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Advanced Academics 101

Middle School Overview

Middle School Pre-AP Courses Middle School Pre AP courses are intended to appropriately challenge high-achieving learners and prepare students for future academic pursuits, including the high school Advanced Placement courses. The coursework requires students to engage in independent and analytical assignments and to complete a substantial amount of work outside of class. CBA assessments (district testing) will also be more rigorous and challenging in the Pre AP classes. Students are encouraged to take Pre AP courses that are appropriate to their interests and academic strengths. It is important that parents have discussions with their student about appropriate placements and an understanding of the commitment and higher expectations involved with a Pre AP class.

Middle School Pre-AP Courses If a student enrolls in a middle school Pre AP course the student is required to stay in that class for the first 6 weeks of the school year. If the student is struggling, they will be expected to create a plan including attending regular tutorials in order to help them to master the content. If at the end of the grading period, the student, the teacher and the parents agree that a change to on-level is necessary, as a last resort the student will be changed to on-level. This schedule change will often impact other portions of a student’s schedule as well. It is always our goal that the student remain in the class and invest the time necessary to rise to the challenge. This is an important commitment to consider when completing registration paperwork. That is why we encourage you to look at your student’s previous grades, achievement and test scores, while also considering their motivation, organization skills, independence, time commitment and willingness to go above and beyond current expectations.

Middle School Pre. AP Classes 6 th grade 8 th grade PAP ILA PAP Math PAP ILA PAP 8 th Math PAP Science 7 th grade PAP Algebra I PAP Geometry PAP ILA PAP Math PAP Science ***If you are currently identified as Gifted and Talented or if you qualify during the spring semester, you will be placed in a required GT PAP ILA class. The GT program only impacts your ILA placement.

Middle School ILA Overview

PRE-AP INTEGRATED LANGUAGE ARTS v v Connecting reading and writing Rigorous curriculum and pacing Challenging Engaging

Be Expectations prepared Work hard Communication Independently manage time and resources

We encourage… An independent work ethic Parental support and guidance Well-developed study habits A love of reading Possession of high level thinking skills Mastery of skills for standardized tests THINKING!!!

Variety of Genres Springboard curriculum (College Board) Novels Newspaper articles / short expository pieces Poetry Mythology, Shakespeare, Classics HIGH Expectations

Class Focus Literature, Writing, Speaking, Listening Analysis & interpretation – “Why? ” Communication skills Clear and concise academic writing Timely and constructive peer/teacher feedback Confidence and commitment to an idea

GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM You may contact our lead GT teacher to refer your child between January 7 th – 21 st, 2016: arndorfr@friscoisd. org. Visit the following website: www. friscoisd. org/gtreferral for GT referral and screening information

Middle School Science Programs

Pre-AP Science Offered in grades 7 and 8 Provides a higher level of rigor in lab work, reading, writing, and assessments Requires students to be organized and practice time management with study and work completion Requires participation in Science Fair

Middle School Social Studies Programs

EIGHTH GRADE U. S. HISTORY INDEPENDENT STUDY PROGRAM: The social studies department does not currently have PAP classes. In order to provide challenge and rigor, we have embedded an Independent Study Program in our eighth grade U. S. history classes.

REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INDEPENDENT STUDY PROGRAM: 1. All students are pre-tested on the upcoming unit of study to determine knowledge of the unit and eligibility for participation in the independent study. 2. Students must receive a score of 90 or above on the pretest in order to be eligible to participate. 3. Students scoring 90 or above are given the option of participating in an in depth independent study on this unit or remaining in the class for the traditional lessons.

4. Students who choose to participate in this study program are given a menu of 9 choices. The student then selects 3 out of the 9 choices on the menu to research and is given a rubric explaining expectations for each part. 5. During the student's social studies class period, the student works independently on the project while other students continue with the traditional lessons. 6. Upon completion of their independent project, the student will make a formal presentation of their research to a panel of teachers and administrators. 7. We have great success with this program and are very pleased with the projects the students have completed.

Middle School Math Programs

Middle School Math Courses 6 th 7 th grade math 6 th grade PAP math 8 th grade math 7 th grade PAP math ***PAP Geometry is offered depending on success on EAs. PAP Algebra I

On Level vs. Pre. AP On Level Pre. AP - On Level TEKS (Texas - TEKS taught with Essential Knowledge and - Increased Rigor Skills) - More Depth - In-depth Problem Solving Component

Pre. AP CBA’s Ø CBAs have been written with the College Board philosophy for PAP classes in mind

CBA Comparison On-Level: A concession stand earned a profit of $150 in July. This represented 25% of the profits made in June. How much profit did the concession stand make in June? **Requires students to see that $150 is ¼ of June’s profit, so the answer is found by multiplying 150 by 4. Pre-AP: Chad works for Best Buy and is paid an hourly wage plus a 3% commission on his sales. Last week he worked 35 hours and sold $4500 worth of merchandise. His total earnings for the week were $530. 50. How much does Chad earn per hour? **Requires students to solve a multi-step equation by first calculating the commission, subtracting it from total earnings and then dividing by the number of hours worked.

In-depth Problem Solving Component Ø Changing workforce demands Ø Ø Ø Critical analysis Decision making Higher order thinking skills Ø Helps students see the purpose of math Ø Engages and challenges students Ø Aligns with the College Board philosophy

What is the problem solving component for 6 -8 Pre AP math? Ø Student problems Students work collaboratively Ø Should challenge students’ thinking Ø Ø Designed to help students become comfortable with being “uncomfortable” Teachers facilitate group participation Ø Teachers do not offer mathematical assistance Ø

Polishing Days for Pre AP 6 -8 Math Students choose only one problem out of the 8 -10 they have worked on Ø Polishing: writing up a complete solution and explanation Ø Unlike the collaboration days, polishing days are to be done independently Ø Major grade Ø Focused on the problem solving process and not necessarily the correct solution. Having the correct solution is worth 10 points out of 100 points total. Ø

PAP Algebra I HS Credit and counts toward HS GPA Students take Algebra STAAR EOC Accelerated course and considered above grade level 8 th grade PAP Algebra I students should plan on taking a total of 5 years of math prior to HS graduation (5 th year can either be AP Calculus or AP Statistics)

PAP Geometry HS Credit and counts toward HS GPA Non-traditional delivery – Blended/On-line course Twice-accelerated course and considered 2 grades above level 8 th grade PAP Geometry students should plan on taking a total of 6 years of math prior to HS graduation Either 2 years of AP Calculus OR AP Calculus and AP Statistics A single Exam for Acceleration between 5 th and 6 th grade should only be considered if your student: Is quantitatively gifted (based on Cogat score) AND Demonstrates emotional maturity, organization, and academic focus well above and beyond their peers Please use the link below to find important information about FISD EA testing: http: //www. friscoisd. org/departments/testing/accelerationcredit-by-exam#q 2