Time and the Fossil Record

Where can I find additional information?

 

Reproduction, Heredity, and Evolution: Getting to Know Readings

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-wCRI3ZTd4UaGJTRlFrQmdYVzg/view?usp=sharing

 

Resources:

Discovery Education (Science Techbook)

http://www.discoveryeducation.com

 

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