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“Maclay's Middle School is not like any other. The teachers are so incredible in so many ways. It's a true hidden gem.” Middle School Parent
Maclay Middle School is committed to providing each of our students with the best and most meaningful education where they develop and deepen their understanding.
Our teachers accomplish this by having our students apply learned knowledge and skills through rich hands-on experiences. At Maclay Middle School, we have grade level themes- Launch, Impact, and Discover. In sixth grade, our students launch into global perspectives. In seventh grade, students learn how their actions make an impact within their community. In eighth grade, students focus on discovering their strengths. Each theme is aligned with a culminating project where students apply content and problem-solving skills.
Middle School Curriculum
SIXTH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES –WORLD GEOGRAPHY
In Sixth Grade World Geography, students explore the concept of globalization and will examine the increasingly interdependent world we live in and share. They will be taught how physical geography, history and culture, as well as different forms of governments and economies, affect global relationships among all countries. Through our various reading and projects, our aim is to teach students to focus on becoming critical readers, thinkers, and effective writers. Students will come to understand the land and heritage of people living in different societies that will facilitate their appreciation of the diverse cultures that exist in our world. Our unit projects will focus on the importance of the relationships between the United States and other countries. Reading current events and engaging in discussions will enable the students to be aware of our ever-changing world. In preparation for the seventh grade, a Civics unit examining differences in government will be emphasized in correlation with the U. S. Constitution.
SEVENTH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES – CIVICS
The seventh-grade social studies curriculum involves a study of American government—its history, structure, evolution, and role in our daily lives. The duties, rights, and responsibilities of all citizens in the United States are examined through the use of the class text and other activities. The fourth academic quarter focuses on Florida History.
EIGHTH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES – AMERICAN HISTORY
This course offers a straightforward chronological history of North America. It will cover the colonization of America, the American Revolution, the beginning of a new Republic and the growth and changes that occurred. The course will also include a survey of current affairs and primary sources as they relate to historical events and other major events in U.S. History.
We are committed to having our middle school students become flexible, resilient readers who read for pleasure as well as for academic purposes. Our Language Arts curriculum includes literature selections that complement the social studies and/or science curriculum. We recognize the importance of students learning ever-growing skills, strategies, and habits to become powerful readers as they engage in reading more than just a few books throughout their middle school years.
SIXTH GRADE LANGUAGE ARTS
Sixth Grade Language Arts combines the study of literature, vocabulary, grammar, and composition. Over the course of the year, students will read many books and are encouraged to do as good readers do in exploring different genres, authors, and texts. The course emphasizes the interaction between readers and text. Students will learn to ask questions, make connections with prior knowledge and previously read texts, and ask questions to clarify comprehension. We will study short stories and novels together in class and engage in projects to develop and demonstrate a deeper understanding of learned reading and writing skills.
SEVENTH GRADE LANGUAGE ARTS
Seventh Grade Language Arts combines the study of vocabulary, literature, grammar, usage, mechanical skills, and composition. Over the course of the year, students will read and discuss novels as well as a variety of short stories and poetry of both the contemporary and classic variety. These classes will focus on the development of critical thinking through literature discussions, reading responses and analysis, creative expression, and oral presentations, as well as a research project. The use of 21st-century technology skills and reading and writing for authentic audiences and purposes will also be emphasized.
EIGHTH GRADE LANGUAGE ARTS
The Eighth Grade Language Arts course balances creative work with rigorous writing practice and literary analysis that not only prepares students for Upper School English but allows for the engaging exploration of literature and self. Students will express themselves critically, creatively, and collaboratively, as we interact daily with complex texts. In addition to a variety of short stories and poems, students will read and discuss various novels.
SIXTH GRADE MATH
This course is designed to help students become better problem solvers, think mathematically, and see the relevance of mathematics in their daily lives, their educational futures, and in their possible careers. It is an integrated, hands-on course that includes algebra, geometry, statistics, rational numbers, ratio/proportion, graphing, measurement, and technology. Computational skills are taught, reviewed, and reinforced without the use of calculators. Students will have the opportunity to solve problems in small groups and sometimes at home with family members. Estimation skills are taught and encouraged. Mathematical concepts and skills are connected to their uses in science, business, and everyday life. This course uses the 6th Grade Eureka Curriculum.
INTRODUCTION TO PRE-ALGEBRA
Introduction to Pre-Algebra is an accelerated mathematics course for sixth-grade students who thrive in a fast-paced environment dedicated to the pursuit of mathematical study. Students in this course should expect to not only cover the 6th-grade mathematical concepts listed above but also 7th-grade topics in preparation for further Pre-Algebra or Algebra study. An emphasis is placed on problem-solving and on deepening the level of understanding of math concepts and mathematical thinking.
SEVENTH GRADE MATH
Seventh Grade Math is a continuation of the mathematical journey experienced in sixth grade and is designed to introduce algebraic concepts. This course reviews the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, fractions and decimals, ratios and proportions, percent, measurement (both customary and metric), basic geometry concepts, the coordinate plane, graphing two-variable relations, and operating with integers. Also, simplifying algebraic expressions and solving simple one and two-step algebraic equations will be introduced. This course uses the Eureka 7th Grade Curriculum.
Pre-Algebra is designed to give the student a strong background and foundation for the study of Algebra. Emphasis is placed on improving skills by performing the basic operations of all real numbers. Students solve equations and inequalities, graph points and lines on the coordinate axis, solve word problems, and use area, volume, and perimeter formulas, ratios, proportions, percentages, probability, and statistics. Students also learn to simplify algebraic expressions and numerical expressions.
TOPICS IN ALGEBRA
Topics in Algebra is a course designed to cover the same topics as Algebra 1 but at a more moderate pace. This course will primarily focus on the first half of an Algebra I course, so students can develop a more concrete foundation of the prerequisite skills. The goals of the course will be to learn Algebraic connections, properties of real numbers, solving and graphing linear equations and functions, and solving and graphing linear inequalities. Students enrolled in this course will be prepared to continue their Algebra study in ninth grade.
This course is a first-year algebra course with emphasis on variables, functions, rational numbers, equation solving, inequalities, linear equation, and their graphs, systems of equations, exponents, polynomials and factoring, quadratic equations and functions, and an introduction to rational expressions and simplifying radicals.
This course is designed to develop the students' powers of deductive reasoning. Subject matter will include the study of parallelism and perpendicularity in two and three dimensions; angle measurements; congruencies and similarities of plane and solid figures; algebraic and geometric proof; logic; right triangle trigonometry and area; surface area and volume of solid figures. Strong Algebra I skills are necessary for success in this course. A scientific calculator with trigonometric functions (sin, cos, tan) is required. (This is an Upper School course. Students who complete this course in 8th grade receive an Upper School credit which will be averaged into their Upper School GPA and appear on their transcript.)
SIXTH GRADE EARTH/SPACE SCIENCE
Sixth grade Earth/Space Science explores the earth in the universe, as a dynamic planet in the solar system, and as a habitat for life. Content areas include space exploration, technology, engineering, Physics, and earth/space monitoring. We will also study astronomy, air and water, land composition and use, constructive/ destructive surface-shaping forces, geology, and ecology. Stewardship, as well as a knowledge of the earth and its resources, are stressed. This is a hands-on, inquiry-based course where collaboration and engineering skills are sharpened.
SEVENTH GRADE LIFE SCIENCE
Science in seventh grade will focus on all aspects of life science. It is a rigorous, lab-focused class that will explore cells, body systems, plant systems, relationships between organisms, and the environment.
Students will learn how to collect and analyze data, collaborate with classmates, and research current questions/problems surrounding these topics.
EIGHTH GRADE INTRODUCTORY PHYSICAL SCIENCE
Eighth-grade physical science provides students with the opportunity to construct scientific knowledge through the use of hands-on, minds-on activities. The topics covered during this year-long course provide students with a firm basis for further scientific inquiry in all areas of science. Laboratory and problem-solving activities, as well as critical thinking tasks, are presented at an attempt to prepare students for the Upper School experience. Students are encouraged to learn laboratory safety skills, use calculators, keep organized lab notebooks, and complete experiments.
SIXTH GRADE SPANISH (INTRODUCTION)
Sixth Grade Spanish is a nine-week course designed to introduce the students to Hispanic culture and language. This course focuses on daily life situations and cultural activities. Students will spend class time conversing and participating in role-play and other hands-on activities which are designed to stimulate cultural understanding and enjoyment for learning Spanish. At the conclusion of this class, students will have a basic appreciation for the Spanish language, its basic structures and vocabulary, and culture. Students may also be required to do a project on a Spanish-speaking country.
SEVENTH GRADE SPANISH (LEVEL 1A)
The seventh-grade course is designed to be the equivalent to the first half of the high school Spanish I course. The goal of the course is to help each student attain an acceptable degree of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and to help him/her learn about other cultures of the world. Various approaches are taken in order to meet these goals. There are listening, written, and speaking exercises. Students are encouraged to speak frequently using open-ended activities that allow students to apply the key vocabulary and grammar in role-playing.
EIGHTH GRADE SPANISH (LEVEL 1B)
Eighth Grade Spanish is sequential to the seventh-grade Spanish course and covers the same material that is taught in the second semester of Spanish I in high school. Students who successfully complete 8th grade Spanish will be placed into Spanish II as high school freshmen. While oral communication in the language is a priority, appropriate development of the four critical areas--reading, writing, speaking, and listening--is stressed. In particular, the composition is emphasized much more at the eighth-grade level than previously. At this level, culture is approached in a manner that capitalizes upon the students' maturing ability to perceive the world in a social and economic context.
SIXTH GRADE FRENCH (INTRODUCTION)
6th grade French is a nine-week introduction to the language. Students will learn basic vocabulary with an emphasis on pronunciation. They will also learn about the culture, the music, discover historical aspects of France, and do a virtual guided visit of Paris.
SEVENTH GRADE FRENCH (LEVEL 1A)
Seventh-grade French builds on what students have learned in 6th grade. They will learn how to conjugate basic verbs at the present tense and continue working on their pronunciation, while still expanding their vocabulary on a variety of different topics. Through projects and activities, seventh graders will start to learn how to communicate in different situations and contexts (at a restaurant, paying for something, etc..) while still discovering more of France’s pop culture, music, and history.
EIGHTH GRADE FRENCH (LEVEL 1B)
This course is a continuation of the material that was seen during seventh grade. Eighth graders will learn more advanced grammar and conjugation. Students will learn their first past and future tenses, all while expanding their vocabulary bank on a variety of different topics. A focus on conversational French is also introduced this quarter through more speaking and role-play activities, combining all they’ve learned in 7th grade. We will, of course, still learn and see various French cultural things as well as, at the end of the year, a very useful lesson on French slang.
SIXTH GRADE LATIN (INTRODUCTION)
This nine-week course is designed to introduce students to the basics of Latin vocabulary and grammar, and ancient Roman culture (including mythology) through lessons, games, and interactive activities.
Studying Latin gives students a better understanding of how languages develop and has been shown to improve English vocabulary and grammar skills. Western culture as a whole is heavily influenced by ancient Rome and studying this past culture can give students a better appreciation of their own.
SEVENTH GRADE LATIN (LATIN IA)
This Latin course is the equivalent to the first semester of a high school Latin 1 course. The goal of this course is to help students develop proficiency in reading and translating Latin. To this end, the course focuses on learning Latin vocabulary and mastering the basics of Latin grammar. Students will also learn about Roman culture, mythology, and English word derivations. All Latin students will compete in the Latin Regional Forum, and some will go on to compete at the state level. Maclay's Latin team has a record of consistently scoring in either first or second place at Regionals and in the top 10 at State. Latin, like all the languages at Maclay, is offered through high school, up to the AP level.
EIGHTH GRADE LATIN (LATIN IB)
This course is a continuation of the material begun in Latin IA (Seventh Grade Latin) and covers the material taught in the second semester of Latin I in high school. Students who successfully complete Latin IB will be placed in Latin II in 9th grade. Latin, with its unique patterns of inflection and syntax and the acquisition of an extensive vocabulary, is the major focus of the course whose goal is the ability to read and translate. The extended nature of a two-year Latin I course such as this will allow us to explore Roman customs and culture, mythology, and English word derivations at a greater depth than in a standard Latin I course.
6th and 7th Grade P.E.
The Middle School Physical Education program is designed to encourage movement, physical fitness, and an appreciation of a variety of lifetime sports. Individual and team activities are used to help teach teamwork, sport-specific skills, and social skills used in all aspects of daily life. Grading is based upon dressing out each day, the student’s effort, participation, and sportsmanship. Each student must wear the Physical Education uniform and wear it properly. Students must wear sneakers that have either laces or Velcro. Footwear must have good support and non-marking soles. Footwear such as hiking boots, wrestling shoes, heeled boots, flip flops, or sandals of any type are unacceptable. Safety and dress code are our primary concerns.
H.O.P.E. (Health Opportunities through Physical Education) – Upper School Credit Course for 8th Graders
The purpose of this course is to develop and enhance healthy behaviors that influence lifestyle choices and student health and fitness. Students will combine the learning of principles and background information in a classroom setting with the physical application of the knowledge. A majority of class time will be spent in physical activity. Other course topics include Mental/Social Health, Nutrition & Wellness Planning, Diseases & Disorders, and Health Advocacy.
Maclay Middle School has many opportunities to develop leadership qualities. Whether it's through the student council, Jr. Beta, or Model UN, our students gain great experience in public speaking, problem solving, and collaboration so they can lead and be change-makers.
The Middle School schedule allows for opportunities for our students to have the extra time with teachers for additional support and instruction. Maclay also has a Guidance Counselor is on staff to meet with students one-on-one and in a small groups.
Clubs are a big part of the student life of a Middle School student. At Maclay, we offer a wide range of clubs from the Middle School News, Astronaut Challenge, Gaming, Latin or even Pep Band. Middle School clubs give students the opportunity to find and pursue their interests.