Grand Traverse Academy 2018-19 Secondary School Course Catalog 8 Junior High Core Courses Language Arts English Language Arts (Grade 7) Seventh Grade English Language Arts will focus on teaching students the processes of skillful reading, writing, speaking, and listening for various genres, with emphasis on informational text. Students will be asked to read and write daily, using higher-level thinking skills and demonstrating their ability to utilize concepts presented in class. Grammar and conventions will be taught in conjunction with the various writing pieces. In addition, there is an independent reading requirement of at least 250 pages per quarter. “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” ~ Frederick Douglass English Language Arts (Grade 8) Eighth Grade English Language Arts will be a continuation and expansion of the skills taught in Seventh Grade English Language Arts, with an emphasis on high school readiness. Students can expect more mature themes, the teaching and assessment of higher level skills, and an extension of analytical reading and response to both fiction and nonfiction texts. As always, grammar and conventions will be taught in conjunction with the various writing pieces. There is an independent reading requirement of 250 pages per quarter. “A book must be an ice ax to break the frozen sea within us.” ~ Franz Kafka Honors English Language Arts Seminar (Grade 7) This seminar is intended for 7th grade students who would like to take an Honors English Language Arts seminar during their junior high experience. Be sure to note the prerequisites for entering GTA English Language Arts Honors courses. An approved GTA English Language Arts Honors application is necessary before registering, and students must maintain a B (83 percent) or higher grade to remain in the course. This class will focus on all of the same concepts as 7th Grade English Language Arts, but will require more independent reading, investigation of higher-level texts, and exploration of elevated writing strategies. Students who enter this class should have and maintain a high level of self-motivation and be prepared to work and investigate concepts independently. “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” ~ Margaret Fuller Honors English Language Arts Seminar (Grade 8) This seminar is intended for 8th grade students who would like to take an Honors English Language Arts seminar during their junior high experience. Be sure to note the prerequisites for entering GTA English Language Arts Honors courses. An approved GTA English Language Arts Honors application is necessary before registering (including students who were enrolled in the Honors English Language Arts Seminar in the 7th grade), and students must maintain a B (83 percent) or higher grade to remain in the course. Students do not need to have taken the 7th grade Honors English Language Arts Seminar be considered. This course will focus on all of the same concepts as 8th Grade English Language Arts but will require more independent reading, investigation of higher-level texts, and exploration of elevated writing strategies. In addition, students will regularly participate in Socratic seminars, which involve intense preparation and an expectation of oral participation. Students who enter this class should have and maintain a high level of self-motivation and be prepared to work and investigate concepts independently. Heavy focus will be placed on high school readiness. All honors students are expected to complete a summer reading assignment, which will be due on the first day of school. “All great books are challenging and should be challenged.” ~ Anonymous Mathematics Junior High Math (Grade 7) Instructional time will focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships; (2) developing understanding of operations with rational number and working with expressions and linear equations; (3) solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three- dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area,