This course is designed to advance students in reading comprehension, and craft their writing, grammar, vocabulary, and public speaking skills. Students will read and analyze many short stories from an appropriate grade level textbook and several (four to five) novels that focus on various plots, settings, and character studies. In addition, students will complete one book report per quarter of a novel of their choosing (with teacher approval in advance).
Students will write in various forms, including essays, poems, short works of fiction and nonfiction, and analytical paragraph responses to questions related to reading materials. They will be quizzed on their grammar and vocabulary skills. Students will also be expected to speak in front of the class by presenting book reports, delivering persuasive speeches, and acting out plays and/or dramas (usually in groups).
Students are expected to participate in class discussions for purposes of assessing their speaking and leadership skills, reading comprehension, and ability to work in a positive group setting. All of the above reading, writing, and speaking assignments will factor in their assessments. Finally, students will work in groups to produce classroom artwork (posters) relevant to reading materials and participate in educational games and other related fun activities designed to get them accustomed to working as a team and complementing their learning.
6th Grade Math
Math involves the study of numbers, patterns, relationships, and shapes, and first of all happens in our minds. Through carefully designed situations, Xian Yun students are encouraged to develop their own mathematical understanding, instead of just memorizing and applying formulas. This gives them self-confidence and self-esteem.
In the first semester of 6th grade, the students become more solid with basic operations such as division by whole numbers and by fractions. They improve their understanding about rates and ratios and describe patterns with graphs and letters. In the second semester, the students learn to determine areas of polygons, what negative numbers are good for, and how to use decimals and percents.
Ancient World History
In this course, middle school students study civilizations of the Ancient World, largely from the B.C.E. and early B.C. periods. In addition to learning history content, students will be challenged to develop themselves and their skills in the areas of: Identifying and analyzing information from a variety of sources; Expository and analytical writing; Slide presentations and public speaking; Close-text reading; Identifying and analyzing primary vs. secondary sources; Identifying claims and arguments; Corroborating claims; Contextualizing information and claims; Crafting an argument; Developing into independent, critical and original thinkers.
In accordance with the Common Core Standards, students will be challenged to develop their skills working with informational and persuasive texts, and formulating those categories of writing on their own. This course serves as a foundation for students to be able to go on to study world history at the college-prep high school level.
Special attention will be placed upon appreciating the artistic achievements of each civilization studied. Students will also be challenged to incorporate their learnings on Chinese culture and history from their other classes at Xian Yun CA to further their appreciation for the history of the world cultures in a comparative perspective. Such a perspective will prepare students to become well-rounded and truly global world citizens.
This middle school course focuses on our home, the Earth. Students will have units focusing on scientific method, creating models & maps, minerals, rocks, energy resources, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, heat/thermal energy, the properties of water, erosion & deposition, oceanography, and weather & climate. Laboratory experiments will be a mixture of in-class “wet” labs (like growing crystals), outside data collection (like weather monitoring and measurement), and practical survival exercises (like compass orienteering, water purification, and preventing hypothermia). Students will be using a textbook alongside reading current non-fiction articles in the science field. They will learn how to collect data, graph data, analyze charts and graphs, and draw conclusions. They will further develop their science literacy and learn how to compare and contrast experiments and conclusions from leading scientists.
Chinese Basic Level I
Some students have little or no background in Chinese. Others may be overseas Chinese who are not entirely new to the language. They may understand the Chinese that is spoken at home or even speak the language, but have little or no literacy skills. Chinese Level I reviews and reinforces basic literacy skills across the four modalities: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This course gives a basic overview of different tones and pronunciation, vocabulary, and skills in reading and writing. Students practice their Chinese through teacher-led listening and speaking activities. By the end of the course, students are expected to recognize about 500 Chinese words and be able to write at least a few hundred words.