MIDDLE SCHOOL COURSES
ADVANCED COURSES : RATIONALE
Courses at our highest achievement levels were developed for 6th Grade in 2013-14 . These advanced middle school courses represent a significant change to the previous model of curriculum and instruction at the advanced level . In each discipline , the course design will emphasize the following :
Exceptional interest and motivation These courses are designed for outlier students who “ live , eat , sleep , and breathe ” the discipline . ( They are not merely “ good at school .”)
Compacted curriculum : The advanced course is a significantly accelerated learning environment , with a target pacing nearly twice as fast as the grade-level course .
Independent inquiry Advanced courses will incorporate significant student-led , studentinitiated , independent , projectbased work within the discipline .
Advanced English Language Arts Courses
The advanced course in each grade typically moves through the concepts at a faster pace , includes more challenging readings , and has higher expectations in the area of writing . Students considering advanced ELA courses are expected to enter as strong readers and writers . They should demonstrate high-level inferential thinking and see connections that others miss . These students organize and elaborate on their ideas effectively and they use clear and creative language in writing and speaking . They should be willing to take risks in their writing and they must willingly accept feedback on how to improve . These students should be motivated to focus on their reading , writing , and language skills .
Advanced Science Courses
Students who will be most successful in these courses demonstrate a high level of curiosity in the area of science with a motivation to ask questions and identify possible explanations for natural phenomena . Using engineering , design , and mechanics to solve problems are major parts of middle school advanced science courses . Students should be able to make connections between concepts quickly and with minimal review . Independently motivated students able to complete inquiry and engineering projects and with strong communication skills will be most successful .
Advanced / Above Grade Level Math Courses
Students who will be most successful in these courses demonstrate a high level of proficiency with problems involving abstract reasoning , recognizing relationships and patterns in varied contexts ( tables , graphs , sequences , diagrams , formulas , and mathematical symbols ) and are able to independently apply knowledge to new contexts . Students are able to experience frustration and persevere with strategies such as questioning , independent inquiry , and extending what is known to new situations . In Anoka-Hennepin there are rigorous placement guidelines that have been developed for enrollment into these above grade level math courses to respond to significantly more rigorous course expectations . There are multiple data decision points that have been considered ( including , but not exclusively MCA , MAP test scores and / or placement exams , etc .)
6 Middle School Registration Guide