Middle School Courses

Standard Course Selections

Sixth Grade

  • Mathematics 6
  • Science 6
  • Foreign Language: French 1A
  • Spanish 1A
  • Chinese 1A
  • Humanities 6
  • Focus 6, which includes study skills, computer skills, library skills, and writing instruction
  • Physical Education

Seventh Grade

  • English 7
  • Mathematics - Math 7 or Honors Pre-Algebra 7
  • Science 7
  • Foreign Language: French 1A or 1B
  • Spanish 1A or 1B
  • Chinese 1A
  • World Geography
  • Computer 7
  • Art 7
  • Physical Education  

Eighth Grade

  • Art 8
  • English 8
  • Mathematics - Pre-Algebra 8 or Honors Algebra I
  • Science 8
  • Foreign Language: French 1B, French 1, French 2, Spanish 1B, Spanish 1, Latin 1 or Chinese 1
  • American History
  • Wellness
  • Physical Education

Course Descriptions

English

Declamations

As part of the English program, all students choose, memorize, and declaim before the middle school a selection from a work of literary merit.  

humanities 6

Humanities 6 is an integrated language arts and social studies course focusing on ancient civilizations and the Middle Ages. Mythology and historical fiction are used to build critical reading skills and enhance the study of history. English grammar and composition are taught through the writing process. Vocabulary workshops are included to help students enrich their writing and to prepare for the SAT. 

English 7

The course stresses both grammar and vocabulary as valuable prerequisites for effective writing. Students are introduced to writing and encouraged to view writing as a recursive process involving five stages: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing/presenting. The class reads and studies various classical literary genres: short stories, plays, novels, and poetry. The students develop a vocabulary of specific literary terms for each genre, as well as vocabulary that enhances speaking and writing.

English 8

Both grammar and vocabulary are essential to effective writing and are, therefore, the foci of this course. The five stages of the writing process are reviewed often as students continue their exploration of the narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive modes. Students read a sampling of works from various genres, and students continue to enlarge their vocabulary of literary terms in order to create a foundation with which to discuss the various genres. In addition, students learn the fundamental steps in the research process.

Math

Mathematics 6

The math curriculum is devoted to developing student knowledge and an understanding of mathematics that is rich in connections: connections among core ideas in math, connections between math and its applications in other school subjects, connections between the planned teaching/learning activities and the special aptitudes and interests of middle school students. The content includes the study of number theory, understanding rational numbers, two-dimensional geometry, understanding of fraction operations, two-dimensional measurement, computing with decimals and percentages and probability.

Mathematics 7

In this course, students review and improve arithmetical skills, with an emphasis on operations with fractions and decimals and percentages. Ratios, proportions, and percents are used extensively in problem solving. Students learn fundamental geometric concepts, including similarity, and solve problems involving distance, area, and volume. Variables and patterns are studied extensively, including tables and four-quadrant graphing. Simple equations, integers and rational numbers, order of operations and distributive property are learned.

Pre-Algebra 7 (Honors)

This course is designed for above-average students. It enables the students to move from arithmetic and elementary concepts to algebra. The course emphasizes pre-algebra skills, such as working with variables, equation solving, and problem solving. Other topics covered include pre-geometry (similarity, polygonal shapes, tessellations, graphing of lines) and probability and statistics. Proportional reasoning is emphasized throughout. The course is taught using an integrated approach to the concepts, and cooperative learning is used frequently. All students learn to work with scientific calculators and computer problem solving.

Pre-Algebra 8

Designed to provide a smooth transition from arithmetic to algebra, this course reinforces arithmetic skills while introducing students to algebraic concepts and problems. A substantial amount of geometry is integrated into the arithmetic and algebra. Probability and statistics, equation solving, reading, and problem solving are emphasized throughout, and cooperative learning is used frequently. Students study linear and inverse variations and graphing, work with square roots and the Pythagorean Theorem, and recognize and represent quadratic functions in tables, graphs, words and symbols.   Students are introduced to simple quadratic expressions.

Algebra I Honors

This course covers concepts such as equations, inequalities, graphing, informal geometry, data analysis, and matrices. Applications are frequently used to develop topics. Systems, polynomials, and square roots will frequently be related to geometry and be motivated by applications, as well. Technology is used where appropriate.

Science

Science 6

The course is designed to give students foundational and general instruction in a variety of scientific disciplines. A hands-on, lab-oriented approach is used whenever possible to introduce and reinforce the concepts that are covered during the year. Initially, students become familiar with the way that science works and the nature of science. Other major topics covered during the year are (1) earth materials and processes; (2) measurement and conversions; (3) the nature of matter; and (4) waves, sound and light.

Science 7 

Seventh graders spend most of the year exploring the main themes of environmental science and ecology by focusing on the planet Earth as a space shared by all living organisms. They study the Earth, ecological interactions, biomes, people in the global ecosystem, energy resources, other resources in the biosphere, and managing human impact. The year concludes with a field habitat study and a survey of the six kingdoms of organisms, which emphasizes invertebrates and vertebrates.

Science 8

Science 8 leads students to a deeper understanding of how science works and of specific information covering various disciplines of science. A hands-on approach is used whenever possible to reinforce concepts in these fields. Topics covered during the year are (1) measurement and conversions; (2) chemistry; (3) motion, forces, and energy; (4) maps and weather; and (5) astronomy.

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness is a required course for all eighth grade students. Acquiring an understanding and establishment of good health practices and incorporating them into daily life are the key objectives for this semester. Health topics will fall under several various categories: Wellness, Drugs/Alcohol, Life Cycle, Communicable Diseases, First Aid, and Personal Fitness. Issues addressed in-depth will include nutrition, conception and birth, alcohol, steroids, tobacco use, STD's, self-esteem, and stress-management.

Foreign Language

French 1A, Spanish 1A, Chinese 1A (8TH GRADE ONLY)

Students are introduced to the language, with vocabulary and basic structures demonstrated in context to encourage communication. Basic vocabulary includes friends and family, shopping, and food. Levels 1A and 1B are taught consecutively over a two-year period in order to fully prepare students for Level II of the language. The primary objective is to help each student attain an acceptable degree of proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. 

French 1B, Spanish 1B

Students are introduced to the language, with vocabulary and basic structures demonstrated in context to encourage communication. Basic vocabulary includes health, vacation, and festivals. Levels 1A and 1B are taught consecutively over a two-year period in order to fully prepare students for Level II of the language. The primary objective is to help each student attain an acceptable degree of proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. 

French II (8th grade only)

Students at this level acquire a command of the four basic skills of the language. Increased emphasis is placed on the ability to communicate in realistic situations. Cultural readings survey life in the French-speaking world.

French I, Spanish I (8th grade only)

Students are introduced to the language, with vocabulary and basic structures demonstrated in context to encourage communication. The primary objective is to help each student attain an acceptable degree of proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Latin I (8th grade only)
This course gives students a solid foundation in Latin grammar and vocabulary, as well as an introduction to Roman civilization and culture. The primary emphasis of the course is to develop reading skills in Latin while learning declensions of nouns, adjectives, and pronouns, and conjugation of verbs in the active voice. Basic spoken Latin is used as a tool for enhancing understanding of the material. Cultural topics include the daily life of a family during the early/middle Empire and early Roman history/mythology.

 

History

Humanities 6

Humanities 6 is an integrated language arts and social studies course focusing on ancient civilizations and the Middle Ages. Mythology and historical fiction are used to build critical reading skills and enhance the study of history. English grammar and composition are taught through the writing process. Vocabulary workshops are included to help students enrich their writing and to prepare for the SAT.

World Geography (7th Grade)

This course is an introduction to the world’s physical and cultural geography. The continents of Africa, Europe, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, South America, and North America are studied. Focusing on the basic skills of reading and making maps, the course involves special assignments on various topics being studied. Critical thinking, internet-based research, and current events are stressed. Students acquire broad cultural, social, economic, and political perspectives on countries around the world.

American History (8th Grade)

This course is an introduction to American history from the Age of Discovery to the mid-twentieth century. Particular emphasis is placed upon the period 1776-1876: the American Revolution, the early Federal Period, the Age of Jackson, westward expansion, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Students learn the impact of key events and figures in the development of the government and society of the United States, and they develop skills in the use of primary and secondary sources, in map reading, in research projects, and in essay writing.

Fine Arts

Art 7

In a semester, students study the French impressionists and learn principles of composition that they apply to original drawings and photographs. In clay, students work on basic slab construction projects and throw on the wheel.

Art 8
In this semester course, an art appreciation unit continues to introduce great still life artists (like Georgia O’Keeffe) and prominent portrait artists (from Rembrandt to Chuck Close). Projects in clay incorporate more advanced skills in building slab boxes and throwing pots on the wheel.

Computer

Middle School Computer

For one semester each year, 7th and 8th grade students receive a broad-based orientation to computer applications. With increasing practice and sophistication, they work on keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, Internet research, and applications involving multiple formats simultaneously. Each year’s work quickly reviews and then builds upon the prior year’s instruction. Ultimately, students become adept at using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Other Middle School Offerings

In addition to the standard courses, Webb's middle school program also includes the following offerings.

Middle School After Lunch Program

Webb’s Middle School after Lunch Program is designed to enrich the personal development of middle school students and encourage the discovery of new passions. The program allows the students to choose from the following activities: Art, Choir/Music, Feet-to-Feet, Chinese Culture Survey, TEAM collaborative strategies, Finance, Quiz Bowl, PE and WILD (Outer limits). 

Emerging Voices Program

Each year, all middle school students choose, memorize, and declaim a selection from a work of literary merit in front of the entire middle school.

Extra-Curricular Programs

Webb's middle school students have the opportunity to participate on our middle school athletic teams or pursue the performing arts with our string ensemble and theatre program. 8th grade students are also eligible to participate in sports at the varsity high school level.