Kearney Middle School
     6160 Kearney Street
     Commerce City, CO 80022
  303.287.0261    303.287.0432
communications@adams14.org
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Course Descriptions

 

Subject Description
Humanities 6th grade Humanities is a survey course of geography, history, civics
and economics. The first semester begins with the establishment of fundamental geography
skills that serve as a foundation for the exploration of the globe. Once students have gained a
spatial awareness of the world, students discover the ancient histories of the western hemisphere,
specifically the Maya, Aztec and Inca. Second semester starts with a focus on literacy
skills with a study of the novel Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver.
Upon completion, students will move through basic economic and civic understanding of
global issues. The semester ends with an in-depth look at the North American Native population
and the cultural clash of European Exploration. Overall, Humanities will provide students
with an understanding of the world around them so that they may make a positive impact in
our community and beyond.
Language Arts In 6th grade Language Arts students read a variety of novels which may include:  Esperanza RisingThe Watsons Go to Birmingham, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, and The Outsiders. We also focus on reading poetry, various articles and short stories. In Writer’s Workshop 6th grade students will develop their writing skills with not only short constructed responses (a paragraph) as well as extended constructed responses (3-7 paragraph essays).  One of our first writing projects will include writing a personal narrative.


Some of the major skills we work on include: main idea/supporting details, making inferences and citing text evidence, identifying and writing figurative language, reading and coding strategies, context clues, inferring, author’s purpose and grammar.

Honors Language Arts Sixth grade honors Language Arts is the first step students take
in preparation for a four-year college track. It will set these students up for being placed in
honors classes throughout middle school , into the high school, and into college level (AP)
classes. The class will provide extensions to the regular 6th grade curriculum, and therefore
have advanced expectations for the quality of work produced.
The reading will be above grade-level with a variety of novels, short stories and poems. The
writing requirements will be accelerated towards the seventh grade requirements. Students
will be creating research papers, personal narratives, poetry, letters and other forms of writing
that will all benefit their future academic success.
Literacy I The Literacy I class is designed to improve students’ reading fluency,
comprehension, vocabulary, phonics and phonemic awareness. Students use a program
designed to help them improve their reading confidence, fluency and abilities.
Literacy II The Literacy II class is designed to improve students’ comprehension,
vocabulary and oral language skills so that they may succeed in all other academic
courses. Students read novels, complete projects and give a variety of presentations.
Math 6 In Math 6, instructional time will focus on five critical areas:
(1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using
concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) completing understanding of division of
fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which
includes negative numbers;
(3) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; (4) developing understanding
of statistical thinking; and (5) reasoning about relationships among shapes to determine area,
surface area and volume.
Honors Math (6/7 math) In Math 6/7, instructional time will focus on six critical areas:
(1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts
of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) developing understanding of and applying proportional
relationships; (3) completing understanding of division of fractions and developing
understanding of rational numbers and of operations with rational numbers;
(4) reasoning about relationships among shapes to determine area, surface area and volume;
(5) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and (6) developing understanding
of statistical thinking and drawing inferences about populations based on samples.
Science The 6th grade science curriculum spirals an introduction to the
nature of science throughout the year as students zero in on six different key content areas.
The specific units that will be taught include: Earth’s structure and natural processes, ecosystems
and energy flow, phases of matter, water cycle and natural resources, atoms and
molecules, followed by measurement.
   

Full Course Guide for Middle and High School

 
Subject Description
Humanities 7th Grade Humanities is a course where students learn about the
history, geography, economics and governments of early histories of the Eastern Hemisphere.
Specifically, students learn about Mesopotamia and the beginnings of history, Egypt, Greece,
Rome, The Middle Ages, India and Asia, and Islam and Europe.
Skills focused on in the class include reading comprehension, writing and critical thinking
as well as map reading, how to interpret primary and secondary sources, how to interpret
graphs and charts and how to persuade, summarize and problem solve. The goal is to develop
critical thinking and writing communication skills that will help the student become a successful
and contributing member of society.
Language Arts This course is designed to have 7th grade students master foundational
critical reading skills: main idea, inferring, drawing conclusions and context clues,
through short stories, non-fiction text, poetry, novels and plays.
This course will also develop students’ writing skills through daily writing, grammar, vocabulary
application and use, and extended essays.
Honors Language Arts Course Description: This course is designed to go above and beyond the foundational
skills developed in 7th grade language arts by developing students’ abilities to analyze increasingly
complex literature through rigorous reading and writing exercises. This course moves at
a rapid pace and requires one hour of daily homework or reading.
Literacy I The Literacy I class is designed to improve students’ reading fluency,
comprehension, vocabulary, phonics and phonemic awareness. Students use a program
designed to help them improve their reading confidence, fluency and abilities.
Literacy II The Literacy II class is designed to improve students’ comprehension,
vocabulary and oral language skills so that they may succeed in all other academic
courses. Students read novels, complete projects and give a variety of presentations.
Math 7 In Math 7, instructional time will focus on four critical areas:
(1) developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships; (2) developing
understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions
and linear equations;
(3) solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and
working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface
area, and volume; and (4) drawing inferences about populations based on samples.
Honors Math (math 7/8) In Math 7/8, instructional time will focus on four critical areas:
(1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an
association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems
of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe
quantitative relationships;
(3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity,
and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem; and (4) solving
problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with
two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
Science The focus of science in the 7th grade is to provide students with
inquiry based experiences that allow students to develop their mastery of key common core
content standards while they expand their scientific process and analysis skills throughout
academic term.
Direct Instruction and guided inquiry will be used as students study scientific concepts in
the following curriculum: cells, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration; human anatomy; plate
tectonics and geological processes; geologic time and the fossil record; evolution and adaptations;
characteristic properties of matter. Our middle school science curriculum emphasizes
the skills of scientific inquiry, scientific literacy and the use of 21st century skills in these
explorations.
   
 
 
Subject Description
Humanities In 8th grade Humanities students will become more proficient
readers, writers and thinkers. Students will study American History from the American
Revolution through the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. Throughout these units,
students will parallel the experience of those in the past with the struggles that people endure
throughout the world today.
Included in the curriculum is a novel study, a focus on analyzing primary and secondary
sources and developing the skill to make a judgment or argument and to support that
using evidence.
Language Arts In 8th grade, students will get ready for high school by refining
their reading, writing and critical thinking skills as they read and analyze poetry, short stories,
novels and non-fiction texts in each of six thematically-based units. Specifically, students will
read the novels Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, and Of
Mice and Men by John Steinbeck as well as independent novels, as they continue to identify
and analyze figurative language, literary elements, text features, grammar and mechanics and
relevant vocabulary.
Students will also write in various genres, including persuasive, compare and contrast, cause
and effect and critical essays, to demonstrate their ability to make connections between their
lives and literature, the lives of others and the world around them.
Honors Language Arts This class is designed to advance students to the Advanced
Placement program in high school where they can receive college credits. Students will be
required to acquire and show growth with reading skills including: analysis, inference, drawing
conclusions and judgment. Additionally, they will be required to write in the following genres:
expository, research, narrative and literary analysis.
Students will read a variety of short stories, poems, articles and novels which provide
students with more opportunity to constantly advance their skills in all areas of language
including speaking and listening.
Literacy I The Literacy I class is designed to improve students’ reading fluency,
comprehension, vocabulary, phonics and phonemic awareness. Students use a program
designed to help them improve their reading confidence, fluency and abilities.
Literacy II The Literacy II class is designed to improve students’ comprehension,
vocabulary and oral language skills so that they may succeed in all other academic
courses. Students read novels, complete projects and give a variety of presentations.
Math 8 In Math 8, instructional time will focus on three critical areas:
(1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an
association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems
of linear equations;
(2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative
relationships; (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance,
angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.
Algebra I Algebra 1 expands on the foundation of algebraic thinking laid
in middle school by requiring explanations of reasoning and adding linear inequalities and
polynomials. Multiple representations of exponential and quadratic functions are analyzed to
contrast with the linear models studied in middle school.
Topics of study include: Algebraic reasoning, functions, linear functions, statistical
models, solving linear equations and inequalities, systems of linear equations and inequalities,
exponential functions, quadratic functions and quadratic equations.
Geometry Geometry develops the tools of geometry, including transformations,
proof, and constructions, and uses them throughout the course to explore geometric
situations and deepen explanations of geometric relationships, moving towards formal mathematical
arguments.
Topics of study include: Geometry transformations, angles and lines, triangles, triangle
congruence, similarity transformations, right triangle trigonometry, quadrilaterals, circles,
geometric modeling and three dimensional modeling.
Science Concepts 8th graders will explore are chemical and physical changes,
energy and waves, genetics, weather, climate, human impact on the environment, the solar
system, along with synthesizing students’ middle school science knowledge in a unique unit
focused on the nature of science.
8th grade science students will develop critical thinking skills and techniques to conduct
independent scientific investigations and analyze data.
 
 
Subject Description
College Prep 6th 

College Prep is an academic elective course that prepares students for college readiness and success. 
It is scheduled during the regular school day as a semester long class. Each week, students receive
instruction 
utilizing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, motivational activities and academic success 
skills. Students participate 
in activities that incorporate strategies focused on writing, speaking, collaboration, organization and reading to support their academic growth.

Students will develop awareness of the values accompanying academic goals and success. The course will
focus on building self-confidence and communication skills in working with peers and adults.
Students will be exposed to reading strategies that will assist in vocabulary building and understanding
a variety of texts, and will also focus on prewriting techniques, summary writing
and structural components of note-taking. The students will increase college and career
awareness through guest speaker presentations, field trip opportunities and research.

College Prep 7th 

College Prep is an academic elective course that prepares students for college readiness and success. 
It is scheduled during the regular school day as a semester long class. Each week, students receive 
instruction 
utilizing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, motivational activities and academic success 
skills. Students participate 
in activities that incorporate strategies focused on writing, speaking, collaboration, organization and reading to support their academic growth.

The 7th grade College Prep course builds upon strategies introduced in the 6th grade.
Students will refine short and long-term goals, and as a result, begin to understand the value
in taking charge of their actions. Students will start working on intrapersonal and interpersonal
skills, as well as formal and informal speech. Students will complete self-evaluations and
peer evaluations, related to reading, writing, organization and speaking. In broadening their
writing practice, students will begin considering audience, purpose and form in their writing.
Students will take an active role in their learning, understanding the roles of all members in
assignments and collaborative lessons. They will expand their knowledge bases of note-taking,
in relation to studying and test preparation. Students will be exposed to different field trips,
guest speakers and research, to increase their knowledge of college and career options.
College Prep 8th 

College Prep is an academic elective course that prepares students for college readiness and success. 
It is scheduled during the regular school day as a semester long class. Each week, students receive 
instruction 
utilizing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, motivational activities and academic success 
skills. Students participate 
in activities that incorporate strategies focused on writing, speaking, collaboration, organization and reading to support their academic growth.

The 8th grade College Prep course focuses on preparation for high school. The students
will regularly exhibit and utilize the skills and strategies learned in the 6th and 7th grade College Prep
courses. Students will refine previous goals, focusing on their transition to high school as part
of a college preparatory path. Their writing will focus on completing all steps of the writing
process and varying style, word choice, vocabulary, structure and voice. Major writing assignments
include persuasive, expository, descriptive and timed writing. Students will transition
from active learners to leaders. Other areas of focus include increasing the use of technology
and building upon their test preparation and test-taking knowledge. They will broaden their
experiences with analyzing text and utilizing appropriate reading strategies in various settings.
Students will become more involved in the presentations of guest speakers and field trips,
particularly as they relate to preparation and prior knowledge. Students will also participate
in college preparatory testing and build connections with the high school they will attend.

Technology 6th The students learn several applications in MS Office. MS Word is
the focus for most of the semester. Students will be able to format a Word document using
different font styles, WordArt, graphics (ClipArt/photographs), and tables. Students will have
some exposure to MS PowerPoint, Excel and how to navigate the web for research purposes.
Technology 7th Students will spend more time using the internet for research in order
to create products in MS Office. Students will create a multipage document in MS Word
using different font styles, WordArt, and graphics (ClipArt/photographs). Students will develop
a PowerPoint Presentation on a selected topic that uses different Slide layouts, images from
the web, transitions, animations and sounds.
Finally students will use cameras to create a short “Stop Motion Video” in Windows Movie
Maker. Students utilize the design cycle in this project, requiring individuals to investigate, plan,
create and then evaluate their final product
Technology 8th Students will spend more time using the internet for research in order
to create products in MS Office. Students will create a multipage document in MS Word
using different font styles, WordArt, and graphics (ClipArt/photographs). Students learn how
to use MS Excel for data collection, developing tables and creating various graphs.
Simple formulas are used to calculate data. PowerPoint is used in a number of projects that
require the students to use custom animations, triggers, action buttons and hyperlinks in
order to make a PowerPoint “interactive.” This project also utilizes the design cycle.
Band 6th 6th grade band classes teach basic musical rhythms, counting
rhythm, instrument maintenance and care, fundamental pitches for the band instruments,
basic music vocabulary, basic improvisation, basic aural skills such as singing and ear training,
and basic breathing techniques.
The band instruments are tuba, trumpet, electric bass, trombone, baritone/ euphonium, percussion
(drums, auxiliary and mallets), flute, clarinet and saxophone.
Band 7th The 7th grade Intermediate Band class will continue development
from 6th grade band adding more complex rhythms and really developing a strong tone,
range, basic conducting, and an expansion of the musical vocabulary. This class is for those
who want to participate in band but need more time to focus on fundamentals.
Band 8th  Syncopation and other more complex rhythms are emphasized.
Range and tone production will be strengthened for the possibility of playing in high school.
Basic conducting skills will be reinforced. Also the music vocabulary will be moved to more
advanced concepts in music. It is more performance based than 6th and 7th grade band.
Jazz Band Students will play advanced music in different styles. Swing, blues
and other forms will be introduced. Improvisation will be emphasized.
Strings 6th The mission of the Kearney Middle School Orchestra Program
is to serve as a link between the elementary and high school music programs. The middle
level will provide an educational experience in which students will increase their skills and
knowledge in string playing technique.
6th grade orchestra students will learn basic music vocabulary and beginning music theory.
They will begin to learn the process of instrument position and bow hold; pizzicato, arco
bowing and double stops. Memorization of the D major scale is learned.
Strings 7th The mission of the Kearney Middle School Orchestra Program
is to serve as a link between the elementary and high school music programs. The middle
level will provide an educational experience in which students will increase their skills and
knowledge in string playing technique.
7th grade orchestra students will learn higher level music theory including scales and syncopated
rhythms. They will begin to play new finger positions as well as using advanced bowing
techniques; staccato, accent and spiccato. Memorization of the G major and C major scales is
learned.
Strings 8th
The mission of the Kearney Middle School Orchestra Program
is to serve as a link between the elementary and high school music programs. The middle
level will provide an educational experience in which students will increase their skills and
knowledge in string playing technique.
8th Grade orchestra students will learn advanced music theory including complex rhythms
and multiple/mixed meters. They will begin to play concert level repertoire using previously
learned finger patterns and bowing techniques. They will also learn the broader range of
dynamics and tone color. Scales include E, A, B, and D minor. Bowing techniques includes
hooked, brush and tremolo.
Art 6th
6th Grade Visual Art is a semester-long survey course. Students will explore a variety of materials and techniques in order to understand art’s purpose in the 21st century. Students will also be introduced to historical and contemporary art practices. An emphasis for this course is placed in building studio-based thinking and making skills.  
Art 7th
7th Grade Visual Art provides semester-long focus on symbolism and the translation of images into messages. Students will work to uncover the process of how artist translate their ideas into visual messages for an audience while also exploring a variety of historical and contemporary techniques and mediums. 
Art 8th
8th Grade Visual Art provides a deeper scope and insight into contemporary and historic artistic process. Students will work with a variety of media as they attempt to uncover the techniques and methods that make art purposeful. This class takes a deep look into concept as it pertains to composition.  
Physical Education 6th-8th The mission of our Physical Education department is to involve
all students in a variety of physical activities and promote a desire to participate in lifetime
recreational sports and physical fitness. The goal of our PE class is to cultivate a healthy and
active lifestyle for students. It therefore advocates activities that are not only enjoyable but
also contribute to healthy living.
Students are helped to develop the motor skills necessary to enable them to participate
successfully in a variety of physical activities, and to learn about the nature of physical fitness.
PE also serves to promote intercultural awareness, since physical education is a reflection
of elements of history, culture and values. It also enables students to establish links between
different areas of experience and provides opportunities for different forms of self-reflection,
communication and teamwork.
English Language Development 1 and 2 The purpose of the ELD class for levels 1&2 is to accelerate the
language proficiency of the students. The ELD class teaches English Language Learners the
vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar that they need to be able to effectively use the
language every day – within both school and real-world context.
The learning objectives are guided by the Systematic ELD Instruction that focuses on a solid
foundation developing the speaking, writing, listening and reading domains.
The support materials used in this course are Side by Side 1 and 2, Grammar and Beyond
(Cambridge), Inside the USA and several different websites.
English Language Development 3 This course is designed to accelerate language development for
intermediate English language learners who have agility with social interactional English while
lacking the academic language to meet grade-level communicative norms. Our ELD curriculum
is guided by the Systematic ELD approach and English 3D.
Both programs propel students to learn new academic vocabulary and language functions,
provide opportunities for discussion and writing, and teach specific grammar points through
high-interest, engaging topics that are relevant to adolescents’ lives and concerns.
English Language Development 4 This course is designed for students with an intermediate to high
level of English comprehension in the domains of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The
students demonstrate their abilities through scores on school, District and State exams. At
this level, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking are reinforced and supported in
order to teach academic and formal registers of the English language.
Using Systematic ELD and English 3D as guides, we strive to incorporate relevant themes into
strategic language development, such as cyber bullying, teen driving and many more engaging
topics. Our goal is to propel students to full language proficiency through maximizing students’
verbal and written engagement.