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Doctorate II - 6th Grade

Now being offered during the 2009-10 school term, The Doctorate II Program (Sixth Grade) marks the ‘entry' point for the 1st Degree Learning System™ Middle School experience. The Doctorate II students will progress in developing crucial math, reading and writing skills as well as the many other areas of learning.

As a tuition-free public school of choice, the Kid's Community College® the Doctorate II Program (Sixth Grade) marks the entry point for the 1st Degree Learning System™ Middle School experience. The Doctorate II students will progress in developing crucial math, reading and writing skills as well as the many other areas of learning.

Our Doctorate II curriculum is rich in content and activity, and students will enjoy the many high points of the year. Equally important will be the attitudes and skills students will gain and practice. These are the habits of mind, begun now, that will continue to open doors to research, communication, performance, and life-long learning and enjoyment.

Reading

Our Doctorate II students will learn explicit reading for understanding. Their focus will be on content-area text that includes science and social studies while breaking down comprehension instruction into smaller pieces for easier understanding. The focus of reading will give students the opportunity to gain knowledge from informational text more effectively by taking notes from textbooks and classroom lectures and studying from their notes.

One of our biggest goals in reading instruction is to ensure that the Doctorate II students make cognitive relations to what is being read and how to monitor comprehension when the information being read is not easily understood. Utilizing text features that assist in reading comprehension and SQR3 (Survey, Question, Read, Reflect, Review) and QHL (What Questions do I have? How will I find the answers? What did I Learn after finding the answers?), will assist the Doctorate II students in decoding words and building word-learning strategies making effective readers. Reading text quickly, accurately, and with expression leads to better comprehension building fluency strategies.

Doctorate II students will be engaged in classroom research and collaborative learning to ensure they understand what they have read and grow to the next level in reading comprehension. This program will also satisfy the requirements for literacy in the middle school reform act statutes by offering a rigorous, intensive reading program that engages the learner at every level.

One of the key strategies in reading at Kid's Community College® Charter School is our firm belief in strong, independent, comprehensive readers. Our Doctorate II students will participate in core literacy and language arts instruction the first 60 minutes of each day and integration into the other content areas will take place during the remainder of the day. The students will benefit from regular, on-going analysis of assessments/student work by teachers, staff, and administrators. All students will be actively involved in experiences that incorporate learning styles and/or differentiation. They will participate in flexible reading groups through Reading Mastery.

Mathematics

The Doctorate II students will continue this tradition in providing top tiered mathematics curriculum designed for all students to achieve. The curriculum that has been chosen is Glencoe IMPACT Mathematics 2009.

The goal of IMPACT Mathematics remains to help Doctorate II students develop a deep understanding of mathematics with an emphasis on algebra. IMPACT Mathematics also covers enhanced differentiated instruction through lesson interleaves with leveled instructional alternatives for each lesson. Glencoe is known for offering hands-on exploration of real-world applications that allow student discovery of mathematics concepts while they make connections between different mathematical ideas.

Glencoe IMPACT Mathematics Course 1 for 6th Grade will cover the following areas to achieve Kids Community College® and Middle School Reform Act goals of pre-algebra to algebra competency:

  • Patterns and Numbers

    Our Doctorate II students will learn how to include writing both recursive and general rules to describe patterns, following rules to create patterns, finding rules that relate input and output. Other topics include prime and composite numbers, odd and even numbers, common factors and multiples, prime factorizations, the meanings of fractions and decimals, moving smoothly between fraction and decimal representations of rational numbers, and negative numbers.

  • Fractions and Decimals

    Doctorate II students develop and apply algorithms for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and review methods for finding products and quotients of decimals.

  • Graphs and Data

    Doctorate II students will develop the skills of graphs with written descriptions, writing stories to match graphs, giving coordinates of points, plotting points, making predictions based on graphs, determining when it is appropriate to connect points, and interpreting graphs of real data. Additionally, students will be able to interpreting and creating line plots, stem plots, bar graphs, and line graphs; describing the shape of data sets; finding the mean, median, and mode; investigating the effects of large or small values on the mean, median, and mode; using measures of center and graphs to compare data sets; and making decisions based on data.

  • Geometric Measurement and Solving Equations

    Doctorate II students will measure angles and drawing angles with given measures, find and estimate perimeters and area of polygons and shapes with curved sides; Other areas of are developing formulas for area and circumference of a circle, understanding pi, finding squares of numbers and finding or estimating square roots of numbers, developing formulas for areas of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. This mathematical curriculum also helps students develop skill at solving equations by using the backtracking and guess-check-and-improve methods.

  • Probability

    Doctorate II students will be tasked with finding experimental probabilities, understanding that probability describes behavior over the long run, calculating theoretical probabilities, finding geometric probabilities, using probabilities to devise game-winning strategies, understanding and designing simple simulations, and making tree diagrams to show outcomes for situations involving independent and dependent choices.

Social Studies

It is important to keep the momentum from elementary social studies alive in middle school students. To explore, adventure, and discover history with purpose is one of the goals for our Doctorate II students. Our History Alive! curriculum empowers educators across the nation to teach social studies with passion and to bring learning alive to all learners. It brings history to life and achieves consistent, positive classroom results while being mindful of educational standards. All lessons incorporate an end-of-lesson processing assignment, involving multiple intelligences and higher-order thinking skills, which challenges students to apply what they've learned and helps students, synthesize and apply the information they have learned in a variety of creative ways.

History Alive is also sensitive to the Doctorate II student's Multiple Intelligences and incorporates six types of activities: Visual Discovery, Social Studies Skill Builder, Experiential Exercise, Writing for Understanding, Response Groups, Problem Solving Groupwork. This attention to Multiple Intelligence integrates well with the Kid's Community College® philosophy.

Kid's Community College® Charter School is dedicated to giving that imaginative, explorative, study to our students while educating them in world geography and ancient civilizations according to the middle school reform standards. It is with this in mind that History Alive! The Ancient World will be the curriculum utilized for our Doctorate II students.

History Alive! The Ancient World introduces Doctorate II 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.

Utilizing this curriculum will encourage students to construct their own knowledge through higher-level thinking, develops deductive reasoning, and taps visual, intrapersonal and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences. The activities encourage students to view, touch, interpret, and bring to life compelling images as they discover key concepts. Seeing and interacting with images in combination with reading and recording notes on the content helps students remember salient ideas. History Alive! also helps students understand how patterns, chronology, sequencing (including cause and effect), and the identification of historical periods are influenced by frames of reference.

Writing will also be integrated into this curriculum with instruction of showing Doctorate II students how to write forcefully and in detail about important topics giving students interactive experiences about what to write. The curriculum also expounds on strategies to tap into students' multiple abilities to enable all learners, even those with lesser linguistic skills, to have something memorable to write about.

Science

Science is a way of knowing, a process for gaining knowledge and understanding of the natural world. The Science Core Curriculum places emphasis on understanding and using skills. Doctorate II students are active learners. It is not enough for students to read about science; they must do science. They should observe, inquire, question, formulate and test hypotheses, analyze data, report, and evaluate findings. The students, as scientists, should have hands on, active experiences throughout the instruction of the science curriculum.

Kid's Community College® Doctorate II students will take a course in Earth Science. The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth study of Earth Science, rocks, minerals, fossils, topographic maps, geologic time, natural disasters, volcanoes, earthquakes, astronomy, and how Florida fits in with these topics. Coursework will include exploratory experiences and lab activities, provide content enrichment to challenge creativity in the form of open-ended activities and ongoing study of research methodology and scientific inquiry. The themes that will be included are systems, diversity and variation, stability and change, probability and prediction, energy and matter, cause and effect, models and theories, structure and function, scale and time, matter and energy, scientific method, and scientific habits of mind. The content shall include, but not be limited to: geology, astronomy and forms, water cycle, matter and energy, fossils and the earth's crustal movements.

The seven major benchmarks that will be covered include:

  • Nature of Matter
  • Energy
  • Force & Motion
  • Process that Shape the Earth
  • Earth and Space
  • How Living Things Interact with their Environment
  • Nature of Science

Writing and Language Arts

Doctorate II students writing and language arts curricula include improvement of writing skills and proper grammatical usage. To communicate effectively, students should be able to write for a variety of authentic purposes and audiences in a variety of forms, connecting to prior knowledge and the students' understanding of the content. In their writing, students should be able to create a focused purpose and controlling idea and develop ideas adequately considering the purpose, audience and form.

Writing is an essential process that includes several aspects: prewriting, drafting, sharing, revising, editing, and publishing. To communicate effectively, students should be able to apply knowledge of language and genre structures to organize sentences, paragraphs and whole pieces logically and coherently. For unskilled writers, the mandatory part of writing is fluency; after fluency comes the concern for correctness. It is important for student to learn the writing process and to have the opportunity to apply all or at least some of the writing steps for success in a successful reading/language arts program.

To ensure proper instruction of language arts curriculum, Kid's Community College® Charter School's language arts curriculum will include:

  • The Writing Process - prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing.
  • Forms of Writing - writing to learn, narrative writing, descriptive writing, expository writing, and persuasive writing.
  • Integrated Skills - writer's craft (ex. pacing, plot, simile, voice, character, etc.).
  • Grammar and Usage - sentence parts, structure, and type; use of noun, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, and other parts of speech.
  • Mechanics - capitalization, punctuation, indention, abbreviations, spelling, and reference resources.

Doctorate II students who are involved in the Kids Community College Charter School language arts curriculum will be able to:

  • Understand and create basic writing concepts that foster creative expression
  • Extend their language concepts and build upon what has been taught in previous years
  • Utilize effective, correct grammar and mechanics
  • Obtain spelling and vocabulary acquisition skills
  • Expand composition skills through formal and creative writing assignments.

Art Appreciation

The art curriculum is diverse, challenging, and symbiotic with the rest of the fine arts programs and the school curriculum. Emphasis is on art appreciation, skill development, and self-expression, innovation, developing aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance, and good work habits. Art terminology, design elements and composition are introduced and applied daily as integral parts of every lesson. Rotating art exhibits representing Kids Community College® Charter School student projects can be seen in the halls throughout the school year.

The Doctorate II students will meet twice a week for the school year. They will study the life, style, and techniques of an outstanding artist and apply what they learn to their own original artwork. In addition, they will have a unit in printmaking, and one in clay modeling. As time permits, students will continue to work in drawing, composition, three dimensional artwork, pastels, painting and mixed media. Some projects are in conjunction with other departments or current activities that are of interest to the students. These young artists will be urged to be creative, develop perceptual awareness, critical thinking skills, and an understanding of expression through art. They will be encouraged to be individual, unique, creative, as well as responsible students. Further development of perceptual awareness, critical thinking, appreciation, and an understanding of art will be promoted.

As part of the art curriculum, all Doctorate II students will be required to have a sketchbook in which they are to draw weekly. Each student will receive a written, comprehensive set of rules regarding this assignment, which is to be kept in their sketchbook. The students will be asked to draw one detailed sketch every other week, which will be noted in the syllabus as part of their grades. At the end of each nine week grading period, these projects will be evaluated as a major art project.

In middle school, a broad range of materials will be utilized to exhibit different kinds of art, thereby familiarizing students with age-appropriate tools and equipment that allows them to generate ideas and produce varied projects. Frequent interdisciplinary projects will occur using multi-cultural units as inspiration for visual art. The sixth grade art program will include the following list of art supplies and resources:

  • Collage and Mixed Media - Glue, found objects to include natural materials, paints, a variety of papers, recycled materials, and resource materials.
  • Drawing - Charcoal, colored pencils, crayons, erasers, found objects, markers, pen and ink, pencils, sketchbooks, stencils, and a variety of surfaces on which to draw.
  • Painting - Tempera paint, watercolor, brushes (all sizes and types), pastels (dry and oil), special technique materials such as salt and straws, sponges, surfaces on which to paint (many varieties).
  • Three Dimensional Objects and Crafts - Cardboard, found objects, glue, modeling materials, natural objects, paper, papier-mache, recycled materials, scissors, string, tape, thread, tools, weaving supplies, wire, wood, yarn, bisque tiles, and glazes.
  • Supplementary Sources - Books; community resources; computer programs; CD's; magazines; movies; music; picture files; professional materials from the Art Institutes around the globe; Getty Center for the Arts and NAEA; Tampa Museum of Art; Ringling Museum; reference libraries; KCC-CS families; slides and other visual aids; still life collections; TV; videos; and the Visiting Artists Program.

Foreign Languages

The application of learning foreign language will engage Doctorate II students to discover the language for which they have an aptitude and which they will continue to study through eighth grade, high school and college. Success in foreign language in high school is correlated to previous experience at the lower levels. Starting language study early can allow students to reach a high level of proficiency and give them the opportunity to obtain college credit in a language by the time they finish high school. It is well known that students that create a passion for a non-native language can have great advantages in their educational futures and career choices. Many colleges and universities require at least one year college credit in a foreign language.

The Doctorate II students will have resources available to each of them to enhance knowledge in a non-native language. During the courses offered at Kid's Community College® Charter School, students will be introduced to the languages and cultures through conversation, songs, videos, poems, games, reading, writing and hands-on activities which will develop their understanding of practical applications of foreign language and how to integrate these languages into their career paths. The students will have the opportunity to understand the cultural role of foreign languages and identify and use data related to community resources. Students will develop a self-confidence and appreciation for foreign languages and their different cultures. Students will be encouraged to continue their quest for understanding different languages throughout their middle school years.

Technology

Florida's Department of Education has adopted the National Educational Technology Standards for Students. Kid's Community College® Charter School will foster an atmosphere conducive to learning about technology and how students can integrate their learning in their lives. We offer an exploratory class where students are introduced to keyboarding. The Doctorate II students will be participating in the course keyboarding, which is an introduction to computer usage. Proper keyboarding technique, rather than speed, is stressed. Students will also be introduced to keyboarding skills, computer hardware components, word processing, Internet skills, the awareness of telecommunication concepts, and ethical use. Doctorate II students will be taught the following basic standards:

  • Basic operations and concepts
  • Social, ethical, and human issues
  • Technology productivity tools
  • Technology communications tools
  • Technology research tools
  • Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools

Physical Education

The physical education program will follow the Sunshine State Standards, the course code guidelines, and the National Standards for Physical Education. The Doctorate II students will be assessed on a regular basis during classes. Each student will be required to participate in physical education classes and all students will be encouraged to participate in afterschool programs that create a desire for personal physical fitness, teamwork, and an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle. The students will be able to identify community resources that are related to physical fitness and identify the effect of various cultures and possible career choices in physical education. Physical education provides a child with the knowledge, skills, and direction to begin the journey to a healthy, happy, and productive life. Special needs students who have IEP recommendations to be included in regular physical education classes may need modifications in both instruction and assessment of physical education skills. However, efforts will be made to teach special needs students with minimal but appropriate modifications in order to provide them with success in physical education.

The curriculum goals of the physical education program are to have students value physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction, students to exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings, students to understand and apply the health-enhancing benefits of cardiovascular physical activity, wellness plans, long-term physiological, psychological, and cultural effects from exercise, and proper nutrition. Students will demonstrate competency in knowledge and movement skills needed to perform a variety of physical education activities including the pursuit of improved personal fitness or in a competitive sport atmosphere. Students will also learn how to journal and document the positive experiences of physical activity as part of a wellness plan and record, analyze and summarize fitness assessments.

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