Academics

Middle School Curriculum

The Davidson Academy Middle School provides:
  •  Interdisciplinary teaching teams devoted exclusively to middle school. Teachers for the Upper School will only teach high school, and the middle school teachers can become experts in the needs of early adolescents.
  •  A homeroom that meets weekly to facilitate genuine relationships between teachers and students and gives parents a place to go for communication and a point of contact.
  •  A schedule, separate and apart from the high school, that accommodates their shorter attention span and allows for more movement.
  •  A weekly Middle School Chapel with content tailored to meet their unique level of spiritual understanding.
  •  Additional middle school student events separate from the high school such as pep rallies, dress-up days, projects, community service, student council, and their own middle school club structure.

OUR CURRICULUM (5th - 8th Grade)

List of 4 items.

  • Grade 5

    Bible
    Fifth grade Bible is a survey of the major events and themes of the Old Testament. Lessons focus on the following: God’s care for Abraham and his family, the journey of the Israelites from Egypt through the wilderness, as well as their first struggles in Canaan, the early kings of Israel, the division of the kingdom, the Babylonian Exile, as well as God’s wisdom and righteousness, as revealed in the Poetic and Prophetic books. 

    Language
    Both Grades 5 and 6 offer a balanced approach to reading, grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary. Reading instruction includes a variety of texts and emphasizes skills such as visualizing, analyzing text structure and features, inferring, summarizing and synthesizing. Independent reading is encouraged and modeled. Students continue to learn the fundamentals of grammar and the principal rules and mechanics of the English language. There is a focus on improving student writing through emphasis on organization, revision, and the development of techniques such as elaboration, word choice, and sentence fluency. 

    Math
    Computational fluency with whole numbers and decimals is a major focus. Decimal place value, fractions, volume, and geometry are also areas of emphasis. Students engage in daily problem-solving activities with the focus being on retention of skills, as well as life application.

    Science
    Our science curriculum is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.  Topics include matter and its interactions, motion and stability, Earth’s place in the universe, oceans, natural resources, Earth and human activity, engineering design, energy flow in the universe, and ecosystems. Fifth grade also studies inventors and the invention/engineering process. In the spring, students become inventors by devising their own original innovations made of recycled materials. We work closely with our science lab instructor to perform labs and create special projects.

    Social Studies
    Students explore United States history from the Civil War to present day. Additionally, students work on fundamental reading strategies as they learn to read for content information. Project based learning occurs throughout the year to help students gain a better understanding of history.

    STEM: Project based programming
    The technology course for fifth grade is designed to build upon previously learned technology skills to advance students in their understanding of technology concepts. Students will communicate creatively using software including a word processor, slideshow, and spreadsheet. A digital citizenship unit will help students recognize their rights and responsibilities in our digital world. Students will learn the foundational skills of computer coding using algorithmic thinking to solve problems. Mainly project based, this course will have students working collaboratively to leverage technology to achieve learning goals.
     
     
    5th Grade Electives:
    Art
    Students learn to develop long-term artistic goals that encourage the evolution of ideas. Graphic arts, printmaking, and color theory in a painting are further examined through art history lessons and art making.

    Physical Education
    Team games as well as team building help enhance the students overall understanding of physical education. Students continue to grow and develop skills learned in early grades. By grade 5, students should have mastered catching
    and throwing. Ability and skills are evaluated on each sport and activity. The Presidential Physical Fitness test is given to determine fitness level.

    Spanish
    This course is designed to be an introduction to the Spanish language. Students will learn vocabulary in the target language as well as advance in the four basic skills of language comprehension: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will be covering various units within their semester of Spanish. Some of the information students will learn includes but
    is not limited to the Spanish alphabet, numbers 0-100, clothing vocabulary, Spanish speaking countries and their capitals, etc. This class is designed to be one semester.

    Musical Theatre 7/8
    Musical Theatre class is an exploration of American Musical Theatre. Students will study the work of the actor/singer/dancer and use their gained knowledge to develop as performers. Students will prepare and present as soloists as well as members of small groups and larger ensembles. Students will prepare material for class presentation and critique. There will also be a focus on the audition process as well as musical theatre history and repertoire.

    Praise Team
    The Praise Band/Advanced Ensemble is an auditioned group. The students will arrange their own music and perform their selections in a weekly chapel along with special events inside and outside the school. The students will learn the Do’s and Don’ts of worship. This is a small unique class of students who have a heart to serve DA. They are held to a higher standard given the nature of their “public appearances.” 
  • Grade 6

    Bible
    Students will  delve into the word of God using the Positive Action Bible Curriculum. The goal is to help students find knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for themselves of the Word of God. We will work to bring Biblical characters to life as we learn about their lives. Through class discussion and analysis of character traits, students will learn how to apply these lessons and traits to their own spiritual walks.

    Language
    Both Grades 5 and 6 offer a balanced approach to: reading, grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary. Reading instruction includes a variety of texts and emphasizes skills such as visualizing, analyzing text structure and features, inferring, summarizing and synthesizing. Independent reading is encouraged and modeled. Students continue to learn the fundamentals of grammar and the principal rules and mechanics of the English language. There is a focus on improving student writing through emphasis on organization, revision, and the development of techniques such as elaboration, word choice, and sentence fluency. 

    Math
    In sixth grade, students learn key concepts along the progression toward middle school algebra. Ratios and proportions emerge as a new domain of study, where students explore and reason with ratios and rates in order to solve problems. Sixth graders will also investigate negative numbers for the first time and round out their study of the rational number system before operating with all rational numbers in seventh grade. Work with numerical expressions extends to algebraic expressions, which sets students up to solve one-step equations and inequalities. Students will also continue their study of area and volume of geometric shapes and will learn how statistics can be used to better understand data about our world.

    Science
    Students begin with the study of Earth science, the study of planet Earth. It covers all aspects of the planet from the deep inner core to the outer layers of the atmosphere. We focus on many fields such as; geology (rocks and minerals), paleontology (dinosaurs and fossils), meteorology (atmosphere and the weather), and oceanography.

    Social Studies
    Students will cover the beginning of human civilization from Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece to Rome. During each unit of study, students will learn about the development of social structures, laws, religions and governments, and how each of those societies affect us today.

    STEM: Digital Media and Safety
    Students use their laptop to complete classroom assignments. On the Lenovo Laptop they use photography and movie making for academic projects. By sixth grade, students are expected to be able to complete high quality work on the computer with self-correction of their work. An annual project that combines the use of a number of technology skills is the Social Studies Fair project. Students research a selected country on the internet, create spreadsheets and charts to report data collection, use Microsoft Word to write reports, and use Microsoft Publisher to create a travel brochure about that country. There is a strong emphasis on digital citizenship and responsibility. Ethical behavior when online is stressed, and case studies are a basic for discussion.
     
     
    6th Grade Electives:
    Art
    Students begin to understand how brain function affects their creative and analytical skills. Students make connections how events in history have played a role in art making over time. By sixth grade, students have an understanding of techniques used through clay construction, printmaking, tempera painting, and using the elements of art and principles of design to achieve a successful composition.

    Physical Education
    Students enhance motor skills through cooperative sports/games. Sports include football, basketball, badminton, and soccer. Students learn even more about details in anatomy and are tested. Dance is a fun part of the curriculum and concludes with a voluntary dance competition.

    Spanish
    This course is designed to be an introduction to the Spanish language. Students will learn vocabulary in the target language as well as advance in the four basic skills of language comprehension: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will be covering various units within their semester of Spanish. Some of the information students will learn includes but is not limited to numbers 100-1,000, adjectives, food vocabulary, family vocabulary, etc. This class is designed to be one semester in length and there are no prerequisites for this course.

    Musical Theatre 7/8
    Musical Theatre class is an exploration of American Musical Theatre. Students will study the work of the actor/singer/dancer and use their gained knowledge to develop as performers. Students will prepare and present as soloists as well as members of small groups and larger ensembles. Students will prepare material for class presentation and critique. There will also be a focus on the audition process as well as musical theatre history and repertoire.

    Praise Team
    The Praise Band/Advanced Ensemble is an auditioned group. The students will arrange their own music and perform their selections in a weekly chapel along with special events inside and outside the school. The students will learn the Do’s and Don’ts of worship. This is a small unique class of students who have a heart to serve DA. They are held to a higher standard given the nature of their “public appearances.” 
  • Grade 7

    Bible
    This course is designed to take students on a journey through the Bible, beginning with the Old Testament in 7th grade and continuing with the New Testament and life of Christ in 8th grade. The 7th and 8th grade will be studying the Word of God through the Route 66 curriculum. The Route 66 curriculum takes students throughout the Old Testament books, digging deep into the history, genealogy, and covenants of God. We look at themes and cycles found within the Old Testament, as well as, gaining perspective on how these Old Testament themes relate to us in the present day.

    Geography
    Geography 7 focuses on the basic physical geography of the world's regions and includes the important historical events in the development of countries of the world. 

    Language
    English 7 is based on grammar and literature. Grammar emphasizes spelling/vocabulary skills, understanding sentences, parts of speech, capitalization, punctuation, and basic writing techniques. Literature includes reading and writing about poetry, short stories, and novels. A research paper is also required and is sometimes a student’s first experience in learning how to gather information from scholarly sources, compile the information into a logical sequence, and present the material in a clear manner. Students learn to cite sources, create a “Works Cited” page, and utilize the MLA format, all of which lays the foundation for their future academic papers.

    Pre-Algebra or Pre-Algebra Honors
    Pre-Algebra or Pre-Algebra Honors assists students in their transition from fundamental mathematics to the study of algebra. Previous skills, concepts, and problem-solving processes are strengthened. In addition, students will be learning to communicate number sense concepts using multiple representations to reason, solve multi-step problems, and make connections within the study of mathematics and across other disciplines. All students are required to have a TI-84+ graphing calculator.

    Science
    Life Science 7 presents a study of diverse plant and animal organisms in relation to their structure, environment, and classification. In addition, a study of single-cell and complex organisms regarding their structure, processes, heredity, and reproduction, and an overview of human body systems and human health is held. Hands-on and virtual lab experiences are utilized to reinforce lesson concepts and encourage students to investigate and draw conclusions in order to promote scientific thinking in all students.

    STEAM: Science, Engineering and Beyond
    This course is designed to give you a taste of what scientists and engineers do by doing some fun projects. You do not have to be dreaming of pursuing a career in science or engineering to enjoy this course. As a matter of fact, it's okay if that isn't your dream. What we hope this course does for you is help you see how the math and science concepts you learn here at school are used together to find solutions to problems and make life better for all of us. And it just may be that this course inspires you to take action and develop an idea you may have to solve a problem in your own life someday.
     
     
    7th Grade Electives:
    Art 7
    In 7th grade, students who choose to take Art as an elective will examine ancient Egypt through a relief printmaking project. Students will hand-build your own Greek vase out of clay, assemble a paint chip Byzantine mosaic, develop Da Vinci like drawing skills, and improvise impressionistic landscapes. Also, Art 7 students will create tricky template tessellations used by mix media in an expressionistic self-portrait and assemble an abstract sculpture.

    Electronic Music 7/8
    This course is a one-semester elective offered in 7/8th grade. This course provides students with the basic knowledge and technical skills needed to advance their skills in creating Electronic Music through a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and prepares them for an advanced course of study in high school. Students will develop a basic knowledge of ethics in music, studio recording, basic music creation and performance of electronic music. This class is intended for beginners, whether you are musically trained or not.
     
    Theatre 7/8
    Theatre introduces students in grades 7-12 to the art of live theatre, helping to create an appreciation for theatre. Students participate in games, improvisation, and short scenes. They learn basic theatre terminology and theatre history (i.e. Greek, Shakespeare and Broadway musicals).

    Physical Education
    Physical Education focuses on physical fitness. Students enhance motor skills through cooperative sports/games. Sports include football, basketball, badminton, and soccer. Students are required to purchase and to dress in approved physical education uniforms.

    Spanish
    This course is designed to be an introduction to the Spanish language. Students will learn vocabulary in the target language as well as advance in the four basic skills of language comprehension: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will be reading the novel “Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro.” This novel is written entirely in Spanish and is designed to allow students to learn entirely in the target language. Some of the information students will learn through this novel study includes but is not limited to family vocabulary, likes and dislikes, adjectives, simple grammar concepts, etc. This class is designed to be one semester in length and there are no prerequisites for this course.

    Musical Theatre 7/8
    Musical Theatre class is an exploration of American Musical Theatre. Students will study the work of the actor/singer/dancer and use their gained knowledge to develop as performers. Students will prepare and present as soloists as well as members of small groups and larger ensembles. Students will prepare material for class presentation and critique. There will also be a focus on the audition process as well as musical theatre history and repertoire.

    Praise Team
    The Praise Band/Advanced Ensemble is an auditioned group. The students will arrange their own music and perform their selections in a weekly chapel along with special events inside and outside the school. The students will learn the Do’s and Don’ts of worship. This is a small unique class of students who have a heart to serve DA. They are held to a higher standard given the nature of their “public appearances.” 
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  • Grade 8

    Bible
    In 8th grade Bible, students will journey through the New Testament, exploring the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation. Students will memorize verses throughout the year. One week per quarter will be reserved for a ‘Spotlight on Missions’. Student will be invited to read the Bible not as a textbook, but as God’s alive and active, personal Word to them.

    Algebra 1 or Algebra 1 Honors
    Algebra I focuses on number and variable manipulation. Early on, students are expected to master the concepts of solving equations. Technology is used heavily to solve equations in a number of ways. Students will learn different ways to compare and contrast methods of solving. Students will learn factoring, foil and quadratics. Algebra I mastery prepares students for future classes in Algebra II and Pre-Calculus and beyond. Students earn 1 high school credit for this course and course average is included in high school GPA calculation.
    Algebra 1 Honors covers the same basic outline as Algebra 1 with a much greater emphasis placed on understanding the why’s and how’s of the process and its solution. Students will focus on real world situations and Algebra’s place in solving problems. Students will master the use of the TI 84+ to aid in solving problems in a variety of ways. Students who successfully complete Algebra 1 Honors will be on track for a future in the Honors Math Track. Students earn 1 high school credit for this course and course average is included in high school GPA calculation.

    Language
    English 8 focuses on the core areas of reading (literature), writing, listening, and speaking. Our literature emphasis includes novel studies, short stories, essays, poetry analysis, and self-paced reading, as well as integration of contemporary articles.
    There is heavy emphasis on development of writing skills in 8th grade through implementation of the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing). Students write often, ranging from guided prompts and topical responses to complete essays. Additionally, students build upon their knowledge of grammar skills from previous grades. Vocabulary is incorporated continuously throughout the year. Words are drawn from the current literature students are reading, as well as vocabulary curriculum, with an emphasis on Greek/Latin origins of words. Students learn about basic public speaking skills and have opportunities to present to their classmates throughout the year.

    Physical Science
    Eighth grade Science focuses on basic Physics and Chemistry.   Students will learn the foundations of motion, forces, energy, work, machines, thermal energy, electricity, waves, and light during the first semester.  Second semester will include matter, the periodic table, chemical bonds and reactions, compounds, and more.  Notes will be taken on their Surface Pro.  Labs will be conducted to prove their understanding of the concept taught. Eighth grade Science mastery prepares students for future classes in Physics, Chemistry and beyond.

    Social Studies
    History 8 provides a chronological study of America and its people from the exploratory period to the present, including a special study of the Constitution, and culminating in a trip to Washington, D.C., in the spring semester.

    STEAM (Digital Literacy)
    This course is designed to give you a taste of what scientists and engineers do by doing some fun projects. You do not have to be dreaming of pursuing a career in science or engineering to enjoy this course. As a matter of fact, it's okay if that isn't your dream. What we hope this course does for you is help you see how the math and science concepts you learn here at school are used together to find solutions to problems and make life better for all of us. And it just may be that this course inspires you to take action and develop an idea you may have to solve a problem in your own life someday.
     
     
    8th Grade Electives:
    Art
    Design your own room in One point perspective, See the value of shading through still life set ups. Draw a two-point perspective Parthenon. Create 2d and 3d Op-art illusions. Practice pen and ink techniques such as hatching, cross-hatching and stippling. Wield new watercolor techniques through abstract landscapes. Acquire acrylic painting skills to create one of a kind still life and self-portraits. Creatively construct a sgraffito slab box.

    Electronic Music 7/8
    This course is a one-semester elective offered in 7/8th grade. This course provides students with the basic knowledge and technical skills needed to advance their skills in creating Electronic Music through a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and prepares them for an advanced course of study in high school. Students will develop a basic knowledge of ethics in music, studio recording, basic music creation and performance of electronic music. This class is intended for beginners, whether you are musically trained or not.
     
    Theatre 7/8
    Theatre introduces students in grades 7-12 to the art of live theatre, helping to create an appreciation for theatre. Students participate in games, improvisation, and short scenes. They learn basic theatre terminology and theatre history (i.e. Greek, Shakespeare and Broadway musicals).

    Physical Education
    Physical Education focuses on physical fitness. Students enhance motor skills through cooperative sports/games. Sports include football, basketball, badminton, and soccer. Students are required to purchase and to dress in approved physical education uniforms.

    Spanish 1 (for High School credit)
    Spanish 1 emphasizes grammar, verb conjugation, vocabulary, and sentence structuring. These points are combined to develop communicative skills and a cultural awareness of the Spanish culture. Students with a required GPA may be
    recommended for Spanish 1 by their 7th grade English teacher. Students earn 1 high school credit for this course and course average is included in high school GPA calculation.

    Musical Theatre 7/8
    Musical Theatre class is an exploration of American Musical Theatre. Students will study the work of the actor/singer/dancer and use their gained knowledge to develop as performers. Students will prepare and present as soloists as well as members of small groups and larger ensembles. Students will prepare material for class presentation and critique. There will also be a focus on the audition process as well as musical theatre history and repertoire.

    Praise Team
    The Praise Band/Advanced Ensemble is an auditioned group. The students will arrange their own music and perform their selections in a weekly chapel along with special events inside and outside the school. The students will learn the Do’s and Don’ts of worship. This is a small unique class of students who have a heart to serve DA. They are held to a higher standard given the nature of their “public appearances.” 
     
     
Faculty may make recommendations prior to and at the end of each course regarding a student’s beginning and continuation in honors courses.

ACT ASPIRE

ACT ASPIRE Test is taken by Grades 3-8 each spring (English, Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science)