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Doctorate III - 7th Grade

As tuition-free public school of choice, Kid's Community College® Doctorate III Program (seventh grade) continues to build on all the skills students acquire in the Doctorate II Program (sixth grade). Students apply what they learn in meaningful and "real world" contexts. As they explore topics in a variety of ways and through various sources, students learn to relate what they are learning to their own lives. Activities for home exploration help students' bridge school learning and their lives at home, with the intent of helping students develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.

With thematic instruction, students will explore interesting topics in a variety of ways over a longer period. Doctorate III students will come to view school subjects as connected and interrelated, rather than isolated and divided, because subject areas such as math, science, social studies, art, and music may be studied within the context of a given theme that can feed off student's issues and concerns. This exploration may include reading and writing about the topic, role-playing, art projects, music, and research.

Reading

One of the key strategies in reading at Kids Community College® Charter Schools is our firm belief in strong, independent, comprehensive readers. Our 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. Our 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. All students and families will be encouraged to attend family programs that address and support reading and literacy skills. One of the most important advantages of cross-curricular thematic instruction is that it is both flexible and adaptable. Because a variety of reading resources are utilized, all students have the opportunity to read materials that are of interest to them and at the appropriate difficulty level. Lessons are flexibly planned, based on students' needs and interests. For example, while some students may need extra practice with a strategy or skill, others may need additional time for writing or independent reading. This flexibility is central to thematic teaching.

Mathematics

Kids Community College® has continued a pure focus on mathematics and achieving goals in helping our students succeed. The Doctorate III students will continue this tradition by completing top tiered mathematics curriculum designed for all students to achieve. The curriculum that has been chosen is Glencoe IMPACT Mathematics 2009.

Glencoe IMPACT Mathematics Course 2 for Doctorate III students will cover the following areas to achieve Kids Community College® and Middle School Reform Act goals of pre-algebra to algebra competency:

  1. Patterns and Numbers

    Students expand their knowledge of exponents to very large and small numbers. Students learn more about the real numbers including rational and irrational numbers

  2. Algebra

    Students represent situations with algebraic expressions and use the distributive property to rewrite expressions. Topics include writing algebraic expressions to represent situations, making up situations to match algebraic expressions, exploring concrete models of the distributive property, using the distributive property to rewrite expressions, and backtracking to solve equations

    Students use balance and ribbon models to develop the "doing-the-same-thing- to-both-sides" method for solving equations.

  3. Fractions and Decimals

    Students develop and apply algorithms for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and review methods for finding products and quotients of decimals. Students explore ratios, unit rates, and proportions.

  4. Geometry and Measurement and Solving Equations

    Students gain experience visualizing three-dimensional structures and explore surface area and volume. Topics include creating and interpreting views of block structures; finding surface area and volume of block structures, prisms, and cylinders; exploring different surface areas for a given volume and different volumes for a given surface area; creating nets for three-dimensional figures; and determining whether a net can fold to form a given figure, and exploring mass and weight.

    This mathematical curriculum also helps students develop skill at solving equations by using the backtracking and guess-check-and-improve methods.

  5. Data and Probability

    Students explore sampling techniques and investigate the probability concepts of fairness and independence. Topics include understanding and applying sampling techniques, extrapolating from sample data, understanding the importance of random samples, exploring how sample size is related to the reliability of conclusions, and interpreting data collected from probability experiments, creating and interpreting data graphs including double-bar graphs, circle graphs, and stem-and-leaf graphs.

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 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 students Multiple Intelligences and incorporate 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.

History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond will be the curriculum utilized for our Doctorate III students. History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond introduces students explores the legacy of civilizations from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to Asia and the Americas. From the decline of feudalism to the revolutions in science, exploration, and thought that are the foundations of our modern world, students will discover rich connections to the past.

Utilizing this curriculum will encourages 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 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. Kids Community College® Middle School grade students will be given prewriting activities, authentic writing assignments and a guided writing process to encourage students to write with style and meaning.

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. Students should be 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 III students will take a course in Life Science. The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth study of Life/Environmental Science content, processes and applications of concepts of life. Coursework will include exploratory experiences and lab activities, and will provide content enrichment to challenge creativity in the form of open-ended activities and ongoing study of research methodology and scientific inquiry. Inquiry based learning is an essential part to this learning experience.

The six major benchmarks that will be covered include:

  1. Nature of Science
  2. Classification of Living Organisms
  3. Processes of Life
  4. How Living Things Interact with their Environment
  5. Patterns of Structure and Function in Living Things
  6. Process and Importance of Genetic Diversity

Writing and Language Arts

Kids Community College® Charter School will offer a course for Doctorate III students to 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, Kids Community College® Charter School's language arts curriculum will include:

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

Students who are involved in the Kids Community College® Charter School language arts curriculum will be able to:

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

Students will demonstrate competence in written assignments with practice in expository writing, placing a strong emphasis on proper sentence structure and paragraph and essay organization. Students will also learn the correct way to create business letters, memos, and reports on media. Throughout the curriculum, students will be directed to create research papers that will help them identify appropriate sources for research, form a bibliography, organize the paper properly, and cite references/acknowledge their sources accurately.

Other forms of writing such as compositional poetry (ballads, free verse, sonnet, heroic couplets, and blank verse) will be developed throughout the curriculum. This will give the students the opportunity to create skills and techniques to express their writing.

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.

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.

  • 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 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 students will have resources available to each of them to enhance knowledge in a non-native language. During the courses offered at Kids 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

Kid's Community College® recognizes that the work place and home will demand technology savvy citizens of the future - parents and students - who can use higher order thinking skills. Technology is an essential tool for instruction and it is our goal for it to become integrated in the curriculum. We will integrate state-of-the-art technology, including mobile laptop carts and supplemental educational software as an additional teaching tool.

Technology Foundation Standards

  • Basic operations and concepts
    • Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.
    • Students are proficient in the use of technology.
  • Social, ethical, and human issues
    • Students understand the ethical, cultural, and societal issues related to technology.
    • Students develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.
  • Technology productivity tools
    • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
  • Technology communications tools
    • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
  • Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools
    • Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.

Physical Education

The physical education program will follow course code guidelines, the National Standards for Physical Education, and regional standards (such as Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and New Common Core Standards). The 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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