Middle School


Middle school is a time of extreme change – physically, mentally, spiritually, and academically.  Holy Family Catholic School offers a middle school program that honors the changes that our students are experiencing and nurtures them through challenging academics, events and retreats to deepen their faith, leadership opportunities, socials, and much more.  Because we are committed to educating the whole child, our middle school philosophy shepherds students safely through these tumultuous years on to high school.

I believe that happy, successful students understand what is expected and know how to go about problem solving, planning, and managing their time.  They feel that their teacher cares for them, recognizes their strengths, and helps them to grow in areas of weakness.  Since they understand the expectations, they strive to excel.  The students know that they are loved by God and by the Holy Family community.  Students in my class will have a strong support system that encourages students to do their best.

Religion

We learn about the Bible and become familiar with important figures of the Old Testament. Liturgy, prayer, morality, and outreach will be integral parts of the religion curriculum.

  • Aligned to the Diocese of Boise curriculum standards
  • Old Testament
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church: Creed, Liturgy and Sacraments, Moral Life and Prayer
  • Community Service
  • Circle of Grace

Mathematics

Course 1 and Course 2 cover essentially the same material but at a different pace.  Course 1 will spend more time developing a deeper understanding of fractions and decimals before continuing on to work with ratios, proportions, solving algebraic equations, and integers.  Both classes have a strong focus on problem solving.

  • Aligned to the Diocese of Boise curriculum standards
  • Course I Math is the grade-level math curriculum, Course II Math is offered to high-achieving students
  • McGraw-Hill Glencoe Math
  • Problem-Solving is a critical part of both courses

Language Arts

Writing is an essential part of all subjects in 6th grade.  We will have opportunities to write in different ways, with a strong emphasis on narrative, expository, and evidence-based writing.  Students will be encouraged to develop strong skills in editing/mechanics.  Spelling rules will be taught with weekly word lists and spelling tests.  Listening and speaking skills will be practiced during presentations.

  • Aligned to the Diocese of Boise curriculum standards
  • Focus on expository, claim-based, and narrative writing
  • Six traits of writing: content, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions
  • Literature includes non-fiction, fiction, and poetry
  • Accelerated Reading
  • Literary devices including: theme, conflict, character, setting, story structure, and point-of-view
  • Mastering vocabulary
  • Daily paragraph edits
  • Weekly spelling program

Reading

Developing vocabulary, critical reading skills, and a love of reading will be the focus of the reading curriculum.  We will use a combination of novels, short stories, and nonfiction to advance students’ ability to analyze, summarize, compare/contrast, and distinguish fact from opinion.  Accelerated Reading goals will be used to encourage reading outside the classroom.

  • Literature includes non-fiction, fiction, and poetry
  • Accelerated Reading
  • Literary devices including: theme, conflict, character, setting, story structure, and point-of-view

Science

  • Aligned to the Diocese of Boise curriculum
  • FOSS Science
    • Weather and Water
    • Diversity of Life
    • Human Systems Interactions
    • Variables and Design (potentially)

Social Studies

6th grade focuses on a study of World History.  This complements our study of the Old Testament in religion.  We will study the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Mesoamerica, Greece, Rome, and finish with the Middle Ages.  In support of social studies standards, we will also complete atlas activities to become better acquainted with our physical and political world.

  • Aligned to the Diocese of Boise curriculum
  • Ancient civilizations
    • Mesopotamia
    • Egypt
    • Greece
    • Rome
    • Middle Ages
    • Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas

Lego League

From the beginning of the year until competition in December, we will participate in First Lego League which is a program that develops skills in math, science, technology, and problem solving.  The program teaches Core Values which develops a student’s ability to work in groups and practice “gracious professionalism”. Competition takes place on a Saturday in December and is voluntary.  Teams who qualify for state competition will compete in January.

Music

6th grade has the opportunity to do the dramatic portion of the HFCS Christmas program.  This is a special privilege that is a highlight of the year for students.  They also study composers and different types of music.  Students have the choice to participate in choir and/or band.  If they choose not to participate, they will have a study hall or intramurals.

Physical Education

Sixth grade has PE twice a week.  One day is focused on fitness and the other day is games and skills.

Seventh grade is a year of transition and growth. As students move into their teen years and towards being leaders of the school, they are encouraged and supported to take responsibility for their learning spiritually, emotionally, and academically.

Throughout the year, students will engage in a variety of learning and assessment experiences including hands on activities, technology, field trips, games, project based learning, guest speakers, and research assignments. We utilize one to one Chromebooks in class in conjunction with Google Classroom to ensure students can access the assignments and resources they need any time.

Learning assessments are conducted in a variety of ways. While it is important to teach study and test taking skills, student learning will also be assessed by the completion of hands on projects, writing assignments, and oral presentations.

As students reach the end of their 7th grade year and move towards their last year of Middle School, they are given more responsibilities. Each spring 7th grade students plan, plant, and care for the school community garden; we also assist with field day for the younger students and host a luncheon for the graduating 8th grade students.

Religion

  • Community service
  • God, Revelation and Faith
  • Jesus the Christ
  • The Holy Spirit and the Church

Course 2 Math

My math classes have the look of a flipped classroom, which means that my students watch a video of the instruction (which I have made) instead of listening to me in class.  This affords students the opportunity to get working on their assignment instead of waiting for me to give instruction while we wait for students to finish their daily quiz.

However, I am more than happy to do notes in class, after everybody has completed their quiz, for any student or groups of students who prefer that method of instruction.

My math classes are very structured, in that they follow the same structure every day:

1:  Correct assignment from the previous day
Students correct their own assignment, so they can identify their mistakes
2:  Answer questions
3:  Quiz over the lesson we just corrected and discussed
4:  Assignment
5:  Video for the next day’s lesson

Because math lessons build on each other, I have completed every assignment my students complete and have posted those assignments for students and parents to assist with the learning process.  Please use the posted assignments as a tool.

Finally, problem solving is the foundation of learning.  If we can learn to look at a problem, develop a plan to solve that problem, and articulate our process for solving the problem, we set ourselves up for academic success.  With that being said, we do a lot of problem solving in and out of class.

Ratios and Proportional Relationships

  • Ratios
  • Proportions
  • Unit Rates
  • Dimensional Analysis
  • Percents

The Number System   

  • Integers
  • Rational Numbers

Expressions and Equations

  • Properties of Operations
  • The Distributive Property
  • Simplify Algebraic Expressions
  • Solve one and two-step equations

Geometry

  • Geometric Figures
  • Trigonometric Ratios
  • Area and Volume

Statistics and Probability

Pre Algebra

My math classes have the look of a flipped classroom, which means that my students watch a video of the instruction (which I have made) instead of listening to me in class.  This affords students the opportunity to get working on their assignment instead of waiting for me to give instruction while we wait for students to finish their daily quiz.

However, I am more than happy to do notes in class, after everybody has completed their quiz, for any student or groups of students who prefer that method of instruction.

My math classes are very structured, in that they follow the same structure every day:

1:  Correct assignment from the previous day

Students correct their own assignment, so they can identify their mistakes

2:  Answer questions
3:  Quiz over the lesson we just corrected and discussed
4:  Assignment
5:  Video for the next day’s lesson

Because math lessons build on each other, I have completed every assignment my students complete and have posted those assignments for students and parents to assist with the learning process.  Please use the posted assignments as a tool.

Finally, problem solving is the foundation of learning.  If we can learn to look at a problem, develop a plan to solve that problem, and articulate our process for solving the problem, we set ourselves up for academic success.  With that being said, we do a lot of problem solving in and out of class.

Rational Numbers and Exponents

  • Expressions
  • Coordinate Planes
  • Operations with Integers
  • Operations with Rational Numbers
  • Powers and Exponents

Proportionality and Linear Relationships

  • Ratios
  • Proportions
  • Similar Figures
  • Percents
  • Algebraic Expressions
  • Equations and Inequalities
  • Linear Functions

Sampling and Inference

  • Measures of Center
  • Probability

Geometry

  • Transformations
  • Congruences
  • Similarities
  • Trigonometric Ratios
  • Volume
  • Area
  • Surface Area

Language Arts

  • Composition and the writing process
  • Literary devices including: setting, plot, theme, conflict, characterization, story arcs, and tone
  • Accelerated Reader program
  • Literary studies include short stories, novels, non-fiction and poetry
  • Spelling, vocabulary & grammar embedded into thematic units
  • Inclusion in local writing and design competitions including the Catholic Daughters of America Essay Writing competition

Writing

  • Understand writing is a form of communication
  • Analyze and utilize a variety of writing structures, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, friendly letters, and opinion pieces
  • Write a complete paragraph with complete sentences
  • Apply writing conventions of correct spelling, capitalization, ending marks, and commas
  • Use correct grammar including past verb tense

Science

  • Curriculum aligned to Next Generation Science Standards
  • First Lego League
  • FOSS Science
    • Chemical Interactions
    • Earth History
    • Populations and Ecosystems

World Geography

  • Principles of geography
  • U.S.A., Mexico, and Canada
  • Australia, New Zealand, and Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Cultural food celebrations at the end of each unit

Welcome to Eighth grade.  My name is Kathy Sells and I have been teaching Catholic middle schoolers for about 20 years.

Catholic education is about a belief that children and their families grow within a community that celebrates faith, where the spirit can be nurtured along with the mind and body.  As our students and families grow and are strengthened in their faith, they carry that deep faith and excellence in education into our community and our world.

I believe every student can learn and grow, but this takes work.  I am not afraid to work hard or ask my students to work hard.

It is my desire as the 8th grade teacher that our students will leave Holy Family prepared to “Go Forth and Set the World on Fire” ~ St. Ignatius.

Religion

Sacramental Theology

  • Know how liturgy and sacraments evolved over time
  • Know how we encounter Christ in the sacraments
  • Define liturgy
  • Know that Eucharist is the Source and Summit of our faith

Moral Education

  • Know the lives of the Saints
  • Know the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
  • Know the Cardinal Virtues

Education for Community

  • Know about the Kingdom of God and our role
  • Know Mary’s example of discipleship
  • Know the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit

Missionary Initiative

  • Know about the Communion of Saints
  • Know Catholic Social Teaching

Circle of Grace

During the year, students …

  • give an oral presentation on a saint
  • participate in the annual Catholic Daughters essay, photography, etc competition
  • are required to complete 4 hours of Community Service outside of school each quarter
  • are given the opportunity to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent
  • participate in the Rosary the first Friday of each month
  • lead the Rosary once a year
  • participate in weekly Mass
  • host Mass at least 5 times a year
  • make Rosaries and Resurrection Eggs with our kindergarten buddies

Pre-Algebra

(Grade 7 & 8)

My math classes have the look of a flipped classroom, which means that my students watch a video of the instruction (which I have made) instead of listening to me in class.  This affords students the opportunity to get working on their assignment instead of waiting for me to give instruction while we wait for students to finish their daily quiz.

However, I am more than happy to do notes in class, after everybody has completed their quiz, for any student or groups of students who prefer that method of instruction.

My math classes are very structured, in that they follow the same structure every day:

1:  Correct assignment from the previous day

Students correct their own assignment, so they can identify their mistakes

2:  Answer questions
3:  Quiz over the lesson we just corrected and discussed
4:  Assignment
5:  Video for the next day’s lesson

Because math lessons build on each other, I have completed every assignment my students complete and have posted those assignments for students and parents to assist with the learning process.  Please use the posted assignments as a tool.

Finally, problem solving is the foundation of learning.  If we can learn to look at a problem, develop a plan to solve that problem, and articulate our process for solving the problem, we set ourselves up for academic success.  With that being said, we do a lot of problem solving in and out of class.

Rational Numbers and Exponents

  • Expressions
  • Coordinate Planes
  • Operations with Integers
  • Operations with Rational Numbers
  • Powers and Exponents

Proportionality and Linear Relationships

  • Ratios
  • Proportions
  • Similar Figures
  • Percents
  • Algebraic Expressions
  • Equations and Inequalities
  • Linear Functions

Sampling and Inference

  • Measures of Center
  • Probability

Geometry

  • Transformations
  • Congruences
  • Similarities
  • Trigonometric Ratios
  • Volume
  • Area
  • Surface Area

Algebra

My math classes have the look of a flipped classroom, which means that my students watch a video of the instruction (which I have made) instead of listening to me in class.  This affords students the opportunity to get working on their assignment instead of waiting for me to give instruction while we wait for students to finish their daily quiz.

However, I am more than happy to do notes in class, after everybody has completed their quiz, for any student or groups of students who prefer that method of instruction.

My math classes are very structured, in that they follow the same structure every day:

1:  Correct assignment from the previous day
Students correct their own assignment, so they can identify their mistakes
2:  Answer questions
3:  Quiz over the lesson we just corrected and discussed
4:  Assignment
5:  Video for the next day’s lesson

Because math lessons build on each other, I have completed every assignment my students complete and have posted those assignments for students and parents to assist with the learning process.  Please use the posted assignments as a tool.

Finally, problem solving is the foundation of learning.  If we can learn to look at a problem, develop a plan to solve that problem, and articulate our process for solving the problem, we set ourselves up for academic success.  With that being said, we do a lot of problem solving in and out of class.

Relationships between Quantities

  • Expressions, Equations, and Functions
  • Linear Equations

Linear Relationships

  • Linear Functions
  • Equations with Linear Functions
  • Linear Inequalities
  • Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities

Exponential and Quadratic Relationships

  • Exponents and Exponential Functions
  • Quadratic Expressions and Equations
  • Quadratic Functions and Equations

Advanced Functions and Equations

  • Radical Functions and Geometry
  • Rational Functions and Equations

Data Analysis

  • Statistics and Probability

Language Arts

  • Composition and the writing process
  • Literary devices including: setting, plot, theme, conflict, characterization, story arcs, and tone
  • Accelerated Reader program
  • Literary studies include short stories, novels, non-fiction, and poetry
  • Spelling, vocabulary, and grammar embedded into thematic units
  • Inclusion in local writing and design competitions including the Catholic Daughters of America Essay Writing competition

Science

  • FOSS Science
    • Heredity and Adaptation
    • Electromagnetic Force
    • Gravity and Kinetic Energy
    • Waves
    • Planetary Science

US History

Our Colonial Heritage (Beginnings to 1783)

  • World before the Opening of the Atlantic
  • New Empires in the Americas
  • The English Colonies
  • The American Revolution

A New Nation (1777 – 1799)

  • Forming a Government
  • Citizenship and the Constitution
  • Launching the Nation

The New Republic (1800 – 1860)

  • The Jefferson Era
  • A New National Identity
  • The Age of Jackson
  • Expanding West

The Nation Expands (1790 – 1860)

  • The North
  • The South
  • New Movements in America
  • A Divided Nation

The Nation Breaks Apart (1861 – 1877)

  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction

Technology

At HFCS, students experience a wide range of technology opportunities, from coding and robotics to one-to-one Chromebooks in grades four through eight.

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