English Language Arts:
Russell Elementary School’s English / Language Arts classes focus on creating writers out of students. This year, middle school students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of writing, including personal narratives, procedural pieces, persuasive essays, research papers, and creative writing. Students will also develop a keen understanding of the English language’s writing conventions through a detailed study in grammar.
In reading class students focus on reading and writing as well as improving their listening and public speaking skills. They will read a variety of genres (historical fiction, realistic fiction, science fiction, nonfiction/informational, biography/memoir, poetry, and fantasy). Students respond verbally and in writing to their readings during small group discussions, reading response journals, reading logs, reading conferences with the teacher and the instructional reading software. Students share their ideas with one another in whole and small group discussions. Students rotate through three different stations: small group instruction that includes a teacher led mini lesson focusing on a genre or reading skill, independent reading and/or listening to an audiobook and computer time using instructional reading software.
Students are graded on: class participation (20%); homework (10%); small group work (20%); class presentations/public speaking (10%); instructional software (20%) and book quizzes (20%).
Reading class is Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Science classes are designed to include both content and hands-on activities which aid in developing understanding and critical thinking skills. The curriculum in each grade includes topics like Earth, Physics, Chemistry, & Biology. Literacy skills such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking are also included so that students learn how to investigate problems and questions and to communicate their science knowledge. The relationships between the branches of science and the relationship between science and technology are stressed.
Mr. Dokus’ RES Social Studies Class Descriptions
Throughout middle school social studies class, students will work closely with primary documents, maps, and technology.
5th grade – US Geography & Early US History
A comprehensive study of U.S. geography is covered in 5th grade. More than just states and capitals, we will also be learning about climates, key cities, rivers, other prominent landforms and celebrated physical features, and cultural diversity.
Our study of early American History will include the First Americans and Native American cultures. Explorers and colonization will be included in our study, as well as the French & Indian War. The year concludes with an introduction to the causes of the Revolutionary War and the formation of our early government.
6th grade – World Geography
The content covered in this class begins with the 5 Themes of Geography – Location, Place, Region, Movement, and Human-Environment Interaction. Students will learn map skills, including using latitude and longitude, scale, legend, and keys. Different types of map projections are also studied, along with learning about time zones and climate zones.
Sixth grade also studies human geography and culture. Themes included with this are: population distribution and density; renewable and non-renewable resources; markets; types of governments; world religions.
The political, physical, and cultural geography of Canada, Central and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia are used throughout the year as topics for research learning in 6th grade.
7th grade – Western Civilization
The content covered in this class begins with the legacy of ancient cultures and their contributions to society. Topics include cradles of civilization, such as the Fertile Crescent, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Assyria.
Major topics for the class include Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The study of ancient Egypt includes the Nile River, pharaohs, pyramids, papyrus, hieroglyphs, mummification, as well as studies of specific pharaohs or queens of Egypt.
Greek geography begins the unit on Ancient Greece. Other topics include city-states, aristocracy, democracy, myths, Golden Age of Athens, Alexander the Great, Olympics, and Wars. Philosophers, scientists and leaders, will also be studied.
The Roman Empire follows. Themes include republic, empire, Senate, gladiators, Italian geography, coliseum and gladiators, rise of Christianity, and persecution.
Other topics include medieval Europe, Dark Ages, and the Crusades. The year finishes off with a study of the Renaissance and Reformation.
8th grade – U.S. History
We begin with the European encounter with Native Americans and the effects on both cultures. Explorers and their accomplishments follows briefly. Students will continue chronologically to the study of settling the colonies, including Puritans and Pilgrims. We study which factors influenced the founding of the 13 colonies.
The Road to the Revolution includes the French and Indian War, British Policies, Boycotts and other rebellions. Students will study events leading to the Revolution in order to understand the cause and effects of the hardships. Battles, documents, and individuals will be studied so students understand how Americans won the war and made peace.
The Constitution and Bill of Rights is an important 8th grade topic in Social Studies. Historical reasons for the creation of the document as well as its relevance to us today is covered in depth. Students will also learn about the branches of national government and the process of amending the Constitution. Other topics include Westward expansion, the Jackson Era and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.
The grade 6-8 mathematics program follows the SAU # 48 Mathematics Curriculum Guide implementing Common Core Standards. The main textbook used for all classes is Math in Focus – book 1, 2 and 3. The students also use a wide variety of support materials, books and methods in their mathematics learning. Computation skills learned in previous grades will be practiced through real life situations along with new algebraic and geometric concepts. Students practice mathematics in many different contexts in order to connect mathematics to other parts of their lives and everyday living.