As a tuition-free public school of choice, Kid's Community College® Doctorate IV (Eighth Grade) Program culminates the 1st Degree Learning System™ Middle School experience and is the last academic year before the students enter High School. The eighth grade experience focuses on personal growth and responsibility as students encounter pre-algebra to algebra competencies, the study of physical science, and the study of The United States through Industrialism.
Students will be encouraged to increase personal accountability, develop a commitment to excellence, implement time management and organizational skills, exercise critical and creative thinking, and a look beyond one's self. They will explore topics individually, in small heterogeneous groups, and together as a whole class.
One of the key strategies in reading at Kids Community College® Charter School 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.
Kids Community College® has continued a pure focus on mathematics and achieving goals in helping our students succeed. The Doctorate IV 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 3 for Doctorate IV students will cover the following areas to achieve Kids Community College® and Middle School Reform Act goals of pre-algebra to algebra competency:
Students review exponents and investigate exponential growth. Topics include reviewing positive and negative exponents and scientific notation, understanding the meaning of roots, and exploring situations that show exponential growth.
Students explore techniques for rewriting algebraic expressions. Topics include combining like terms, using area models to explore the distributive property, applying the distributive property to expand expressions, recognizing and rewriting a difference of two squares, and recognizing and rewriting a perfect square trinomial. Students solve equations and systems of equations symbolically and by using tables and graphs. Topics include reviewing how to solve equations by backtracking and by doing the same thing to both sides; solving inequalities; solving equations with tables; solving equations with graphs; and solving systems of equations graphically, by substitution, and by elimination.
Students use balance and ribbon models to develop the "doing-the-same-thing- to-both-sides" method for solving equations.
Students understand and work with percents. Topics include percents as a common scale, finding percent increase and decrease, calculating percents of percents, and interpreting and comparing discounts.
SStudents recognize and describe symmetries and apply and describe geometric transformations both on and off the coordinate plane. Topics include recognizing reflectional, rotational, and translational symmetry; identifying lines of symmetry, angles of rotation, and direction and magnitude of translations; performing reflections, rotations, translations, and dilations; and writing and interpreting algebraic rules that describe transformations such as (x, y) (x, –y) is a reflection over the x-axis.
Students explore properties of lines and the angles formed by intersecting lines. Topics include fitting lines to data, finding angle measures of supplementary, complementary, and vertical angles, and constructing line segments and angles.
Students review ideas of linear variation. Topics include reviewing linear variation; understanding slope; relating linear equations and graphs; finding the equation of a line given a point and the slope, or two points.
IMPACT Mathematics offers a rigorous academic core for all students to complete Algebra 1 requirements by the end of 8th grade with students receiving high school credit. This program will help ensure the success of students in completing Algebra 1, preparing them at high school level mathematics while satisfying all requirements for the middle school reform act per Florida statutes. IMPACT Mathematics remains to help students develop a deep understanding of mathematics with an emphasis on algebra.
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 United States Through Industrialism will be the curriculum utilized for our Doctorate IV students. History Alive! The United States Through Industrialism immerses students in a powerful journey through the history of the United States from its earliest foundations to the age of industrialism. Students examine the philosophies, conflicts, and cultures around which the early nation developed and consider the influence of past events on the nation today.
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 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 Colleg® Doctorate IV students will take a course in Physical Science. The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity to investigate the theories and ideas associated with holistic view of the earth and physical sciences in a way that is relevant, useable and consistent with the Sunshine State Standards.
The six major benchmarks that will be covered include:
The curriculum that will be used is Science Explorer: Florida Physical Science by Prentice Hall - which is correlated directly with the Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
Kids Community College® Charter School will offer a course for Doctorate IV 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:
Students who are involved in the Kids Community College Charter School language arts curriculum will be able to:
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.
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.
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.
Kid's Community Colege® 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
Prior to completion of Grade 8, students will:
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.