Grades 6-8 (Middle School) Curriculum Experience

This article provides information about the Grades 6-8 (Middle School) curriculum.

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Top Facts
  1. The courses introduce and scaffold fundamental skills for the course type. Courses are designed to build, support, and encourage independent learning.
  2. The courses integrate cross-curricular references and opportunities for students to apply their interests and strengths in various simulations and real-life scenarios.
  3. The courses contain a range of knowledge applications from textual to real-world to personal interest assignments. Courses also support inquiry-based and social-emotional learning.
  4. The courses are designed so that students can navigate easily through the course with full, moderate, or little facilitation. Instruction and presentation are intuitive so that students can focus less on navigating the technology and more on experiencing the content.
  5. The courses contain interactivity that engages visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Each lesson contains a minimum of a Read It, Show It, and Answer Key, but courses may contain other interactive and assessment elements, such as Practice Its, Watch Its, and Assess Its. This structure supports and challenges all learning types and levels, with an implementation of interactivity, simulations, and manipulatives that help students achieve mastery and help teachers gauge comprehension.
General Details

Lesson Structure: Topic > Lesson > Learning Object

Learning Object Design: Middle school courses are aligned 1:1 to a standard rooted in pedagogy. Each subject contains a similar design and presentation throughout the course so students can expect consistency within that subject area. Lessons are designed by certified teachers who have worked in the classroom and online learning environments. Learning objects contain a variety of media that supports all learning styles and actively engages students. These courses provide off-screen application through tangible assignments and projects.

Activity Time: Per lesson is an average of 45-60 minutes

Pacing: 1 Lesson = 1 Day of Learning (1 Hour)

Credit Information

Core courses in grades 6-8 are offered as full credit courses with 180 lessons each. These full credit courses are now also offered in a semester option. They are available as first or second semester courses in addition to the full credit course options.

Electives are offered in a variety of content areas such as Art and Music, World Languages, and Health and Wellness at varying credit values and with 45-180 lessons each. For more information on elective offerings, click HERE.

You can access all course offerings HERE.

English Language Arts

Content Specifics:

  • English Language Arts 6:
    • Features a text collection of all embedded course literature, including public domain and LLS creative writing pieces
    • Aligned to Common Core State Standards
    • Incorporates interactivity and direct engagement into every Read It
    • Includes integration of standards and skills for an authentic language arts experience, including reading literature, reading informational texts, writing, speaking, listening, and using language
    • Contains parallel spelling instruction throughout the course, with separate spelling assessments
  • English Language Arts 7:
    • Features a text collection of all embedded course literature, including public domain, LLS creative writing, and Evan-Moor pieces
    • Aligned to Common Core State Standards
    • Incorporates interactivity and direct engagement into every Read It
    • Includes integration of standards and skills for an authentic language arts experience, including reading literature, reading informational texts, writing, speaking, listening, and using language
    • Contains parallel language and grammar instruction throughout the course, with summative workshops at the end of each unit to assess knowledge of concepts
  • English Language Arts 8:
    • Aligned to Common Core State Standards
    • Preparatory course with more real-world, independent applications to equip students for the secondary environment
    • Includes integration of standards and skills for an authentic language arts experience, including reading literature, reading informational texts, writing, speaking, listening, and using language
    • Features a wide range of topics
    • Explores more complex application of skills built from ELA 6 and 7

Assessment Structure:

The total number of assessments per course will vary depending on the course. 

What is the percentage of teacher-graded vs. auto-graded assessments? 

Teacher-graded: Average of 53%

Auto-graded, including masteries: Average 47% 
Mathematics

Content Specifics:

  • Mathematics 6
    • Aligns to Common Core State Standards
    • Integrates interactivity in every Read It, along with leading questions for inquiry-based learning
    • Practice It in every subtopic
    • Real-world application
    • Focuses on understanding the calculation
    • Incorporates reading comprehension
  • Mathematics 7
    • Aligns to Common Core State Standards
    • Integrates interactivity in every Read It, along with leading questions for inquiry-based learning
    • Practice It in every subtopic
    • Real-world application
    • Focuses on understanding the calculation
    • Incorporates reading comprehension
  • Mathematics 8
    • Aligns to Common Core State Standards
    • Practice It in every subtopic
    • Real-world application
    • Focuses on understanding the calculation
    • Incorporates reading comprehension
  • Pre-Algebra
    • Aligns to Common Core State Standards
    • Practice It in every subtopic
    • Real-world application
    • Focuses on understanding the calculation
    • Incorporates reading comprehension

Assessment Structure:

The total number of mathematics assessments will vary. On average, there are one to two auto-graded, formative assessments and one mastery assessment per topic. Also, each topic contains, on average, one teacher-graded assignment. All teacher-graded assignments require the students to support their answer in the form of work or explanations. In real-world applications problems, students will be asked to interpret their answers in terms of the problem. This requires the students to not only perform the calculation correctly, but also to understand what their found answer means in terms of the problem.

What is the percentage of teacher-graded vs. auto-graded assessments? 

Teacher-graded: Average 27%

Auto-graded, including masteries: Average 73%  

Science

Content Specifics:

  • The grades 6 through 8 Science offerings consist of a mixture of integrated science courses and subject-specific courses aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS.
  • The subject-specific course offerings in the 6-8 grade band include Middle School Earth and Space Science, Middle School Life Science, and Middle School Physical Science. The integrated course offerings include Science 6, Science 7, and Science 8. These integrated courses encompass a range of science content in each course.
  • The middle school courses build upon the knowledge and skills that students learned in grades 3-5 and prepare them as they transition into grades 9-12.
  • Each lesson is expected to take students approximately one class period of learning (45-60 minutes) to complete.

Assessment Structure:

  • The middle school Science courses offer a variety of opportunities for students to engage in science and engineering practices. These opportunities come in the form of formative and summative assessments.
  • Assessment types range in depth of learning and include a variety of methods, such as hands-on investigations, online simulations, and engineering design projects.
  • Auto-graded assessment options are available for each subtopic as well, and include a variety of assessment types, such as multiple choice, ordering, multiple answer, and short answer/essay.

What is the percentage of teacher-graded vs. auto-graded assessments?

Teacher-Graded: Average 47%

Auto-graded: Average 54%  

Social Studies

Content Specifics:

The middle school social studies courses give students an understanding of several different areas of social studies, such as Civics, United States Government, Early American History, Geography, and Ancient History. The courses focus on many concepts and ideas that can be used again as part of the high school curriculum, college, and life beyond. The courses present information on how the past shaped life today and how a student can grow into an active member of society. Courses are aligned to the C3 framework. 

Assessment Structure:

The total number of assessments per course will vary. 

What is the percentage of teacher-graded vs. auto-graded assessments?

    Teacher Graded: Average 32%

    Auto-Graded: Average 61.5%

    FAQ

    Q: How often are there assessments in the grades 6-8 courses?

    A: Middle school assessment opportunities may vary, but students should expect an assessment of some type approximately every three to five days. Some assessments are placed closer together toward the end of a topic to assess knowledge on a range of levels and applications.

    Q: Are there any score associations worth identifying for grades 6-8 courses?

    A: The Assess Its are scored based on the content area and assessment criteria. With the assessments that are teacher-graded, the scores are based on the criteria presented in the rubric for the specific assessment. With the auto-graded assessments, total scores range based on the number and type of questions in the Assess It. 

    Q: What would be the best way for a teacher to use Lincoln Empowered’s grades 6-8 courses in a brick-and-mortar setting?

    A: The curriculum enriches the classroom experience by providing interactive lessons and visually engaging designs. Teachers can use a variety of Its to differentiate instruction for various learning levels. The middle school lessons are designed so that they can be used as a supplement or as part of an entire scaffolded course. The curriculum works well when it is specifically adapted to the dynamic of each class of students. Lessons provide a holistic experience, but teachers should gauge student comprehension and support and advance instruction when appropriate.

    Click here to learn more about blended strategies using Lincoln Empowered. For additional ideas regarding using the Lincoln Empowered curriculum in a brick-and-mortar setting, check out these videos:

    Q: What would be the most appropriate way for a teacher to use Lincoln Empowered’s grades 6-8 courses in an asynchronous virtual setting?

    A: The curriculum is customizable to adapt to the particular learning environment. Teachers are encouraged to contextualize the content to meet the needs of each student within the respective learning environment. Some options are provided so that students can choose their method of completion based on their interests, strengths, and learning environment. The courses are designed to build from Lesson 1 to 180 but are also structured to be used within a repository or singular application. The content is encompassing, but teachers and parents or guardians should still be an active part of the instruction by clarifying information, providing additional support, and making appropriate adaptations as necessary.

     

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