Each year of middle school, students take the following courses.
All middle school students take the following courses: English, Fine Arts, Mathematics, Performing Arts, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, and Spanish. During their Performing Arts block, students enroll in Choir, Drama, Band, or String Ensemble. Eighth graders also have the option of enrolling in Drama Tech. All middle school students are also involved in Service Learning, which meets as a class once every two weeks. In order to complete middle school successfully, all students must meet the academic requirements of each of these courses.
Performing arts play an essential role in shaping the learning experience of all students at Bosque School. As part of the core curriculum, participation in the performing arts will engage students in content and skills that will provide meaningful and successful life experiences. Bosque School offers a rich variety of performing art disciplines which include drama, technical theatre, choir, string ensemble, and band. All Performing Arts activities at Bosque lead to performance opportunities where students build self-confidence and a sense of pride in their accomplishment.
Middle School String Ensemble teaches the students the subject of music through performance. Each level of ensemble provides a unique learning experience to strive for musical excellence and challenge the individual to grow as a confident musician. Ensemble classes cover a wide variety of subjects, including string technique, music theory, music history, form and analysis, improvisation, and composition. The goal for all ensembles is to develop a lifelong appreciation for music, beginning with performance.
SEVENTH GRADE ENGLISH
The unifying theme for seventh grade English is Diversity in Community. Our exploration of literature will be framed by the essential question, “What is the role of an individual in a community?” We will build our literary repertoire by reading and writing in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, novels, essays, and speeches. Students will advance their reading and writing skills as they refine their thinking about themselves and the world around them. Class discussions and homework assignments are designed to stimulate the students' personal responses to both the literature and their world at large and to provoke independent thinking and analysis; the emphasis remains on developing each student's ability to construct meaning from the text. Throughout the year, students are introduced to more complex rhetorical strategies as they develop their skills at writing the expository essay and continue to work on articulating and supporting their ideas, maintaining the unity and coherence of their focus, and finding confidence in their voices. The core of our reading will be a thoughtful representation from traditional and young adult novels with strong adolescent protagonists and diverse perspectives within a historical setting. Students will also be expected to read independently from a list of thematically appropriate novels.
EIGHTH GRADE ENGLISH
During eighth grade English, we will explore the relationship between the self and society. We will look at how various thinkers have understood the self, and we will examine how different characters establish themselves in relation to family, history, religion, fate, race, and culture in a variety of short stories, essays, poems, and novels. We will look at character struggles against society as they search for better worlds, flee broken ones, and inhabit a variety of utopian and dystopian spaces. Just as we will read across a variety of genres, we will also write in a range of formats. In preparation for high school, one primary focus will be becoming comfortable and competent writing analytic essays. In addition, we will immerse ourselves in a study of poetry and short fiction in preparation for Writers' Cafe, a performance and showcase of student work.
MIDDLE SCHOOL HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES
The middle school social studies experience is designed to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society. Through the exploration and study of historical events, as well as significant themes and ideas throughout history, students gain the information and tools necessary to become critical and informed thinkers about their world. Throughout the courses, middle school students are taught basic research skills, mapping skills, essay writing, how to make a formal presentation, note-taking, and the art of meaningful discussion and debate.
SIXTH GRADE: BE THE CHANGE: THE INDIVIDUAL IN SOCIETY
Throughout the year students will learn about famous and everyday individuals like Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chaves, and Martin Luther King, who helped shape our society. Students will become familiar with the struggles that people have faced and the different ways that they have overcome obstacles. In addition they will also follow current news events and strive to develop a greater understanding of the world in which they live. Through reading, research, discussion, and writing, students are encouraged to find meaningful answers to the following questions: Can the actions of an individual make a difference? Why should I seek to understand different cultures and perspectives? What are my roles and responsibilities to the wider community? This course does not use one specific text but draws information from a variety of sources such as primary documents, biographies, encyclopedias, atlases, field trips, short essays, and multimedia resources.
SEVENTH GRADE: NEW MEXICAN ENCOUNTERS
The seventh grade social studies course focuses on New Mexican history and culture. Throughout the year, students will develop their skills, in writing, reading, research, and critical thinking though a variety of student driven projects. Our studies will be framed by essential questions, such as: "What is conflict? How is conflict created?" and "How does geography shape culture?"
Along the way, students will learn to think like historical detectives, gathering evidence from multiple sources to formulate their theories and arguments. In addition, they will be challenged to analyze events from different perspectives and to articulate viewpoints other than their own.
These principles of inquiry will guide us as we explore New Mexico through field trips, interviews, debates, primary sources, historical fiction, current events, and the creation and installation of The Museum of New Mexican Encounters.
EIGHTH GRADE: THE AMERICAN IDENTITY - THE PROMISE AND THE PERIL OF SELF-DETERMINATION
Whether we realize it or not, we as humans are inevitably shaped by the historical conditions that have birthed our present times. The 8th grade social studies curriculum focuses on the roots, origins and structures of our American government in order that student to learn both the rights and the responsibilities of citizenship as well as the truth behind Faulkner's famous quote, "The past is never dead, It's not even past." Our year's exploration takes place through the lens of identity and self-determination. The history of our country, our government, its people, their trials, tribulations and triumphs over centuries has been one in which we have, individually and collectively, fought for the right to determine both how we are governed and who we are. Looking at our past through this lens will allow us to shine a light upon both the seminal defining figures and events as well as the historically marginalized peoples whose struggles too often go ignored. Doing so will likewise help students understand their present circumstances as well as help prepare them to emerge into a world where both the seminal figures and the amrgenalized grioups are still today struggling for the right to determine, for themselves, who they are.
Grade 8 Social Studies does not use a textbook, but rather utilizes a multitude of resources such as primary and secondary sources, multimedia resources, historical fiction, contemporary news sources, as well as group and individual projects. Strong emphasis is placed on strengthening the students' abilities to formulate coherent and compelling arguments both written and oral.Student will also be expected to closely read difficult texts, think critically, about what they read and synthesize the information the collect from their reading or research.This class involves some heavy academic lifting but the subject matter is so intriguing that the students will hardly notice.
MIDDLE SCHOOL LANGUAGE
The courses and experiences in the Spanish department are designed to develop not only language fluency but also an appreciation for the diversity found in the cultures of Spanish speaking countries. By the second semester of sixth grade, students will be in an immersion learning environment, which continues throughout their Spanish education. The department places an emphasis on the development and expression of all modalities of language acquisition.
SPANISH FOR HERITAGE LEARNERS 6TH AND 7TH
This course is made up of sixth and seventh grade students who have had exposure to Spanish by having been brought up in a Spanish-speaking household, having lived in a Spanish-speaking country, or having attended a dual language program during elementary school. The course will focus on the specific and unique language needs of these types of learners. Students will work to enhance their cultural background knowledge and to improve their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills through exploring and discussing a variety of literature from Latin America and by enjoying Latin music, oral tradition, history, and shared values. In-class activities will include small group discussions, storytelling, small performances, writing activities, art projects and music.
ESPAÑOL PARA ESTUDIANTES DE HERENCIA GRADOS 6 Y 7
Este curso se compone de estudiantes de sexto y séptimo grados que están familiarizados con la lengua española debido a que han crecido en un hogar hispano hablante, han vivido en un país de habla española o han asistido a una escuela primaria con programa dual en inglés y español. Este curso se enfoca en las necesidades especiales y únicas de este tipo de alumno. Los estudiantes trabajarán en aumentar el conocimiento sobre su herencia cultural así como en mejorar sus habilidades de escritura, lectura, comprensión y expresión mientras exploran y discuten una variedad de textos de la literatura Latinoamericana y disfrutan de la música latina, la tradición oral, la historia y los valores compartidos. Las actividades de clase incluyen discusiones en grupos pequeños, cuentacuentos, pequeñas representaciones, actividades de escritura, proyectos de arte, y música.
SIXTH GRADE SPANISH
Sixth grade Spanish is all about community. Students work on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills through studying the community in which they live. They learn to talk about themselves and their families and study the lives and traditions of people from different Spanish-speaking communities. The course is designed to inspire students to learn a second language by using music, food, dance, and art in everyday classes. The class is taught primarily in Spanish, providing constant exposure to the sounds of the language and continual practice in listening and understanding. A large part of the curriculum integrates concepts and vocabulary from other subjects (science, English, and social studies) in thematic units.
SEVENTH GRADE SPANISH
The focus of seventh grade Spanish is “Everything New Mexican.” We begin by working with the seventh grade team to create meaningful activities surrounding the summer reading. We are focusing on the fusion of European and indigenous cultures in the Southwest. We will look at place names in New Mexico and discuss their origins. We will discuss local traditions, and we will also be learning several traditional stories. Students will learn how to talk about their own lives and experiences in structured contexts. They will also have the opportunity to compare traditional New Mexican food with the cuisine of other Spanish-speaking areas of the world.
EIGHTH GRADE SPANISH
The driving theme of eighth grade Spanish is “Art as Social Commentary.” We will be exploring the work of artists representing social issues throughout the Spanish-speaking world. We will journey to Spain and study the works of Velázquez, Goya, and Picasso. Students will also study the works of the great Mexican artists Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and Frida Kahlo. In addition to these artists, we will study popular and folk art as it represents the societal and political concerns and values of people in Spanish-speaking communities throughout Latin America and the United States. Students will have opportunities to investigate the artistic elements and styles, as well as the social contexts and historical events surrounding each artist and their pieces. Additionally, students will have ample opportunity to create art following the masters’ personal styles. As a result, they will also be using vocabulary pertinent to these studies.
MIDDLE SCHOOL MATHEMATICS
The courses in the mathematics department represent a rigorous curriculum that strives to challenge students while instilling an excitement for math. Ultimately, students are prepared for college-level mathematics. The department places an emphasis on exploring ideas from numerical, algebraic, graphical and contextual perspectives. The variety and sequence of courses, as well as the multiple entry points for the advanced courses, support our department philosophy: "Every student in the right place at the right time."
SIXTH GRADE MATH
This course is intended to reinforce basic arithmetic skills, to introduce algebraic concepts such as evaluating variable expressions, and to strengthen each student's problem-solving skills. The curriculum covers such diverse topics as operations with fractions and decimals; two- and three-dimensional geometry; dealing with negative numbers, ratios, and proportions; and solving an equation with a variable. Rather than merely being given a set of rules to memorize in a lecture format, students discover mathematical principles for themselves and are therefore encouraged to participate actively in class discussions. This process is supported by homework assignments and various individual and group activities and projects.
ADVANCED SIXTH GRADE MATH
This course is designed to meet the needs of 6th grade students who are ready for 7th grade mathematics and demonstrate the abstract thinking that is requires for the course. Participants are identified through a teacher-created assessment administered in the fall of sixth grade. all students participate in the placement assessment. The assessment looks for advanced conceptual, arithmetic, and problem-solving skills as well as flexibility in thinking and numeracy. One day each week is spent on solving problems from the Mathcounts and Math Olympiad competitions. Students are invited, but not required, to participate in these as well as other competitions sponsored by the school.
SEVENTH GRADE MATH
This course is designed to assist students as they make the transition between the concrete subject of arithmetic and more abstract subjects like algebra and geometry. This is accomplished by working with variables, variable expressions, equations, inequalities, and formulas. Subjects covered in earlier math courses such as fractions, ratios, percents, exponents, radicals, and probability are studied in greater depth for further mastery. The students also explore the geometry of polygons and similarity. The course is taught so that a wide range of abilities is challenged through riddles, puzzles, and more complex mathematical problems supplementing the daily coursework. In addition to the specific arithmetic, algebraic, and geometric skills and concepts mentioned above, this course begins to develop students’ ability to communicate mathematical knowledge through symbols.
ADVANCED SEVENTH GRADE MATH
This course is designed to meet the needs of seventh grade students who are ready for Algebra and have demonstrated the abstract thinking that is required for the course. Participants have either successfully completed the sixth grade advanced math class or been identified in 6th grade through their demonstration of mastery of the course concepts as well as other critical thinking problems like Math Olympiad and MATH Counts. One day each week is spent on solving problems from the Mathcounts and Math Olympiad competitions. Students are invited, but not required, to participate in these as well as other competitions sponsored by the school.
EIGHTH GRADE MATH
This course is an integrated curriculum which helps students develop further understanding of important concepts, skills, procedures, and ways of thinking and seasoning in preparation for Algebra 1. Students engage in conceptual learning through problem-based activities which are then connected with algorithmic approaches. Students will participate in ongoing skill review and explore topics such as linear, exponential, and quadratic functions; area, volume and perimeter of polygons and solids; and writing and solving equations and inequalities.
This class covers the fundamental concepts of beginning algebra. Algebraic concepts are viewed from varied perspectives to help students develop their abilities with abstraction and generalization; application of knowledge is fundamental to each topic. This course includes real-world problems with relevant uses of elementary algebra, statistics, probability and geometry. The content of the course focuses on the concept of variables; the four basic arithmetic operations from an algebraic perspective; linear equations and inequalities; the geometry of lines in the plane; and the concepts of distance, square roots and absolute value. The course also studies the algebraic descriptions of lines in the plane, using slope-intercept, and linear combination forms of lines. Other topics include powers, compound interest, exponential growth and decay, operations with polynomials, linear systems and quadratics.
YEAR I (GEOMETRY/ALGEBRA II)
This course includes both geometry and intermediate algebra. Emphasis will be placed on developing and applying intuition for algebraic and geometric properties. The purpose of integrating Algebra II and geometry is to build a stronger connection between the disciplines and provide regular exploration of both algebra and geometry. Students will often engage in problems that require both algebraic and geometric skills thus deepening their understanding of the material. Students will investigate geometric principles and algebraic relationships using Geogebra and Geometer’s Sketchpad, as well as compass and straightedge. Coordinate geometry will be emphasized. Topics include properties of parallel and perpendicular lines, triangles, polygons, and circle properties, transformations, linear and quadratic functions, matrices, complex numbers, arithmetic sequences, proportion, and similarity. Prerequisite: Algebra I.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATION
The Middle School Physical Education curriculum focuses on each student's continuous development of physical fitness attributes and movement skills. Five themes are central to the program: fitness integrated (coordinated) movement, striking, throwing and catching, body management, and group initiatives. The actual activities used to address six physical education performance standards, which stress physical, social, and intellectual development, vary each year. Both formal and informal procedures are used regularly to assess the students' movement skill performances and knowledge. Students are given opportunities to develop leadership and to work in small groups to solve problems or accomplish tasks. Diverse capabilities and social needs of individual students are addressed in the physical education program. Through purposeful learning activities, students are guided to refine motor, social, and intellectual skills which serve to promote a fit and active lifestyle for the future. Health-related fitness is also addressed through Current Teen Health as well as other resources that serve to enhance a student’s breadth and depth of knowledge in various areas.
MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE
Bosque School’s middle school science program is a field- and community-based curriculum. It is designed to engage students in real, inquiry-based science. Students are given the opportunity to contribute to the larger world of science by participating in actual research and applied science projects. Whenever possible, students work and share their data with government, university, and other scientists. Students experience their local landscape in ways that allow them to build direct, personal, and visceral connections with it. These connections lay the foundation for students to construct scientific understanding from authentic experiences. The coursework is consistent with national science standards established for middle school, including the practices, cross-cutting concepts, and core ideas of the Next Generation Science Standards (April 2012).
SIXTH GRADE SCIENCE
In sixth grade, students work along the Rio Grande, in our riparian forest known locally by its Spanish name bosque. Mostly brought on by human activity, the bosque is undergoing tremendous transformation. Students study this change in the field and classroom. Students participate in the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP), a research project for long-term environmental monitoring of the bosque. BEMP is a joint effort coordinated by the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Bosque School, and is sponsored by the Black Institute for Environmental Studies at Bosque School. Through this program, students participate as “real scientists doing real scientific research.” During a variety of field activities, students collect data to study the biodiversity and ecosystem changes in the bosque. These activities include recording local weather conditions (e.g., rainfall and temperature), amounts and types of leaf litter that fall to the forest floor, and depths of the groundwater table; small mammal trappings; surveying ground-dwelling arthropods; and tracking porcupines. In addition to BEMP, students engage in various inquiry and hands-on learning experiences to make science relevant to their everyday lives. These group and individual activities are designed to spark students’ curiosity and observation skills, strengthen their knowledge of our living environment, and help them plan, carry out, and communicate their scientific investigations.
SEVENTH GRADE SCIENCE
In seventh grade, students expand their studies outward from the Rio Grande and engage in a watershed-wide exploration. On a monthly basis, students
monitor the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of their home watershed. Research findings will be shared with other students, natural resource agencies, UNM, and other scientists. Students will be engaged in activities that facilitate the learning of science process skills and the scientific method. Students conduct their surface monitoring through participation in a New Mexico Department of Game and Fish-sponsored Watershed Watch program. In it, students are part of a state-wide network of student monitors. The surface water research sites include a high mountain stream northeast of Albuquerque, a small stream in Albuquerque’s eastern foothills, two merging streams in the Jemez Mountains, and the main channel of the Rio Grande. Seventh grade science students share their data with other researchers and the community at large. Students make formal presentations to other students from other schools. Student field work is supported by laboratory, classroom, and computer lab activities.
EIGHTH GRADE SCIENCE
In eighth grade, students expand their knowledge of the environment by exploring topics in earth science through a combination of field and laboratory based experiments. Students also complete several individual research projects, write formal lab reports, and create presentations for peer review. By the end of 8th grade science, students have a strong understanding of the relationships between math, engineering, technology, and science.They improve upon the laboratory and research skills learned in seventh grade, while functioning in a more formal laboratory setting. Students also have the opportunity to see how their local experiences connect to the larger global context.
MIDDLE SCHOOL SERVICE LEARNING
All Bosque School middle school students attend twice-monthly Service Learning class that is integrated into the core curriculum. Each grade focuses their time on projects associated with a particular theme. Bosque School 6th graders focus on their school and local environmental community. They manage the recycling and lost and found programs on campus while learning about stewardship of the environment surrounding our campus. The 7th graders explore the causes and implications of hunger and poverty at local, national and global levels. Students volunteer at local community gardens, food pantries, food banks and other community-based services. Eighth graders delve into strengthening literacy among our community’s at-risk children. Through partnerships with local Head Start programs, our students read and do other literacy-building activities with preschoolers, building friendships with their young “buddies” as mentors, and inspiring them to develop a love of reading.