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GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO COURSES

Below is a complete list of courses offered at The Woodlands Methodist School for Grades 5 – 8. These grades are a place where students are rapidly growing and changing emotionally, socially and intellectually. The curriculum is rigorous while being balanced. Critical thinking, skill development and subject mastery are at the heart of the curriculum. We focus on the skills needed to become confident learners and build upon them.

TWMS is a dynamic Christian-based school with high academic standards. With that in mind, we offer a challenging and exciting curriculum. Our teachers and administrators work hand in hand with each individual family to help select the perfect course load for each student. Students who wish to take a Pre-AP course should acquire the signature of their current teacher in that subject when filling out their course request in the spring.

Core Subjects

English, Language Arts, and Reading

Grade: 5
Prerequisite: None

Students will engage in meaningful activities that build on their prior knowledge and skills in order to strengthen their reading, writing, and oral language skills in five key areas: reading, writing, research, listening and speaking, and oral and written conventions.

Grade: 6
Prerequisite: None

Grade 6 is an important transition year before students reach middle school; they must become adept at reading more complex texts and producing more analytical forms of writing. Students will engage in meaningful activities that build on their prior knowledge and skills in order to strengthen their reading, writing, and oral language skills in five key areas: reading, writing, research, listening and speaking, and oral and written conventions.

Grade: 7
Prerequisite: None

In 7th grade, students refine and master previously learned knowledge and skills that make up the basic foundation blocks of language arts. Emphasis is placed on developing literary, composition, grammar, vocabulary, and spoken skills. Students continue to read widely in classic, contemporary, and informational text selections and to use different forms of writing with a strong emphasis on conventions and style on a regular basis. This course will strengthen knowledge and increase the academic challenge of all students. Students may choose between pre-AP and standard level. The pre-AP course will offer students to study each topic in more depth.

Grade: 8
Prerequisite: None

Students will continue to refine and master previously learned knowledge and skills that make up the basic foundation blocks of language arts emphasized by literary, composition, grammar, vocabulary, and spoken skills. 8th grade students will read widely in classic, contemporary, and information texts. They will also produce multi-paragraph compositions with a strong emphasis on varied sentence structure and other conventions of written language. This course will strengthen knowledge and increase the academic challenge of all students. Students may choose between pre-AP and standard level. The pre-AP course will offer students to study each topic in more depth.

Mathematics

MATHEMATICS

Grade: 5 | Math 5
Prerequisite: None

Math allows students to build on their basic math skills while pushing them towards higher order and critical thinking. Units such as multiplying and dividing decimals, graphing data and statistics, working algebraic expressions, and finding the perimeter, area, and volume of different shapes supplement daily skills such as place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Grade: 6 | Math 6
Prerequisite: None

This course will develop and extend procedures for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of integers and positive rational numbers. Students will also develop an understanding of and solve ratio and rate problems, create equivalent ratios that describe situations that involve proportionality, solve problems involving proportional relationship, use expression and equations to represent relationships in a variety of contexts, and use mathematical symbols.

Grade: 7 | Math 7
Prerequisite: None

Students will develop fluency with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of rational numbers and use operations to solve problems. Students will use reasoning about ratios, rates, proportionality, and percent to solve problems, select, justify and use appropriate symbolic representations to solve problems in varied contexts, including the use of geometric formulas for pyramids and circles.

Grade: 8 | Pre-algebra
Prerequisite: None

Students will cover all TEKS for Grade 8 and a portion of the TEKS for Algebra 1. Students will develop fluency with rational number computation, roots, order of operations, ratios & proportions, expressions, equations, slope, linear equations. Select, justify, and use appropriate symbolic representations to solve problems in varied context, including use of geometric formulas for pyramids and circles, use representations of center, spread, and shape to compare and form inferences about sets of data. This course serves as preparation for Algebra 1.

Grade: 6 | Honors Math
Prerequisite: Performance on 5th grade post test, 5th grade math score, teacher recommendation

Students will study all Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills required for grade 6 and a large portion of the TEKS for grade 7. The additional content will include: developing fluency with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of rational numbers, use the operations to solve problems, use of reasoning about ratios, rates, proportionality, and percent to solve problems in preparation for Algebra 1 (as high school credit) in grade 8.

Grade: 7 | Pre-AP Pre-algebra
Prerequisite: Successful completion of 6th grade Pre-AP and/or teacher recommendation

Students will cover all TEKS for Grade 7 and a portion of the TEKS for grade 8. The additional content will include: select, justify, and use appropriate symbolic representations to solve problems in varied context, including use of geometric formulas for pyramids and circles, use representations of center, spread, and shape to compare and form inferences about sets of data. This course serves as preparation for Algebra 1 (for high school credit) in Grade 8.

Grade: 8 | Pre-AP Algebra 1
Prerequisite: Successful completion of 7th grade Pre-AP and/or teacher recommendation.

Students will build on the knowledge and skills for mathematics in Grades 6-8, which provide a foundation in linear relationships, number and operations, and proportionality. Students will study linear, quadratic, and exponential functions and their related transformations, equations, and associated solutions. Students will connect functions and their associated solutions in both mathematical and real-world situations. Students will use technology to collect and explore data and analyze statistical relationships. In addition, students will study polynomials of degree one and two, radical expressions, sequences, and laws of exponents. Students will generate and solve linear systems with two equations and two variables and will create new functions through transformations.

Science

Grade: 5 | General Science
Prerequisite: None

Bring Science Alive! Exploring Science Practices guides students through an introduction to ecology, life science, basic chemistry, and astronomy. Students will learn to use the scientific method to begin performing basic scientific investigations.

Grade: 6 | Earth Science and Technology
Prerequisite: None

Students will study geology, oceanography, and climatology. Students will use the scientific method to perform scientific investigations. Students will study and incorporate technology as it relates to each area of investigation.

Grade: 7 | Life Science and Technology
Prerequisite: None

Students will conduct field and laboratory investigations using the scientific method. The students will be doing critical-thinking and problem solving in life sciences. Participation in outside-of-class scientific research projects is required. Much of the curriculum involves using scientific and technological tools to collect and analyze data.

Grade: 8 | Physical Science and Technology
Prerequisite: None

Students will conduct laboratory investigations using the scientific method. The students will be doing critical-thinking and problem solving in beginning chemistry and physics. The Metric system and measurement including basic math computations will be used throughout the course. Much of the curriculum involves using scientific and technological tools to collect and analyze data. Participation in outside-of-class scientific research projects is required.

SCIENCE PRE-AP

Grade: 7 | Pre-AP Life Science and Technology
Prerequisite: None

Pre-AP Life science is a rigorous course that emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving and is recommended for students who have demonstrated interest in science. The course is interdisciplinary; however, much of the content focus is on life science with applications of technology. Participation in outside-of-class scientific research projects is required. Students enrolled in this course should expect extensive outside-of-class preparation.

Grade: 8 |
Prerequisite: None

Algebra 1 is recommended as a concurrent course.

This course requires students to laboratory investigations at a more advanced level using the scientific method. The students will be doing critical-thinking and problem solving in beginning chemistry and physics. The Metric system and measurement including more advanced math computations will be used throughout the course. Participation in outside-of-class scientific research projects is required. Students enrolled in this course should expect extensive outside-of-class preparation.

Social Studies

Grade: 5 | US History
Prerequisite: None

Social Studies Alive! America's Past covers American history from the first migrations into the Americas through the 20th century. Intense interaction with the personalities, places, and events that structured our nation leads students to be both keen observers of and informed participants in U.S. history. Geography is also a very important part of this class.

Grade: 6 | Ancient Civilizations
Prerequisite: None

History Alive! The Ancient World introduces students to the beginnings of the human story. As they explore the great early civilizations of Egypt and the Near East, India, China, Greece, and Rome, students discover the secrets of these ancient cultures that continue to influence the modern world.

Grade: 7 | Texas History
Prerequisite: None

Texas History tells the stories of people, events, and institutions from the state’s earliest civilizations to modern times. It touches upon and includes all of the social studies disciplines. People’s beliefs, the ways they meet their economic needs, form, and culture they transmit from one generation to another are all part of Texas history.

Grade: 8 | U.S. History
Prerequisite: None

Students will study the history of the United States from Exploration to Reconstruction.  Content will focus on political, social, religious, and economic trends through Reconstruction.  Students will analyze physical and geographic features of the United States and their impact on settlement patterns and population distribution of the past and present.   Topics will include colonial settlement, the American Revolution, creation and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the early republic, Manifest Destiny, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.  Students will learn about the great movements in our History, as well as the founding principles upon which our country is established.

Study Skills

Grade: 5
Prerequisite: None

The study skills class is for all Grade 5. This class will teach valuable study skills that will help to ease the transition between lower school and middle school. Students will learn and practice the skills necessary to be successful in all areas of school.

Electives

Art

Grade: 5
Prerequisite: None

The class will introduce students to art: its histories, criticisms, theories, and production. The studio focus is expressing feelings and ideas through a variety of visual mediums, processes, problem solving, and high-level thinking skills relating to art and composing visual elements.

Grade: 6 – 8
Prerequisite: None

Visual Arts introduces students to art: histories, criticisms, theories, and production. The academic focus is on the elements and principles of design, cultural studies and art history. The studio focus is expressing feelings and ideas through a variety of visual mediums, processes, problem solving, and high level thinking skills relating to art and composing visual elements.

Band

Band-Beginning

Grade: 5 – 7
Prerequisite: None

Students will be introduced to instrumental music through the selection of a band instrument. Students will learn to read music and basic music theory, including scale studies.

Band

Grade: 6 – 8
Prerequisite: Beginning band or 1 year in band

Students will be placed in a band class with students who have comparable skills. Auditions are required for placement. The overall goal of the band programs is to teach students: (1) respect for others as well as adults, (2) responsibility through a positive work ethic, and (3) a love and respect for music through learning how to play band instruments and working together. Participation in possible competitions and concerts as well as possible after school practices will provide a portion of the student's’ grade in band.

Physical Education

Grade: 5 – 8
Prerequisite: None

PE includes a combination of activities designed for improving physical fitness and body strength. It also introduces a variety of team sports, individual sports, and activities.

Middle School Choir - FLIGHT!

Grade: 5 – 8
Prerequisite: None

The Middle School Choir program, FLIGHT, focuses on building vocal skills and technique in an ensemble setting. Students will improve their music literacy through sight-reading and long-term practice of choral music. There will also be a strong focus on using our voices as an instrument of praise to God our Creator! The Middle School Choir will participate in a variety of concerts, contests and other performance opportunities both during and outside of the school day throughout the year, including but not limited to combined Music Department concerts with the TWMS Band, singing at school Pep Rallies and occasionally leading other students in worship at TWMS Chapel. Choir is a wonderful place for musical artistic expression and to make lasting friendships, so come join our Middle School Eagle voices in FLIGHT!

 

 

Foreign Language

French I OR Spanish I
Grade: 7 – 8

Prerequisite: None

Students take the first level of their language course spread out between their Grade 7 and Grade 8 years. In this way, students have more time to build a foundation in either Spanish or French. The course includes reading and writing, educational videos, interactive projects, and listening and speaking exercises. A priority is placed on creating a solid foundation in vocabulary and grammar as well as establishing a comfort level in communication. Successful completion of both years of this course will result in 1.0 high school credit.

Robotics

Robotics
Grade: 5 – 8

Prerequisite: None

This class embodies all the major elements of a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program. Students will use Lego Mindstorm kits to build a robot (technology) and move that robot on a playing field (engineering) as part of a regional tournament. They are also required to complete and present a research project (science) on a given topic. Students will have to calculate distances, timings and rotations (math) when they compete. This is a hands-on class that will help to prepare our students in any field of study.

Reading and Study Success

Grade: 5 – 7
Prerequisite: Teacher and counselor recommendation

This class will be a small class of reading and study skills instruction. It is designed to help students with a reading deficit to obtain the skills necessary to close the gap in this area and be successful in all areas of school.