Alice Vail Middle School

Language Arts

Language Arts - 6th Grade - 1 year

Language Arts classes focus upon TUSD's 6th Grade Reading and Writing Standards. The Reading Standards consist of three strands: the reading process, comprehending literary text, and comprehending informational text. The Writing Standards encompass the writing process, academic, functional, and research-based writing. All formal writing assignments are assessed by the six trait/six point rubric of writing. We promote and support literacy in all content areas.

Language Arts - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year

Students focus on thinking strategies that are used by proficient readers and writers. Students will learn more about their own thinking processes as they explore different genres and writing styles.

Language Arts - 6th AE-8th AE - 1 year

Students in Adaptive Education Language Arts classes focus on thinking strategies that are used by proficient readers and writers. Students will learn more about their own thinking processes as they explore different genres and writing styles.

Math

Math - 6th Grade - 1 year

This class will focus on building upon the concepts and skills learned in previous grade levels, and will promote increased student understanding in the process standards of application, communication, problem solving, reasoning and proof, connections, and representation. This course addresses the 6th grade math standard with a strong focus on numerical operations (+, -, x, and +-) of fractions and a secondary emphasis on basic algebraic ideas and basic geometric properties and measurement.

Math - 7th Grade - 1 year

The Math 7 course will focus on building upon the concepts and skills learned in previous grade levels, and will promote increased student understanding in the process standards of application, communication, problem solving, reasoning and proof, connections, and representation. This course addresses the 7th grade math standard with a strong focus on numerical operations.

Math - 8th Grade - 1 year

This course will focus on building upon the concepts and skills learned in previous grade levels, preparation for high school level algebra, and will promote increased student understanding in the process standards of application, communication, problem solving, reasoning and proof, connections, and representation. This course addresses the 8th grade math standard with a strong focus algebraic representations and geometric properties and measurement. Also Math 8 Accelerated.

HS Credit Algebra - 1 year - Most often for 8th graders

Students will use algebraic methods to explore, and describe patterns, relationships and functions. These functions involve numbers, shapes, data, graphs and problem-solving. This course is aligned with the AZ State Standards for Mathematics at the high school level and students are given a credit for passing the class. This class offers a high school credit.

Math Intervention - 1 semester

This class will focus on supporting students to achieve higher performance levels in mathematics. This course in addition to a standard mathematics course offers support. Course instruction will be based upon individual student's strengths and needs determined by achievement data and addressed through differentiated instruction. This course may be mixed grade levels and may be repeated. Depending upon student need, this course may be taken for any length of time.

Social Studies

Social Studies - 6th Grade - 1 year

The main focus is on ancient cultures and civilizations. Students begin the school year with the Paleolithic and Neolithic people, early domestication of plants and animals and the beginning of agriculture. Major civilizations that are covered include Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Greece, India, China, the Romans to the Byzantine era, and the ancient Americas.

Social Studies - 7th Grade - 1 year

Students will learn about social issues utilizing the OMA art connection to enrich our lessons. World War II mobiles, Colonial flags, colorful tab booklets, and have a Cold War "Lines" project.

Social Studies - 8th Grade - 1 year

Students study the Revolutionary War, Constitution, Great Depression and World War II, Cold War, Space Race, Korean War, Viet Nam, Post-war life in the U.S., Civil Rights, Watergate, technology, micro and macro economic issues and individuals involved in these times.

Science

Science - 6th Grade - 1 year

This class includes: Science Safety and the Scientific Method. Teachers will instruct students on how to use the equipment and teach observing: qualitative (using senses) and quantitative (measurements). Weather and Water will provide information on layers of the atmosphere, heating, air movement, air pressure, weather patterns and more. Students will explore the Physical Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Meteorology, and Geology) and Diversity of Life which includes cells, plants and more.

Science - 7th Grade - 1 year

At this level, students continue their learning of physical and life sciences, proceeding from the distant - exploring our universe through Astronomy, to the study of our own planet in Earth History (plate tectonics, forces that shape our earth, rock identification), to the interactions of our environment in Ecology (habitats, food webs, species interdependence). During each of these courses of study, students utilize observation and inference skills and the scientific method.

Science - 8th Grade - 1 year

Science at this level includes Physical, Chemical, and Life Sciences. Students explore the laws of Physics in their study of Forces, Energy & Motion, as they measure and calculate speed and velocity and even build roller coasters to demonstrate these concepts. In Chemical Building Blocks, students learn about the interactions of atoms and elements as they observe physical and chemical changes and study the organization of the periodic table of elements. Adaptation and "change over time" is the study of Evolution while Genetics helps students understand the patterns of inheritance of traits through generations.

Fine Arts/Electives

Please NOTE that Fine Arts & All Electives are subject to change based on availability.
  • Health for HS credit - 8th grade - 1 semester
  • Library Aide - 7th/8th grade - 1 year
  • Office Aide - 7th/8th grade - 1 year
  • Art 6,7,8 - 6th/7th/8th grade - 1 semester
  • Advanced Art - 8th grade - 1 year
    This course is only open to 8th grade students who have already completed 1 semester of Art 6 or 7. The teacher must approve enrollment.
  • Yearbook - 7th/8th grade - 1 year
  • Gardening/Horticulture - 6th/7th grade - 1 semester (may be taken consecutively)
  • Computer Skills - 6th/7th grade - 1 semester
  • Computer Explorations I - 7th/8th grade - 1 semester
  • Sign Language I
  • Choir - 6th/7th grade - 1 year
  • Advanced Choir - 7th/8th grade - 1 year
    Students must have completed at least 1 full year of Choir before trying out for this course.
  • Guitar I - 6th/7th grade - 1 year
  • Guitar II - 7th/8th grade - 1 year
    Students in this class must have successfully completed the entire year of Guitar I.
  • Beginning Band - 6th Grade - 1 year
    Beginning Band students get to choose an instrument that is common to wind band ensembles. They then learn basic music skills pertaining to that instrument, such as, proper playing technique, fingerings, listening, note reading, steady time, and counting rhythms. Students perform twice per year.
  • 6th Grade Concert Band - 6th Grade - 1 year
    6th Grade Concert Band is for 6th grade students that have had one full year of Band experience in 5th grade. In this class, students build upon elements learned at the beginning level and begin to move into more abstract musical concepts. Students perform twice per year.
  • Intermediate Band - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year
    Intermediate Band is a mid-level band for 7th and 8th grade student. This class reviews fundamental musical skills and establishes a foundation for advanced music skills. It is a preparatory class for our upper-level ensembles. Students perform twice per year.
  • Symphonic Band - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year
    This is the highest level of concert-style band at Vail. Students in this class must commit to performing at major festivals, community events, and school concerts throughout the year. This class is open to all seventh and eighth grade band students that meet and pass specific behavior and audition requirements. Students that do not meet the requirements for audition, that do not pass the audition, or that do not wish to audition, will be placed into Intermediate Band for the following school year.
  • Jazz Band - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year
    In Jazz Band, students rehearse and perform music in Jazz and other popular styles such as Rock, Pop, Latin, etc. Students in this specialized class must commit to performing many times during the year at major festivals, various community events, and school concerts. JAZZ BAND is open to seventh and eighth graders currently enrolled in Symphonic Band that meet and pass specific behavior, instrumentation and audition requirements. Students begin to learn and enhance improvisation skills.
  • Beginning Orchestra - 6th/7th Grade - 1 year
    This class is an intermediate string class for students who have at least one year of class instruction prior to middle school. Instruments that participate are the violin, viola, cello or bass instruments. Students are taught string and bow technique, music reading, advanced rhythms, and various music literature. Students are expected to perform in concerts and festivals.
  • Intermediate Orchestra - 6th/7th/8th Grade - 1 year
    This is an advanced string class for students with a minimum of two years of instruction on the violin, viola, cello, or bass instruments. Students learn advanced string techniques by studying scales, advanced rhythms, method books, and advanced string literature. Students perform at multiple concerts and festivals throughout the year.
  • Advanced Orchestra - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year
    This is the most advanced class for violin, viola, cello or bass instruments. Students must audition to participate. This class prepares students for high school orchestra through scales, advanced bowing, method book instruction and performances of advanced string literature. Students perform in multiple concerts and festivals throughout the year. 8th grade students are eligible to audition in the TUSD Honors Orchestra and the Middle School All-State Orchestra.

GATE (Gifted And Talented Education)

Gifted children need gifted education just like they need food and water. Our GATE teachers are trained, certified, and experienced in supporting the academic, intellectual, social, and emotional growth of gifted children.

Language Arts and Social Studies - 6th Grade - 1 year

The curricula are integrated; all projects and class work are based in and derive from the literary texts we read together during the year. The overarching study is the nature of culture, specific ancient cultures, and their interplay in historic times.

Science and Math - 6th Grade - 1 year

These students experience an accelerated program, learning 7th grade Math enriched by hands-on and cooperative activities, manipulative, literature, and national (SIGMA, AMC) and local (AATM) competitions. The 6th grade Science curriculum consists of three units: Investigations in Physical Science, Diversity of Life, and Weather and Water. Annual field trips are planned.

Social Studies - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year

The Social Studies program is designed so that students learn through systematic investigations of human behavior, past and present, with an eye to the future. Critical thinking opportunities and lively discussions on timely topics combine with the academic disciplines to present a comprehensive picture of the comedies, tragedies, achievements, and accomplishments of people and human events.

Language Arts - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year

This class teaches the skills and processes of Language Arts through themed units, literature, and simulations. In seventh grade, students study poetry, advertising, public speaking, and Utopias. In eighth, students become personal finance experts and formal debaters For details, visit Mrs. G. Mitchell's Website.

Science - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year

The Science curriculum includes astronomy, earth history, and ecology. The eighth grade focuses on evolution, genetics, forces and motion, and chemistry. The approach is a combination of scientific inquiry, cooperative learning, projects, and relevant field trips.

Math - 7th/8th Grade - 1 year

GATE Math will continue to develop mathematical skills and their higher-level mathematical thinking. The focus will be on algebra, geometry, and probability and statistics. Qualified eighth graders may take an honors first year algebra course for high school credit.

Exceptional/Special Education

Exceptional Education

Exceptional Education, which includes an Autism Spectrum Disorder program and an Emotional Disabled Self-Contained program, both of which promote encouragement of increased inclusion in the Core Curriculum are well-established at Alice Vail. Special Education programs are available for students who have or are experiencing learning difficulties due to any of several handicapping conditions. Parent’s participation in placement and planning decision is required. Course requirements vary according to each student’s specifically designed Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Students must be staffed into the area to enroll in these courses. In addition to the staffed courses, inclusion classes combine students and teachers and regular education teams in the classroom. Students may receive content instruction from a teacher specializing in that content area as well as special support staff teachers.

Physical Education

Physical Education - 6th/7th Grades: (Quarterly Rotation)

  • These classes teach basic skills in a variety of team (soccer, basketball, etc.) and individual (tennis, golf, etc.) sports and game activities. Game rules are enforced as are strategies and techniques which are taught to all students.

    To assure the most comfortable exercise attire students are required to wear fastened athletic shoes.
    Lockers are also provided to secure belongings; HOWEVER, the school is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
    A PE newsletter is provided to each student when they begin PE.
The PE professional team relates these activities to their goals of RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY AND RESOURCEFULNESS.

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