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Flexible Learning - Middle Years

February 4, 2021

English Language Arts 
The Middle Years Grade 7 and 8 English Language Arts program includes a variety of learning experiences that include listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing. Students participate individually, in pairs and groups with emphasis on interpersonal and pro-social skills development.  Student initiative is encouraged in developing projects and units of study. Learning outcomes are incorporated thematically and through integration with other subjects.

The Grade 7 English Language Arts course outline includes a human rights unit that incorporates a novel study. All units are thematic in nature and the teacher ensures that there is a balance of all six strands in their development and delivery. Word recognition and reading comprehension are taught using a variety of strategies. Reading and writing are done daily, and include a variety of genres.  Students are encouraged to participate in discussions and actively be involved in oral presentations.  Drama and role-playing are also encouraged.

The Grade 8 English Language Arts course outline is a continuation of Grade 7 learning outcomes with emphasis in refining skills in all of the six strands.  Thematic units are developed and delivered to the students. The English Language Arts learning outcomes are incorporated across the disciplines evident in Art, Performing Arts, Social Studies and Science. Multiple intelligence strategies are also planned into the units of study to ensure meeting the different learning styles of students.

Assessment practices can include quizzes, tests and an exam at the end of the school year. Student projects, daily assignments, participation and cooperative group work also play a great deal in measuring progress. In addition, all Grade 8 students write a division wide final exam. Student self-assessment is a critical tool for learning.

Mathematics today is seen and focused upon as more than just rote memory and repetition. In addition to knowing and understanding all basic mathematical skills of today, graduating students also need to be problem solvers. The Manitoba Middle Years Mathematics Curriculum identifies five major goals for students. Students should learn to value mathematics; become confident in their mathematical abilities; become mathematical problem solvers; learn to communicate mathematically; and learn to reason mathematically.

There are four strands that are taught using a variety of instructional strategies.  These strands are Patterns and Relations, Statistics and Probability, Shape and Space and Number Concepts and Operations. 

Within each of the four strands, assessment is ongoing in addition to a division wide final exam written by all grade 8 students in June. Assessment strategies include textbook assignments, teacher-made handouts, whole class activities, tests and quizzes, group projects, and individual assignments.

Science Grade 7 
Students study four topic areas in science throughout the year. These four clusters are: Interactions with Ecosystems, Particle Theory of Matter, Forces and Structures and Earth’s Crust. As the year progresses students will continually build on their overall skills and attitudes towards science through a variety of activities, experiments and projects. A number of formative and summative assessment strategies are used to help students accomplish all the desired outcomes, including lab work, research assignments, projects (science fair every 2nd year), note taking and tests. Technology is used extensively throughout the year as a way to engage students and aid in their learning.

Science Grade 8 
Students study four topic areas in science throughout the year. These four clusters are: Cells and Systems, Optics, Fluids and Water Systems on Earth. Students will continue to build on the foundation of skills and their attitudes towards science developed in grade 7. The instructional and assessment strategies are the same as outlined in Grade 7 Science

Social Studies Grade 7
Grade 7 Social Studies deals with the world, its geography, its communities and its resources that we use. Students build skills in understanding and using maps and globes. They study the physical environment; water, minerals and food resources; distribution and diversity of the human population; and an integrated study of selected countries. Students also study human rights and quality of life in our country and around the world. Assessment is continuous throughout the school year. Assignments consist of research projects, displays, presentations and biographies. Tests and quizzes, notebook assignments and participation in discussions are part of the assessment process.

Social Studies Grade 8
The Grade 8 Social Studies program looks at world communities from early humans to modern times. Various civilizations are chosen so students can learn how people lived, the technology, and their beliefs and customs at certain times in history. The expectations for assignments and assessment procedures are the same as outlined in Grade 7 Social Studies.

Physical Education & Health Grade 7 & 8
The physical education program in grades 7 and 8 is offered five days per six-day cycle and promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles for all students.  The program in both subject areas is integrated and organized within five general learning outcomes. The learning outcomes are: movement, fitness management, safety, personal and social management and healthy lifestyle practices. The Physical Education Department recognizes that all students learn in different ways, at different rates and to different capacities.

Art Grade 7 & 8
The art component is taught as one/fourth of the Fine Arts rotation. The course is composed of a series of exercises, discussions and projects which are used to give students a basic understanding of concepts and media in art. Art history is added as it relates to specific projects and/or media. Evaluation is based on specific and general curricular outcomes. Marks are derived through the attainment of these outcomes through self-evaluation, discussion, tests, sketchbook work, and project work.

Dance Grade 7 & 8 
The Dance component is taught as one/fourth of the Fine Arts rotation. Dance allows students the opportunity to experience a basic dance class. They will focus on finding the rhythm of movement, some elements of technique and how to express themselves using dance. They will receive instruction in various dance styles and will also learn the basic expectations and etiquette that are part of a dance studio/class environment. 

Guitar Grade 7 & 8
The guitar component is taught as one/fourth of the Fine Arts rotation. This course is an introduction to basic guitar. Students will learn some​​ contemporary rock songs and some classical rock songs. Students will learn basic chords from chord charts and learn to how to read TAB music. Most of the classes will be spent playing acoustic guitars, but there will also be opportunities to experiment with electric guitars, bass guitars, drums, and the Mac Garage Band program.

Musical Theatre Grade 7 & 8
The Musical Theatre component is taught as one/fourth of the Fine Arts rotation. Students are introduced to the genre of Musical Theatre and the different functions and settings of music. Students are shown the various roles of music in their lives and are encouraged to think more deeply about the meanings of songs with which they interact on a daily basis. Students are also presented a number of game structures, exercises and activities to introduce them to dramatic aspect of musical theatre.

Grade 7 & 8 Band is a full-year course. Student in the band program will perform music in a variety of styles. They will be instructed in the theory and forms of music to enhance their understanding of the art.  Band provides an environment for the student to express his or her creativity. The Band program will contribute to the development of the school community by public performances such as the Optimist Band Festival, Solo and Ensembles Festival and Honour Bands. This program runs throughout the school year.

Clothing and Textiles Grade 7
Students will learn how to use basic hand sewing stitches to construct small projects and repair clothing. Theory includes lab safety, proper use of equipment, and clothing care.

Clothing and Textiles Grade 8
Students will be introduced to the sewing machine. Students must demonstrate responsible behaviour using equipment. As well as hand sewing techniques, students will learn basic machine stitches and how to follow a pattern. The final project evaluates creativity, as well as accurate sewing. Theory includes safety, clothing care, parts of the sewing machine, and basic fabric selection information.

Foods Studies Grade 7 & 8
Topics include kitchen and food safety, kitchen equipment and measurement, measurement abbreviations, Canada’s Food Guide (food groups, serving size, snacks), food labels, importance of breakfast. The course evaluation is comprised of 70% theory and 30% practical application (cooking).

Family Studies
The aim for this course is to help students describe and analyze the functions of families with society. Students will begin to identify the different types of families and understand their role within their family. The course will aim to help students in developing effective communication skills to create healthy relationships.

Graphics Grade 7
This program consists of five areas of study where students will have a project or assignment that they need to complete and hand in for marks.  Students maintain a notebook where the projects and assignments are inserted in presentation form. Final grades are made up of the notebook and daily class participation. The five areas of study are technical drawing, screen-printing, computer graphics, architectural drawing and advertising.

Graphics Grade 8
Graphics class in grade 8 combines theory with interesting practical projects and assignments that help students learn the concepts of each unit. Final marks are based on class participation, projects and assignments. Students are expected to keep a portfolio of all their assignments. Students will learn about design basics, technical drawing, airbrushing, screen-printing, product design and computer graphics. An optional bonus project is in graphic design.

French Grade 7 & 8
The French program in middle years is designed to prepare students to be able to develop and improve oral and written communication in French, as well as listening and reading comprehension. The course is organized and taught thematically and includes topics such as food, peer pressures, sports and travel. Students will recognize that the French language is alive in Canada and not just a subject taught within 4 walls.  

The new language program will offer basic Cree language instruction to Grade 7 & 8 students.

Cross-cultural Studies
The cross-cultural course fosters and empowers the Gordon Bell student body to learn about their cultural heritage. It encourages embracing the delicious diversity of other cultures that resides in our community/school. The diverse culture and customs in our community and school both enrich and make us aware that we are a global community. Students are encouraged to connect to their culture by reading, speaking, writing, listening, presenting and reflecting.

In this course, students have the opportunity to work with software such as Microsoft Office, Google SketchUp, Pivot Animator and All the Right Type. This course focuses on improving students’ abilities to use technology through practice, assignments and project work.


Criteria for student achievement:
The following guidelines will be used when determining placement for students in MIDDLE YEARS at the end of each school year.

 PROMOTION:  A student achieves 50% or more in three of the four core* subjects.

 PLACEMENT:  A student achieves 50% or more in two of the four core* subjects.

 CONTINUE:  A student was unable to achieve 50% in three of the four core subjects.

Final decision will be made by administration in consultation with teachers, school specialist, parents, etc.

*CORE SUBJECTS:  English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Physical Education.

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