In grades 5 through 8, we have developed new syllabi and pacing guides to reflect our work with aligning to the 2016 MA STE Frameworks. A PDF of our pacing guides will be updated below. Here is a summary of our curriculum for each grade level:
Grade 5: In grade 5, students model, provide evidence to support arguments, and obtain and display data about relationships and interactions among observable components of different systems. By studying systems, grade 5 students learn that objects and organisms do not exist in isolation and that animals, plants and their environments are connected to, interact with, and are influenced by each other. They study the relationships between Earth and other nearby objects in the solar system and the impact of those relationships on patterns of events as seen from Earth. They learn about the relationship among elements of Earth’s systems through the cycling of water and human practices and processes with Earth’s resources. They also learn about the connections and relationships among plants and animals, and the ecosystems within which they live, to show how matter and energy are cycled through these (building on the theme of grade 4). An ability to describe, analyze, and model connections and relationships of observable components of different systems is key to understanding the natural and designed world. Students will use the FOSS Complete Science System through three kits: Living Systems, Earth and Sun, and Mixtures and Solutions.
Grade 6: The integration of Earth and space, life, and physical sciences gives grade 6 students relevant and engaging opportunities with natural phenomena and design problems that highlight the relationship of structure and function in the world around them. Students relate structure and function through analyzing the macro- and microscopic world, such as Earth features and processes, the role of cells and anatomy in supporting living organisms, and properties of materials and waves. Students use models and provide evidence to make claims and explanations about structure-function relationships in different STE domains. Students will continue to use the FOSS Complete Science system through four kits: Earth's History, Diversity of Life, Human Systems Interactions, and Waves.
Grade 7: Students in grade 7 focus on systems and cycles using their understanding of structures and functions and connections and relationships in systems. A focus on systems requires students to apply concepts and skills across disciplines, since most natural and designed systems and cycles are complex and interactive. Students will be exposed to topics such as the role of genetics in reproduction, heredity, artificial selection, organism systems to support and propagate life, ecosystem dynamics, and how atoms and molecules interact to explain the substances that make up the world and how materials change. Through grade 7, students begin a process of moving from a more concrete to an abstract perspective, since many of the systems and cycles studied are not directly observable or experienced. This also creates a foundation for exploring cause and effect relationships in more depth in grade 8, especially with the concept of energy.
Grade 8: Grade 8 students use more robust abstract thinking skills to explain causes of complex phenomena and systems. Many causes are not immediately or physically visible to students. An understanding of cause and effect of key natural phenomena and designed processes allows students to explain patterns and make predictions about future events. In grade 8 these include, for example, causes of seasons and tides; causes of plate tectonics and weather or climate; and motion and energy systems. Being able to analyze phenomena for evidence of causes and processes that often cannot be seen, and being able to conceptualize and describe those, is a significant outcome for grade 8 students. Students in grade 8 will take the digital Grade 8 MCAS STE Assessment in late Spring.
*Use of language from the 2016 MA STE Frameworks with Descriptions