Objectives/ Alabama State Standards
Middle school language arts focuses on phonics, fluency, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing processes and more. The goal is to help students develop strategies for active reading and clear writing and speaking. We currently use Houghton Mifflin’s Into Literature curriculum which uses diverse, culturally relevant texts that connect with students’ lives, Into Literature builds confidence, standards mastery, and college and career readiness for every learner in the classroom.
Reading Standards for Literature
- Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments. Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
- Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
- Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
- Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch. Differentiate among odes, ballads, epic poetry, and science fiction.
- Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
- By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the Grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
- Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
- Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
- Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
- Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
- Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
- Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
- Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
- By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the Grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
- Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
- Write informative or explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
- Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
- Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
- Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
- Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
- Write routinely over extended time frames, including time for research, reflection, and revision, and shorter time frames such as a single sitting or a day or two for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Speaking and Listening Standards
- Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on Grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
- Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
- Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
- Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
- Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
- Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
- Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
- Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on Grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
- Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
- Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
6th grade students learn math concepts which build on their prior knowledge. Content areas include Proportional Reasoning, Number Systems and Operations, Algebra and Functions, Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability and Geometry and Measurement . We currently use McGraw Hill’s Glencoe Math which focuses on conceptual understanding, application, and procedural fluency.
- Use appropriate notations to represent a proportional relationship between quantities and use ratio language to describe the relationship between quantities.
- Use unit rates to represent and describe ratio relationships.
- Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve mathematical and real-world problems using a variety of models, including tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number lines, and equations.
Number Systems and Operations
- Interpret and compute quotients of fractions using visual models and equations to represent problems.
- Fluently divide multi-digit whole numbers using a standard algorithm to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals using a standard algorithm.
- Use the distributive property to express the sum of two whole numbers with a common factor as a multiple of a sum of two whole numbers with no common factor.
- Find the greatest common factor and least common multiple of two or more whole numbers.
- Use signed numbers to describe quantities that have opposite directions or values and to represent quantities in real world contexts.
- Locate integers and other rational numbers on a horizontal or vertical line diagram.
- Find the position of pairs of integers and other rational numbers on the coordinate plane.
- Explain the meaning of absolute value and determine the absolute value of rational numbers in real-world contexts.
- Compare and order rational numbers and absolute value of rational numbers with and without a number line in order to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
Algebra and Functions
- Write, evaluate, and compare expressions involving whole number exponents.
- Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters represent numbers in real-world contexts.
- Generate equivalent algebraic expressions using the properties of operations, including inverse, identity, commutative, associative, and distributive.
- Determine whether two expressions are equivalent and justify the reasoning.
- Use equations and inequalities to represent and solve real-world or mathematical problems.
- Determine whether a value is a solution to an equation or inequality by using substitution to conclude whether a given value makes the equation or inequality true.
- Write and solve an equation in the form of x+p=q or px=q for cases in which p, q, and x are all non-negative rational numbers to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
- Write and solve inequalities in the form of x>c, x<c, x≥ c, or x ≤ c to represent a constraint or condition in a real world or mathematical problem.
- Identify, represent, and analyze two quantities that change in relationship to one another in real-world or mathematical situations.
Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability
- Write examples and non-examples of statistical questions, explaining that a statistical question anticipates variability in the data related to the question.
- Calculate, interpret, and compare measures of center and variability in real-world data sets.
- Represent numerical data graphically, using dot plots, line plots, histograms, stem and leaf plots, and box plots.
Geometry and Measurement
- Graph polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates of the vertices to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
- Calculate the area of triangles, special quadrilaterals, and other polygons by composing and decomposing them into known shapes.
- Determine the surface area of three-dimensional figures by representing them with nets composed of rectangles and triangles to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
- Apply previous understanding of volume of right rectangular prisms to those with fractional edge lengths to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
Earth and Space Science
Students in 6th grade expand their knowledge of Earth Science. Learning standards focus on Earth’s place in the universe, Earth’s systems and Earth and human activity. We currently use Savvas’s Interactive Science curriculum which provides students with an engaging and hands-on learning experience.
Earth’s Place in the Universe
- Create and manipulate models to explain the occurrences of day/night cycles, length of year, seasons, tides, eclipses, and lunar phases based on patterns of the observed motions of celestial bodies.
- Construct models and use simulations to explain the role of gravity in affecting the motions of celestial bodies within galaxies and the solar system.
- Develop and use models to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
- Construct explanations from geologic evidence ( to identify patterns of Earth’s major historical events .
- Use evidence to explain how different geologic processes shape Earth’s history over widely varying scales of space and time.
- Provide evidence from data of the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to explain past plate motions.
- Use models to construct explanations of the various biogeochemical cycles of Earth and the flow of energy that drives these processes.
- Plan and carry out investigations that demonstrate the chemical and physical processes that form rocks and cycle Earth’s materials.
- Use models to explain how the flow of Earth’s internal energy drives a cycling of matter between Earth’s surface and deep interior causing plate movements.
- Use research-based evidence to propose a scientific explanation regarding how the distribution of Earth’s resources such as minerals, fossil fuels, and groundwater are the result of ongoing geoscience processes.
- Develop and use models of Earth’s interior composition to illustrate the resulting magnetic field and to explain its measurable effects.
- Integrate qualitative scientific and technical information to support the claim that motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
- Use models to explain how the rotation of Earth and unequal heating of its surface create patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
- Analyze and interpret data to describe how various human activities and natural processes may cause changes in local and global temperatures over time.
Earth and Human Activity
- Analyze evidence to explain how changes in human population, per capita consumption of natural resources, and other human activities affect Earth’s systems.
- Implement scientific principles to design processes for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment.
Sixth-grade students focus on the history of the United States from the Industrial Revolution to the present. Historical events studied by sixth graders include the rise of the United States as an industrial nation, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War Era. The economic, political, social, and technological issues and developments from postWorld War II to the present are also explored.
We currently use McGraw Hill’s the American Journey curriculum which emphasizes skill development – from reading maps to analyzing primary and secondary sources to exploring the connections between history and geography, economics, government, citizenship, and current events.
- Explain the impact of industrialization, urbanization, communication, and cultural changes on life in the United States from the late nineteenth century to World War I. Describe reform movements and changing social conditions during the Progressive Era in the United States.
- Identify causes and consequences of World War I and reasons for the United States’ entry into the war.
- Identify cultural and economic developments in the United States from 1900 through the 1930s.
- Explain causes and effects of the Great Depression on the people of the United States.
- Identify causes and consequences of World War II and reasons for the United States’ entry into the war.
- Identify changes on the American homefront during World War II.
- Describe how the United States’ role in the Cold War influenced domestic and international events.
- Critique major social and cultural changes in the United States since World War II.
- Analyze changing economic priorities and cycles of economic expansion and contraction for their impact on society since World War II.
- Identify technological advancements on society in the United States since World War II. Evaluate significant political issues and policies of presidential administrations since World War II.