HJ Program of Studies
Use the links on this page to navigate through the HJMS Program of Studies. If you would like a printed copy of the HJMS Program of Studies, please contact the HJMS School Counseling Office.
- English/Language Arts
- Music Education
- Social Studies
- Special Education
- Student Academic Interventions and Support
- Unified Arts
- World Language
The English program recognizes the diversity of its learners and individual strengths, interests, and abilities of middle school students. Students will read with understanding and respond thoughtfully as they enhance their writing skills. They will understand and appreciate texts from a variety of literary periods and genres. In addition, students will continue to read informational texts to help support their understanding of the historical context of the literature read. Developing skills to read, write, speak, listen, and view texts to construct meaning enables students to become independent, lifelong learners.
Level I English/Language Arts is designed for high-achieving students who consistently demonstrate superior ability in written expression, who are highly motivated and consistently responsible, and who have a sincere interest in reading. At this level, students are expected to be independent learners, apply their knowledge, and manifest the ability to work in collaborative groups. Students must demonstrate evidence of abstract reasoning and higher-order thinking skills, including inferential, interpretive, evaluative, and analytical skills.
Level II English/Language Arts is designed to instruct and challenge students in written expression and motivate students to develop a sincere interest in reading. Students develop skills as independent learners, apply knowledge, and work in cooperative groups. Students will continue to develop abstract and higher order thinking skills, including inferential, interpretive, evaluative, and analytical skills, helping them to grow into mature and independent learners.
English/Language Arts, Grade 7
English in grade 7 is designed to include writing and language skills, literature instruction and response, informational text instruction and response, and vocabulary development.
In English, grade 7, students will focus on narrative, argument and informational writing, the study of and responses to a variety of literary genres with an emphasis on nonfiction texts, the introduction and application of literary terms, formal vocabulary development, and reinforcement and instruction in English grammar and usage. Writing is taught in a workshop model. This format provides students with direct instruction and independent practice based on the topic of their choice within the specified genre.
English/Language Arts, Grade 8
English in grade 8 is designed to further develop writing and language skills, literary analysis and response, and vocabulary development.
In English, grade 8, students will further develop the skills of narrative, argument and informational writing and formal composition structure. Writing is taught in a workshop model. This format provides students with direct instruction and independent practice to further develop their skills as writers. Students continue the study of literature with an emphasis on the novel. Students will also enhance their abilities to respond critically to a variety of literature. In addition, students will continue to read informational texts to deepen their knowledge on the literary time period of the novel read. Formal vocabulary development and the sequential study of grammar and usage are part of the curriculum.
Grades 7 and 8 mathematics courses follow a rigorous curriculum using our newly adopted Math in Focus program, which is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Each course is designed to meet the needs of all learners through student-centered learning that involves collaboration, discourse, and in-depth thinking when students are presented with mathematical concepts.
We offer two levels of mathematics per grade level to meet the developmental needs of all learners. Placement for each course is based on standardized achievement test results, district assessment performance, classroom performance, and teacher recommendation.
Mathematics, Grade 7
Math – Level I, Grade 7 (Pre-Algebra): The seventh grade Level I math program prepares students to become confident learners prepared for Algebra I in eighth grade. Students will work with expressions, equations, inequalities, geometry, statistics, and probability at a rigorous pace using the Math in Focus program. In addition to the seventh grade Common Core Standards, students will focus on Algebra I concepts that are embedded into the core standards for seventh grade in order to prepare them even further.
Math – Level II, Grade 7: The seventh grade Level II math program prepares all learners with a wide range of abilities to become confident and successful learners working with the seventh grade curriculum. These students also use the Math in Focus program with a pace that works with the learning needs of a diverse classroom. Students will focus on integers, expressions, equations, and geometry with a year-long focus of mastering number sense with fractions and decimals embedded within the units of study.
Mathematics, Grade 8
Math – Level I, Grade 8 (Algebra I): The eighth grade Level I program is an Honors level program that prepares students for the rigors of high school Geometry. Students will focus on solving equations, applying concepts of linear equations, factoring polynomials, and working with rational and irrational numbers. Students will go more in depth using the concepts while applying them to real world situations.
Math – Level II, Grade 8: The eighth grade Level II math program prepares all learners with a wide range of abilities to become confident and successful learners working with the eighth grade curriculum. These students use the Math in Focus program that works with the learning needs of a diverse classroom. Students will focus on the eighth grade Common Core Standards in addition to expanding their knowledge of equations, graphing solutions and systems, applying prior mathematical concepts with geometry, and understanding statistical situations that will prepare them for Algebra I at the high school level.
The music education program is designed to engage students in a broad depth and breadth of musical experiences. While at Henry James Memorial School all students are required to participate either in band, orchestra, chorus, or music technology. To be a member of the band and orchestra, a student must have prior instrumental experience and in some cases may be required to participate in an audition process.
At Henry James, students have the opportunity to participate in both an instrumental ensemble (band or orchestra) and chorus. Although we will make every effort to accommodate students who would like to participate in two groups, this may not be possible in all cases.
Students enrolled in grade 7 chorus will learn a wide variety of skills, including vocal technique, musical interpretation, and music literacy. Students will develop critical listening skills by analyzing and evaluating their own performances and the performances of others. From the diverse repertoire that is studied, they will gain an understanding of music from varying cultural, historical, and stylistic perspectives.
The eighth grade chorus program builds on the knowledge and skills that are taught in the seventh grade program. Students participating in eighth grade chorus are prepared for future involvement in the choral program at Simsbury High School.
The seventh and eighth grade string orchestra builds on the past experience of students. Students refine their performance skills, learn to be self-reflective through ensemble critiques, and gain an understanding of the diverse cultural, historical and stylistic nature of the music they perform. Grade 8 students are prepared for future involvement in the string orchestra program at Simsbury High School. To provide small group instruction to musicians, lessons are a required component of the instrumental music program. Lessons occur on a rotating basis to minimize the impact on any one class. Students can be excused from lessons for tests, quizzes, exams, special review sessions or circumstances determined appropriate by the instructor. Students selecting orchestra are required to participate in lesson groups on a rotating schedule. Instrumental teachers and classroom teachers collaborate on creating lesson schedules.
The seventh grade band is a continuation of the elementary school band program. Students refine their performance skills, learn to be self-reflective through ensemble critiques and gain an understanding of the diverse nature of the music they perform. To provide small group instruction to musicians, lessons are a required component of the instrumental music program. Lessons occur on a rotating basis to minimize the impact on any one class. Students can be excused from lessons for tests, quizzes, exams, special review sessions or circumstances determined appropriate by the instructor. Students selecting band are required to participate in lesson groups on a rotating schedule. Instrumental teachers and classroom teachers collaborate on creating lesson schedules.
The eighth grade band builds on the knowledge and skills learned in the seventh grade instrumental program. It offers the students the opportunity for more extensive experience with a wider variety of concert band literature. Students participating in the grade 8 band are prepared for future involvement in the band program at Simsbury High School. To provide small group instruction to musicians, lessons are a required component of the instrumental music program. Lessons occur on a rotating basis to minimize the impact on any one class. Students can be excused from lessons for tests, quizzes, exams, special review sessions or circumstances determined appropriate by the instructor. Students selecting band are required to participate in lesson groups on a rotating schedule. Instrumental teachers and classroom teachers collaborate on creating lesson schedules.
Music Composition 1
This course is designed for students who have a desire to develop the essential skills of composition and beginning piano skills. Students will enhance their understanding of traditional and non-traditional notation techniques, expand their experience with various styles of music, critically analyze the elements of quality music, and use technology to learn about sequencing and multi-track recording.
Music Composition 2
Music Composition 2 builds on those skills taught in Music Composition 1. Students participating in Music Composition 2 are prepared for future involvement in the music composition program at Simsbury High School.
The science curriculum is designed to develop each student’s curiosity about natural and human-made phenomena, to teach students how to ask questions and discover answers, and to learn that through science and engineering practices, lives and society can be improved. Throughout the year, students gain experience “thinking like a scientist.” This work enables students to design, develop, and carry out their own investigations, work collaboratively to solve problems, and construct explanations for the world around them. Technology is purposefully incorporated into the curriculum, and courses foster the development of good study habits, organizational skills, self-discipline, and responsibility.
Science, Grade 7
Grade 7 Science is an integrated science course designed to further develop students’ understanding of physical and chemical changes in matter, living things and their interactions in the environment, and how the Earth has changed over time. Students use scientific modeling, data collection, and other science and engineering practices to figure out interesting phenomena. The cross-cutting concepts of energy and matter, identifying patterns, and stability and change in systems are emphasized in this course. Major topics of study include the study of matter at the atomic level, photosynthesis, the transfer of energy throughout ecosystems and movements of the Earth’s crust.
Science, Grade 8
Grade 8 Science is an integrated science course that guides students through an exploration of forces and energy in our universe as well as a study of Earth’s changes over time. Students conduct investigations, analyze and interpret data, and use other science and engineering practices to figure out phenomena related to object motion, gravitational and magnetic fields, the energy of waves and biological diversity. The cross-cutting concepts of energy and matter, cause and effect, and scale and proportion are emphasized in this course. Major topics of study also include an introduction to genetics, evolution, and patterns in the solar system.
The social studies program is designed to promote an understanding of the world, human interaction, cultural diversity, and cultural heritage. Additionally, the program provides students with the knowledge and understanding of the past and the present in order to predict and plan for the future. At Henry James Memorial School, social studies fosters the recognition of inter-relationships among the sciences and humanities and provides students the necessary understandings to become responsible citizens and communicators.
Social Studies, Grade 7 ~ Global Studies
The seventh grade social studies course provides a thematic overview of major issues in the twenty-first century. Major themes include cultural understanding, environment and resources, human rights, population dynamics, poverty and health, globalization, and global citizenship. Through books, primary source documents, films and documentaries, photographs, and electronic databases, students develop and deepen their understanding of current global issues, with a strong emphasis on student argument writing, and inquiry. A case study approach allows for the examination of countries and communities throughout the world, with particular emphasis on Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Learning activities ranging from inquiry-based investigations to argument writing and debates and simulations guide students in critically analyzing these issues and their solutions from various perspectives.
Social Studies, Grade 8 ~ U.S. History
Students in eighth grade social studies explore United States history, with concentration on the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. The course centers on four thematic units: Liberty, Equality, Power, and Diversity. Major events explored in this course include the American Revolution, the formation of the Constitution, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Westward expansion and impact on Native Americans, and immigration.
Through these units, students examine diverse perspectives in a variety of contexts. There is an emphasis on skill development in research, literacy, argument writing, and inquiry aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The course teaches students to interpret history and evaluate how the choices made in the past continue to shape the nation and the world today.
|Special Services Information|
|Department Supervisor of
(Click on “District,” then “Special Services”)
Special education and related services are provided to students who have been identified under the following disability categories as outlined in federal and state statutes: Specific Learning Disability/Dyslexia, Speech or Language Impairment, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Emotional Disturbance, Orthopedic Impairment, Deaf-Blindness, Traumatic Brain Injured, Autism, Other Health Impairment (ADHD, etc.), Intellectual Disability, or Multiple Disability.
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed to outline the student’s present level of educational performance, annual goals, short-term objectives, special education instructional/related services, and any accommodations/modifications necessary within special and/or regular education classrooms.
At Henry James Memorial School, highly qualified and certified special education teachers instruct students in co-taught environments and on an individual and/or small group basis to assist in developing academic, social/emotional and/or compensatory skills. Special education programming is based on individual need. Students are included in general academic and elective courses to the fullest extent possible as determined by the Planning and Placement Team (PPT).
Parents having questions about the availability, appropriateness, or adequacy of special education services for their child should contact the HJMS Department Supervisor of Special Services Heather Tanis or the Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Services.
A brochure, “A Parent and Student Guide to Special Education in the Simsbury Public Schools,” explains special services and procedural safeguards for families. This brochure is available in each school. A copy may also be obtained from the Department of Special Services. In addition, information on special education services can be found at our website (www.simsbury.k12.ct.us) by clicking on “District,” then “Special Services.”
Statement on Intervention: HJMS meets the needs of all learners through pro-active placement in tiered intervention.
The Simsbury Public Schools has adopted a Scientific Research-Based Intervention (SRBI) model that includes a three-tiered system of interventions. As students move up the SRBI Pyramid, the intensity of interventions increases, and interventions become more individualized to meet the needs of students who require support.
Student Academic Interventions and Support
The State of Connecticut requires a tiered intervention system in meeting student needs. HJMS fully implements this tiered approach to intervention. The purpose of the supplemental interventions offered at Henry James is to increase the achievement of identified students who require intervention beyond their core academic program. Interventions can be both short and long term, depending on the individual needs of students. Ongoing data of student performance is used to determine whether or not a student is making adequate growth toward grade level expectations.
Henry James Memorial School follows a three-tiered pyramid of intervention and supports. Tier One interventions are utilized at the classroom/teacher level. Teachers continually work on good practice through self-reflection and participation in team meetings and Personal Learning Communities (PLCs). In meeting Tier One needs, HJMS ensures that the following structures and practices are in place:
- All children receive high quality curriculum and instruction; additional strategies and methods are implemented
- Classroom interventions (accommodations and/or modifications) are attempted and documented on the teacher level
- Differentiated instructional techniques are critical to help ensure all students in the classroom are learning
HJMS also utilizes a Student Intervention Team (SIT). This team reviews the referral of struggling students, seeking case history, and recommends action steps to be implemented in the intervention process. If a student does not respond to intervention, and the team believes a disability exists, a referral to the PPT special education process is initiated.
Tier 1 Intervention through Hands-Up Universal Screening
- Hands-Up is a planned, focused, and efficient early intervention process
- Allows for Team teachers, Special Educator on team, counselors, support staff, and administrator to screen, plan, and implement intervention
- Includes realistic and measurable documentation
- Identifies educational trends within the team
- Allows for shared communication home
- Hands-Up is an invaluable practice at HJMS in identifying students that need support
Tier 2 and 3 Interventions
Student Intervention Team (SIT)
- The SIT meets weekly and reviews all SIT referrals/cases
- Referrals are submitted by student’s team in conjunction with the school counselor as part of the Hands-Up process
- Tier 1 interventions must be implemented and documented in order to bring a student to SIT
- The SIT will make recommendations for further supports and interventions
- The SIT will seek information from teachers and staff in order to monitor outcomes
HJMS Intervention Programs
TIER 2 READING is designed to provide students with opportunities to practice, use, and apply a wide range of reading strategies to literature and content-based materials. Through continued teacher modeling and guided practice, students will be able to independently apply a variety of close reading strategies to deepen their understanding of text. Critical thinking and responding to text are emphasized.
TIER 3 READING Students recommended for Tier 3 Reading will receive an intensive reading and language arts intervention designed to improve reading and writing abilities using a variety of research-based methods. This comprehensive literacy curriculum targets the needs of struggling readers and accelerates progress toward grade-level proficiency. Students receive direct, explicit instruction in the six important areas of reading and language arts: phonemic awareness and phonics, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, and writing.
English Learner (EL) Program
The primary focus of the Simsbury Public Schools English Learner (EL) program is to ensure that identified students receive high quality instruction that will result in English language proficiency. EL student support services are determined through the collaboration of the EL coordinator, Language Arts consultant, and classroom teachers based on data from the LAS Links testing, as well as state and district assessments. EL student support services at HJMS may include individual/small group instruction with an EL tutor, Tier 2/Tier 3 Reading, Academic Support Center tutoring, and/or classroom modifications monitored by the EL coordinator.
Academic Support Center (ASC)
The Academic Support Center (ASC) offers additional support to students who have been identified for the intervention based upon state and district assessments, as well as classroom performance in the areas of language arts, math, and/or content areas. The intervention program provides students with additional practice, reteaching, and opportunities to transfer and apply skills independently. Interventionists deliver focused, research-based instruction and monitor student progress to measure understanding and to adjust instruction. The program also helps students develop study skills, including work completion, organization, planning, note taking, and studying for tests and quizzes.
Art education empowers students to create and respond to art in a supportive environment, emphasizing inquiry, creative thinking skills, experimentation, reflection, care for materials, skill development, self-expression, and collaboration.
Art Education, Grade 7
Daily 1/3 Year
Art in grade 7 is designed to offer each student the opportunity to study art thematically, incorporating the National Core Art Standards (Create, Respond, Connect, and Present). The seventh grade curriculum includes units of study in two and three dimensional art focusing on applying the elements and principles of design to create drawings, paintings, digital art, and sculpture. Areas of study include: Interdisciplinary/STEAM, 3D-Additive Sculpture, Art and Technology, and Element and Principles of Design.
As a result of participating in art, grade 7, students will:
- gain knowledge of art history and culture
- develop skills in order to apply and use 2 and 3 dimensional materials, techniques, and processes, including technology
- incorporate design principles effectively in their artwork
- discuss and utilize a variety of sources for art content
- reflect upon and revise their artwork
- make connections between visual arts, other disciplines, and daily life
Art Education, Grade 8
Daily 1/3 Year
Art in grade 8 is designed to further challenge the developing art student, through the National Core Art Standards (Create, Respond, Connect, and Present), to create original works of art and to respond to art through thematic units of study. More advanced studio techniques are learned. Students will increase their ability to assess their artistic development over time. Areas of study include: 2D-Portraiture, 3D-Subtractive Sculpture, Direct Observation Drawing, and Art and Technology. Eighth graders also will have the opportunity to create Pottery on the Wheel.
As a result of participating in art, grade 8, students will further develop skills explored in grade 7 and also:
- know and compare the characteristics and purposes of works of art represented in culture, historical periods, and the works of individual artists
- utilize media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, reflect on their choices, and analyze what makes them effective
- select and use design principles to improve communication of their ideas and analyze the ideas of others
- create meaning in their artwork through symbols, themes, and subject matter
- reflect upon, describe, analyze, interpret, and evaluate their own and others’ artwork
- understand contributions that artists make to society
Technology engineering is a meaningful learning experience for all students. All are provided with the knowledge and skills to confidently utilize, create, manage, assess and understand technology. Students develop the skills necessary to become technically literate in today’s ever-changing world. In technology engineering we emphasize academic, technical and social growth by integrating mathematics, science, humanities and engineering concepts. Through strong vertical articulation, the middle school exploratory program and the high school clusters prepare students for success beyond high school in an advanced technological society.
Technology Engineering, Grade 7
Daily 1/3 Year
Seventh grade technology engineering is an exploratory, hands-on program designed to develop students’ ability to manage, assess, understand, and create technology.
In the Materials Processing Lab, students become skilled in the use of tools, machines, and computers to process materials and solve problems. In addition to this, students develop critical thinking, collaborative, and interpersonal skills to enable them to be self-directed learners and to be able to dialogue with team members creatively and effectively.
During the Video Production unit, students will work in teams to create finished projects related to the school, their community, or themselves. They will gain relevant experience in the field of broadcast media, journalism, and production. Students will learn and practice skills needed to communicate effectively by using the media of today’s technological world.
The world of Coding will be introduced to students through Scratch, a block coding tool developed by M.I.T., students will write, develop, and de-bug code while completing a series of coding challenges.
Technology Engineering, Grade 8
Daily 1/3 Year
Eighth grade students will experience an assembly line to mass produce a product in a safe, efficient and expedient manner. Building on their experiences from seventh grade, students will form a manufacturing enterprise and produce a unique product that showcases their group’s creativity, communication, and technical skills.
Students in eighth grade are exposed to emerging residential and community planning initiatives used when designing for a greener planet. While designing a green home, students will research and plan for a house that meets specific housing standards and incorporates the latest in green technology.
Students will continue to build upon their coding experience from grade seven through a selection of text coding, circuit building, or robotics activities. Through Arduino, Vex or Vex IQ, student teams will design and build solutions to the presented challenge.
The Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum prepares students to function in an ever-changing world, as they learn how to manage their life and work effectively. Our goal is to assist students in becoming productive, contributing members of society. Through experiential learning, students work in an active, product-oriented setting which develops responsibility, motivation, creativity, interpersonal skills, problem-solving strategies, time saving techniques, and many other life skills. Lab work, projects, and hands-on activities guide learning.
Family and Consumer Sciences, Grade 7
Daily, 1/3 Year
Family and Consumer Sciences in grade 7 develops knowledge and skills in the areas of: nutrition and wellness, food production, creative textiles, and life skills. Students will:
- understand healthy eating
- create a textile project
- increase computer skills
- demonstrate an ability to work creatively
- use effective work habits to perform tasks responsibly and efficiently
- apply appropriate management strategies to complete tasks on time
- practice positive interpersonal skills
- increase productivity (independently and in small groups)
- use constructive feedback to learn
- employ technology to research, analyze data, and communicate information
Family and Consumer Sciences, Grade 8
Daily, 1/3 Year
Family and Consumer Sciences in grade 8 develops knowledge and skills in the areas of: nutrition and wellness, food production, creative textiles, human growth and development, and life skills. Students will:
- follow each step accurately to create textile projects and food products
- apply appropriate management strategies to plan and execute projects on time use effective work habits to perform tasks responsibly and efficiently demonstrate an ability to work creatively
- use positive interpersonal skills
- increase productivity (independently and in small groups)
- use constructive feedback to learn
- develop a criteria for making informed decisions
The Wellness program has been created based upon the SHAPE America and National Health Standards. Through a variety of different units, students will receive instruction that focuses on the core concepts of accessing health information, self-management of healthy behaviors, analyzing internal and external influences, communication skills, decision-making, goal setting, and advocacy. Students receive essential information and skills to make decisions that pertain to their physical, social, emotional, and mental health. In addition, students participate in lifetime fitness and team-related activities that encourage the HJ Way, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Students are given opportunities to build and expand their skill set to create the foundation for becoming lifelong healthy and active individuals.
Physical Education, Grade 7
The seventh grade course continues to build upon the skills taught in elementary school as well as teach new skills in new units, such as tennis and weight room. Team and individual sports will include modified games, drills, and activities that promote skill development. Sportsmanship is a focus in all units by exhibiting the HJ Way.
Units of study may include Weight Training, Tennis, Flag Football, Team Handball, Pickleball, Volleyball, Basketball, and Badminton. Throughout the year students practice the four components of fitness: Cardiovascular endurance, Muscular endurance, Muscular strength, and Flexibility. In the spring, students may demonstrate their ability to perform the four components of fitness through the Personal Best Fitness Test.
Physical Education, Grade 8
The eighth grade course builds upon the knowledge and skills that are taught in our seventh grade program. Students participate in a variety of individual and team sports that reinforce skills in game play. Students will also recognize, demonstrate, practice, and understand the four components of fitness as they relate to their fitness. Sportsmanship is a focus in all units by exhibiting the HJ Way.
Units of study may include Rugby, Weight Training, Tennis, Team Handball, Volleyball, Pickleball, Basketball, and Badminton. In the fall, all students are assessed by the Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment.
Intramural programs are available after school. Activities are based upon many of the units taught in physical education. These activities provide an additional opportunity for all students to increase their application of skills in a game situation. Basic knowledge, fun, and a healthy attitude toward physical activity are the main objectives of this program.
Health Education, Grade 7
Health education in grade 7 is designed to increase students’ self-understanding, develop their positive character traits, and understand the process of building positive relationships. Students will:
- understand that their positive character traits affect the community around them as well as their personal lives
- realize that healthy relationships require communication techniques that show empathy, understanding, and listening skills
- develop a greater understanding that adolescence is a time when their physical, mental/emotional, and social health is changing and understand they are not alone (abstinence based)
- Learn and practice refusal skills in a variety of settings
- understand empathy and its impact on related bullying situations
- understand and apply conflict resolution strategies
- understand the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and energy drinks on the body
Health Education, Grade 8
Health education in grade 8 is designed to be a continuation of Grade 7 Health Education. Students will:
- understand and identify individual personal wellness as it relates to physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health
- continue to develop their decision making skills by understanding the influences that affect their choices
- review refusal skills when presented in difficult situations as seen in the use of substances, peer pressure, and harassment
- realize that social/emotional changes are part of the life process while expanding their knowledge of healthy relationships; information regarding HIV/AIDS will be covered; abstinence based education is reinforced
- understand and apply the connection between decision making and achieving goals by creating and implementing SMART goals
- understand and define the types of harassment
- discuss and explore the impact of social media related to good decision making, keeping yourself safe, dealing with and reporting harassment
- recognize your personal qualities in a healthy relationship
- understand the impact of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana on the body
The world language program is designed to provide 7th and 8th grade students with opportunities to develop and expand their proficiency in the five language skill areas: speaking, listening, reading, writing, and culture. Students make cross-cultural comparisons and connections to other areas of study as they increase their awareness of the social and cultural values of other societies. Students work collaboratively to communicate in the language on a daily basis and to express themselves in new and fun ways. All students have the opportunity to succeed and are assessed in a variety of formats.
World language is a required full-year academic subject in both grades 7 and 8. Students have the opportunity to continue with Spanish or enroll in Chinese, French, or Latin as they enter middle school in grade 7. Classes in all four languages continue in grade 8. However, depending on enrollments, we may or may not be able to honor each student’s first choice of language. Students will be notified if their first choice becomes unavailable.*
*Upon successful completion of two consecutive years of world language study (Intro 1 and Intro 2 of the same language), students may be eligible to participate in Level II world language study at Simsbury High School with the recommendation of their instructor.
Introduction 1 to Chinese
Introduction 1 to Chinese is designed to introduce students to the unique features of the Chinese language and culture. As a result of participating in Introduction 1 to Chinese, students will develop their ability to read, write, speak, and understand basic Chinese expressions through the study of cultural topics related to greetings and introductions, Chinese names, occupations, and family. The use of authentic materials, audio and visual recordings, and technology enhance student learning.
Introduction 1 to French
Introduction 1 to French is designed to develop students’ language skills and knowledge of Francophone culture. As a result of participating in Introduction 1 to French, students will develop their ability to read, write, speak, and understand French through the study of cultural topics related to school, family and hobbies, and food at the café. The use of authentic materials, audio and visual recordings, and technology enhance student learning.
Introduction 1 to Latin
Introduction 1 to Latin is designed to develop students’ language skills and knowledge of the classical language of the Romans and the customs and institutions that are the foundations of Western civilization. As a result of participating in Introduction 1 to Latin, students will develop their vocabulary and ability to read and translate Latin through the study of simple stories and myths, Roman Britain, and daily life in the Roman empire.
Introduction 1 to Spanish
Introduction 1 to Spanish is designed to provide students with the opportunity to expand on basic oral and written communication skills and cultural topics introduced in grade 6. As a result of participating in Introduction 1 to Spanish, students will develop reading, writing and grammatical skills through the study of Hispanic cultural topics related to school, family, and recreation. The use of authentic materials, audio and video recordings, and technology enhance student learning.
Opportunities to use Spanish beyond the classroom are provided.
Introduction 2 to Chinese
Introduction 2 to Chinese is designed to expand students’ language skills and knowledge of the unique features of the Chinese language and culture.
As a result of participating in Introduction 2 to Chinese, students will develop their ability to read, write, speak, and understand Chinese through the study of cultural topics related to animals, birthdays, learning Chinese, and Chinese breakfasts. The use of authentic materials, audio and video recordings, and technology enhance student learning.
Introduction 2 to French
Introduction 2 to French is designed to develop students’ language skills and knowledge of Francophone culture.
As a result of participating in Introduction 2 to French, students will expand their ability to read, write, speak, and understand French through the study of cultural topics. The use of authentic materials, audio and video recordings, and technology enhance student learning.
Introduction 2 to Latin
Introduction 2 to Latin is designed to expand students’ language skills and knowledge of the classical language of the Romans and the customs and institutions that are the foundations of Western civilization.
As a result of participating in Introduction 2 to Latin, students will expand their knowledge of syntax and ability to read and translate Latin. They will become acquainted with literature through the study of the military, mythology, and travel.
Introduction 2 to Spanish
Introduction 2 to Spanish is designed to expand students’ language acquisition, communication skills, and cultural knowledge as they build upon and make connections to the Introduction 1 curriculum.
As a result of participating in Introduction 2 to Spanish, students will expand their oral proficiency as well as their ability to read, write, and understand Spanish through the study of Hispanic cultural topics related to travel, food, and clothing. The use of authentic materials, audio and video recordings, technology, and stories enhance student learning. Opportunities to use Spanish beyond the classroom are provided.