Grade 7, School Year 2014/2015
The Canadian Program introduced at the Middle International School of Warsaw (MIS) for Grade 7 students is based on “Complete Canadian Curriculum for Grade 7” (Mathematics, Language, History, Geography, Science).
Language Program is extended with:
- Grammar Program based on FCE Cambridge Examination Standards (Grades 7-8)*
- Grammar Program based on CAE Cambridge Examination Standards (Grades 7-9)
- SAT words & passages ( Grade 9)
Without exception, the sole language of instruction is English.
The main aim of the program is provide young students with enhanced exposure to English, it is imperative to note that the Canadian Program is not an ESL program, although much time is spent to instruct students in the fundamentals of English grammar, with the intention of preparing students for standardized Cambridge Language exams .
Through a process of English immersion, students increase their fluency in English by gaining exposure to a rich variety of vocabulary from multiple middle school subject areas. To complement this, students gain experience speaking, writing, and problem-solving in English, in a much wider variety of situations than is typical of ESL programs. By equipping students with such diverse exposure to the language, two main goals of the program are:
- to improve each student’s facility with vocabulary building skills,
- to ensure that students can speak, understand, read, and write English in an abundance of real-world situations, both practical and academic.
Not surprisingly, a rigorous academic program like this requires serious effort and regular practice on the part of students. Students cannot expect to be successful by only using English in their classes, but rather, students are expected to devote some of their spare time on a daily basis to practicing and refining their skills. Since the skills students attain in this program are cumulative, a failure to develop these habits in the early years of the program can result in insufficient skills to succeed in later years.
Nonetheless, with a solid, consistent work ethic, the English-language skills acquired by students in this program will give them a considerable advantage in the future as they enter high school levels education.
The core program objectives are:
- increasing language fluency,
- building vocabulary skills and critical thinking skills,
- supporting student’s creativity,
- supporting positive work habits.
Junior Division student are already expected to possess an adequate understanding of the fundamentals of English grammar and phonics, as well as a broad vocabulary.
In particular, students are expected to read and speak English clearly, and to express themselves unambiguously in a number of written formats.
It is crucial to note, that reading can be connected to the English Literature, Science, History or Geography curriculum.
Since English is not the first language of the majority of students at this school, practicing grammar concepts is very important for the students.
Main focus is placed on math terminology. Students are already expected to possess fundamental math terminology in English, as the focus will continue to involve mathematical problem solving.
Solving mathematical problems in a second language is generally more difficult, even for students with strong mathematical skills. Nonetheless, this is immensely beneficial, as it affords students ample opportunity to think logically and systematically in their second language. Since the principal goal of the program is to increase students’ core fluency, mathematics units should be introduced to place the heaviest emphasis on using language and verbal reasoning to solve problems.
Language area will receive the most attention during the entire middle school education. Students will continue to become familiar with a wide array of different literary genres by examining an assortment of texts, as well as gain significant instruction and practice producing divergent pieces of written work. In both areas, increased emphasis will be placed on becoming advanced speakers and independent readers, as demonstrated through a combination of oral activities, written work, and research projects.
In the Junior Division, students will have ample opportunity to learn about and research different historical time periods, as well as the history and political structure of Canada. In addition to learning new vocabulary, the primary focus will involve familiarizing students with several research methods, in particular by having students complete projects and reports.
In the Junior Division, students will have ample opportunity to learn about geographic inquiry: location/place; environment, regions, landforms, climate, rivers, agriculture, origins and uses, natural resources. In addition to learning new vocabulary, the primary focus of Geography is to teach students that not all natural resources are able to replenish themselves and underline the necessity to use the natural resources responsibly so that they will continue to be available to us. We put the impact on how the environment is altered as a result of our interaction with it.
As with Mathematics, the emphasis in Science classes moves away from merely familiarizing students with scientific terminology in English, in order to provide students with opportunities to practice the scientific method by conducting experiments. As a result, students will concomitantly increase their scientific vocabulary by gaining practice researching, hypothesizing, predicting, as well as reporting the outcomes of experiments.
We put an impact on the biotic and abiotic members of an ecosystem that affect each other, natural cycles, natural structures, major parts of every ecosystem, succession and adaptation, how human activity can negatively impact ecosystems, forces on stable and unstable structures, the particle theory of matter, classification of matter, solutions, substances and mixtures.
We familiarize students with several research methods, in particular by having students complete projects and reports.
In the Junior Division, students will be introduced to various forms of visual art, dramatic art, and music during PROJECT WEEKS.
Project weeks are defined as weeks with irregular teaching schedule dedicated to different type of activities , hand-on learning, team projects, visiting museums, research centers, theatres, meetings with experts, visiting the forest etc.
The emphasis will be put on experiencing Art, Science, Humanities and other areas of learning in English in a less structured way comparing to the regular lessons schedule.
Activities like completing English posters or artwork, learning English songs, performing short dramatic skits in English, discussing theatre performances and movies, are all ways students will use the Arts to practice their burgeoning language skills.
- Square and Square Roots
- Factors and Multiples
- Ratios and Rates
- Fractions, Decimals, and Percents
- Angles and Lines in Shapes
- Congruent and Similar Figures
- Surface Area
- Algebraic Expressions (1)
- Algebraic Expressions (2)
- Data Management (1)
- Data Management (2)
- Mean, Median, Mode
- Experimental Probability
- Theoretical Probability
- Applications of Probability
- New Year’s Resolutions
- The Three Roses: a Czech Folktale
- Mythical Creatures from the World of Fantasy
- Facebook – Are you Revealing Too Much ?
- “My Olympic Hero” Speech Copetition
- Family “Memoirs” – the Gift of a Lifetime
- Superstitions around the Worls
- Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank
- The New 7 Wonders of the World
- Harmful Microorganisms
- The Science of Dreams
- Chindogu: Weird Inventions We Can Actually Use
- Totem Poles
- One more Reason to Save the Rainforest
- The Endangered Tibetan Antelope
- One Laptop per Child
- Yummy International Desserts
- After The “Boom”
- From St.Laurent to the Smithsonian
- The Making of a Sea-faring Legend
- The Academy Awards: Oscar’s Big Night
- A Story of What Kids Can Do
- The Truth about Carbs
- Your Carbon Footprint
- The Biofuel Controversy
- A Letter from Sammy in Mali
- The Elements of Fiction
- Who Will Be the Next Man in the Moon ?
Grammar Program for English as a foreign language is very important part of the Ministry of Education expectations and outlines. One unit per week is dedicated exclusively to grammar. Grammar Programs are based on:
The Cambridge First Certificate Examination in English Standards (FCE),
The Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English Examination Standards (CAE).
UNIT 1 Revision of simple tenses, Present perfect simple and continuous
UNIT 2 Making comparisons; Articles
UNIT 3 Like, as, as if, though, Adverbs; Narrative tenses
UNIT 4 Countable ad uncountable nouns; Future forms
UNIT 5 Indirect speech; Reporting verbs
UNIT 6 Certainty and possibility; Passives
UNIT 7 Relative clauses; Conditionals
UNIT 8 Gerunds and Infinitives; Expressing hypothetical meanings
UNIT 9 Present and past habit; Participle clauses
UNIT 10 Obligation, necessity and permission, It is, there is, get, got
UNIT 11 Ability and possibility; Conditionals
UNIT 12 Passives; have/get something done
UNIT 13 So, such, too, enough, very; Emphasis with what
UNIT 14 Ways of giving advice
- Settlement of New France
- New France – Economic and Political Life
- New France – Social Life
- New France – Cooperation and Conflict
- The Settlement of British North America
- The Causes and Effects of the American Revolution
- The Loyalists and British North America
- The War of 1812
- Conflict and Resolution
- The Rebellions of 1837-1838: Causes
- Personalities ad Events of the Rebellions
- Impact of the Rebellions
- Themes of Geographic Inquiry: Location/Place
- Themes of Geographic Inquiry: Environment
- Themes of Geographic Inquiry: Region
- Themes of Geographic Inquiry: Interaction
- Themes of Geographic Inquiry: Movement
- Patterns in Physical Geography: Landforms
- Patterns in Physical Geography: Climate
- Patterns in Physical Geography: Rivers
- Patterns in Physical Geography: Agriculture
- Natural Resources: Origins and Uses
- Natural Resources: Technology
- Natural Resources: Sustainable Development
- Biotic and Abiotic Elements in Ecosystems
- Food Cycle
- Natural Cycles
- Succession and Adaptation
- Human Activity
- Centre of Gravity and Stability
- Forces on Stable and Unstable Structures
- Materials and Design
- The Particle Theory of Matter
- Pure Substances and Mixtures
- All about Solutions
- Separating Mixtures
- Solutions, Mixtures, the Environment and You
- Heat and the Particle Theory of Matter
- Heat and Volume
- The Transmission of Heat
- Heat and How It Is Produced
- The Greenhouse Effect
TEACHING ENGLISH TO SPEAKERS OF POLISH
There are several areas where the structure of either the Polish or English language can present a special challenge to students at the Middle International School of Warsaw.
In general, Polish has a shallow orthography, so most letters make only a single sound; there are relatively few digraphs (compared to English); virtually no diphthongs and most words can be read by simply sounding and blending the letters. In contrast, English has many phonics rules and exceptions, and the most common 300 words do not follow these rules and need to be memorized by rote. The following table presents some issues that are faced by Polish speakers when learning English. This table presents only some of the most common issues and teachers are strongly encouraged to be aware of the errors that are common in their class so that they can be addressed and corrected.
|speed versus comprehension||Students are used to reading quickly in Polish and often try to read quickly in English, which results in loss of comprehension. It is strongly recommended that students are taught comprehension strategies|
|commonly confused words||
|/th/ (voiced and unvoiced)||
|long vowels and vowelcombinations||
|a, an, the||
|verb to be||The forms of the verb be are easily confused and the infinite form|
|verb omission||Polish inflections allow for verb omissions in some cases. Students need explicit instruction about using verbs in their sentences.|
|subject-verb agreement||Polish verbs have a great number of inflections, so the concept is not new to students, though they may not be aware they are inflecting verbs in Polish. Students commonly forgot to add -s in the third person present|
SUBJECTS & UNITS
The primary goal of teaching Canadian Curriculum is to create a strong foundation in the various aspects of the Language Program (reading, writing, verbal communication, extended grammar, spelling, listening).
Teaching subjects core material (Mathematics, History, Geography and Science) can be integrated with Language lessons.
To ensure coverage of the curriculum, topics in Mathematics, History, Geography and Science may be weaved into literacy through reading and writing tasks.
At the end of the unit students are evaluated to show their progress with unit specific vocabulary and concepts. Students will gain confidence as they see how much they have learned during the unit.
For grammar and spelling, the student practice books include assessment pages for each weekly concept.
For History, Geography and Science , the teacher can choose several hand-outs to assess student knowledge, thinking, communication and application skills for the unit.
Each teacher is encouraged to use his or her professional judgment to determine the appropriateness of any activities for the specific class and may choose to modify the ways of teaching or create his or her own assessment tasks as well.
|Learning project/Project weeks||Project weeks are meant to make ongoing learning more engaging (hands-on activities, in-class visits from experts, field trips that go along with this topic).The class is expected to show-case their learning through an end-of-unit /quarter summative task, which may include student presentations, posters, dioramas, photographs etc.Planning this type of project is quite similar to the way units are normally planned in Canadian curriculum, with great emphasis being placed on the presentation of the work and the summative task.|
|School decorations/event planning||Approximately twice a year, students will help to decorate the school’s main hallway in honour of a holiday or celebration, as well as creating special events to mark the day.Students will participate in events organizing and planning.|
|Language corner||Students are expected to maintain a bulletin board and/or an area of the class where English materials are displayed and maintained.|
|After-school clubs||After school clubs offer the opportunity to use English in a practical, non-academic setting.|
REPORT CARDS AND POLISH CERTIFICATES
Assessment for Report Cards
Each teacher provides a diagnostic, midterm and end test which teachers can administer to mark student progress and achievement. Teachers can utilize additional resources, such as Grade word lists or teacher created resources, to assess and record the progress of certain skills at different times of the year. The teacher may decide to include these assessments as part of the students’ report card at the end of each semester.
Assessment for Polish certificates
Grammar tests are the primary sources to provide data for Polish certificate ( position: English language) due to the fact that Polish Education Ministry Core Curriculum covers grammar and vocabulary building.
Speaking and writing activities are the secondary sources for Polish certificates.
Explanation of Educational Approach
Development of skills is very individual in the middle school years and is professionally recognized as normal for this age group. Emotional and Social growth are as important as Intellectual, Artistic and Physical maturity. This report card is a general summary of student’s performance over the term. More importantly, it has been our continuing goal to instill confidence in every student that they can and will learn through cooperation with their teachers, parents, administration, and each other.
Explanation of Assessment Scale
|5/A||Very Good Achievement|