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Middle School (Grades 6 – 8)

middle school mainKadima’s Middle School (grades 6-8) offers a rigorous academic program, designed to create an environment that fosters lifelong learning in our students. The Middle School program ensures that each student grows and develops his/her personal skills, talents and interests to the fullest. We offer a balanced and integrated core program of Language arts, Mathematics, Judaic Studies, Science, Hebrew Studies, Social Studies, Technology, Arts and Music.  We prepare our middle school students for a successful and meaningful academic and social experience in high school and beyond. Our administration and faculty monitor the individual progress of each student using both qualitative and quantitative (benchmark assessment and school-wide screening) measurements consistently.  The Kadima Middle School offers advantages of small class size (averaging 12-15 students per class), integrated technology (each student utilizes an iPad), and a vibrant and excellent academic program.

Middle School Electives

Electives are offered on a rotational basis, with students have thing the opportunity to pursue new interests on a quarterly basis.  The following list is a sampling of electives that have been offered:

 

Photoshop Elements and Digital Imaging (Technology)
This elective will include an introduction to the basic features of the program, learning as many skills and techniques as possible throughout the course. Some practical exercises will include retouching and correcting images, merging and captioning them, and preparing them for print.

Yearbook Design 
Students enrolled in Yearbook Design gain knowledge in layout and design with an emphasis on publishing the  final yearbook product.

Podcast Pro
In this elective, studentsd searn how to create a Podcast. They will decide on an educational topic to Podcast weekly, create a format, write scripts, create intro music using GarageBand, etc. Podcasts will be supported with a website created by each student and each student will keep an ongoing blog of their experience in the class.

Robotics (Technology)
Will students have the LAST ROBOT STANDING? By joining this elective , students will exercise their math, science, engineering, technology and teamwork skills by learning how to build and program robots using the Lego Mindstorms kit. Each student will work with an assigned partner. Together, the team of two will be responsible to care for their kit, keeping it organized and safe during the duration of the class.

Following step-by-step instructions, each team will carefully build a variety of robots. Teams will then write a computer program using the proprietary Lego programming language to bring their robots to life! Fine motor and problem solving skills are put to the test as you find a way to assemble the small pieces included in the kit. This is a hands-on class that includes a variety of exciting activities as well as follow up assignments and quizzes to ensure each team understands the process and the programming language The culminating project for each team will be to build and program a robot believed to be capable of being the Last Robot Standing.

Two-Dimensional Art (Arts)
The course is designed to explore a variety of two-dimensional mediums with a strong emphasis in drawing, painting and color theory. Students will explore and experiment in a variety of art media including pencil, charcoal, oil pastel, acrylic, and watercolor. Artwork from different artists, historical periods and cultures will be studied in order to promote art appreciation and understanding. In this course we will be emphasizing American Art and Artists.

Piano 101 (Arts)
Students are guided each lesson in playing piano. Topics covered include keyboard geography, music notation, theory of a major scale, intervals, chords, basic composition, listening and playing various styles of music, reading music, scales, basic improvisation. The goal of the course is not only to introduce the students to the keyboard, but also to give the students a deeper understanding of the building blocks of music which will enable them to understand and appreciate music better, and perhaps also encourage them to compose their own music. This course is a great starting point for piano students, but if they wish to continue studying an instrument at a more serious level – individual lessons are advised. This course is also excellent for any musical students who may not play piano, but already play other instruments, as it will give them a solid grounding in musical theory.

Spanish 
Spanish is designed for beginning Spanish students. Emphasis is on communication and conversation skills. Students will learn basic vocabulary in topics related to their immediate environment (Family, friends, home, etc.).

Mandarin Chinese 
This introductory class offers students the opportunity to explore spoken and written Mandarin Chinese.  Emphasis is on communication and understanding the nuances of pronunciation. Students will learn basic vocabulary in topics related to their immediate environment (Family, friends, home, etc.).

6th Grade Language Arts

Students in the 6th grade are given instruction in Language Arts through reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

Reading

In reading, students are exposed to a number of different types of genres including, but not limited to poetry, fiction, nonfiction, myths, and biography. The students will improve their fluency. They will learn to analyze a story including discovering the author’s purpose, the main idea, and how setting affects the plot. Students will be introduced to the following:

  • Literary Devices such as characterization, conflict, dialogue, mood, point of view and theme.
  • Shakespeare and his use of blank verse and iambic pentameter
  • Analysis of text structures such as compare and contrast and cause and effect
  • Word Analysis, fluency, and systemic vocabulary development
  • Reading Comprehension (focus on informational materials)
  • Literary response and analysis

Writing

In writing, students will produce a number of pieces throughout the year. They will write in response to literature, narrative and expository essays and creative stories. The writing process will also be improved with attention to the detail of editing the student’s work. Grammar instruction will be included as a means by which students can see sentence and paragraph instruction more clearly. Students are expected to have a command of English-language conventions, including sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling. Students will be introduced to the following:

  • Writing strategies
  • Writing applications (genres and their characteristics)
  • Note taking
  • Listening and Speaking Skills

The continued development of listening skills is a challenge but each student will have the opportunity through small and whole group activities to listen to their peers’ ideas. Students will take notes during instruction time and from time to time these will be checked for main idea and to make sure the notes are supporting student learning

Speaking is a challenging activity for many students. Informal and formal opportunities will be given for students to share their ideas orally so that they can see that their thoughts and opinions are valued. Students will be introduced to the following:

  • Listening and speaking strategies
  • Speaking applications, genres and their characteristics

Life Skills

Life skills is incorporated into the middle school science curriculum.

6th Grade

6th grade life skilssSixth grade students study both mental and physical health through careful self-analysis. They will reflect upon are their own self-image, their emotional needs, their eating habits as well as their physical fitness habits.

The students will:

  • Recognize healthy behaviors and learn the skills to prevent negative and unhealthy behaviors
  • Have a thorough understanding of life management skills, which will be the foundation for responding to events in life in a positive healthy way. These skills include such important areas as self-esteem building and peer resistance, both of which are vital to an adolescent’s happiness.
  • Be able to follow a five step decision-making process. The students will express an understanding of setting and working to achieve a specific individualized goal. By keeping careful records, showing their progress and setbacks, they will be able to analyze their journey towards reaching this goal.
  • By the end of the sixth grade the students will have a basic understanding of nutrition. By keeping a diary of their food intake for a week and comparing it to the suggested health food guide, the children will become aware of their own nutritional habits and will be able to improve their diet if necessary.

7th Grade
Students in seventh grade “Life Skills” explore the function and importance of each body system. They will then be able to appreciate the complex interaction of the body systems. The class will emphasize the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own health. The students will learn preventive measures to keep each particular body system healthy and disease free. They will also learn that the chances of acquiring particular diseases are increased by certain activities such as cigarette smoking, taking illegal drugs, and having a diet filled with fat and cholesterol. Noteworthy news topics, such as steroid use in athletes, will be an integral part of the class. The students will demonstrate an understanding of advertisements that target teenagers. Each student will give a presentation on a specific cigarette advertisement and explain how the ad is trying to persuade the reader. The students will learn the symptoms of common diseases and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. By the end of the seventh grade the students will feel that the choices that they make are important in determining their health.

8th Grade
Eighth grade “life skills” begins with a focus on the changes that occur between childhood and adulthood known as adolescence. At a time when students are developing in different ways and at varying rates, differences in physical, mental, emotional and social growth and development are of concern to many eighth grade students. This class helps students understand and accept individual differences in growth and development. The students will study the reproductive systems of males and females. Following the same format as in the seventh grade, the students will study disorders and diseases related to this system. They will be taught preventive measures to keep the reproductive system healthy such as routine doctor appointments and being aware of early symptoms of common diseases. Students will understand pregnancy and the problems associated with teenage pregnancy. They will be encouraged to practice abstinence as the wisest and healthiest choice for teens. The students will understand the risks of unprotected sex. They will learn about STD’s including AIDS. They will be able to identify early symptoms of each of the most common STD’s. Students will be able to identify sexual abuse and identify ways to seek assistance. Alcohol and drug avoidance techniques will also be discussed. By the end of the eighth grade health class, students will understand that ultimately they are responsible for their sexual decisions. Furthermore, they will have the tools to avoid, recognize and respond to negative social influences and pressure to become sexually active.

Mathematics

6th Grade

mathematics 6th gradeThe sixth grade math program includes the following topics: place values, equations, order of operations, fractions, decimals, areas, ratios & proportions, percents, geometry, statistics & probability, positive and negative integers, surface areas, volumes, and coordinate plane. In addition, students will apply these concepts to analyze and solve word problems and real life scenarios. This course focuses on competancies and skills necessary for Pre Algebra.

  • Place Values- Write numbers in word form, expanded form, and standard form.
  • Equations- Solve various types of equations using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division techniques.
  • Order of operations- PEMDAS understanding the significance of simplifying problems using the order of operations properly.
  • Fractions- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide simple fractions and mixed numbers and writing them in simplest form.
  • Areas- Compute the areas of various shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, parallelograms, and circles.
  • Ratios & Proportions- Conceptually understand and work with ratios and proportions and apply this skill in solving word problems.
  • Percents- Convert between the various number systems percents, decimals, and fractions. Find percent of a number as well as finding the number when a percent is known. Apply percent in solving word problems using equations.
  • Geometry- Familiarized with various geometrical plane figures such as lines, rays, angles, complement angles, supplement angles, parallel lines, and perpendicular lines.
  • Statistics & Probability- Compute the mean, median, mode, and range. In addition, compute the probability in various types of word problems using cubes, coins, and cards when events are independents or dependent events.
  • Positive & Negative Integers- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide positive and negative integers and using these concepts to solve equations.
  • Surface Areas- Compute the surface areas of cubes, and prisms.
  • Volumes- Compute the volumes of cubes, prisms, and cylinders.
  • Coordinate Plane- Plot points on the coordinate plane, set up a T-chart by finding ordered pairs and finally graph the equation on a coordinate plane.

7th Grade

This course offers students a brief review of 6th grade math in addition to mastering numerous new concepts of 7th grade math (Applications and Concepts). The material will be integrated with online resources to enhance the studying experience and achieve the depth necessary and offer a smooth transition into Pre-Algebra in eighth grade. Highlights include:

  • Square roots, Pythagorean theorem, graphing points on the coordinate plane, and classifying numbers.
  • Ratios, solving proportions, similar polygons, and scaling.
  • Percents, conversions between fractions decimals and percents, percent proportions, percent equations, percent change, and simple interest.
  • Classifying angles and their relations, special right triangles, classifying quadrilaterals, and congruent polygons.
  • Reintroduction to area, surface area, volume, and circumference.
  • Probability of simple events, and probability of compound events, mean, median, and mode.
  • Simplifying algebraic expressions, solving two-step equations, inequalities, and solving inequalities.

8th Grade

Pre-Algebra – Full Year

This class will cover the following topics: Introduction to variables and expressions, integers, equations, monomials, fractions, ratios, proportions, percent, linear equations and inequalities, functions, right triangle, area, volumes, and statistics & probability. This course objective is to introduce students to various concepts and basic fundamentals used in Algebra.

  • Variables & Expressions- Introduction to variables, translating sentences into algebraic expressions, and solving simple one step equations.
  • Integers- add, subtract, multiply, divide, integers and plotting points on the coordinate system.
  • Equations- Simplifying expressions using the distributive property, solving equations by adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying, and solving two-step equations.
  • Monomials- Rules of divisibility, powers and exponents, GCF, simplifying algebraic expressions, multiplying and dividing monomials, negative exponents, and scientific notation.
  • Fractions- adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, converting between all number systems, LCM, and working with positive and negative decimals and fractions.
  • Ratios & Proportions- Conceptually understand and work with ratios and proportions and apply this skill in solving word problems.
  • Percents- solving percents using proportions, using and solving percents in equations, using percents in solving word problems, calculating percents of in crease or decrease.
  • Linear Equations- Solving equations with variables on both sides of the equation, solving inequalities by adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing, and solving multi-step inequalities.
  • Functions- Graphing functions and linear equations by using a T-chart and by using x and y intercepts, and by using a slope & y intercepts, and write an equation using a slope and a y intercept.
  • Right Triangle- Introduction to various types of triangles, Pythagorean theorem, midpoint formula and distance formula.
  • Area- Calculating the areas of triangles, parallelograms, rectangles, trapezoids, compute the circumference and area of a circle.
  • Volumes- Computing the volumes of 3 dimensional shapes such as prisms, cylinders, cones, and pyramids and calculating their surface area.
  • Statistics & Probability- Computing various central tendencies such as mean, median, mode, and range. In addition, compute the probability in various types of word problems using cubes, coins, and cards when events are independents or dependent events. Computing permutations, combinations and odds.

Algebra 1A/1B – Full Year Course

This course offers students a brief review of Pre-Algebra in addition to mastering twelve chapters of Algebra 1 (Structures and Method). The material will be integrated with online resources to enhance the studying experience and achieve the depth necessary to master Algebra 1. A typical Algebra 1 is a demanding and challenging one-year course, which is offered typically in eighth grade. Kadima is proud to offer a one year Algebra 1 honors program that will enable our students to achieve fluency in a subject matter that is the foundation for all other math that follows Algebra 1. The material that will be covered in this course is as follows:

  • Reintroduction to simple first order equations and translating expressions into equations, integers, and absolute values.
  • Reintroduction to adding positive and negative integers, multiplying and dividing positive and negative integers, distributive property, using and translating techniques of complex word problems to equations.
  • Solving complex equations using multiple steps and transformations, solving cost and income word problems.
  • Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing polynomials, introduction to power rule, transforming formulas, RTD word problems, and area word problems.
  • Dividing monomials, FOIL technique, six factoring techniques, solving quadratic equations using factoring, word problems.
  • Simplifying, multiplying, and dividing fractions involving factoring, adding and subtracting expressions using factoring, simplifying mixed expressions, and polynomial long division.
  • Ratios, proportions, solving equations with fractional coefficients, solving fractional equations, percents, percent word problems, mixture word problems, work word problems, and negative exponents.
  • Slopes, Slope intercept equations, Standard form equations, functions, direct and inverse variations.
  • Solving equations using graphing, substitution, and elimination methods, RTD wind current word problems, age and digit word problems.
  • Solving inequalities, solving compound inequalities, solving absolute value equations and inequalities, and graphing linear and system inequalities.
  • Simplifying square roots, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and rationalizing radicals, Pythagorean theorem, and solving radical equations.
  • Solving quadratic equations using completing the square and quadratic formula methods, discriminant, and graphing parabolas.

Algebra 1A/Honors – Full Year Course (taken over two years)

This course offers students a brief review of Pre-Algebra in addition to mastering the first six chapters of Algebra 1 (Structures and Method). The material will be integrated with online resources to enhance the studying experience and achieve the depth necessary to master Algebra 1. A typical Algebra 1 is a demanding and challenging one-year course, which is offered typically in eighth grade. Kadima is proud to offer a two-year Algebra 1 honors program that will enable our students to achieve fluency in a subject matter that is the foundation for all other math that follows Algebra 1. The material that will be covered in this course is as follows:

  • Reintroduction to simple first order equations and translating expressions into equations, integers, and absolute values.
  • Reintroduction to adding positive and negative integers, multiplying and dividing positive and negative integers, distributive property, using and translating techniques of complex word problems to equations.
  • Solving complex equations using multiple steps and transformations, solving cost and income word problems.
  • Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing polynomials, introduction to power rule, transforming formulas, RTD word problems, and area word problems.
  • Dividing monomials, FOIL technique, six factoring techniques, solving quadratic equations using factoring, word problems.
  • Simplifying, multiplying, and dividing fractions involving factoring, adding and subtracting expressions using factoring, simplifying mixed expressions, and polynomial long division
  • Please note that this is a two-year honors class and for those enrolled it is followed by Algebra 1B/Honors.

Overnight Trips

Overnight trips add a special component to our classroom curriculum. The 6th and 7th grade travel together. Their trips have varied over the last several years and have included the following:

Catalina Island

overnight trips1Our 6th and 7th Grade students will be traveling on a three day, two night adventure to Emerald Bay on Catalina Island during the Spring semester. The beautiful Island provides some of the most preserved natural history in California. Each student will get hands on experience learning at the renowned Pennington Marine Science Center. They will learn history, geography, marine sciences and more as they hike, snorkel, and learn during this exciting program.

Olympic Park, Washington

Students will have the opportunity to participate in a 5 day overnight at the Olympic Park Institute in Olympic Park, WA, (http://www.yni.org/opi/index.html) located just 20 miles west of Port Angeles on Lake Crescent in the Olympic Park National Forest. The overnight generally takes place in mid-March. This intensive science based program will focus on inquiry-based learning and will complement the students’ curriculum at Kadima.

New York

overnight2 NYStudents will participate in a 5-day, 4 night trip to New York City. The New York overnight will take place in the spring. During this trip students will trace the route our ancestors took as they made their way into America, the new homeland. We will follow the path in which Jews settled in New York, visiting Ellis Island, Borough Park, Crown Heights, the Upper Westside and much more. We will explore not only how the Jews came to America, but have the opportunity to experience the rich culture of New York City.

8th Grade Israel (Tel Aviv Partnership) or Washington D.C.

In the 8th grade, all students will either participate in a five-day trip to Washington, D.C. or a two week delegation as part of the Israel Partnership program.

overnight3 washOn the Washington D.C. adventure, students learn U.S. History and government in one of the most powerful cities in the world. Each student will feel, hear, see, and understand American history through themes of personal risk, commitment, sacrifice, and national values. Students become players in the dramatic history of America while exploring the Capitol building and the Smithsonian Museums. They will come to understand the complexity of US history and visit many of the memorials that line the mall, as well as explore the United States Holocaust Museum and gain a deeper appreciation of the Jewish story of the past, and the importance of remembering that past as we look to the future. Designed to enhance the 8th grade social studies curriculum, students will gain a richer understanding of our history, the consequences of choices, and of their role in our continuing American story.

The Israel Partnership delegation is a two-week trip that takes place during the weeks surrounding Yom Ha-Zikaron (Israel’s Remembrance Day) and Yom Ha-atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day). The program includes on-going contact between the schools through e-mail, video conferences and is highlighted by a trip to Israel in May where a delegation of students is hosted by the school and its students. Our school and students host our partners in Los Angeles in the Fall.

Science

6th Grade – Earth Science

ScienceEarth Science gives students the opportunity for hands-on experimentation, inquiry, and project based learning focusing on the four major spheres comprising our planet, our solar system, and the universe. While studying the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and the biosphere students will make observations, research, test hypotheses, and uncover their own understanding about the planet and the systems that have created and maintained it. The study of our solar system and the universe will allow students the opportunity to develop their abstract thinking and acquire thes kills to create models to comprehend our role and place in the universe. Students are expected to practice scientific inquiry and integrate their classroom learning by applying the scientific method to complete a science fair project at our school’s annual science fair.

7th Grade – Life Science
Life Science give students the opportunity for hands on, minds on learning, experimentation and reporting about the living systems found on Earth. While learning about cells, students will use their laptops and interfaced microscopes to learn the parts of a cell and the function of a cell’s organelles By examining the traits passed from one generation to another and principles of heredity, student will learn about Mendelian genetics and the Human genome. While reviewing some of the details of the Earth’s history, students will study evolution and gain an understanding to current strategies of classifying living things. Learning about one’s own body is important in terms of the various systems and how to maintain good overall physical health. At the end of the year, we’ll conclude our look at the human body and the physics behind many of the systems that allow us to perceive and move in our environment.

8th Grade – Physical Science
Physical science provides students the opportunity to engage the world of matter and energy. Students work diligently in applying the scientific method to the study of chemistry and physics. Laboratory experimentation and modeling is used to engage students in the subject matter. Students are expected to participate in a research and experimentation project, applying all their scientific knowledge and technique learned in Middle School, culminating in a school science fair.

Hebrew and Judaic Studies

Modern Hebrew

modern hebrew imageKadima utilizes the NETA Hebrew program our middle school Hebrew language curriculum. The NETA curriculum is sequential and based on a structured linguistic progression.We are able to accomodate students at every level: Preparatory level, Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Lessons are centered on themes of interest to teenagers, ranging from computers and sports to friendship and freedom. Each theme is presented from three perspectives: Jewish tradition, modern Israeli culture and general world knowledge, including art, science, mathematics, literature and philosophy. Each unit of study incorporates art, music, prose, poetry, news articles and Jewish texts, in layers of language ranging from biblical Hebrew to current scientific Hebrew terminology and common colloquialisms.

A unique and important feature of the NETA curriculum is its adherence to a steady pace that allows students to experience tangible progress in their Hebrew proficiency so that by the end of the advanced level students will be able to study subject matter in Hebrew. The curriculum specifies clear goals and measures of achievement, and is accompanied by standardized tests written by the curriculum development team and educational evaluation experts.  You can get more detailed information about NETA by visiting their website:  www.netahebrew.org.

Dividing the students into small groups according to their Hebrew level allows the teachers to conduct all lessons in immersion Hebrew. Using current Israeli music, poems, short stories, basic literature make the class time stimulating and allows for higher level thinking.

Judaic Studies

judiac studies 1In the Judaic Studies program at Kadima, our students study Jewish texts, history, culture, ethics, and holidays. In pursuit of their Jewish heritage, they encounter a wide range of source materials, from the Bible and Rabbinic texts, to poetry, prose, fine arts, and music. Our program has three primary goals. The first, and most important goal, is to reinforce each student’s Jewish identity so that they will deepen their involvement in, and commitment to Jewish life. Our second goal is to integrate Jewish studies into the full middle school curriculum, especially in the areas of language arts and social studies. Our third goal is to tie issues of the past with the present time, to make Jewish Studies relevant to their personal experience.

Tefillah (prayer) is an important part of the Judaic studies program. Our goal is that all students, progressively, will be familiar with the Siddur. With the order of the daily and Shabbat tefillah, and will understand the meanings, its sources and historical development of Tefillah. We will introduce various rituals and melodies, in the spirit of Jewish pluralism. Our graduates are able to actively participate and lead various tefillot (services), as well.

6th Grade Judaic Studies
In 6th grade, students will study Ancient Jewish History through the destruction of the Temple and Roman rule. During each period, students will explore how Jews maintained their identities and adapted to changing environments as well as how the Jewish people’s experience interacted with those of other peoples. Furthermore, students will learn to analyze primary sources, determining how our Jewish texts affect our understanding of how we, the Jewish people, have become who we are.

Additionally, students will explore Jewish texts–TaNaCh, Mishna, Talmud, Codes, midrash, modern Responsa and commentaries–relating to the following core themes:

  • Civil law
  • Kindness to Animals
  • Protecting the Environment
  • Pursuing Peace
  • Ethics of War

During the unit on Civil Law, for example, students will study Mishna Baba Metzia, learning about Rabbinic laws of Lost and Found and then applying these laws to their lives in a contemporary context. Our hope is that through this in depth exploration of key themes, students will begin to resonate with the texts and values of our tradition, gaining a deeper understanding of how Jewish tradition might inform the way they live their lives.

7th Grade Judaic Studies
In 7th grade the history component of the curriculum will continue its parallel track with social studies, as students study the medieval era, but through a Jewish lens. The medieval period in Jewish history extends from the late Gaonic era (800-1000 CE) to the beginnings of the Enlightenment (1750 CE). On the map our studies will extend from Europe and North Africa, to the Middle East all the way to India.

In the cultural and ethical component of the curriculum, students will focus on five critical themes in Jewish thought:

  • Social justice
  • Treatment of foreigners
  • Issues of aging and the elderly
  • Communication and censorship
  • Life cycle events.

To explore these themes and their historical background, students will read a wide and engaging body of literature. Many readings will come from the Bible and Talmud, including the prophet Hosea and the Book of Daniel. However, the majority of readings will come from texts written during the Jewish Medieval period. Specifically, students will read excerpts from Moses Maimonides, Rashi, other commentators; poetry by Judah Halevi and Ibon Gabirol; stories from The 1001 Nights and Sefer Hasidim; and travelogues by Jewish and Muslim travelers. In this way, thematic studies will be intimately interwoven with historical studies, and students will learn history from the point of view of those that were living and creating it.

8th Grade Judaic Studies
8th graders will continue the movement through history, picking up with the Enlightenment and moving right up to the 21st century. In between, they will cover the migrations to America, the emergence of Zionism, the Shoah, and the establishment of Israel. Thematically, the 8th grade will focus on:

  • The sacredness of marriage
  • Modesty
  • Medical ethics
  • Leadership

As is the case in previous years, literary and religious texts will be interwoven with historical studies, and students will learn both history and Jewish thought from the point of view of those actively creating it. Readings will be chosen from among the rich body of literary, religious, and political texts produced in this vibrant era of cultural development. Along with important biblical and midrashic texts, students will sample the political writings of Moses Mendelssohn, Theodore Herzl, David Ben Gurion, and Ahad Haam, and will read the literary works of Hayim Nachman Bialik, Sholom Aleichem, Shai Agnon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Art Spiegelman. Our goal is to bring Judaics and Jewish life alive with some of the most exciting and insightful texts ever written. Each of these primary documents will be used to help our students understand the development of modern Jewish history through the eyes of those who lived through it and helped shape it.

Social Sudies

6th Grade
Social studies 6th 1Social Studies in Sixth Grade includes three strands – history-geography, current events and critical thinking.

History-Geography

Sixth Graders study early history, Ancient Civilizations. They are exposed to pre history, early man, early Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, the early Hebrews, early Chinese, Indian and South American history and Ancient Greece and Rome. The students will study the geography of the world and how, as man spread throughout the world, the political geography changed and grew. Students will study and draw their own maps. Map vocabulary will also be reviewed.

Current Events

Each student will be responsible for sharing current events. These will come from a variety of media and will represent the students’ developing interests in their community, their nation, and the world.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is an essential aspect of social studies. It gives students an opportunity to look at history and current events from differing viewpoints. Students will have assignments that give them a chance to consider specific historic events in a new light. They will meet in small groups, and challenge each other’s thinking. They will have the opportunity to write in response to questions posed either by the teacher or by their peers.

7th Grade
Upon completion of seventh grade social studies, students will have a better understanding of the Middle Ages, early modern history, and geography. The course focuses on world history from the fall of Rome through the Age of Enlightenment. While European history is a main area of study, the course also explores the rise of Islamic states as well as the developments in Eastern Asia primarily India, China, and Japan. The students examine the growing economic interaction among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. The following skills will be integrated throughout the year:

  • Utilizing the research tools of a historian to explain past events
  • Appreciating the relationship between geography and certain historical developments
  • Recognizing the impact of major trends like nationalism and industrialization on world events
  • Expressing ideas in a clear and logical fashion
  • Formulating a persuasive argument
  • Identifying the relationship between current events and historic events

Each student does a research report based on a unit of study. The skills developed during this work include:

  • Note taking
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Outlining
  • Editing

These skills integrate and support lessons in Language Arts and across the curriculum.

8th Grade
8th Grade students study American history, analyzing events from colonization to modern times. They will take an in depth look at the Constitution and how it pertains to them in this modern age. Students will examine historical events from social, cultural, and economic perspectives. As every historical event has a cause and an effect, the students will need to discover what these are and be able to justify their opinions through written and oral argument.

The reading, writing and research done in 8th grade social studies helps prepare students to be successful critical thinkers in high school and beyond. It is in social studies that students can begin to see the integration of academics across the curriculum. The research work done in 8th grade builds on earlier lessons and expands to include MLA formatting in preparation for High School.

In preparation for the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. students will first write a research report on an event, person, or governmental agency. The class will then compile a tour book, which explains each stop on their itinerary and will make their experience more meaningful.

Team Sports & P.E.

team sports 1Team Sports
Through the San Fernando Valley Private School League, Kadima Middle Schoolers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of competitive team sports. Any student who is interested in participating in a team sport is welcome to do so. Our program hinges on the notion that athletics are not solely about learning to win, but learning to be a leader and a team player. Allowing any of our students to participate, regardless of skill or ability ultimately leads to good physical, emotional and social growth. Kadimal athletes have earned league championships in basketball, volleyball, and soccer.

Teams currently in place, include:

  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Soccer
  • Girls Basketball
  • Boys Basketball
  • Girls Volleyball
  • Boys Flag Football
  • Physical Education

The 6th grade theme is “Learning Through Cooperation”. During the first year of middle school we provide our students with the opportunity to discover how their bodies work while providing them with the opportunity to explore their personal talents. Step-by-step, they learn basic motor skills before moving on to sport-specific skills. This allows them to improve their personal abilities, boost their self-esteem and move with confidence. Students will be introduced to the following:

  • Combine skills for practice in lead up games. (a team, individual, or dual activity leading to an organized sport).
  • Engage in cooperative games that will be used as lead-up games for traditional sports.
  • Participate in variety games and challenging skills such as juggling and tininkling will be used to improve eye hand, eye foot coordination and rhythm.
  • Become aware of the interaction of the circulatory and respiratory system in conditioning for health fitness.
  • Play lead up games where students recognize the validity of rule application while accepting fairness will apply.
  • Work in cooperative groups providing specific positive feedback to peers.
  • Keep a yearly progression of their height, weight, body fat percentage, flexibility, muscular strength and endurance.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills before class.
  • Run a mile under a standardized time for student’s age.
  • Throw a variety of objects, demonstrating both accuracy and distance.
  • Design and play small group games that involve cooperating with others to keep an object away from opponents (basic offensive and defensive strategy-for example, by throwing, kicking, or dribbling a ball).
  • Design and refine a routine, combining various jump-rope movements so that it can be repeated without error.
  • Demonstrate correctly activities designed to improve and maintain muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardio respiratory functioning.
  • Participate in games, sports, dance and outdoor pursuits, both in and outside of school, according to individual interests and capabilities.
  • Recognize the role of games, sports, and dance in getting to know and understand people of diverse cultures.

The 7th grade theme is “Taking Acceptable Risks Through Problem Solving”. This transitional period between 6th and 8th grade will encourage appropriate risk taking by providing students exciting new activities that require creative thinking and problem solving in a controlled, safe environment. Students will also be introduced to individual sports as well as team sports. Students will also build upon and use basic motor skills as well as sports specific skills learned from 6th grade Physical Education.

Students will be introduced to the following:

  • Engage in individual as well dual sports
  • Describe ways to use the body and movement activities to communicate ideas and feelings.
  • Participate in vigorous activity for a sustained period of time while maintaining a target heart rate.
  • Identifying proper warm-up, conditioning, and cooling-down techniques and the reasons for using them.
  • Understand the principals of spin and rebound as well as begin to experiment with spins of various types such as: counterclockwise, clockwise, backspin and topspin.
  • Understand how various ball spins can be used to gain strategic advantage in competition.
  • Concerning motor learning, students should be able to understand that performance is measurable in terms of technique, accuracy, distance, and speed.
  • Charting their own motor skill development in specific activities and events.
  • Accept and respect the decisions made by game officials-whether they are students, teachers, or officials outside of school.
  • FIT guidelines for physical exercise, which are the appropriate frequency, intensity, and time required for benefits to be accrued in each health-fitness component.
  • Principals of overload, progression, and specificity in physical conditioning.

The 8th grade theme is “Working as a Team to Develop Strategies for Success.” This curriculum concentrates upon team activities. Through each activity an emphasis is placed on increasing muscular flexibility, strength and endurance along with cardio respiratory endurance. Students are encouraged to compare themselves to age level health standards and not to one another.

Students will be introduced to the following:

  • Recognizing relationships between skills learned and applying those skills to other sports.
  • Understanding the principals of strategy through offensive and defensive sport techniques.
  • Development of a plan for a healthy lifestyle taking into account exercises that incorporate the FIT guidelines taught in grade seven as well as the principals of training.
  • Learn the appropriate intensity level of exercise while calculating their heart rate and understand the importance of cardio respiratory conditioning.
  • Be able to distinguish the health-related fitness components of cardio respiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition.
  • Concerning their self-image and personal development they will develop skills to help reduce stress. Their higher level of motor achievement provides a basis for establishing new personal goals that they can realistically obtain.
  • Concerning their social development they will be able to accept personal responsibility for their behavior and resolve individual and group conflicts.
  • Practice appropriate ways of learning new skills or sports on his or her own.
  • Improve and maintain appropriate body composition.
  • Recognize long-term physiological, psychological, and other benefits that may result from regular participation in physical activity.
  • Recognize in playing team sports that rules are fair to all and allow for safe participation.
  • Understand how growth in weight and height influence the mechanical nature of performance in physical activities.

Technology

Kadima students learn to integrate technology into their daily learning in a variety of ways.In elementary grades, students are exposed to computer technology in their individual classrooms as well as in our Media Center, which includes iMac desktop systems. technology1Each classroom is equipped with projector system, document camera, and/or active board allowing for connectivity to the internet and/or interactive learning. Students are taught the basics of keyboarding, software use and the foundations of technology as education tools and resources.

In middle school, Kadima offers an applied technology program which includes hands-on experience in cutting edge technologies, including robotics, video production, music composition, animation and more. To effectively integrate technology into various learning opportunities, Kadima middle schoolers have access to iPads and digital textbooks. technology2Further, most of our middle-school classrooms are equipped with SMART white boards, transforming our classrooms into centers of interactive learning where students are engaged and inspired and teachers can be innovative in their teaching.

One of the main objectives of the technology program is creating students ready and able to meet the challenges of the workforce needs of their future.