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Middle School

Middle School Education (5th-8th Grades)

The academic program at Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School places an emphasis on every aspect of student growth and development, while meeting state requirements. Suitable class sizes and exceptional, qualified teachers allow us to offer a comfortable and inclusive educational environment while ensuring each student receives the individualized attention and support they need.

Academics

The academic program at Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School places an emphasis on every aspect of student growth and development, while meeting state requirements. Suitable class sizes and exceptional, qualified teachers allow us to offer a comfortable and inclusive educational environment while ensuring each student receives the individualized attention and support they need.

Student Life

Our teachers develop caring relationships with our students, allowing for the adaptation of curricula to meet the social, emotional and educational needs of everyone. Our student experience is enriched by athletics, volunteer opportunities, class trips and other exciting extracurricular activities. Reach out to learn more.

 

Mathematics

5th Grade Mathematics

Mathematics is offered at two ability levels to meet the needs of students. Those working a full year above grade level use a sixth-grade textbook to develop the following topics: number theory concepts; ratios, proportions, and percents; operations with integers and other rational numbers; basic algebraic expressions and equations; geometry including area, surface area, and volume; and statistics. Students are selected for this program based upon their level of math achievement and the recommendation of the fourth-grade mathematics teacher. All other students use a fifth-grade textbook as these topics are developed: place value; properties of operations; decimals; fractions; numerical expressions; order of operations; patterns; the coordinate plane; two-dimensional figures; measurement; data displays; volume and three-dimensional solids.

6th Grade Mathematics

This course is offered at two ability levels to meet the needs of all students. Those working a full year above grade level use a seventh-grade textbook to develop the following topics: the real number system; expressions and equations; inequalities; ratios and proportions; data analysis and statistics; geometry; and probability. Students are selected for this program based upon their level of math achievement and the recommendation of the fifth-grade mathematics teacher. All other students use a sixth-grade textbook to develop the following topics: number theory concepts; ratios, proportions, and percents; operations with integers and other rational numbers; basic algebraic expressions and equations; geometry including area, surface area, and volume; and statistics. 

7th Grade Mathematics

Seventh-grade mathematics is offered at multiple levels to meet the needs of all students. Those working a full year above-grade-level use an eighth-grade textbook to develop the following topics: the number theory; algebraic expressions, equations, and inequalities; linear functions; polynomials and factoring; ratio, proportions, and percents; geometric relationships; and statistics. Students are selected for this program based upon their level of math achievement and the recommendation of the sixth-grade mathematics teacher. All other students use a seventh-grade mathematics textbook to develop these topics: the real number system; expressions and equations; inequalities; ratios and proportions; data analysis and statistics; geometry; and probability.

8th Grade Algebra

At this level, students follow the eighth grade textbook to develop the following topics: the number theory; algebraic expressions, equations, and inequalities; linear functions; polynomials and factoring; ratio, proportions, and percents; geometric relationships; and statistics. 

8th Grade Honors Algebra

This course begins the formal study of Algebra 1 and an introduction to Algebra 2. Among the topics developed are the number theory; functions and relations; equations and inequalities; systems of equations and inequalities; polynomial functions; radical, exponential and logarithmic functions; rational functions; sequences and series; trigonometric functions and geometric relationships; and statistics. 

 

Music

5th Grade Music

Classroom music instruction focuses on music literacy, classroom instruments, movement, improvisation and composition, and technology. Fifth grade students read and sing simple melodies and rhythms and compose music using technology. They also learn about cultures through performance on instruments such as ukulele and percussion. Finally, students also learn the catholic liturgy in preparation for mass, as well as learn religious and secular music for seasonal concerts.

6th Grade Music

Classroom music instruction focuses on music literacy, classroom instruments, movement, improvisation and composition, and technology. Sixth grade students read and sing increasingly difficult melodies and rhythms and compose music using technology. They also learn more about cultures through performance on instruments such as ukulele, pitched percussion, non-pitched percussion, and small ensembles using Orff methodology. Finally, students also learn the catholic liturgy in preparation for mass, as well as learn religious and secular music for seasonal concerts.

7th Grade Music

Classroom music instruction focuses on music literacy, classroom instruments, movement, improvisation and composition, and technology. Seventh grade students continue to read and sing increasingly difficult melodies and rhythms and compose music using technology. They begin utilizing their performance skills on instruments such as ukulele, pitched percussion, non-pitched percussion, and small ensembles as tools for expression. Finally, students also learn the catholic liturgy in preparation for mass, as well as learn religious and secular music for seasonal concerts.

8th Grade Music

Classroom music instruction focuses on music literacy, classroom instruments, movement, improvisation and composition, and technology. Eighth grade students continue to read and sing increasingly difficult melodies and rhythms and compose music using technology. They are able to evaluate the quality of performances, compositions, arrangements and improvisations, applying specific criteria. They reproduce melodies and rhythms on classroom instruments. Students show awareness of different styles of music and other art forms. They continue utilizing their performance skills on instruments such as ukulele, pitched percussion, non-pitched percussion, and small ensembles as tools for expression. Finally, students also learn the catholic liturgy in preparation for mass, as well as learn religious and secular music for seasonal concerts.

Social Studies

5th Grade Social Studies

Grade 5 Social Studies is based on the history and geography of the Western Hemisphere, including the development of cultures, civilizations, empires, the interaction between societies, and modern nations’ government and economic systems. It also incorporates elements of some of the social sciences. The course is divided into eight Key Ideas that cover a period from prehistory into modern times.  Those key concepts are as follows: Geography in the Western Hemisphere, Early peoples of the Americas, Complex Societies and Civilizations, European exploration and its effects, independence movements, government, economics, and comparative cultures. 

6th Grade Social Studies

6th Grade Social Studies is based on the history and geography of the Eastern Hemisphere, including the development of cultures, civilizations, and empires, interaction between societies, and the comparison of trends in government and economics. It also incorporates elements of some of the social sciences. The course is divided into eight Key Ideas that cover a time span from prehistory into the 1300s.  Current events and the modern-day structure of varying civilizations of the easter hemisphere are also covered.  The eight key ideas are as follows: geography in the eastern hemisphere today, the first humans in the eastern hemisphere, early river valley civilizations in the easter hemisphere, comparative world religions, comparative classical civilizations in the eastern hemisphere, Mediterranean world: feudal western Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and The Islamic Caliphates, the influence of the Mongols on the eastern hemisphere, and interactions across the eastern hemisphere.  

7th Grade Social Studies

In Grades 7 and 8, students will examine the United States and Pennsylvania through a historical lens. The two-year sequence is arranged chronologically, beginning with North and South America’s settlement by Native Americans and ending with examining the U.S. in the 21st century. Although the courses emphasize chronological reasoning and causation, the courses also integrate the skills and content from geography, politics, economy, and culture into the study of history. 7th Grade will focus on early American history up to the start of the civil war.  The course is divided into eight key ideas: Native American studies, colonial developments, American independence, the historical development of the constitution, the constitution in practice, westward expansion, reform movements, and a nation divided. 

8th Grade Social Studies

Grade 8 Social Studies focuses on a primarily chronological study of history and geography in the United States and Pennsylvania as well as economic, social, and political trends. The course content is divided into eight Key Ideas, the first seven of which trace the human experience in the United States from after Reconstruction to up to the end of World War II. The last three Key Ideas parallel each other as they trace different themes in the United States and Pennsylvania history from the post-War period up to the1960s. Those key ideas are the civil war, reconstruction, a changing society, Imperialism, World War I and the roaring twenties, The Great Depression, World War II, Demographic changes, and domestic politics and reform.

 

Science

5th Grade Science

This course uses scientific inquiry to help students develop a deep understanding of science content, processes, knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, and the work of scientists. Students are introduced to a variety of diverse topics designed to peak their interest in science. A hands-on approach is used as frequently as possible as students learn how to use various laboratory equipment. Students pose questions and engage in activities as they seek answers to their questions. The major topics of study are: the engineering design process, states of matter, energy and matter in organisms and the ecosystem, systems in space, Earth’s systems, and human impact on the Earth. Topics of current interest such as ecology and the environment are also part of the curriculum. Retaining and increasing student interest in science is an important goal of this course.

6th Grade Science

This course builds on students' prior laboratory skills by making use of the scientific method as students design and carry out experiments to answer questions. Students are actively involved in the scientific processes and skills as they investigate patterns of living things, matter, chemical changes and reactions, the Periodic Table of Elements, forces and motion, waves, and energy. Microscopes and other technologies are used to support a variety of hands-on activities. Science students participate in interdisciplinary units which are supported by the entire core team. 

7th Grade Science

This course continues to lead students to investigation by inquiry as they are introduced to life and physical science. Students are engaged in hands-on activities to demonstrate how various systems in the biotic world are working together. The major topics of study include the characteristics of living things, cell organelles, plant and animal interaction, simple genetics and punnett squares, human interactions with the environment, solutions, forces, motion, structures, and design. Science students also participate in interdisciplinary units which are supported by the entire core team.

8th Grade Science

This course deals with a variety of topics from life, physical, earth, and space science. Students do many hands-on activities and experiments with more complex procedures and analysis to explain the science of the world they live in. The major topics include: circulation of Earth’s air and water, weather and climate, Earth’s cycles, geological and life processes, flow of energy, oceans, Earth’s natural hazards and resources, and patterns in the solar system and universe. Other topics of specific student interest are weaved in throughout the year. These topics may include environmental issues, careers in the science field, or bridge building and testing.

 

Art

5th Grade Art

The fifth-grade art program is designed to enhance children's exposure to works of art and to help them look at art more perceptively and understand that art continues to be a valid mode of expression. They develop basic skills in drawing, painting,  using elements such as line, shape, texture, space, space, and form. Introduction to cultural styles such as folk art of various cultures. Student artwork is displayed throughout the year in the school community. The students meet one time during a six-day cycle for the full year.

6th Grade Art

The sixth-grade art program is designed to include studio work experiences that give repeated, gradual building experiences with a range of media, skills, and techniques. Emphasis will be placed on design and composition in drawing, painting, and three-dimensional form, utilizing the principles of organization, such as pattern, symmetry,  variety, emphasis, and movement. Interdisciplinary connections are made when appropriate. Students become acquainted with various art forms from cultures around the world. Student artwork is displayed throughout the year in the school community. The students meet one time during a six-day cycle for the full year.

7th Grade Art

The seventh-grade art program advances the students' understanding and skills in drawing, painting, and three-dimensional form through a studio experience. Elements of design, principles of organization, art styles, and movements, and art criticism are further explored by the students as media skills and techniques refine and blossom creatively at this pivotal age. Interdisciplinary connections are utilized when applicable. Student artwork is displayed throughout the year in the school community. The students meet one time during a six-day cycle for the full year.

8th Grade Art

The eighth-grade art program continues to provide experiences consistent with the interests and the intellectual, social, and aesthetic maturity of the students. The course provides experience in enhancing personal development, self-awareness, and confidence in one's ability. By increasing their understanding of art heritage and recognizing artistic styles and achievements, the students grow in their awareness of the art world. Exploration of additional units may include interdisciplinary approaches, multicultural perspectives, and technology. Students who wish to continue in art at the high school level are encouraged and given guidance. Student artwork is displayed throughout the year in the school community. The students meet one time during a six-day cycle for the full year.

 

Engineering

The engineering curriculum focuses on an engineering design process – an organized method of thinking and solving problems. Working individually and within teams, students will learn to clearly identify the problem in order to create and develop solutions. In fifth grade, students focus on imagining different solutions to the problem. Students understand how to incorporate criteria and constraints into their solutions. Some topics of study are different types of engineers, energy, and technology. Through inquiry-based lessons, students will practice these skills with hands-on investigations that encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and successful teamwork. Most importantly, students will learn to apply these thinking skills to other subjects and to the real world.

 

ELA

5th Grade Language Arts

The fifth grade language arts course provides continuity between the elementary reading and writing programs along with an introduction to the middle school reading and writing programs. Children expand their reading skills through lessons
revolving around comprehension strategies, critical thinking strategies, and transfer of knowledge and understanding, utilizing a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. They continue their development in writing, focusing particularly on basic paragraph structure (topic sentence and supporting details) leading up to a 3 -5 paragraph essay. Students explore the English language through activities in grammar and usage, as well as spelling and vocabulary. They learn basic research skills and public speaking skills, and participate in both individual and group presentations.

6th Grade English

In sixth grade, students enhance their application of paragraph structure and write longer descriptive pieces as well as poetry. They read and discuss a variety of literature, including novels and short stories, and learn to recognize basic features of literature such as character development, plot and setting. They develop their research skills through individual and small group projects and presentations involving a variety of applications. Students continue their study of the English language, focusing particularly on effective word choice, subject-verb agreement, sentence variety, pronoun usage and correct punctuation.

7th Grade English

The seventh grade English program combines the study of literature, writing, language structure and oral communication. Students read and respond to short stories, novels, poetry and drama. In writing they focus on polishing and expanding their control of paragraph structure (persuasive, comparison/contrast, analytical, critical) and writing longer creative pieces. They continue their exploration of the research process through a variety of activities and take part in speeches and other oral presentations.

8th Grade English

The eighth grade English program provides students with the academic focus in writing, language structure and literature that will help them to succeed in high school and beyond. Writing instruction relates to basic essay structure - development of the thesis statement and support – as students critique literature they are studying and write about other topics of interest. Opportunities for creative writing and journal writing are also provided. Working as a whole class as well as a member of a smaller discussion group, students read a variety of novels and relate them thematically. Eighth grade English students do a research project and take part in various speech activities to expand their confidence and speaking ability.

 

Physical Education

5th Grade Physical Education

This course is an introduction to team and individual sports and has an emphasis on basic skill development through participation in drills, modified games, and the parent form of the games. Activities include basketball, volleyball, softball, team handball, floor hockey, field hockey, and wrestling. All programs are developed on a continuous progress basis for preparation in 6th, 7th and 8th grade physical education. Physical assessments (Fitnessgram and Presidential) are administered during the school year.

6th Grade Physical Education

This course is a continuation of the introduction to team and individual sports and has an emphasis on basic skill development through participation in drills, modified games, and the parent form of the games. Activities include basketball, volleyball, softball, team handball, floor hockey, field hockey, and wrestling. All programs are developed on a continuous progress basis for preparation in 7th and 8th grade physical education. Physical assessments (Fitnessgram and Presidential) are administered during the school year.

7th Grade Physical Education

A continuation of team and individual activities with an emphasis on basic skill development, this course is designed to give seventh grade students exposure to activities and experiences that are often not included in their traditional physical education classes. Students will be required to complete a partner or individual project on a lifetime sport or activity. Students will also be involved in cooperation games, group challenges, and problem solving activities throughout the duration of the course. All students are encouraged to participate at maximum effort, no matter what their ability level is, to obtain the social and physical benefits of participation. Physical fitness assessments (Fitnessgram and Presidential) are administered during the school year.

8th Grade Physical Education

Students continue to participate in team sports with more emphasis placed on advanced

knowledge and skills. The Presidential Physical Fitness test will be administered in the fall and in the spring, and the results of the previous three years will be compared.

 
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