Upper Schools - Amigos School
CPS
Cambridge Public Schools
2013
Upper Schools
Curriculum Highlights
English Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Social Science
Health Education
Information,
Communication &
Technology Services
Physical Education
Visual & Performing Arts
World Language
Upper School Network
Amigos
Cambridge Street
School
amigos school
15 Upton Street n Cambridge, MA 02139
617.349.6567
Family Liaison’s Email: [email protected]
Website: http://amigos.cpsd.us
cambridge street upper school
Located at the King Open School building
850 Cambridge Street n Cambridge, MA 02141
617.349.3050
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://cambridgestreet.cpsd.us
putnam avenue upper school
Located at the Kennedy-Longfellow School
building during the renovation of our
permanent location, 100 Putnam Avenue.
158 Spring Street n Cambridge, MA 02141
617.349.7780
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://putnamavenue.cpsd.us
rindge avenue upper school
Located at the Peabody School building
70 Rindge Avenue n Cambridge, MA 02140
617.349.4060
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://rindgeavenue.cpsd.us
vassal lane upper school
Located at the Tobin School building
197 Vassal Lane n Cambridge, MA 02138
617.349.6550
Email:[email protected]
Website: http://vassallane.cpsd.us
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Putnam Avenue
Rindge Avenue
Administration
Principal
Deborah Sercombe
Assistant Principal
Marco Curnen
Head of Upper School
Manuel J. Fernandez
Assistant Principal
Christen Sohn
Head of Upper School
Mirko Chardin
Assistant Principal
Pamela C. Chu
Head of Upper School
Ralph Watson
Assistant Principal
Teresa Sanchez
Head of Upper School
Jamel Adkins-Sharif
Assistant Principal
Tanya Bacci-Benzan
Vassal Lane
About the Curriculum
Fall 2013
Dear Upper School Families and Friends,
Welcome to the Cambridge Public School District’s Upper School Network. Our Upper Schools serve students
in sixth through eighth grades in an exciting newly evolving organizational structure designed to support
meaningful relationships and promote quality learning opportunities.
The Common Core State Standards and Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks are the foundation for all
instructional course offerings. District Curriculum Coordinators under the leadership of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment work with faculties at each Upper School campus to plan,
design, implement, and evaluate district curriculum in each content area.
Upper School Scholars can look forward to a learning experience that is developmentally responsive, challenging, inclusive, and supportive of all in an environment that enables students to achieve positive personal growth
and continuous academic progress.
Opportunities to explore, learn, create, connect, imagine, and enjoy can be experienced through our rich
academic, arts and wellness offerings.
This publication is designed to provide a yearlong overview of each content area of study for grades six through
eight across our Upper School Network. Please use this handbook as a guide to the curriculum in your scholar’s
classroom. If you have questions about the school curriculum, please feel free to contact your scholar’s teacher,
the campus head of school or principal, or Dr. Jessica Huizenga, the district Assistant Superintendent for
Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment.
I am incredibly proud of the ongoing work of our teachers, caregivers, scholars, support staff, administrators,
and School Committee members, to not only build a challenging, enriching, and flexible Upper School program
but also to ensure the success of every Upper School scholar. Our collective efforts and energy remain the catalyst for high quality learning environments for all CPS students. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
with questions or concerns, at any time. I look forward to meeting and hearing from you, as your input is valued
and appreciated.
Sincerely,
Dr. Carolyn L. Turk
Deputy Superintendent for Teaching & Learning
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Supporting the Transition to
Middle School
Cambridge Street Upper School
CSUS 6th Grade Introduction to
Middle School Course:
The CSUS 6th Grade Introduction to Middle School
Transition Program was developed by 6th grade
teachers, World Language teachers, special educators
and administration to provide scholars with a structured environment to explore the Habits of Scholarship and other characteristics of a successful middle
schooler. The aim is to promote the successful transition of 6th grade scholars’ transition to the middle
school model of learning. Scholars will engage in a
deep exploration of the Habits of Scholarship. The
text for this class is The Middle School Student’s
Guide to Ruling the World!
CSUS Curriculum Pilot Programs
6th Grade: Math in Focus; Singapore Math.
This school year, several classrooms in the district
were selected to pilot the Math in Focus program.
You are receiving this letter because your child is
in one of the selected classrooms.
The Math in Focus program, based on the math
curriculum from Singapore, consists of Student
Books and Workbooks that are designed to work
together. During the school day, your child will
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learn concepts presented in an engaging format and
practice those concepts to develop a deep understanding. Your child will also work from the Student
Book with other children to solve problems, participate in activities or games, and discuss their findings
in class. Depending on your child’s grade level, your
child may be assigned pages from the Workbook as
individual work in class or as homework. You can
learn more about the program and what your child
will learn this learn at the Math in Focus site,
http://www.hmhco.com/mathinfocus.
How will Math in Focus help my child?
• Students will experience various learning
techniques including hands-on, small
groups, pairs, use of technology, and group
and independent practice.
• There are multiple resources to help English
Language Learner students, struggling
students, on-level students, and advanced
students.
• Communication skills will be built through
math talk, in which students discuss their
thinking and reflect on what they are learning.
How can I help my child with his/her math?
• Practice newly acquired skills with your child
at home to help build math confidence.
• Letters will be sent home throughout the year
that will help you understand what your child
learned in school. These letters contain activities you can do at home with everyday items.
• The focus of instruction in Grade 6 mathematics is determined by the Massachusetts 2011
Mathematics Curriculum Framework. We are
piloting a new curriculum that is aligned to
these Common Core standards. This program
is entitled Math in Focus; Singapore Math.
The four areas of focus are:
1. Connecting ratio and rate to whole number
multiplication and division, and using
concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems;
2. Completing understanding of division of
fractions and extending the notion of number
to the system of rational numbers, which
includes negative numbers;
3. Writing, interpreting, and using expressions
and equations; and
4. Developing understanding of statistical
thinking.
7th Grade ELA Program: Amplify ELA:
Write to the Core
Write to the Core is a research-proven Common
Core reading and writing curriculum. The foundational writing curriculum includes lesson plans
and reading for the beginning of the school year to
establish the habits and routines that get students
reading and responding to text right away. Each
day’s lesson moves students through a tight learning cycle of targeted instruction, practice, correction
and revision, and daily feedback from both teachers
and fellow scholars.
Each scholar will receive an electronic tablet to
support his or her learning. Tablets and technology
are in NO way a substitute for quality instruction,
but do work to increase accessibility to a variety of
leveled text in an anonymous way and create an engaging environment for learning. Amplify provides
technology/infrastructure that allows us to track
daily performance and measure growth. It gives
teachers a quick and reliable way to collect data for
conferences with individual students, small groups
of students, and planning next instructional moves.
Targeted areas that will be highlighted in ELA
classes are:
• Close reading of fiction and nonfiction texts,
including two whole class novels, and poetry,
while making connections between various
genres within similar themes.
• Using strong verbs and writing in response to
close reading of all texts.
• Writing to stake a claim and support that claim
by finding patterns within information and
developing evidence.
• Reading to develop a timeline and to identify
an author’s change in perspective.
• Developing independence in revising one’s
own work.
• Reading to find quotes to support an argument
in a persuasive and/or expository essay.
• Text-based speaking and class discussion.
• Developing the academic language, vocabulary,
and background knowledge.
How will Write to the Core help my child?
• Students will experience various learning techniques including hands-on, small groups, pairs,
use of technology, and group and independent
practice.
• A focus on sharing one’s own reading and sharing feedback with each other about the impact
of peers’ writing, builds confidence, allows
students to feel as if they have a voice and an
audience who is excited to hear it.
• Reading a variety of texts, at a variety of levels
and genres, analyzing and making connections
between them, allows a student to build not
only strong comprehension, but also critical
thinking.
How can I help my child with his/her literacy?
• Encourage your student to read daily by modeling daily reading, providing resources to find
engaging books, and discussing the texts with
them.
• When your child shares an opinion or thought
about a book, ask them why? What evidence
have they seen to support this thought?
• When your child is working on writing at
home, encourage them to focus on one
moment, and use a variety of techniques to
‘show’ in their writing, instead of just telling,
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listing, or stating.
Putnam Avenue Upper School
Achieve 3000
6th Grade Transition Class
The Putnam Avenue Upper School is committed
to being a 21st century school, and the sixth grade
team is seeking out ways to integrate technology
into the curriculum in meaningful ways. Achieve
3000 is a program that aligns with our commitment to supporting students using educational
technology designed to support their academic
growth.
Goal: The 6th Grade Transition Program at PAUS
Through Achieve 3000, sixth graders will engage
in online reading practice. Achieve 3000 is a Lexile
based reading program, through which students’
reading levels are consistently assessed, monitored, and pushed to a higher level. The program
incorporates non-fiction articles, and reading
comprehension activities designed to meet students exactly where they are as readers, and elevate
students’ comprehension of text. We know that no
program is “one size fits all,” and do not see this as
a replacement for what happens in our classroomsrather, we believe that Achieve 3000 is a valuable
tool that will aid us in our mission to challenge
the students of Putnam Avenue.
Feel free to peruse the Achieve 3000 website at
http://www.achieve3000.com/ and contact Blaine
Yesselman, sixth grade ELA teacher, with any
questions!
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is designed to help students feel empowered to be
more effective in school and in life as they master
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
Objectives:
To help students learn, understand, appreciate, and
demonstrate the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens:
Be Proactive; Begin With The End In Mind; Put
First Things First; Think Win-Win; Seek First to
Understand Then to Be Understood; Synergize;
and Sharpen the Saw.
In accordance with district expectations regarding
the fifth-to-sixth grade transition, we are implementing a sixth grade transition class that will take
the place of a world language class during the first
trimester of this year. Based on The 7 Habits of
Highly Effective Teens, by Sean Covey, students will
explore themes of organization, study skills, and
building healthy relationships.
All sixth graders will attend this class three times
per six-day rotation, and it will be taught by one of
the three world language teachers. Students will be
graded for this class on a pass/fail basis.
Advisory
Putnam Avenue Upper School
Goal: The Advisory Program at PAUS will address the social and emotional needs of our students, while fos-
tering family and community partnerships, strong teacher-student relationships, and a positive school climate.
Advisory will provide an avenue for adult guidance and peer support as our students learn the skills required to
meet social, emotional, behavioral, and academic expectations demanded of them.
Objectives:
• To provide an adult advisor for each student
who is a mentor to, and an advocate for, the
student. Advisors will support students in
times of difficulty, recognize the warning
signs of teen problems, and celebrate students’
successes.
• To meet students’ need to belong to a group,
and to help students feel accepted and valued
by teachers and peers.
• To foster a positive school climate as students
develop positive relationships with teachers and with one another through organized
team-building activities.
• To provide a forum to address topics of
concern for young adolescents.
• To secure a time to address significant and
unexpected events — a death in the school,
violence in the community, national tragedies
— in an arena with a higher level of trust
and concern than is found in the average
classroom.
• To prepare students for academic success by
addressing study skills, organization, and time
management.
• To further explore and integrate our core values of passion, pride, ownership, balance, and
perseverance into everyday life at PAUS.
• To improve home/school communication and
relationships.
• To promote good citizenship through community service projects.
2013 – 2014 Elective Offerings
6th Grade Electives:
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Band
Beginning Salsa
Chinese Calligraphy
Chorus
Drama
Orchestra
7th/8th Grade Electives:
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Band
Beginning Salsa
Chinese Calligraphy
Chorus
Cross Sport Fitness
Drama
Global Cultures
National History Day
Orchestra
Yoga
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Rindge Avenue Upper School
6th Grade Transition Class
Advisory
Goal: The 6th Grade Transition Program at RAUC
Goal: The Advisory Program at RAUC will address
is designed to help students feel empowered to be
more effective in school and think about what it
means to be a Middle School student. Skills such
as organization, study skills, self-advocating, and
goal setting will be covered. In addition, the school
adjustment counselor will work with students on
the social and emotional developments of being a
middle school student.
This course is offered to all grade six students during the 1st trimester in place of World Language.
Students will select Spanish or French for their
language to begin 2nd trimester.
Objectives:
• To provide an adult advisor for each student
who is a mentor to, and an advocate for, the
student. Advisors will support students in
times of difficulty, recognize the warning
signs of teen problems, and celebrate students’
successes.
• To meet students’ need to belong to a group,
and to help students feel accepted and valued
by teachers and peers.
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the social and emotional needs of our students, while
fostering family and community partnerships, strong
teacher-student relationships, and a positive school
climate. Advisory will provide an avenue for adult
guidance and peer support as our students learn the
skills required to meet social, emotional, behavioral,
and academic expectations demanded of them.
Objectives:
• To provide an adult advisor for each student
who is a mentor to, and an advocate for, the
student. Advisors will support students in times
of difficulty, recognize the warning signs of teen
problems, and celebrate students’ successes.
• To meet students’ need to belong to a group,
and to help students feel accepted and valued
by teachers and peers.
• To foster a positive school climate as students
develop positive relationships with teachers
and with one another through organized
team-building activities.
• To provide a forum to address topics of
concern for young adolescents.
Advisory Objectives (continued...)
Rindge Avenue Upper School
• To secure a time to address significant and
unexpected events — a death in the school,
violence in the community, national tragedies
— in an arena with a higher level of trust and
concern than is found in the average classroom.
Skateboarding; Mr. O’Connell: Students will listen,
watch and read about the history of skateboarding. In
addition, students will practice riding skills on (schoolissued) skateboards, learning safety approaches and
proper riding techniques. 10 students
• To prepare students for academic success
by addressing study skills, organization, and
time management.
Journalism: Mr. Paras: in this course we will look at different types of journalism and how stories are reported.
This will include but not limited to, single point of view
reporting, reporting both sides of the story and more.
We will use the TV. News, social media, newspapers,
and magazines. 20 students
• To further explore and integrate our core values
of passion, pride, ownership, balance, and perseverance into everyday life at PAUS.
• To improve home/school communication and
relationships.
• To promote good citizenship through
community service projects.
Word Games: Ms. Shine: Students will increase their
vocabulary skills and improve spelling through playing
such games as Taboo, Yatzee, scrabble, Apple to Apples,
and others.
Speak Your Voice: Ms. Brooks and Ms. Mears: Students will develop leadership skills through community
service and creating school wide events to build school
community and spirit.
Relaxation and Meditative Techniques through
Yoga: Ms. Murphy and Ms. Velez: Students will learn
basic Yoga Techniques, deep breathing exercises, core
strength exercises, and instruction on how meditation,
yoga, deep breathing can decrease stress.
Stock Market Game: Mr. Everhart: In the Stock Market
Game, students will learn how the stock market works,
as well as have the opportunity to buy and sell stocks
and mutual funds on Wall Street. The game is a national
competition with teams competing regionally for prizes.
2013 – 2014 Elective Offerings
This is a sample of offerings of Elective classes at
RAUC. Students select three options and we try to
accommodate every student’s request. Electives run
for a trimester with different offerings each term.
Become a Film Critic: Ms. Radvany: Students often accept a film’s stories as historical truth. This elective will
provide students the opportunity to learn to question
how the past is presented in the media. Students will
watch different films and identify bias in story telling
and historical facts.
Art Studio: Ms. Lee: In art studio, students can create
any type of art they would like using the following techniques; drawing, painting, wire papier-mâché, sculpture,
collage, printing, and mixed media. 20 students
Historical Reading Club: Mr. Trainor: Like to read?
Then this course is for you. We will read and discuss
historical fiction and non-fiction and talk and reflect
on our reading.
Cooking Techniques and Cultural Exploration: Ms.
Green and Ms. Hagan: Students will learn the essential
techniques for basic cooking (chopping, blending, sautéing, etc.) and explore various commonalities of foods
across cultures. 15 students
Chess: Mr. Rice: Learn the basics of chess or work to
improve your game if you already play. Students will
play each other as well as online games. The course
will end with a school-wide Chess tournament!
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Vassal Lane Upper School
The needs at Vassal Lane neccesitate a different
schedule to accommodate the three programs of
General Education, Special Education, and Sheltered
English, and to provide maximum opportunities for
inclusion among the cohorts.
We went to a five day schedule. Our world language
offerings of Spanish and French are offered four
times a week for approximately one hour each class.
We scheduled core academic classes for one hour
four times a week (English language arts, math, science, and social studies) so that teachers have more
instructional time. Our specials (music, physical
education, art, health, and drama) are offered twice a
week to all students in 45 minute periods. Chorus is
offered within two of our music sections. Drama will
have a grade specific focus:
• Grade 6 focuses on improvisation, physical and
vocal expression, and storytelling.
• Grade 7 will focus on strong communication
and collaboration skills and media making.
9 • Grade 8 will focus on the play creation process.
2013 – 2014 Elective Offerings
Our elective offerings thus far are:
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Fun and Fit
Chess
Lego Robotics
Orchestra
Band
Mock Trial
Yoga (in progress)
Community Service
Journalism
Last year Vassal Lane Upper School unofficially developed a reputation for having really good Visual
and Performing Arts programming. We plan to
build on that momentum, as well as strengthen our
elective and afterschool offerings around STEM.
Amigos School
The Amigos Upper School, grades 6 – 8, is an integral part of the Upper School Network of Cambridge
Public Schools. Students at the Amigos Upper School
receive a 21st century education in five content areas,
Math, Science, English Language Arts, Social Studies/History, and Spanish Language Arts.
Amigos Upper School students continue their middle
school education with a rigorous course of Spanish Language Arts, which focuses on high levels of
communicative competency and literacy. Drama
is embedded into the Spanish Language Arts class
and all students are expected to write and perform
in a Spanish play at the end of each school year. The
school endorses a 40/60 Spanish/English program
design at the Upper School, which means that students spend 40% of their day in Spanish, 60% in
English.
Transitioning to the Amigos Upper School
The transition from grade 5 to the 6th grade Upper School at Amigos is carefully planned through
discussions between teams of elementary and upper
school 6th grade teachers. Students from across the
district, with intermediate levels of Spanish are also
eligible for enrollment at the Amigos Upper School,
beginning in grade 6.
Upper School Goals
• To implement a rigorous academic program in
a small and nurturing learning community;
• To create a responsive and positive climate in
which all students are valued and the following
socio-emotional skills are strengthened: Selfawareness, Self-management, Social awareness,
Relationships, and Decision-making;
• To develop high levels of bilingualism for all students oral language skills and literacy in
English and Spanish;
• To develop high levels of cultural competencies,
in which students develop the ability to respond
respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, religions, genders, sexual
orientation, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values the worth
of those individuals, families and communities
and protects and preserves the dignity of each.
• To provide music, art, drama, physical education,
and intramural team sports through the Amigos
school and the Amigos/Cambridgeport after
school community program.
Benefits of Two-Way Immersion in the
Amigos Upper School
Benefits shared with the
K – 5 students
Additional benefits of
the Upper School
Lower likelihood of tracking
or other practices that might
be detrimental to language
minority students
Small learning communities of young adolescents
Development of bilingualism
and biculturalism
Continued development
and solidification of second language skills (Spanish or English).
Development of cross–cultural attitudes and friendships
Preparation to enter advanced language courses
in high school or college
Development of cognitive
flexibility
Introduction to French as
a ‘World Language’, giving
students additional preparation for languages in
high school
Continued development
of cross–cultural attitudes
and friendships
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Grade 6
English Language Arts Highlights
Grade 6
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• To develop his/her analytical reading practices.
• Strategies to build a solid foundation for reading and interpreting nonfiction
• To analyze characters in short stories and translate that analysis
into a formal essay.
• To capture his/her opinions and beliefs and develop them into
a well-crafted essay.
• To reflect on his/her personal experiences relating to fairness,
equity, and justice and to create characters and stories through
which these issues are explored.
• To blend the skills of research and informational writing to
compose a feature article.
• Content specific vocabulary
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Get to know him/herself as a reader and a writer, set reading
and writing goals and reflect on his/her learning in reading and
writing
• Participate in class discussions and book clubs
• Read and analyze The Giver by Lois Lowry as part of a unit of
study on the elements of fiction
• Independently read a wide range of authors and genres
• Keep a reader’s and a writer’s notebook
• Study mentor texts (published pieces of writing) in various
genres to understand the writing he/she is expected to do
• Explore various fictional genres (realistic fiction, historical
fiction, science fiction and fantasy)
• Analyze various genres and styles of nonfiction and literary texts
• Write a wide variety of texts including literary analysis, personal
and persuasive essays, fiction and feature articles
• Share his or her writing electronically
What families will see...
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Literary essays and extended written responses to reading
Readers’ and writers’ notebook entries
Reading logs
Daily homework in reading and/or writing
Online postings
Independent reading and analysis of challenging texts
Class collections of published stories
Multimedia projects
How families can help...
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Encourage reading at home
Read online publications
Attend public celebrations
Read and comment on writing
Participate in book groups
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Mathematics Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 6
In Grade 6, instruction will focus on four critical areas:
• Connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and
division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems;
• Completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers,
which includes negative numbers;
• Writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and
• Developing understanding of statistical thinking.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Students will engage in mathematically rich investigations in
the classroom, guided by the CMP2 curriculum.
• Students will have clear opportunities for enrichment and
support in each unit of instruction.
• Students will have the opportunity to participate in one of two
extra-curricular math clubs at the Upper Campus: one club
will be focused on supporting students with foundational
content, and another club will be focused on offering students
enrichment opportunities focused on problem solving and
mathematical connections.
• Students will engage in online activities, inside and outside
of the classroom, which will deepen their understanding of
mathematics.
What families will see...
• Families should expect nightly homework, which will vary
from practice to projects.
• Families can learn more about the mathematics program at
the district website: http://www3.cpsd.us/Academics/Math/.
The website will give them suggestions for more learning
opportunities outside of the classroom.
How families can help...
• Families can help students in pursuing support or challenge
opportunities outside of the school day, either through the
Math Clubs at each school or through outside opportunities.
• Families can set up a study area for their child to study and
complete homework.
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• Families can help by checking in with their child’s math teacher
to find more ways they can help support their child at home.
Grade 6
Science Highlights
Grade 6 is a transitional year for most of our students as they move from their JrK-5 buildings into their new
Upper Schools. The 6th grade curriculum reflects this transition and is the first year of the Upper School
curriculum: “Making Global Citizens.” Sixth grade is seen as a year of building blocks and the content
addressed reflects that.
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• Foundational content in physical; earth and space; and life
science
• How scientists collect, use, and evaluate evidence to make
scientific claims
• How to use and evaluate models as tools to understand complex
scientific phenomena
• How to read, write, and argue in science
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Hands-on science activities and investigations
• Collect data and develop models
• Participate in two district supported field experiences – Harvard
Museum of Natural History and Maynard Ecology Center.
• Use technology such as Voice Thread and EcoMUVE
What families will see...
• Science writing (reflections, responses to prompts, conclusions,
research projects)
• Models (both as teaching and learning tools as well as assessments)
• Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessments in each unit
that require students to problem solve and use content knowledge to show deep understanding.
How families can help...
• Read your child’s lab binder.
• Visit local museums (Museum of Science, Harvard Museum of
Natural History) in order to build background knowledge.
• Provide your child opportunities to observe how the moon and
stars change over a month.
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History & Social Science Highlights
World Geography & Ancient History
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 6
Students will explore the following units of study:
• World Geography,
• Human origins,
• Ancient Mesopotamia,
• Ancient Egypt,
• Ancient Greece.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Explain how geography impacts human societies
• Describe the origins of humanity and the characteristics of the
first civilizations, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece.
• Explore primary and secondary sources
• Discuss essential questions, such as “Why does where matter?”
and “How are ancient cultures similar to and different from
cultures today?”
What families will see...
• Engaging readings in geography, anthropology, and history.
• Short-term and long-term writing assignments
• Evidence-based research projects
• Connections to contemporary civics and current issues
• Emphasis on collaboration and cooperation as a community
of learners
For more information about 6th grade curriculum, please see
http://www3.cpsd.us/history2/history_6.
How families can help...
• Encourage your child to read for pleasure.
• Explore your child’s writing assignments.
• Visit museums, such as the MFA and Harvard’s Peabody
Museum, and historical sites.
• Discuss current issues with your child.
• Keep open communication with your child’s teachers.
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Health & Social Emotional Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 6
Myself and Others
• How can I express feelings in healthy ways?
• What is mental and emotional health?
• How can I prevent & manage stress?
Bullies and Bystanders
• What is bullying?
• What can I do if bullying happens to me or someone else?
• How can I stand up for myself and others?
What should we eat?
• How healthful is my eating?
• What are healthful snacks to choose?
• What are nutrients and how do they help us?
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
Students will practice the following health life skills: Decisionmaking, Goal Setting, Communication Skills, Resisting Peer Pressure,
Assertiveness, Knowing, Recognizing & Managing Emotions, Anger
& Stress Management, Relationship Skills, Social Awareness & Empathy, Appreciating Diversity, Using Resources, Analyzing Influences,
and Health Advocacy.
What families will see...
From time to time the students will bring you instructional materials to be used at home to reinforce the skills learned in the classroom.
Watch for these materials and talk with your adolescent about them.
Conversations you have with your child about health will place the
information they are receiving in class in the context of your family
values.
How families can help...
• Talk with your child about your values about bullying, sexuality,
alcohol and drug use. Let them know what you believe.
• Practice being a good listener.
• Talk with your child and with other parents about where your
children will be after school; help your child get involved in a
supervised after school activity.
• Set guidelines for TV, internet, cell phone, and IM use.
• Help your child get the sleep that they need, which is between
8.5 and 9.5 hours a night.
• For information on health topics, check out
http://kidshealth.org/parent/.
16
Physical Education/Wellness Highlights
Grade 6
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• Students will utilize tactical approaches when participating in
invasion activities.
• Students will create and implement group strategies that can be
utilized when participating in competitive team sports.
• Students will participate in an a wide variety of activities that
are focused around the five components of physical fitness.
• Students will discuss the cultural influences of sports and games
that are played around the world.
• Students will analyze and assess the role of cooperation and
communication in a group setting.
• Students will utilize technology (heart rate monitors - fitness
apps) to set goals and track personal progress.
• Students will participate in a variety of individual activities that
promote life-long fitness.
• Students will apply math, reading and writing into movement
lessons and assessments.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Each grade will follow a scope and sequence. The unit names
are categories. The specific activities in each unit may vary (ex.
Creative movement could include jump rope, dance, etc.).
Scope and Sequence | Grade 6
Rules/Expectations
Urban Modification of Project Adventure
Team Sports
Creative Movement
Fitness Healthy Heart/Fit Body
Net Games
Field Games
World Games
What families will see...
• A heightened awareness of healthy vs. unhealthy habits and
lifestyle choices.
• Authentic assessments that follow the Physical Education curriculum guidelines based on each individual students’ progress.
• Through games and activities families will see an appreciation
for other cultures and countries.
How families can help...
17
• Be a good example of leadership and sportsmanship at home.
• Practice healthy habits at home and be a positive role model.
• Stay in contact with your child’s physical education teacher.
Technology Services Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 6, 7, 8
• Literature Appreciation – Continue to grow as life-long readers
and build their repertoire of reading strategies.
• Online Literacy – How to communicate and collaborate in an
online community safely and appropriately.
• Information Literacy – How to think critically to find, evaluate,
use, and share information for a purpose.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Collaborate and communicate with students and teachers using
GoogleDocs.
• Access current technology tools to interact and learn from the
global community.
• Utilize a variety of devices and platforms to accomplish tasks.
• Explore library resources in new media formats 24/7.
What families will see...
• Library Information Technology Centers (LITC) – A transformed library space to facilitate developmental and curricular
needs of middle school students, including designated
Young Adult and Nonfiction literature sections.
• Information, Communication, Technology Services Team –
A building-based Library Media Specialist, Library Assistant,
Technology Support Technician and a .5 Upper School
Instructional Technology Specialist working together and
with teachers to deliver services.
• Student Devices – A laptop cart for every two classrooms and
additional media-making tools (desktops, video cameras, audio
systems) in the LITC.
• Classroom Suite – An interactive whiteboard, teacher desktop,
document camera, and audio system to support 21st Century
teaching and learning.
How families can help...
• Talk to your child about their online activities and behavior,
and model for them ethical and appropriate use.
• Encourage your child to pursue independent reading for
personal and intellectual growth.
• Explore community resources, such as the Cambridge Public
Library and the CRLS Media Arts Studio, that support your
child’s interests.
18
Visual & Performing Arts Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 6
• Theater – All students will take drama, varies per school. The
students will learn the fundamentals of theater, develop confidence in front of others, and become part of an ensemble.
• General Music – All students will take general music. They
will explore diverse genres of music by singing, playing, and
composing. Through Study and investigation they will develop
an appreciation of music on the world stage.
• Visual Art – All students will take Art. They will learn to
experiment with a variety of media and techniques, observe
their world in new ways by finding art in the everyday, and
explore the elements and principles of design.
• Instrumental Music – Will be offered to all students who elect
to continue playing their instruments. They will receive one
small group lesson per week, and learn to develop ensemble
playing by being part of a band or string orchestra.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Performance – Students will have the opportunity to perform
in a band, string orchestra, chorus, or theater production.
• Develop a portfolio of art pieces, including some for exhibition,
& compose music.
What families will see...
• Concerts
• Theater Performances
• Visual Arts Exhibits, works of art brought home.
How families can help...
• Encourage your child to continue playing his/her instrument
or singing. Make sure your child practices his/her instrument.
• Come to events and productions.
• Offer to help with costume, ushering, and other behind-thescenes work.
19
World Language Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 6
• Culture of another land – Spanish, French, and Chinese (at
Putnam Ave Campus only). Exploratory classes in grade 6 – one
trimester for each language , students will choose one language
and begin an in-depth study during their middle school career;
• During the first trimester of grade six, all students will participate in a study skills class that will support the development of
good study habits to thrive during their upper school experience. The study skills class will incorporate examples from all
disciplines, including introductory World Language. By the
conclusion of the first trimester, students will have selected their
preferred World Language to study for the remainder of their
Upper School career, and their World Language course will start
at the beginning of the second semester and will continue for
the remainder of the school year.”
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Prepare dialogues and make oral presentations with the content
provided by the teacher; Play games and use computer websites
to practice the language;
• Access and use proficiently computer technology to research
data about oral and written projects.
What families will see...
• A modern classroom with an ENO Board and a Document
Camera; Technology that will show examples of the target
language in action;
• CDs and DVDs that will enhance the students’ speaking and listening skills; document cameras that will enable the students to
record and see their oral presentations and dialogues instantly;
• Active use of the target language in different situations, including whole group and paired activities; Speaking and practicing
the target language as much as possible;
• Continuous practice of all four basic skills: listening, speaking,
reading, and writing.
How families can help...
• Practice vocabulary, verb conjugations, and dialogues with your
child; View childrens’ television shows in the target language
through cable;
• Ensure that students practice at home the computer exercises
and practice activities that are available;
• Check out and read childrens’ story books in the public library
in the target language; Practice with the Rosetta Stone from the
public library;
• Encourage your child to use the second language as much as
possible.
20
21
Grade 7
English Language Arts Highlights
Grade 7
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• To develop his/her analytical reading skills
• To analyze theme and the interaction of literary elements
including conflict, setting, symbolism and figurative language
and translate that analysis into a formal essay
• How literary nonfiction informs readers about a topic in an
entertaining and interesting way
• About the art of memoir
• How to take task, purpose and audience into consideration
when writing to a prompt
• Content specific vocabulary
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Get to know him/herself as a reader and a writer, set reading
and writing goals and reflect on his/her learning in reading
and writing
• Participate in class discussions and book clubs
• Read and analyze The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton as part of a
unit of study on the elements of fiction
• Read and analyze Animal Farm by George Orwell
• Independently read a wide range of authors and genres
• Keep a reader’s and a writer’s notebook
• Study mentor texts (published pieces of writing) in various
genres to understand the writing he/she is expected to do
• Immerse him/herself in reading and understanding the scope
of literary nonfiction
• Analyze various genres and styles of nonfiction and literary
texts (literary nonfiction, novels, etc.)
• Write a wide variety of texts including literary analysis, memoir,
prompted essays and written responses to reading
• Share his or her writing electronically
• Submit a letter essay to The Massachusetts Letters about
Literature competition
What families will see...
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Literary essays and extended written responses to reading
Readers’ and writers’ notebook entries
Reading logs
Daily homework in reading and/or writing
Online postings
Independent reading and analysis of challenging texts
Contest entry essay: Letters about Literature
How families can help...
•
•
•
•
•
Encourage reading at home
Read online publications
Attend public celebrations
Read and comment on writing
Participate in book groups
22
Mathematics Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 7
In Grade 7, instruction will focus on four critical areas:
• Developing understanding of and applying proportional
relationships;
• Developing understanding of operations with rational numbers
and working with expressions and linear equations;
• Solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area,
and volume; and
• Drawing inferences about populations based on samples.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Students will engage in mathematically rich investigations in
the classroom, guided by the CMP2 curriculum.
• Students will have clear opportunities for enrichment and
support in each unit of instruction.
• Students will have the opportunity to participate in one of two
extra-curricular math clubs at the Upper Campus: one club will
be focused on supporting students with foundational content,
and another club will be focused on offering students enrichment opportunities focused on problem solving and mathematical connections.
• Students will engage in online activities, inside and outside
of the classroom, which will deepen their understanding of
mathematics.
What families will see...
• Families should expect nightly homework, which will vary
from practice to projects.
• Families can learn more about the mathematics program at the
district website: http://www3.cpsd.us/Academics/Math/. The
website will give them suggestions for more learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
How families can help...
• Families can help students in pursuing support or challenge
opportunities outside of the school day, either through the Math
Clubs at each school or through outside opportunities.
• Families can set up a study area for their child to study and
complete homework.
• Families can help by checking in with their child’s math teacher
to find more ways they can help support their child at home.
23
Grade 7
Science Highlights
The seventh grade year focuses on matter cycles and energy in physical, earth and life systems.
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• The basic laws of motion and apply them in simple contexts,
culminating in a design challenge in which the understanding
of those laws will help them improve their solutions.
• How the particle model of matter can explain chemical and
physical changes.
• To use universal laws to explain and predict the world around
them.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Hands-on science activities and investigations
• Use and manipulate Lego Mindstorms Robots
• Collect data and develop models
• Problem solve
What families will see...
• Science writing (reflections, responses to prompts, conclusions,
and research projects)
• The use of technology to enhance instruction
• Multiple Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessments
including a design challenge in which students take the role
of an engineer.
How families can help...
• Read your child’s lab notebook and binder.
• Visit local museums (Museum of Science, Harvard Museum
of Natural History) in order to build background knowledge.
• Converse with your child around what they are doing in class.
24
History & Social Science Highlights
World History, Philosophy, and Religion
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 7
Students will explore the following units of study:
• Ancient Israel and Judaism
• Ancient Rome, Byzantine Empire and Christianity
• Islam to 1500
• West Africa and the Swahili Coast
• Indian Civilizations, Hinduism, and Buddhism
• Chinese Civilizations, Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Understand the contributions of a range of global civilizations
• Explain the impact of religion and philosophy on history
and culture.
• Analyze primary and secondary sources to understand the
author’s purpose.
• Write essays with clear arguments and ample historical
evidence.
• Conduct historical research projects that draw on several
sources.
What families will see...
• Engaging readings in world history, religion, and philosophy.
• Short-term and long-term writing assignments, including
Document Based Question (DBQ) essays.
• A formal research paper with citations
• Connections to contemporary civics and current issues
• Emphasis on collaboration and cooperation as a community
of learners
For more information about the 7th grade curriculum, please see
http://www3.cpsd.us/history2/history_7.
How families can help...
• Encourage your child to read for pleasure.
• Encourage your child to write independently and to edit
and revise essays.
• Visit museums, such as the MFA, and historical sites.
• Discuss current issues with your child.
• Keep open communication with your child’s teachers.
25
Health & Social Emotional Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 7
Feelings and Life Skills
• How can we deal with feelings and stressful social situations?
• How can I get help for myself or a friend?
• What can I do when I’m angry?
Resolving Conflicts and Preventing Bullying
• How can we resolve conflicts in school?
• When is it bullying/sexual harassment and when is it just
fooling around?
• How can we handle bullying and sexual harassment?
Understanding Substances
• What harm is there in using tobacco, alcohol or marijuana?
• Why do some teens use substances and others don’t?
• How do advertisers manipulate teens?
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
Students will practice the following health life skills: Decisionmaking, Goal Setting, Communication Skills, Resisting Peer Pressure,
Assertiveness, Knowing, Recognizing & Managing Emotions, Anger
& Stress Management, Relationship Skills, Social Awareness & Empathy, Appreciating Diversity, Using Resources, Analyzing Influences,
and Health Advocacy.
What families will see...
From time to time the students will bring you instructional materials to be used at home to reinforce the skills learned in the classroom.
Watch for these materials and talk with your adolescent about them.
Conversations you have with your child about health will place the
information they are receiving in class in the context of your family
values.
How families can help...
• Talk with your child about your values about bullying, sexuality,
alcohol and drug use. Let them know what you believe.
• Practice being a good listener.
• Talk with your child and with other parents about where your
children will be after school; help your child get involved in a
supervised after school activity.
• Set guidelines for TV, internet, cell phone, and IM use.
• Help your child get the sleep that they need, which is between
8.5 and 9.5 hours a night. For information on health topics,
check out http://kidshealth.org/parent/.
26
Physical Education/Wellness Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 7
• Students will identify and recite the five components of fitness.
• Students will analyze and assess how each component of fitness
affects the body in a different way.
• Students will utilize peer-teaching methods.
• Students will collaborate and provide peer feedback to classmates.
• Students will participate in a variety of individual and dual
activities.
• Students will be able to identify and select individual and dual
activities that they find fulfilling and enjoyable.
• Students will develop the skills needed to be active and healthy
outside of school and for a lifetime.
• Students will apply math, reading and writing into movement
lessons and assessments.
• Students will utilize technology (heart rate monitors - fitness
apps) to set goals and track personal progress.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
Each grade will follow a scope and sequence. The unit names are
categories. The specific activities in each unit may vary (ex. Creative
movement could include jump rope, dance, etc.).
Scope and Sequence | Grade 7
Rules/Expectations
U.M.P.A.: Cooperative Games
Team Sports
Creative Movement
Fitness Healthy Heart/Fit Body
Individual/Dual Activities
Field Games: Team Sports 2
What families will see...
• A heightened awareness of healthy vs. unhealthy habits and
lifestyle choices.
• Authentic assessments that follow the Physical Education curriculum guidelines based on each individual students’ progress.
How families can help...
• Be a good example of leadership and sportsmanship at home.
• Practice healthy habits at home and be a positive role model.
27
• Stay in contact with your child’s physical education teacher.
Technology Services Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 6, 7, 8
• Literature Appreciation – Continue to grow as life-long readers
and build their repertoire of reading strategies.
• Online Literacy – How to communicate and collaborate in an
online community safely and appropriately.
• Information Literacy – How to think critically to find, evaluate,
use, and share information for a purpose.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Collaborate and communicate with students and teachers using
GoogleDocs.
• Access current technology tools to interact and learn from the
global community.
• Utilize a variety of devices and platforms to accomplish tasks.
• Explore library resources in new media formats 24/7.
What families will see...
• Library Information Technology Centers (LITC) – A transformed library space to facilitate developmental and curricular
needs of middle school students, including designated Young
Adult and Nonfiction literature sections.
• Information, Communication, Technology Services Team –
A building-based Library Media Specialist, Library Assistant,
Technology Support Technician and a .5 Upper School
Instructional Technology Specialist working together and
with teachers to deliver services.
• Student Devices – A laptop cart for every two classrooms and
additional media-making tools (desktops, video cameras, audio
systems) in the LITC.
• Classroom Suite – An interactive whiteboard, teacher desktop,
document camera, and audio system to support 21st Century
teaching and learning.
How families can help...
• Talk to your child about their online activities and behavior,
and model for them ethical and appropriate use.
• Encourage your child to pursue independent reading for
personal and intellectual growth.
• Explore community resources, such as the Cambridge Public
Library and the CRLS Media Arts Studio, that support your
child’s interests.
28
Visual & Performing Arts Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 7
• General Music – All students will take general music. They will
learn to listen to and respond critically to different styles and
genres of music.
• Visual Art – All students will take Art. They will learn to understand art in its historical and cultural contexts, identify stereotypes, and construct new meanings through art, and critique
their own art and the work of others.
• Instrumental Music – Will be offered to all students who elect
to continue playing their instruments. They will receive one
small group lesson per week, and learn to develop ensemble
playing by being part of a band or string orchestra.
• Theater – Students will have the opportunity to audition for
productions or learn technical theater.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Performance – Students will have the opportunity to perform
in a band, string orchestra, chorus, or theater production.
• Develop a portfolio of art pieces, including some for exhibition.
• Explore and experiment in different genres of music discovering
them through singing, playing, listening, and composing.
What families will see...
• Concerts
• Theater Performances
• Visual Arts Exhibits, works of art brought home.
How families can help...
• Encourage your child to continue playing his/her instrument or
singing.
• Make sure your child practices his/her instrument.
• Come to events and productions.
• Offer to help with costume, ushering, and other behind-thescenes work.
29
World Language Highlights
Grade 7
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• An in-depth study about the use of articles, adjectives, verbs,
negative expressions, and idiomatic phrases;
• Short dialogues in context situations;
• Oral and written communication skills in the target language
Computer links and internet sites for audio/oral practice;
• Thematic units concerning family, school, travel, hobbies, food,
and restaurants.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Collaborate and communicate with classmates and the teacher
in the target language; Create projects that integrate the study
of grammar and vocabulary into oral presentations;
• Work in groups and in pairs to practice the language structures
and vocabulary;
• Prepare dialogues and make oral presentations with the content
provided by the teacher;
• Play games and use computer websites to practice the language;
• Access and use proficiently computer technology to research
data about oral and written projects.
What families will see...
• A modern classroom with an ENO Board and a Document
Camera; Technology that will show examples of the target
language in action;
• CDs and DVDs that will enhance the students’ speaking and listening skills; document cameras that will enable the students to
record and see their oral presentations and dialogues instantly;
• Active use of the target language in different situations- whole
group and paired activities;
• Speaking and practicing the target language as much as possible;
• Continuous practice of all 4 basic skills: listening, speaking,
reading, and writing.
How families can help...
• Practice vocabulary, verb conjugations, and dialogues with your
child;
• View childrens’ television shows in the target language through
cable;
• Ensure that students practice at home the computer exercises
and practice activities that are available;
• Check out and read childrens’ story books in the public library
in the target language;
• Practice with the Rosetta Stone from the public library;
• Encourage your child to use the second language as much as
possible.
30
31
Grade 8
English Language Arts Highlights
Grade 8
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• To develop his/her analytical reading skills
• How to analyze author’s craft and the specific craft techniques
used to convey meaning
• How to translate his/her analysis of author’s craft into a formal
essay
• How to use persuasive techniques while writing powerful
editorials
• How to analyze and use craft techniques for writing short
stories of various genres
• How to analyze poetry and write literary analysis of poetic
devices
• Content specific vocabulary
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Get to know him/herself as a reader and a writer, set reading
and writing goals and reflect on his/her learning in reading
and writing
• Prepare for and engage in student-led discussions such as
Socratic Circles and fishbowls
• Read and analyze The House on Mango Street by Sandra
Cisneros as part of a unit of study on the elements of fiction
• Read and analyze Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
• Independently read a wide range of authors and genres
• Keep a reader’s and a writer’s notebook
• Study mentor texts (published pieces of writing) in various
genres to understand the writing he/she is expected to do
• Analyze various genres and styles of nonfiction and literary
texts (prose and poetry)
• Write a wide variety of texts including literary analysis,
editorials, short stories and written responses to reading
• Share his or her writing electronically
• Submit writing for online publication
What families will see...
•
•
•
•
•
•
Literary essays and extended written responses to reading
Readers’ and writers’ notebook entries
Reading logs
Daily homework in reading and/or writing
Online postings and publications
Independent reading and analysis of challenging texts
How families can help...
•
•
•
•
Encourage reading at home
Read online publications
Read and comment on writing
Participate in book groups
32
Mathematics Highlights
Algebra
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 8
In Grade 8 Algebra, instruction will focus on three critical areas:
• Formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations,
including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear
equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear
equations;
• Grasping the concept of a function and using functions to
describe quantitative relationships;
• Analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using
distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding
and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Students will engage in mathematically rich investigations in
the classroom, guided by the CMP2 curriculum.
• Students will have clear opportunities for enrichment and
support in each unit of instruction.
• Students will have the opportunity to participate in one of two
extra-curricular math clubs at the Upper Campus: one club will
be focused on supporting students with foundational content,
and another club will be focused on offering students enrichment opportunities focused on problem solving and mathematical connections.
What families will see...
• Families should expect nightly homework, which will vary from
practice to projects.
• Families can learn more about the mathematics program at the
district website: http://www3.cpsd.us/Academics/Math/. The
website will give them suggestions for more learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
How families can help...
• Families can help students in pursuing support or challenge
opportunities outside of the school day, either through the
Math Clubs at each school or through outside opportunities.
• Families can set up a study area for their child to study and
complete homework.
• Families can help by checking in with their child’s math teacher
to find more ways they can help support their child at home.
33
Science Highlights (2013 - 14 School Year)
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 8
• The genetic explanation for natural selection
• About motion, force, and mechanical energy
• About our universe including phases of the moon, seasons,
and eclipses
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Grow Wisconsin Fast Plants to observe how traits are exhibited
over generations
• Attend a field experience at the Community Lab at Biogen Idec
• Collect data using photogates and timers
• Use models to better understand the scale of our universe
• Participate in the Student Science and Engineering Showcase
at Harvard University in the spring
What families will see...
• Science writing (reflections, responses to prompts, conclusions,
and research projects)
• The use of technology to enhance instruction
• Long term projects developed by your child in preparation for
the Student Science and Engineering Showcase at Harvard
University
How families can help...
• Engage with your son or daughter by conversing about current
events in the scientific community
• Visit local museums (MIT Museum, Museum of Science, Harvard Museum of Natural History) in order to build background
knowledge
• Attend the Student Science and Engineering Showcase at
Harvard University
34
Science Highlights (2014 - 15 School Year)
Grade 8
In development for the 2014-2015 school year, the eighth grade year will focus on forces of change.
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• About forces at a distance focusing on magnetism, gravitational
forces, and electrical forces
• About forces in Earth Systems including seasons, weather and
climate, and plate tectonics
• About evolution as a force of change linking genetics and
natural selection
• About humans as a force of change and our impact on the
Earth past, present and future
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Hands on science experiences
• Research that allows students to connect their science knowledge from sixth, seventh, and eighth grade
• Analyze complex systems
• Participate in a field experience connected to the curriculum.
• Show their science learning at the Student Science and
Engineering Showcase at Harvard University.
What families will see...
• Science writing (reflections, responses to prompts, conclusions,
and research projects)
• The use of technology to enhance instruction
• Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessments that require
students synthesize their understanding.
• Long term projects developed by your child in preparation for
the Student Science and Engineering Showcase at Harvard
University.
How families can help...
• Explore new content together and learn something new with
your child.
• Visit local museums (MIT Museum, Museum of Science,
Harvard Museum of Natural History) or read with your child
in order to build background knowledge.
35
• Attend the Student Science and Engineering Showcase at
Harvard University.
History & Social Science Highlights
World History & Civics
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
Grade 8
Students will explore the following units of study:
• Japan to 1800
• Europe to 1500 and the Crusades
• An Age of Ideas in Europe: Renaissance, Reformation and
Scientific Revolution
• Meso-American Civilizations: Maya, Aztec, and Inca
• Encounters in the Atlantic World: Exploration and Resistance
• Civics and Power: The Individual and Society
• Describe the development of government and the meaning of
citizenship in Japan, Europe, Meso-America, and the United
States,
• Understand the effects of cross-cultural contact by analyzing the
Crusades and by exploring the impact the “Age of Exploration”
on the Americas, Africa, and Europe
• Investigate the power of individual citizens in creating change
in society
• Analyze primary and secondary sources to evaluate the author’s
bias
• Research and write well-crafted historical essays using evidence
from multiple sources
What families will see...
• Engaging readings in world history and civics
• Short-term and long-term writing assignments, including
Document Based Question (DBQ) essays.
• A formal research paper with citations
• Connections to contemporary civics, current issues, and social
justice
• Emphasis on collaboration and cooperation as a community
of learners
For more information about the 8th grade curriculum, please see
http://www3.cpsd.us/history2/history_8.
How families can help...
• Encourage your child to read for pleasure.
• Encourage your child to write independently and to edit and
revise essays.
• Visit museums, such as the MFA, and historical sites.
• Discuss current issues with your child
• Keep open communication with your child’s teachers
36
Health & Social Emotional Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 8
Healthy Relationships
• What are the signs of an unhealthy relationship?
• How can I handle bullying and sexual harassment?
• How can I help a friend?
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
• How many teens really use drugs?
• What are the risks to using drugs?
• What can teens do instead of drugs?
Know Your Body *
• What do I need to know to be sexually healthy?
• How can I say no to risky sexual behavior?
• What questions do I have about dating?
* Requires parent/guardian permission
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
Students will practice the following health life skills: Decision-making, Goal Setting, Communication Skills, Resisting Peer Pressure, Assertiveness, Knowing, Recognizing & Managing Emotions, Anger &
Stress Management, Relationship Skills, Social Awareness & Empathy,
Appreciating Diversity, Using Resources, Analyzing Influences and
Health Advocacy.
What families will see...
From time to time the students will bring you instructional materials to be used at home to reinforce the skills learned in the classroom.
Watch for these materials and talk with your adolescent about them.
Conversations you have with your child about health will place the
information they are receiving in class in the context of your family
values
How families can help...
• Talk with your child about your values about bullying, sexuality,
alcohol and drug use. Let them know what you believe.
• Practice being a good listener.
• Talk with your child and with other parents about where your
children will be after school; help your child get involved in a
supervised after school activity.
• Set guidelines for TV, internet, cell phone, and IM use.
• Help your child get the sleep that they need, which is between
8.5 and 9.5 hours a night.
• For information on health topics, check out
http://kidshealth.org/parent/.
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Physical Education/Wellness Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 8
• Students will participate in a variety of individual activities that
promote life-long fitness.
• Students will create personalized SMART goals for the five
components of fitness.
• Students will utilize self-assessments to track personal fitness
goals.
• Students will develop the skills needed to uphold a leadership
role in group or team settings .
• Students will utilize technology (heart rate monitors - fitness
apps) to set goals and track personal progress.
• Students will formulate a plan to achieve balance academically,
socially, physically, and emotionally.
• Students will apply math, reading and writing into movement
lessons and assessments.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
Each grade will follow a scope and sequence. The unit names are
categories. The specific activities in each unit may vary (ex. Creative
movement could include jump rope, dance, etc.)
Scope and Sequence | Grade 8
Rules/Expectations
Urban Modification of Project Adventure
Team Sports
Creative Movement
Fitness
Individual/Dual Activities
Field Games
Leisure Games
What families will see...
• A heightened awareness of healthy vs. unhealthy habits and
lifestyle choices.
• Authentic assessments that follow the Physical Education curriculum guidelines based on each individual students’ progress.
How families can help...
• Be a good example of leadership and sportsmanship at home.
• Practice healthy habits at home and be a positive role model.
• Stay in contact with your child’s physical education teacher.
38
Technology Services Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 6, 7, 8
• Literature Appreciation – Continue to grow as life-long readers
and build their repertoire of reading strategies.
• Online Literacy – How to communicate and collaborate in an
online community safely and appropriately.
• Information Literacy – How to think critically to find, evaluate,
use, and share information for a purpose.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Collaborate and communicate with students and teachers using
GoogleDocs.
• Access current technology tools to interact and learn from the
global community
• Utilize a variety of devices and platforms to accomplish tasks.
• Explore library resources in new media formats 24/7.
What families will see...
• Library Information Technology Centers (LITC) – A transformed library space to facilitate developmental and curricular
needs of middle school students, including designated
Young Adult and Nonfiction literature sections.
• Information, Communication, Technology Services Team –
A building-based Library Media Specialist, Library Assistant,
Technology Support Technician and a .5 Upper School
Instructional Technology Specialist working together and
with teachers to deliver services.
• Student Devices – A laptop cart for every two classrooms and
additional media-making tools (desktops, video cameras,
audio systems) in the LITC.
• Classroom Suite – An interactive whiteboard, teacher desktop,
document camera, and audio system to support 21st Century
teaching and learning.
How families can help...
• Talk to your child about their online activities and behavior,
and model for them ethical and appropriate use.
• Encourage your child to pursue independent reading for
personal and intellectual growth.
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• Explore community resources, such as the Cambridge Public
Library and the CRLS Media Arts Studio, that support your
child’s interests.
Visual & Performing Arts Highlights
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
Grade 8
• General Music – All students will take general music. They will
learn to listen to and respond critically to different styles and
genres of music.
• Visual Art – All students will take Art. They will learn to understand art in its historical and cultural contexts, identify stereotypes, and construct new meanings through art, and critique
their own art and the work of others.
• Instrumental Music – Will be offered to all students who elect
to continue playing their instruments. They will receive one
small group lesson per week, and learn to develop ensemble
playing by being part of a band or string orchestra.
• Theater – Students will have the opportunity to audition for
productions or learn technical theater.
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Performance – Students will have the opportunity to perform
in a band, string orchestra, chorus, or theater production.
• Develop a portfolio of art pieces, including some for exhibition.
• Explore and experiment in different genres of music discovering
them through singing, playing, listening, and composing.
What families will see...
• Concerts
• Theater Performances
• Visual Arts Exhibits, works of art brought home.
How families can help...
• Encourage your child to continue playing his/her instrument
or singing.
• Make sure your child practices his/her instrument.
• Come to events and productions.
• Offer to help with costume, ushering, and other behind-thescenes work.
40
World Language Highlights
Grade 8
What your Upper School
Scholar will learn...
• The grade eight curriculum builds on the skills and concepts
learned in grades 6 and 7. By the end of grade eight, students
will have completed a level 1 Spanish course in preparation for
entrance into a level 2CP or Honors high school class.”
• New opportunities to practice the four essential language skills:
listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
• Reinforcement in the development of cultural awareness; Stemchanging verbs and common irregular verbs in context; The past
tense for regular, irregular, and stem-changing verbs; Oral and
written communication skills in the target language
What your Upper School
Scholar will do...
• Collaborate and communicate with classmates and the teacher
in the target language; Create projects that integrate the study of
grammar and vocabulary into oral presentations;
• Work in groups and in pairs to practice the language structures
and vocabulary;
• Prepare dialogues and make oral presentations with the content
provided by the teacher;
• Play games and use computer websites to practice the language;
• Access and use proficiently computer technology to research
data about oral and written projects.
What families will see...
• A modern classroom with an ENO Board and a Document
Camera; Technology that will show examples of the target
language in action;
• CD’s and DVD’s that will enhance the students’ speaking and listening skills; document cameras that will enable the students to
record and see their oral presentations and dialogues instantly;
• Active use of the target language in different situations- whole
group and paired activities; Speaking and practicing the target
language as much as possible;
• Continuous practice of all 4 basic skills: listening, speaking,
reading, and writing.
How families can help...
• Practice vocabulary, verb conjugations, and dialogues with your
child; View childrens’ television shows in the target language
through cable;
• Ensure that students practice at home the computer exercises
and practice activities that are available with the new text;
• Check out and read childrens’ story books in the public library
in the target language; Practice with the Rosetta Stone from the
public library;
• Encourage your child to use the second language as much as
possible.
41
Grade 6, 7, 8
Curriculum Leaders
NameDepartmentEmail
Tom [email protected]
Chris AufieroPhysical Education/[email protected]
Marjorie BergerLibrary Media [email protected]
Kim DeAndradeHealth [email protected]
Mark [email protected]
James KelleherWorld [email protected]
Elaine KouryVisual & Performing [email protected]
Michelle Madera
Bilingual Education & English [email protected]
Language Acquisition
Gina RoughtonEducational [email protected]
Lisa [email protected]
Adrienne Stang
History & Social Science
[email protected]
Janice TingleEnglish Language [email protected]
Office of the Superintendent
Jeffrey M. Young, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Carolyn L. Turk, Ed.D.
Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
Lori Likis
Chief Planning Officer
Teaching and Learning Team
Maryann MacDonald
Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction &Assessment
Dr. Victoria Greer
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services
School Committee
Mayor Henrietta Davis
Alfred B. Fantini
Richard Harding
Marc McGovern
Patricia M. Nolan
Mervan F. Osborne
Alice Turkel
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