teacher directed that may involve forces and motion , energy transformations , and forces of nature .
Instructional Focus : Students will make in-depth observations , ask questions , and generate creative valid explanations . They will be involved in experimental design , investigations , and designing and testing models . Students will be encouraged to apply skills and concepts to their everyday lives .
Advanced Science 8 [ full year ] Prerequisite / Selection Process : District Placement Process Intended Audience : Grade 8 students with a high interest in physical science topics and strong problem-solving , reading , and math skills . Major Outcomes :
• Knowledge of basic concepts related to force , motion and energy
• Knowledge of the structure of matter
• Apply understandings about matter and energy to everyday life
This course will address the same Minnesota science standards as Science 8 , but at an accelerated pace to allow for increased depth and integrated use of technology . Projects / Activities : Projects and activities may include individual or group investigations , that are both student and teacher directed that may involve forces and motion , energy transformations , and forces of nature . Instructional Focus : Designed for the more independent science learner . The investigations will encourage higher order thinking and will have an increased pace and rigor . Students will make indepth observations , ask questions , and generate creative valid explanations . They will be involved in experimental design , investigations , and designing and testing models . Students will be encouraged to apply skills and concepts to their everyday lives . Astronomy [ JMS only ] [ elective , every other day ] Intended Audience : Grade 8 Major Outcomes :
• Learn about the properties of stars and the constellations they belong to .
• Explore our Solar System with an emphasis on the terrestrial planets and the larger moons of the Solar System .
• Develop an appreciation of the history of the American space program and the impact that NASA has made .
• Explore current events in space . Projects / Activities : Construct a star wheel , utilize the Jackson Middle School Observatory [ JMO ], analyze light using a spectroscope , engineering projects to explore space travel concepts , investigating geologic features of our terrestrial planets and moons of the solar system . Instructional Focus : Students will work individually and collaboratively on assignments . Students will utilize math , science , and research skills throughout the year . Evening “ public viewing ” sessions will be available at the JMO throughout the year .
Environmental Science [ JMS only ] [ elective , every other day ] Intended Audience : Grade 8 Major Outcomes :
• Characterize the biomes found in MN and around the world by the interactions of biotic and abiotic factors .
• Understand how the Earth works as a system by the interaction of the biosphere , hydrosphere , lithosphere , and atmosphere staying in balance .
• Understand the tools used by the environmental scientist to investigate our world .
• Learn about global and local environmental issues such as global climate change , water pollution , air pollution , and invasive species .
Projects / Activities : Field skills will be put into practice in the prairies , wetlands and forests around JMS . Webquests will guide student research on the Earth ’ s biomes and spheres . Remote sensing tools will allow students to study human impact on ecosystems . Field studies will be done at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve . Classes will design and carry out a service learning project on an environmental issue of their choice . Instructional Focus : Students will work on problem analysis and research ; field skills will be developed with outdoor / hands-on class activities .
Social Studies Courses
Minnesota Studies 6 [ full year ] Intended Audience : Grade 6 Major Outcomes :
• Students study Minnesota history and its government , placing the state and its people within context of the national story .
• Engage in historical inquiry and study events , issues and individuals significant to Minnesota history .
• Analyze the state ’ s physical features and how the location of resources affected settlement patterns and the growth of cities .
• Learn about economics .
• Learn about the unique role Minnesota played , and continues to play , in regional , national and global events .
• Study current events and analyze their global impact .
Instructional Focus : Instruction is presented in a variety of ways such as : class discussion , small and large group activities , simulations , and the use of technologies .
United States Studies 7 [ full year ] Intended Audience : Grade 7 Major Outcomes :
• Grade seven features history as the lead discipline .
• The interdisciplinary “ Studies ” approach is further enhanced with important government , citizenship , economics and geography content that round out the study of United States history .
• Learn about people , issues and events of significance to this nation ’ s history from 1800 to the current era of globalization .
• Examine the Constitution and the Bill of Rights , and Supreme Court decisions for their lasting impact on the American people .
Projects / Activities : Students create and use detailed maps of places in the United States and conduct historical inquiry on a topic in the nation ’ s history . Instructional Focus : Instruction is presented in a variety of ways : class discussion , small and large group activities , simulations and the use of technologies .
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