Curriculum

At Annin, a strong academic environment is maintained. All students participate in five core subjects per grade level, which are then supplemented by world language, cycle and elective courses.

The five core subjects for each grade level are as follows:

Language Arts

Math

For information regarding mathematics courses, please see Mrs. Wolff's website.


Science

Social Studies

Curricula for all courses is posted on the Bernards Township School District web site.

Scroll down for additional course offerings, electives, world language courses and cycle classes:

HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The main goal of Health Education is to move students toward health literacy. This is the ability to obtain, interpret, understand and apply basic health information.

In sixth, seventh and eighth grade Health Education, the program covers topics such as critical thinking and problem solving, conflict resolution, decision making skills, drug and alcohol education and family life education.

Our mission in Physical education is to provide information and experiences that will steer our students towards a lifetime of activity and fitness. We try to achieve this by having students attain healthful levels of physical fitness, understand mechanical principles related to skill performance and apply strategies in sport and game. We also expect students to demonstrate positive social interactions with peers and cooperate with others to accomplish tasks.

ELECTIVE AND CYCLE COURSES

8th Grade Electives Summary

WORLD LANGUAGES

At William Annin, students may choose from the four available language offerings: French, Italian, Latin and Spanish.

The sixth grade experience is unique in that students learn the basics in each language and they benefit from the cultural exposure to the history, geography, and customs of the target language. They also learn many important skills involved in second language acquisition as they learn “how” to learn a language.

In seventh and eighth grade, students continue learning their chosen language. By the end of eighth grade, students will have completed the curriculum equivalent of Level I. Students who continue with the same language in high school would be able to take Levels II, III, IV, V and/or Advanced Placement. Most colleges prefer to see proficiency gained after several years of study of one language rather than a couple of years of study of one or more languages. Students also have the opportunity to add an additional language to their course of study or change languages in high school.

FRENCH - Bonjour!

The goal of this class is communication! Students learn popular phrases and fundamental vocabulary. Skills honed include oral and written expression and aural and visual interpretation.

ITALIAN - Buon Giorno!

The Italian course is directed toward the development of the ability to communicate effectively through the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Extra emphasis is placed on the development of audio-lingual skills, including correct pronunciation, intonation and accentuation. The rudiments of grammar are taught as they are needed for oral and written expressions. The understanding and appreciation of the people and the culture of Italy will form an integral part of the language learning.

LATIN - Salve!

The Latin curriculum focuses on a sequential presentation of Latin grammar and vocabulary. Conversational Latin and learning activities are woven into the curriculum. A study of mythology and Roman civilization are important components.

SPANISH - Buenos Dias!

The Spanish course emphasizes communication in various cultural situations. Learning activities help the student acquire vocabulary and grammar concepts while practicing language learning skills.


LANGUAGE ARTS ELECTIVES


WRITING (Grade 6 only)

This six-week Grade Six Writing Cycle course offers students a focused study for specific purposes, including the following:

  • Speculating upon an art transparency
  • Analyzing and explaining a poem
  • Revising and editing various writing selections
  • Addressing a controversial issue
  • Responding to related open-ended questions
  • Examining sentence structure and grammar through writing pieces
  • Implementing vivid and effective details

The following steps are used to teach the writing process:

  • Prewrite/Plan
  • Organize
  • Write
  • Edit
  • Revise

Writing assignments will include short skill driven pieces, essays that move throughout the entire writing process and timed essays. Certain writing topics will be linked to the grade six content area curricula and prepare students for the writing portion of standardized tests.

ENRICHMENT - Grades 6-7

CURRENT ISSUES - Grade 8 ONLY

This course would emphasize a study of pertinent issues both domestically and internationally as they relate to government policy. Students would be exposed to issues affecting broad portions of the population and small minority groups as well. In addition, they would be critically analyzing groups who foster knowledge and understanding of the issues. Students would be engaged in student centered activities which ask them to develop arguments and defend those in the form of debates, scored discussions, and media presentations. Themes include the role of the United Nations, status of global human rights, and environmental issues.

 

TECHNOLOGY AND PRACTICAL ARTS CYCLES AND ELECTIVES

COMPUTERS

The sixth grade computer cycle, Keyboarding and Wordprocessing, is designed to introduce and strengthen technology skills in an effort to enhance achievement in academic courses. Students will work to increase the speed and accuracy of keyboarding skills using the program Typing Instructor Deluxe. They will be graded on the completion of projects and techniques learned using the word processor Microsoft Word and Logo, a programming language.

Students in the seventh grade computer cycle learn to use the computer as a practical tool. Students will continue to practice keyboarding skills while completing an interdisciplinary project involving the use of a variety of computer applications: Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. All eighth grade students are tested in January to determine their keyboarding skills. The minimal skill level recommended is typing 30 words per minute with no more than 3 uncorrected errors, and using proper form. Proper form means using the home keys, correct reaches with fingers, and good posture. The ultimate goal for keyboarding is for students to fluently compose their thoughts at the keyboard, facilitating the communication process. This skill is required for admission to two courses at Ridge High School, Word Processing and/or Internet and Web Design.

Eighth grade computer electives include Communication Technology and Exploration in Computer Programming.

TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION (Grades 7-8)

In the seventh grade technology course, students will use LEGO Dacta kits to practice problem solving and creative thinking skills related to simple and complex machines. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of math and science with technology.

In eighth grade, students will learn to solve technological problems while applying skills learned in Science, Math, Computers and Communication Arts. Activities will include the design and building of gliders, and hot air balloons in the area of transportation technology. Construction technology will be explored through the design, construction, and testing of a model bridge. Computers will be used extensively as a simulation and research tool.

TECHNICAL FABRICATION (Grade 7)

What is required to develop a new product? This class will design, build, and race a CO2 Dragster in a hands-on approach. Students will use the design process to conceive, draw, prototype, test, and modify plans. They will develop their working drawings using a Computer Aided Drafting program. The final designs will be fabricated in wood. Students will learn safe use of required tools and machines.

ROBOTICS (Grade 8 ONLY)

Do you think there is a robot in your future? Do you like to build mechanical gadgets? Would you like to learn the "high tech" way? If you answered yes to these questions, then Robotics is for you! Students will learn about technology by building and programming a variety of machines and robots. Video disk technology, hypermedia, on-line databases, desk top publishing, and computer programming will be used as tools for learning. Class size is limited. Note: students must be eligible for Algebra to take this class.

COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (Grade 8 ONLY)

In this course, students explore a variety of tools and approaches to communication through the use of technology. Students will utilize resources online and create online resources using technology. Units of study include creating curriculum related websites, digital photography, and interactive multimedia.

COMPUTER GAME DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT (Grade 8 ONLY)

Students will have the opportunity to work independently and in development teams where everyone will contribute based on their interest and expertise. This course will provide an introduction to the world of video game development and programming. Participants will learn key programming constructs by using GameMaker software, XNA Studio and a variety of other tools. In addition, students will learn to use industry standard graphic software to create original graphics. By the end of the course, participants will create a wide variety of video games.

INTRODUCTION TO TECHNICAL THEATER

This course will involve an in depth exploration into what goes on "behind the scenes" of a theater production. Students will work on scenery design and construction, prop fabrication, lighting design and instrumentation, and sound design and application.

INTERNATIONAL FOODS ELECTIVE (GRADE 8)

This course will offer the opportunity for students to prepare and to taste foods from countries around the world. The students will discover that many foods, which have become popular in the American diet, have their roots in another part of the world. In addition to the international flavor of this course, the students will also become aware of ethnic food preparations, customs, and traditions in different regional areas of the United States. A final project will include a written report to explore the student’s own heritage and family traditions.

FOODS CYCLE (GRADE 7 ONLY)

Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with the food guide pyramid as they learn why we need to be "nutrition conscious" to stay healthy. In the home economics kitchen laboratory, the students will develop skills in food preparation techniques as they learn to interpret recipes and to follow directions needed to insure good preparation results. Food preparation skills will be developed in the following areas of study: fruits, vegetables, quick breads, yeast breads, meats, eggs, cakes, cookies, and pastries. Students will become aware of "supermarket survival skills" and the basics of good manners to help them cope with the challenges of everyday life with confidence. In order to broaden their cultural awareness, students will research and share information about family customs and food traditions so that they will be enriched by this multicultural experience.

INTRODUCTION TO WOODWORKING (Grade 8 only)

Students will begin an exploration into the field of woodworking. They will construct their first project from rough sketch through hand buffed finish using hand tools. Safe use of the shop's power tools and machines will be emphasized. The final project will be of student choice and will utilize the skills acquired during the semester.

ADVANCED WOODWORKING (Prerequisite: Introduction to Woodworking)

Students will expand upon the basic skills they have acquired in Introduction to Woodworking. They will select, design and construct a piece of furniture. A computer aided drafting system will be used to do final plans. Safe use of hand and power tools will be stressed.

FINE ARTS

MUSIC CYCLE (GRADE 6 ONLY)
The fundamental purpose of teaching the music cycle is to develop in students, as fully as possible, the ability to perform, to create, and to understand music. Instruction in music should lead to specific skills and knowledge. In sixth grade we study many aspects of music, including history, theory, singing, use of different instruments, and dance. All these aspects help students become more aware of the music they hear every day and to develop a respect and understanding of many other types of music.

PIANO CLASS

Piano Class is an eighth grade elective. Students use the piano lab to study the basics of playing the piano. Students work independently as well as have the opportunity to hear others perform.

BAND

The band program provides opportunities for students to participate in a learning experience on wind and percussion instruments. It is open to students with or without prior experience on an instrument.

The program consists of three bands, one for each grade level. Each band student will receive one small group lesson per week which meets on a rotating basis. That means that each individual student will miss a particular class no more than once every 6-8 weeks. In addition to the small group lessons, each student will attend one full band rehearsal per week. During these rehearsals, students will prepare for concerts and learn ensemble skills such as balance, timing, and listening skills that they would not experience in a small group setting. Each band will perform at least two concerts which are mandatory. The dates for these concerts will be distributed each September to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts.

In addition to the three main concert bands, our school offers two after-school ensembles: Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. Membership in these groups is by audition only. These ensembles are for the more serious band student and offer more performing opportunities than the concert bands.

ORCHESTRA

The orchestra program provides opportunities for students to participate in a learning experience on violin, viola, cello, and bass. It is open to students with or without prior experience on an instrument.

The program consists of three orchestras, one for each grade level. Each orchestra student will receive one small group lesson per week that meets on a rotating basis. That means that each individual student will miss a particular class no more than once every 6-8 weeks. In addition to the small group lessons, each student will attend one full orchestra rehearsal per week. During these rehearsals, students will prepare for concerts and learn ensemble skills such as balance, timing, and listening skills that they would not experience in a small group setting. Each orchestra will perform at least two concerts during the year that are mandatory. The dates for these concerts will be distributed each September to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts.

In addition to the three grade level orchestras, our school also offers a select after-school ensemble: concert orchestra. Membership in this group is by audition. This ensemble is for the more serious student and offers more performing opportunities than the grade level orchestras.

CHORUS

Chorus provides students with the opportunity to sing various styles of music, learn the basics of good choral singing, and study basics of music theory and musicianship. The class meets once a week during a physical education or cycle period, as well as once a week after school. Winter and spring concerts are an exciting part of this choral program. Chorus students have the opportunity to audition for William Annin Select Choir.

SELECT CHOIR

Select choir is an auditioned ensemble open to chorus members in grades 6, 7, and 8. Students meet after school on Wednesdays. These students learn a more advanced level of music. They perform not only at William Annin Middle School, but outside the district as well. This ensemble frequently participates in competitions.

CONCERT CHOIR (Grade 8 ONLY)

Do you like to sing? Then, this course is for you! Concert Choir is a Spring elective. This ensemble sings during the spring concert as well as at other events throughout the semester. Students perform solos in class and have the opportunity to prepare auditions for state and regional choruses, student productions, and future high school ensembles. Theory, breathing, posture, voice production and musicianship are stressed.


ART

Sixth graders are introduced to middle school art in two different cycles. In Art I, students concentrate on two-dimensional projects. Students may work in several different mediums including pencils, markers and watercolors. In Art II, the focus is on three-dimensional projects which may include clay, mobiles and reliefs. Each week, time is devoted to one particular artist and his/her work. One project each cycle is also multicultural, centering around the traditional art from another culture. Throughout the cycles, emphasis is put on learning basic skills and techniques, as well as positive attitudes and efforts.

Seventh graders are at an intermediate level in our art cycle program. We build upon the students' knowledge of the elements and principles of design with a "hands-on" approach. Media include clay, oil pastels, scratchboards, water colors or tempera paints. Also included in this cycle is an introduction to Modern Painting styles which students research in the media center. Weekly discussions on individual artists and their work take place. There is a continued emphasis on developing skills and techniques, positive attitudes and efforts.

Eighth graders have the option to select art as an elective course. This semester course is a more advanced class for those who wish to continue developing their skills, utilizing new media and expanding their critical judgment. Projects include units on the potter's wheel, linoleum carving and printing, pastels and grid enlargement tonal drawings. At this level, students also complete a research project on an individual artist and keep a sketch journal. Weekly discussions evaluating well-known works of art take place. Emphasis continues to be on positive attitudes, efforts and advancing skill levels as well as craftsmanship.

PHOTOGRAPHY

This course will explore basic black and white photographic techniques. Emphasis is placed on learning the technical aspects of photography as well as the creative aspects. Students will first be introduced to the world of photography by creating a pinhole camera from an oatmeal container. Students will learn how to operate a 35mm camera; how to develop black and white film; and the printing process. This course will also help students develop a creative “eye” by utilizing the rule of thirds and basic principles of design.