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Published by TVT communications, 2018-08-01 19:42:07

Middle School Course Catalog 2018-2019

MS Course Guides 8.1.18

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2018 | 2019

COURSE OFFERINGS

GRADE 6 GRADE 7 GRADE 8

English English 6 English 7 English 8

History Ancient World History Medieval World History Early United States History

Math • Math 6, • Foundations of • Pre-Algebra
• Accelerated Math 6, Pre-Algebra • Algebra 1
• AoPS Pre-Algebra • Algebra 1 Honors
• Pre-Algebra • Accelerated Pre-Algebra
• AoPS Pre-Algebra
• Accelerated Pre-Algebra • AoPS Algebra

• AoPS Pre-Algebra

Science • Earth Science • Life Science • Physical Science

Jewish • Jewish Studies 6 • Jewish Studies 7 • Jewish Studies 8
Studies • AI Jewish Studies 6 • AI Jewish Studies 7/8 • AI Jewish Studies 7/8

Hebrew • Hebrew • Hebrew • Hebrew
Language & (level TBD by dept.) (level TBD by dept.) (level TBD by dept.)

Literature

Electives • Elective Wheel • Film • Film
• Garage Band • Garage Band,
• Advanced Garage Band • Advanced Garage Band
• Visual Arts • Visual Arts
• Advanced Visual Arts • Advanced Visual Arts
• Pre-Engineering • Pre-Engineering
• Spanish 1

Physical • Dance or PE • Dance or PE • Dance or PE
Education

Non-Discrimination Policy: Tarbut V’Torah admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and
activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin
in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

2 MS Course Guide 2017-18

ATHLETICS § DANCE FITNESS

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY Dance is a remarkably healthy exercise, and not
just for fitness. Dancing can boost your brainpower,
Physical activity, whether individual or organized, improve your outlook, relieve stress, grow your
can have a tremendous positive impact on a social circle, and strengthen and protect your most
student’s wellbeing. The department promotes important organs… even if you have no rhythm.
the development of leaders, team players and Dance Fitness is a class for all skill levels that aims
lifelong learners. to improve overall well-being through cardio,
strengthening, and stretching exercises that are
Other goals include the following: set to music and based in dance technique. This
class is for PE Credit only and does not culminate
• To provide physical activity essential to in a performance.
optimum growth and development Grade Level: 6-8

• To provide a wide range of sports/activities § AFTER SCHOOL SPORTS
that will contribute to the pursuit of a lifelong
healthy lifestyle Fall Winter Spring

• To provide opportunities for physical, mental, Boys Flag Boys Boys Soccer
and social development through teamwork, Football Basketball
strategies, conditioning, practices, and Girls Soccer
competitive games Girls Volleyball Girls
Basketball Girls Flag
• To provide a learning environment to Football
strengthen work ethic, accountability,
sportsmanship, and discipline Boys Volleyball

• To provide opportunities for individual
sports/activities

Competition melds together physical potential and
capabilities in a positive, meaningful way. Neither
winning nor losing is at the heart of the class, but
rather building character, self-confidence, and
physical and mental toughness. The student is
expected to put forth real effort and to participate
with passion and purpose. TVT’s goal is not to identify
winners but to make winners of students on and off
the field or court

§ PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Physical Education plays an important role in the TVT
Middle School student’s physical, social, emotional,
and intellectual development. This is an ideal time for
students to make physical activity a regular and
important part of their daily lives. We offer our
students a variety of activities including yoga, dance
and rock climbing, while offering instruction that
focuses on skills development and prepares our
student for lifelong participation in physical activity.

MS Course Guide 2017-18 3

ARTS § GARAGE BAND

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY The goal of this course is to create an ensemble of
musicians/vocalists capable of performing
The Tarbut V’Torah Visual and Performing Arts contemporary popular music. Students should have
Department provides students the ability to marry some familiarity with “contemporary” popular music of
ideas into action. Whether learning to dance, play both the U.S. and abroad, proficiency with a primary
music, make a film or a piece of visual art, the instrument, and in some cases the rudimentary
discipline of taking an idea to its artistic conclusion is learning of a secondary instrument and/or vocals.
paramount. Students are challenged at all skill levels Proficiency on any instrument is acceptable and
through trial and error, collaboration, revision and encouraged. Students will gain understanding of basic
execution. The most up to date technology and state improvisation and how it relates to the song’s chord
of the art facility allows students exposure to what is changes and will learn and use the vocabulary of
being used by industry professionals. The skills music criticism. Above all, students will learn to
learned through this process can be applied to all express and excel in their musical talents within an
aspects of life. environment of an encouraging mentor.

§ ELECTIVE WHEEL Grade Level: 7-8

All students in sixth grade are enrolled in the Elective § VISUAL ARTS
Wheel class, made up of four sections. Students
rotate through Drama, Engineering, Music, and Visual 7th and 8th grade visual arts students continue to
Arts. Students in sixth grade are starting to define their practice the basics of effective visual communication
own point of view and are ready to bring together the and to justify the artistic choices they make. Increased
basic skills learned in earlier grades. Four teachers technical skills are demonstrated as students process
work together to provide developmentally appropriate and create art. Using the elements and principles of
lessons that are linked through the languages of the design, studying the work of famous artists, and
arts and science. Students are automatically rotated at identifying what they believe to be important to
the quarter mark. The Elective Wheel provides rich, look for in works of art, 7-8 visual arts students will
interrelated arts and STEAM studies. This experience develop a series of related works to express a
helps students develop creative expression and personal statement. Their ability to present a reasoned
interpersonal communication. Improving self- argument about the artistic value of a work of art
confidence and increasing arts vocabulary, students can be applied to the works they create or the
enjoy an increasingly complex curriculum that works of others.
enhances self-expression.
Grade Level: 7-8
Grade Level: 6

§ FILM

This course is for students interested in learning film-
acting, story structure, beginning screenwriting, and
shot composition all as it pertains to making movies.
Basic skills in acting and how to convey ideas and
emotions through both spoken and body language
will be taught. This course is also designed to provide
those interested in learning to make their own films
the tools necessary to do so. Students will take the
acting and storytelling skills learned in class, will
capture those performances on video, and will edit
those performances in programs like IMovie to create
watchable, funny, or poignant, vignettes.

Grade Level: 7-8

4 MS Course Guide 2017-18

ENGLISH history, paralleling students’ introduction to
middle school. They also read recreational
DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY reading books to foster their love of literature and
reading prowess.
The English program at TVT provides arenas in which
students’ natural curiosity about the world can be Grade Level: 6
explored in depth. In examining the many important
questions that texts raise about the nature of the § ENGLISH 7
individual, communities, and conflict, students
graduate with a greater capacity for compassion, an This course expands the framework of evolving
understanding of multiple perspectives, and a deep reading and composition skills and knowledge
appreciation of the many answers literature affords us of literary concepts. Using traditional methods and
to the question: What does it mean to be human? developing technology, writing assignments
emphasize content as well as structure, as students
In order to achieve this goal, students are taught learn to develop not only the length of their essays
interpretive strategies that are transferable across but also the quality of their examples and
texts: ways of understanding character, point of view, commentary in writing. Grammar, writing mechanics,
setting, and other components that enable students to and vocabulary are a regular part of the curriculum.
discover and respond to the complex ideas that Students are given the opportunity to explore
literature poses, in addition to understanding their own different genres in literature including mysteries,
habits of mind. vignettes, short stories, poetry and plays. They read
recreational reading books to foster their love of
The writing program is designed so that students literature and reading prowess. Core reading
understand that writing is both a process and a selections investigate multicultural issues, the
product, a way of expressing themselves and a means complexity of making decisions in the modern
of discovering what they truly believe. Students are world, and the difficulty of accepting or formulating
exposed to various genres, such as short stories, personal identity.
drama, poetry, and non-fiction pieces in consideration
of various rhetorical strategies a writer might employ. Grade Level: 7
Students use these pieces as mentor texts from
which they find their own authentic voices, and § ENGLISH 8
instead of merely consuming information and culture,
they become creators of literature and writers of their The reading in this course provides students
own destinies. the opportunity to explore and understand
American culture. Selections from poetry, novels,
§ ENGLISH 6 and plays reinforce literary concepts introduced in
previous classes. The course expands students'
The purpose of the 6th grade Language Arts program writing experiences by introducing the full-length
is to engage students in the acts of reading, writing, essay in a variety of modes, including literary analysis
and communicating. Students become active readers and personal narrative. Students study vocabulary
and further develop reading comprehension, apply from their core and personal reading and continue
critical and creative thinking skills, and cultivate to develop practical applications of vocabulary.
independent study, reading, and writing habits. Mentor The study of grammar and mechanics fosters
texts model writings in a variety of genres and forms, correctness and confidence in both oral and written
including poetry, short stories, essays, journals, and communication. Projects, writing assignments, oral
persuasive speeches. Students learn to organize, presentations and play performances throughout the
revise, and critique written work. Writing focuses on year promote the development of research and
process, brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and presentation skills using traditional methods as well as
marking the progress between drafts and on many forms of technology. Students also read several
mastering the grammar and mechanics needed for outside reading books over the course of the year to
sophisticated expression at the sentence level. The develop their independent analytical skills and foster
reading presents characters who are dynamic: their the enjoyment of the written word.
lives and identities are changing, they are gaining
more awareness about who they are, and they are Grade Level: 8
adapting to new environments and moments in

MS Course Guide 2017-18 5

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: § HEBREW 1A

HEBREW LANGUAGE & LITERATURE Hebrew 1A is for student with no previous experience
reading, writing or speaking Hebrew. The first two
DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY months of this course are devoted solely to Hebrew
reading. Students use Ulpan Or’s Hebrew alphabet
The TVT Hebrew department is driven by the belief study kit and a book entitled “My First Hebrew
that mastery of Hebrew will allow students to better Experience, units 1-10.” By the end of Hebrew 1Aa
understand the History, culture and traditions of the students will have mastered the sounds of both
Jewish people. Proficiency in Hebrew will help to Hebrew consonants and vowels and will be able to
foster a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish decode non-familiar words at a rate of 15 words per
people, will help to cultivate strong ties with the State minute. Hebrew 1a strives to give students the skills
of Israel and will help to ignite student commitment to and confidence to read, write and understand very
lifelong Jewish learning. basic Hebrew conversations. Communication at this
level revolves around familiar topics using phrases
While TVT’s Hebrew program emphasizes the that have been practiced and memorized. By the end
four major language acquisition skills of listening, of the Ulpan year, a student will successfully be able
speaking, reading and writing, priority is placed on to introduce him/herself, to greet others, to answer
Hebrew speaking. In order to achieve the aim of Yes/No/Who/What/When/Where questions with
conversational mastery, TVT’s Hebrew scope and one-word answers. Students will emerge from Ulpan
sequence is based on ACTFL’s (American Council for Hebrew with the knowledge that they too can master
the Teaching of Foreign Languages) designations for the Hebrew language and with the desire to continue
speaking proficiency. their Hebrew studies at a higher level. Students that
complete Hebrew 1A will continue their Hebrew
TVT Emphasis on Hebrew Speaking is most clearly studies in either Hebrew 1b or Hebrew 2 based on
shown in two ways: teacher recommendation.

1. TVT has recently adopted the Ulpan Or § HEBREW 1B
curriculum to serve as the backbone of our
Hebrew program. Ulpan or uses technology to Hebrew 1B is for students who have studied basic
focus on Rapid Language Acquisition Hebrew for at least two years, have mastered the
sounds of both Hebrew consonants and vowels, and
2. TVT revisits the same monthly themes during are able to decode non-familiar words at a rate of 15
each year of Hebrew learning, emphasizing words per minute. The content of this class closely
new learning requirements based upon ACTFL follows that of Hebrew 1A but the assumption of
“can do” designations. The monthly themes are Hebrew decoding proficiency allows for deeper
as follows: exploration into the area of Hebrew conversation.
During this year of study, students will learn 250 high
• Sept.: Food at a food store: Requesting, frequency Hebrew words and expressions. A major
Searching, Receiving, Purchasing focus of this class is to give students the skills and
confidence to write and understand very basic
• Oct: Directions, asking, offering Hebrew conversations. Communication at this level
revolves around familiar topics using phrases that
• Nov. & Dec.: Eating, ordering, creating, serving have been practiced and memorized. By the end of
food the Ulpan year, a student will successfully be able to
introduce him/herself, to greet others, to answer
• Jan. & Feb.: The Doctors visit, finding an expert Yes/No/Who/What/ When/Where questions with
March/April – Airplane Security one-word answers. Students emerge from Ulpan
(El Al in particular) Hebrew with the knowledge that they too can master
the Hebrew language and with the desire to continue
• May: What will I do this summer? their Hebrew studies at a higher level. Students that
A date to the dance complete Hebrew 1B will continue their Hebrew
studies in Hebrew 2 based.

6 MS Course Guide 2017-18

§ HEBREW 2 § HEBREW 4

Hebrew 2 is for students who have previously taken Hebrew 4 is for students who have previously taken
Hebrew 1 (Ulpan) or for students who have been Hebrew 3 at TVT. During this year of study, students
studying Hebrew in TVT’s lower school for at least 3 will solidify and make active the vocabulary learned
years. During this year of study, students will increase during the past. Communication at this Intermediate
their active vocabulary by an additional 250-300 Low-level highlights a student’s ability to participate in
words and expressions that are essential for everyday conversations using simple sentences. By the end of
conversations. Communication at this Novice Low/ Hebrew year 4, students will be able to express wants
Novice Mid. level revolves around familiar topics using and needs when in a familiar situation. Additionally, a
phrases that have been practiced and memorized. By student will be able to offer a confident response to a
the end of the 2nd year, students will successfully be query, answering factual questions based upon
able to enter and exit a conversation, ask simple one- familiar information. During the year, students will
to-two word questions, answer questions with simple complete their mastery of speaking in the present
expressions or memorized phrases and offer basic tense as well as how to use prepositions to create
information about themselves and others. During the more sophisticated sentences. Students will study and
year, Students will complete the workbook units 1-3 in strive to reproduce Hebrew dialogues and well as
the workbook entitled “Rama Aleph,” and students will interact with near authentic materials (using the Ulpan
show competence in their use of the infinitive verb Or workbook, “Juvenile Dialogues”. Lastly, students
form (binyan paal) using an Ulpan Or workbook will read and discuss Ulpan-Or’s interactive
entitled, “Verb Infinitives”. Newspaper (intermediate level).

§ HEBREW 3 (Note: Hebrew 4 is a mixed grade level Middle
School/Upper School course)
Hebrew 3 is for students who have previously taken
Hebrew 2 or for very advanced students who have § HEBREW 5 HONORS
been studying Hebrew in TVT’s lower school for at
least 5 years. During this year of study, students will Hebrew 5 is for students who have previously
increase their active vocabulary by an additional 400- taken Hebrew 4 at TVT. This is an honors class
500 words and expressions that are essential for that most likely will include a mixture of Middle
everyday conversations. Communication at this and High School students. During this year of
Novice High level highlights a student’s ability to study, students will transition from past exposure
exchange information about familiar topics using to modified Hebrew materials to authentic language
phrases and simple sentences. By the end of year 3, experiences. Communication at this Intermediate Mid-
students will be able to receive and ask for simple level highlights a student’s ability to participate in
directions, to offer and ask for personal information, to conversations using a series of sentences, employing
use a combination of pictures, graphs and verbal the necessary linking words and logical, sequential
commentary to provide information and to interact in flow. By the end of year 4, students will be able to
familiar everyday situations. During the year, students handle social interactions in everyday situations by
will complete units 4-7 in the workbook entitled asking and answering a variety of questions.
“Ramah Aleph,” and students will extend their Additionally, students will be able to guide a
knowledge of the infinitive verb form beyond binyan conversation from inception to completion, to talk
paal to cover all five main verb groups. Lastly, about daily tasks and to express personal preference.
students will read and discuss Ulpan-Or’s interactive During the year, students will begin focusing on their
Newspaper (lowest level). use of the past tense as they study and strive to
reproduce authentic Israeli dialogues. These
dialogues will be supplemented by short Hebrew
stories produced by the company “Gesher.” Lastly,
students will read and discuss Ulpan-Or’s interactive
Newspaper (intermediate level)

(Note: Hebrew 5 is a mixed grade level Middle
School/Upper School course)

MS Course Guide 2017-18 7

SPANISH LANGUAGE & LITERATURE HISTORY

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY

Students who complete the full curriculum, Spanish 1 The goal of the History Department is to develop
through 4 and AP, they will be able to write, analyze inquiring, knowledgeable and informed young adults
texts, and speak the language. Our overall objective in who are also critical thinkers, critical readers, and
the Spanish department is to support and motivate the effective communicators. Along these lines, our vision
students to continue learning the Spanish language is to provide students with both the knowledge and
and culture as well as prepare them to be open and skills needed to prepare them for the academic rigors
engaged to new cultures. of college and their futures as life-long learners. By
creating connections between past and present, the
We use structured grammar methods, encourage department also aims to develop within our students a
critical thinking, provide sentence structure practices, greater awareness of their place and role in local,
include cultural research presentations, design national and global communities.
dialogue presentations, and incorporate total physical
response (TPR) so that students are able to learn in § ANCIENT WORLD HISTORY
multiple modalities. Teaching our native Spanish
language enables us to use firsthand experience and Students in sixth grade study the Ancient Civilizations.
have students appreciate another language and The overarching theme is Interactions and Changes.
culture with passionate teaching. An in-depth unit on geography which addresses
topics such as the ways in which people interact with
§ SPANISH 1 the land, the environment’s influence on human
societies and adaptations to the physical world.
Spanish 1 is a comprehensive beginning course in Following a geography overview, the course next
which the student achieves facility in all aspects of examines the historical changes that have occurred as
listening, understanding, speaking, writing, and societies shifted from nomadic lifestyle to settled
reading of the first-year lessons. Idiomatic expressions agrarian communities and the specialization of labor
and verb conjugations are stressed in addition to other that follows. Students will focus on the civilizations of
grammatical concepts. Hispanic history and civilization Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. Finally, the
are introduced in conjunction with customs as a cumulative unit of study explores comparative
supplement to the text. philosophies, incorporating elements from the year’s
studies. The Ancient Civilizations course also provides
Grade Level: 8 opportunities for students to develop skills in the
Prerequisite: None areas of comprehensive reading, critical thinking,
(Note: Spanish 1 is a mixed grade level Middle evaluating different sources, communicating ideas
School/Upper School course) formally and informally, and writing analytical essays.

Grade Level: 6
Prerequisite: Successful completion of previous
history class

8 MS Course Guide 2017-18

§ MEDIEVAL WORLD HISTORY INNOVATION ELECTIVES

Students will learn about the social, cultural, religious § ADVANCED GARAGE BAND
and political changes that occurred across the
continents (Asia and Europe) from approximately 500 Instructor approval is needed to enroll in this course.
to 1400 CE. Students learn about the history and Alongside an ensemble of select musicians/vocalists,
geography of great civilizations that were developing students in Advanced Garage Band perform
concurrently throughout the world during medieval contemporary popular music. Students should be
times. We will examine the growing economic familiar with “contemporary” popular music of both
interaction among societies, as well as the exchange the U.S. and abroad, proficient with a primary
of ideas, customs and inventions. Students will instrument, and in some cases a secondary instrument
practice reading for comprehension and learn how to and/or vocal. Students will increase their
take efficient notes while reading. The exploration of understanding of basic improvisation and how it
current global issues and the evolution of students’ relates to the song’s chord changes, applying the
social consciousness are also discussed. vocabulary of music criticism to the material. Above
all, students will learn to express and excel in their
Grade Level: 7 musical talents within an environment of an
Prerequisite: Successful completion of previous encouraging mentor.
history class
Grade Level: 7-8
§ EARLY UNITED STATES HISTORY Prerequisite: Audition and teacher approval

This course is a survey course of American History. § ADVANCED VISUAL ARTS
The overarching theme is Independence and Growth.
Students will chronologically study the story of the Advanced Institute of Arts & Writing visual arts
United States and its people. The course begins with students apply effective visual communication and
Colonization and culminates with the Reconstruction technical skills to the creation of their artworks.
Era following the American Civil War. The course Additionally, students are encouraged to explore the
strives to use anecdotes and first-person accounts principles of design, study the work of famous artists,
and simulations to bring history alive. The core and develop a series of related works to express a
approach to the study of history is to show the personal statement. Students enrolled in Advanced
connection between public events and ordinary Art Institute will also apply aesthetic criticism to create
peoples’ experiences. The course will use current reasoned arguments about artistic value, which can
events to augment the study of the past and be applied to the works they create as well as the
present.to augment the study of the past and present. works of others.

Grade Level: 8 Grade Level: 7-8
Prerequisite: Successful completion of previous Prerequisite: Portfolio and teacher approval
history class
§ PRE-ENGINEERING

In this course students will be introduced to the
systems engineering process to develop objectives,
define requirements, and plan the construction of
material solutions of projects. Project management
principles will also be incorporated for students to
experience controlling cost, schedule, and
performance criteria. Students will perform computer
aided drafting utilizing industry standard software,
SolidWorks, to develop 3-D models. Analysis and
coding will be performed utilizing the Matlab software
suite. No prior experience with any of the above
material is required.

Grade Level: 7-8

MS Course Guide 2017-18 9

JEWISH STUDIES § JEWISH STUDIES 7:
FROM CRISIS TO CONTINUITY:
DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY JUDAISM’S COMING OF AGE

The goal of Tarbut V’Torah’s Jewish Studies As 7th graders themselves come-of-age in the
Department is for students to create an authentic Jewish tradition, they are invited to take part in a
Jewish self. This process begins in Middle School by year-long investigation of Judaism’s own coming-
asking students to investigate the history of the Jewish of-age story. This process began during the
people during times of turbulence and change. Babylonian exile as the children of Israel transform
Specific attention will be paid to the transitions that from Israelites into Jews. The process culminates
the Jewish people make from desert nomads to with the emergence of Rabbinical Judaism which
empire builders, from Israelites to Jews and from strict comes about as a response to the destruction of the
readers of Torah to flexible, expansive and interpretive 2nd Temple. By investigating the development of
readers of Jewish text. Middle School learners emerge Toshba (Torah She Beal Peh/Oral Law), students will
from their Jewish studies experience with an come to understand how Jewish life, ritual, laws and
understanding of how the Jewish people and Judaism customs were able to flourish even while Jews were
have evolved and adapted over time to meet the denied access to their homeland. During the course of
needs of God, the Jewish people and the social the year, students will study specific units dealing with
context in which they lived. Kashrut, Shabbat, and Jewish environmentalism.
Additionally, they will investigate the theological
§ TEFILLAH underpinnings that allowed interpretation and
development of Jewish law to flourish. How fitting it is
Tefillah and Kabbalat Shabbat are the Jewish for 7th graders to honor their own coming of age by
bookends that anchor a Middle Schooler’s week. charting Judaism’s transformation into adulthood.
Middle schoolers greet their week and weekend Seventh graders will also mark their Bar/Bat Mitzvah
with a mixture of prayer and song that seeks to year by practicing the Jewish ideal of Tzedakah. As a
marry tradition with healthy doses of experimentation. class, the 7th graders will form their very own
Each Middle School tefillah experience incorporates Philanthropy Board, deciding how best to donate over
readings and ideas that encourage students to $3,000 to worthy non-profit organizations.
question and challenge while remaining curious and
joyful. Prayer experiences incorporate 8th grade
“Divrei Torah,” ensuring that our students are
continually connected to the rhythm of the
Jewish week and year.

§ JEWISH STUDIES 6:
FROM EMPIRE TO EXPULSION

The Triumphs and Tribulations in Early Jewish History
After two short overview units covering the major
steps in Jewish History and the narrative flow of the
Torah, this core Judaics course begins where the
Torah ends, covering a period of time in Jewish history
from 1250 to 586 B.C.E. Through an in-depth study of
the most famous selections from the books called
Neviim Rishonim, students will travel from the banks
of the Jordan river to the hills of Jerusalem. Students
will then accompany the Jewish people as they walk
mournfully towards the city of Babylonia into exile.
During the year, students will focus on the Israelite
narrative from empire to exile through the lens of their
own personal transition from Elementary to
Middle School.

10 MS Course Guide 2017-18

§ JEWISH STUDIES 8: AI JEWISH STUDIES 7-8:
NAVIGATING INDEPENDENCE: THE CHOICES FROM CRISIS TO CONTINUITY:
WE MAKE, THE ACTIONS WE TAKE JUDAISM’S COMING OF AGE

How can we embrace an ancient book, given to a (YEAR 1 IN A 2-YEAR CYCLE)
people so long ago, and make the stories and laws
within meaningful and relevant to us today? This class As 7th and 8th graders themselves come-of-age in
challenges students to make space for the voice of the Jewish tradition, they are invited to take part in a
Torah when faced with the great decisions of today year-long investigation of Judaism’s own coming-of-
and tomorrow. During our year together, we’ll mine a age story. This process began during the Babylonian
myriad of Torah stories for meaning, morals and exile as the children of Israel transform from Israelites
guidance. During our year together, we’ll pit Torah into Jews. The process culminates with the
stories against each other in order to uncover eternal emergence of Rabbinical Judaism which comes about
truths about the values that help direct our lives. as a response to the destruction of the 2nd Temple.
During our year together, we’ll empathize with the By investigating the development of Toshba (Torah
trajectory of our Biblical Heroes in order to understand She Beal Peh/Oral Law), students will come to
how their successes, failures and struggles parallel understand how Jewish life, ritual, laws and customs
our own lives. Lastly, we’ll look at God’s relationship were able to flourish even while Jews were denied
with the world of nature, humans and the Jewish access to their homeland. During the course of the
people to discover how God’s action and interactions year, students will study specific units dealing with
can inform our own forward motion. Like the title Kashrut, Shabbat, and Jewish environmentalism.
suggests, this course strives to take Torah out of the Additionally, they will investigate the theological
arks of our synagogue and off the bookshelves of our underpinnings that allowed interpretation and
home, and place the words and ideas contained within development of Jewish law to flourish. As an
firmly in our hearts. advanced JS class, students will be expected to
complete weekly assignments at home. In addition,
ADVANCED JEWISH COURSES OFFERED the faster pace, the emphasis on Hebrew primary
THROUGH THE SAMSON CENTER FOR source material and the quarterly oral exams will
JEWISH LIFE AND LEARNING differentiate this class from its non-honors
counterpart. Lastly, all 7/8 AI students are expected
Additional Expectations: to write and present an original dvar Torah during
Middle School Tefillah.
• Greater Hebrew emphasis during text study
LEARNING CENTER
• Student presentation during Limmud TVT
§ LEARNING CENTER
• Dvar Torah presentation requirement during
Middle School Tefillah Learning Center students can elect to take a Learning
Center Period for organizational support and
• Accelerated pace of coverage academic assistance. This course meets during the
school day. Learning Center Periods are offered
§ AI JEWISH STUDIES 6 every A-H period. Students work with learning
specialists and learn ways to improve organizational
After two short overview units covering the major skills, test taking skills, and receive assistance with
steps in Jewish History and the narrative flow of the assignments and projects as needed. Open to Grades
Torah, this core Judaics course begins where the 6-12, course is non-graded, can be repeated.
Torah ends, covering a period of time in Jewish history
from 1250 to 586B.C.E. Through an in-depth study of
the most famous selections from the books called
Neviim Rishonim, students will travel from the banks
of the Jordan River to the hills of Jerusalem. Students
will then accompany the Jewish people as they walk
mournfully towards the city of Babylonia into exile.
During the year, students will focus on the Israelite
narrative from empire to exile through the lens of
their own personal transition from Elementary to
Middle School

MS Course Guide 2017-18 11

MATHEMATICS MATHEMATICS PLACEMENT

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY Because success in mathematics depends
upon students sequentially mastering material, TVT
TVT Mathematics Department aims to instill habits Mathematics takes placement into its courses very
of mathematical thinking that will prepare students seriously. Student placement is determined during
for further inquiry in math and to attain the Semester 2 by the entire department, which meets to
computational skills needed for everyday life. discuss the individual needs of each student. Factors
Students are taught to approach mathematics from in placement decisions are student grades,
multiple perspectives, including numerical, graphical standardized test results, teacher recommendation
and symbolic. In addition to simply satisfying the and, the results of placement tests.
metrics of each course, the teachers will focus on
student discovery through individual explorations. Math 6 or Accelerated Math 6 AoPS Pre-Algebra
Students are encouraged to form learning groups Grade 6
that offer a natural context for practicing
mathematical communication. Our students are Grade 7 Foundations Pre- Accelerated AoPS Introduction to
not just highly skilled, but also demonstrate Grade 8 for Pre- Algebra Pre-Algebra Algebra (Part 1) /
enthusiasm and clear understanding. Algebra
AoPS Introduction to
The goal of TVT Mathematics is for all students to Counting and Number Theory
study mathematics successfully at a pace and
depth appropriate to their individual needs. The Pre-Algebra Algebra 1 Algebra 1 AoPS Introduction to
program is flexible in that it provides the challenge Honors Algebra (Part 2) / AoPS
and interest necessary for those who want a sound Introduction to Geometry
mathematical background on which to base further
study while satisfying the needs of students for Grade 9 Algebra 1 Geometry Geometry AoPS Intermediate Algebra
whom mathematics is not their primary orientation. Honors
To this end, TVT Mathematics offers different tracks
of courses to its students. § MATH 6

Honors Track: This track is built for the exceptional Students in Math 6 complete their study of
mathematics student who is capable of moving not mathematics at the elementary level by strengthening
only at a swift pace but also at incredible depth. Proof their numeracy skills, especially in work with whole
technique and advanced problem-solving skills are numbers, fractions, integers, decimals and
taught and problems are frequently approached first percentages. Considerable emphasis is placed on
from the abstract level. mastering the order of operations and beginning to
understand how to apply the order of operations to
AoPS Track: The AoPS track is built for the more abstract situations. Students are introduced to
exceptional mathematics student who is both pre-algebra concepts, including equation solving.
capable and interested in exploring and executing
the Mathematics curriculum from the perspective of Grade Level: 6
depth. The AoPS approach favors very, very deep Prerequisite: In lieu of prerequisites, placements are
analytical approaches to topics in Mathematics, made based on placement exams, CTP-4 scores, and
sometimes moving more slowly than Honors because teacher recommendations
of the depth of analysis expected from the student.
AoPS track students are passionately committed to § ACCELERATED MATH 6
the study of Mathematics for its own sake and are
intrigued by (and want to explore) critical problems Students in Accelerated Math 6 encounter a
in Mathematics. fast-paced review of basic numeracy skills,
especially in work with whole numbers, fractions,
The following chart shows the anticipated sequencing integers, decimals and percent’s. The class then
of mathematics at the middle school level (grade nine places considerable emphasis on mastering the
is also included in the table to show how each order of operations and beginning to understand
sequence transitions to upper school mathematics). how to apply the order of operations to more abstract
situations. Students are introduced to preliminary
algebraic concepts.

Grade Level: 6
Prerequisite: In lieu of prerequisites, placements are
made based on placement exams, CTP-4 scores, and
teacher recommendations

12 MS Course Guide 2017-18

§ AOPS PRE-ALGEBRA § ACCELERATED PRE-ALGEBRA

AoPS Pre-Algebra, using the methods and practices Students continue to master basic skills: order of
typical to Lower School Beast Academy mathematics, operations, numeracy skills including work with
includes a thorough exploration of the fundamentals decimals, fractions, and signed numbers. At the same
of arithmetic, including fractions, exponents and time, themes from Algebra and Geometry and
decimals. Beginning topics in number theory and problem solving are woven through each section.
algebra, including common divisors and multiples, Students who complete this course successfully will
primes and prime factorizations, basic equations and next take either Algebra I or Honors Algebra,
inequalities and ratios are introduced. The year ends depending on their placement at that time.
with a focus on notions of percent, square roots, a
thorough exploration of geometric tools and Grade Level: 7
strategies, an introduction to topics in discrete Prerequisite: 2 of 3 of the following: teacher
mathematics and statistics and a discussion of recommendation, pass Pre-Algebra placement exam
general problem-solving strategies. with distinction, grade of 93% or better in Math 6 or 77%
or better in Accelerated Math 6
Grade Level: 6
Prerequisite: Beast Academy 5 or Accelerated Math 6, § ALGEBRA 1
placement test, and interview
Algebra 1 develops the mathematical background
§ FOUNDATIONS OF PRE-ALGEBRA necessary for all subsequent mathematics courses.
Students build on their numerical proficiency as they
This course is designed for the student who requires encounter symbolic manipulation and polynomial
additional work in mastering the basics of number arithmetic. Substantial units include linear and
skills and the order of operations. Extensive work with quadratic equations, factoring, algebraic fractions
fractions, decimals and percentages is included as and radicals. Basic graphing in the Cartesian plane is
well as basic equation solving. Students are also given also covered.
individual projects designed to strengthen their skills
in areas where they need additional practice. Grade Level: 8
Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra or Accelerated Pre-Algebra
Grade Level: 7
Prerequisite: Math 6 or Accelerated Math 6 § ALGEBRA 1 HONORS

§ PRE-ALGEBRA Students in Algebra 1 Honors complete their mastery
of polynomial arithmetic begun in Foundations of
Pre-Algebra develops a student’s computational skills Algebra. Substantial units on linear equations and their
while assisting students as they develop a strong systems, factoring, algebraic fractions, graphing, linear
sense of the foundations of mathematics, including a and nonlinear inequalities, exponents and radicals are
substantial section on solving linear equations. The learned. Students are introduced to not only the
goal of the course is a student’s mastery in core areas language of mathematics but also the rigors of
so that students may take subsequent mathematics mathematical discourse. The Fundamental Theorem
courses with confidence. Students who complete this of Algebra and its corollaries are broached at the end
course successfully will next take either Algebra I or of the course.
Honors Algebra, depending on their placement
at that time. Grade Level: 8
Prerequisite: 2 of 3 of the following: teacher
Grade Level: 7-8 recommendation, pass Algebra 1 placement exam with
Prerequisite: Foundations for Pre-Algebra, or 2 of 3 of distinction, grade of 90% or better in Pre-Algebra or 77%
the following: teacher recommendation, pass Pre- or better in Accelerated Pre-Algebra. (Note: Courses
Algebra placement exam, 80% or better in Math 6 above the level of Algebra 1 Honors are listed in the
Upper School course catalog)

MS Course Guide 2017-18 13

SCIENCE § LIFE SCIENCE

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY Topics covered in the 7th grade include the scientific
method, the Periodic Table, beginnings of chemistry,
Science at Tarbut V’Torah emphasizes hands on biochemistry, cell structure, and genetics; the goal of
learning experience while engaging students in the this course is to begin at the foundations of life and
most current body of scientific knowledge and build to understanding the chemistry of the cell. Each
technologies. Students can choose from a diverse unit is accompanied by hands-on activities to allow
array of courses that are offered at multiple levels students real-life discovery of the major themes of
including, college preparatory, honors and six AP study. Students will learn to use scientific tools for
courses. As students progress through the courses, observation and measurement such as the compound
they build on previous knowledge and skills. light microscope and triple-beam balance. They will
Graduates of the Science department are well versed engage in teamwork during laboratory exercises and
in the Scientific Method, independent thinkers who also practice independent research. This year focuses
can understand and solve real on preparing students for the role of mathematics in
world problems. science, and the role of chemistry in defining life.

§ EARTH SCIENCE Grade Level: 7

In 6th grade earth science students explore concepts § PHYSICAL SCIENCE
in geology, ecology, classification, and comparative
anatomy. The semester begins with the Earth on the In 8th grade physical science, students explore
largest scale: the structure of the Earth and how the the natural phenomena that surround them. The year
transfer of energy shapes the Earth, as we know it. In is a study of both the basic principles of chemistry and
studying convection, conduction and radiation, physics. Students experiment with the properties of
students learn that the movement of earth’s tectonic matter and the states of matter as they progress
plates results in continental drift. This drift produces a towards a solid understanding of the differences
variety of natural phenomena such as earthquakes, between compounds and mixtures. Students build
tsunamis, mid oceanic ridges, volcanoes and evolution boats as they explore Archimedes Principle and the
over time. Understanding how these processes concepts of buoyancy and density.
produce and create the abiotic landscapes
surrounding them prepares students to then look at There are also a number of experiments to
the biotic life on Earth. The next unit of study is understand phase change as a physical property. The
ecology, where students learn about the intricate semester culminates with students using their vast
workings of ecosystems. They connect this material to knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of
previously learned concepts as they discuss evolution matter to separate mixtures and break apart
and conservation, and the role geology plays in compounds. Students begin the second half of the
shaping biomes. During the course of this unit year with an exploration of motion and forces. They
students also explore various local ecosystems. investigate the concepts of momentum, acceleration,
Students then continue to narrow their focus by velocity, terminal velocity and gravity through the
looking at major phyla of animals and plants; by experimental process. Students will replicate Galileo’s
identifying characteristic traits, and by seeing how experiments with inclined planes and then go on to
traits have changes over time, students gain an understand aspects of Newton’s three laws of motion.
appreciation of the role of evolution in creating animal The end of the year is electric for all students as they
and plant species. The final unit provides an investigate work, machines and energy. Here they dig
introduction to comparative anatomy, in which deeper into understanding the concept of
students are also introduced to the workings of organ conservation of energy, the energy of waves and an
systems in humans and in other phyla. introduction into electricity.

Grade Level: 6 Grade Level: 8

14 MS Course Guide 2017-18

MS Course Guide 2017-18 15

REV. 7.1.18 MS Course Guide 2017-18
16


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