Courses of Study
English Language Arts
The emphases in English are two-fold: to teach students to read increasingly difficult material with deeper understanding and to encourage students to be life-long readers. Vocabulary development is extensive. Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words. A variety of materials are used. Students read novels, short stories, essays and poetry. Reading skills, literary analysis and higher-level comprehension work is incorporated while using the California State Standards as a guide. Students participate in extensive free-choice reading in addition to the required assigned reading. Classes are literature-based and thematically organized around the four domains: narrative writing, expository writing, descriptive writing, and persuasive writing. Emphasis will be placed on teaching students to become independent and critical thinkers. Students will show proficiency through written assignments, research-based projects, comprehension questions, and open-ended projects.
The goal of mathematics instruction is to produce students who recognize and appreciate mathematical components of their world and see mathematical fluency as an important contribution to the future. Sixth grade math begins to prepare students to be successful in twelfth grade Calculus. The LCS mathematics program is College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM), which supports students’ conceptual understanding of the topics at hand.
The curriculum is aligned with the state’s science framework. Emphasis is on making the connections and seeing relationships between concepts and ideas. The interdisciplinary thematic teaching approach helps students investigate high interest problems showcasing scientific thinking processes and the application of scientific principles. Students develop critical thinking skills with problem solving, decision-making, research and inquiry. As students move through the program, they are challenged by more sophisticated thinking processes using experimental manipulative and other laboratory-oriented projects that are related to current scientific issues.
The history curriculum is designed to include guiding questions that promote a culturally sensitive historical perspective and inspire civic-minded participation through community outreach. An in depth study of Ancient Civilizations is facilitated in order to help students apply what they’ve learned to create presentations, projects, simulations and productions. Last, students investigate historically based societal issue by researching the literature, media, and analyzing data of the time, and communicating findings in presentations and/or research papers.
Presentations of Learning
A cornerstone to our academic program is the oral defense. The oral defense is an end-of-year presentation of in-depth curricular understanding that directly applies to the real world. The formal presentations of learning (POL) or oral defenses support critical thinking skills, public speaking skills, technology and leadership. Students will design their oral defense around a topic that directly corresponds to their subject matter and individualized learning plan with the support of their advisor and classroom teachers. The aim is to have students find clarity and confidence in their learning in ways that aligns and supports their path toward college and competitive workforce environments.
We are excited about designing and developing the Edible Schoolyard as part of our Earth, Life and Physical Science curriculum. All 6-8th graders have the opportunity to participate in different aspects of the curriculum as it bests relates to their grade level curricula.