ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
English Department Mission Statement:
The mission of the MS 131 English Language Arts Department is to provide our students with a balanced literacy curriculum that encourages them to think independently and critically, and to express their ideas effectively both in writing and discussion.
The ELA department follows the Expeditionary Learning curriculum, which uses rich and relevant texts that bring literacy to life. In the 6th grade, students study the hero’s journey by comparing and contrasting The Lightning Thief to Greek myths and other epics. In addition, they explore issues of diversity, and travel back in time to a novel set during Ancient China. In the 7th Grade, the students delve into identity, and how the place and time a person lives shapes who they are. In 8th grade, the curriculum looks at current issues of immigration and refugees, as well as the class “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
In addition to learning how to analyze literature, students learn learn to write in various genres and choose independent reading books from our extensive (and brand new) classroom libraries.
Math Mission Statement
The math department believes that given appropriate supports, feedback and practice, all students can achieve high levels of math performance.
The Math Department uses CMP3, a curriculum that teaches students to understand the concepts in math, not just how to arrive at a correct answer. Using investigations, and with frequent monitoring of learning, the math department is able to prepare all students to take Algebra in 8th grade. Taking Algebra gives our students a leg up when they arrive in high school as they can take higher level math classes, and have more choice in the classes they take.
The mission of the Social Studies department at MS 131 is to develop the critical thinking skills that are necessary for students to be engaged citizens in the 21st century.
The Social Studies Department uses the Passport curriculum with additions to address the interests of our students and to make it more connected to current events. In 6th grade, students focus on ancient civilizations, working to understand the elements of civilizations and how to use primary and secondary sources to better understand history.
In the 7th and 8th grades, the students focus on American history. The overaraching questions for these years is “Does America live up to its ideals?” Be examining various points in history, and times when the Nation has and hasn’t lived up to its founding principles, students are better able to grabble with the World today and think about what they can do move the country close to what it espouses itself to be.
Science Department Mission Statement
The mission of the science department is learn science by doing science.
Curriculum Overview –
The Science departments use the Amplify science curriculum. Amplify is a hands on curriculum that puts students in the position of solving real World problems using science. Through investigations, online simulations and extensive reading, students learn the science content and then apply it to answer questions and solve problems. To support our science curriculum, MS 131 recently received a grant to provide class sets of chromebooks dedicated to the science classrooms, allowing us to use the many resources Amplify has to offer.