Academics in the Middle School

The ACS Middle School is committed to providing a balanced program focusing on the development of the whole student. Our goal is to prepare students to become leaders in meeting the ever-changing needs of the world and equip them with the knowledge to face challenges in a cross-cultural environment. We are dedicated to providing our students with high standards of academic instruction and performance, opportunities for service to others, and a well-rounded program of activities directed toward the development of their skills, talents, and self-confidence.

Our Middle School students will:
  • acquire an academic foundation which promotes continuing scholastic success and personal growth;
  • feel confidence in their learning ability;
  • develop problem solving and higher order thinking skills;
  • communicate effectively and develop an environmental and global awareness;
  • have opportunity to experience foreign language and culture study;
  • develop an appreciation for the fine, applied, and performing arts;
  • understand and practice sound personal physical health;
  • recognize the relevance of current schooling to future learning and living;
  • explore a variety of educational, social and personal experiences, and/or interests;
  • contribute to the development of an honest and trusting school environment;
  • acquire an awareness of technology's role in their future and develop the skill to utilize and expand that awareness.
The Curriculum

The Middle School program is designed to promote a smooth transition between Elementary and High School academically and socially. It is during this time that most students experience dramatic cognitive, social, emotional and physical changes. The Middle School strives to provide a nurturing environment so that students may thrive during this tumultuous time in their development. In support of this goal, a traditional American Middle School Curriculum is followed, with the addition of Arabic and French.

Each year of Middle School, students complete the below courses. Please click on each course for further description.

Arabic

The Arabic program at ACS is a comprehensive language program that aims at developing the learners’ communication skills in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The Arabic curriculum is standard-based integrating the Lebanese national program, the IB diploma, and the AERO Standards. The Arabic curriculum is designed to meet the needs of both the Lebanese and International students enrolled in ACS, and it speaks to their different backgrounds and proficiencies.

In Middle School, two Arabic programs are offered: Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL). In each grade level, three MSA and two AFL classes are offered. These classes allow for flexible placement and transition between proficiency levels depending on progress.

For more information about the Arabic program, please click here.

English

Middle School ELA (English Language Arts) courses are based on the AERO Standards and are designed to challenge and inspire students by asking them to reflect deeply about themselves and the world they live in. Students explore themes in literature while honing their writing skills and improving their reading proficiency. The Middle School ELA program encourages students to think creatively and critically, expressing their ideas in both oral and written form. The use of technology is integrated into many aspects of the Middle School ELA program. The Middle School ELA program integrates the following components:

Reading

Reading instruction is pervasive throughout all Middle School ELA classes. Students read whole-class anchor books, group-selected literature circle books, and individually-selected books. Books are selected for appropriateness in terms of reading level, interest, genre, and connection to other content areas. Students develop their reading strategies through metacognitive work, literature circle activities, class discussions, and culminating activities (i.e. essays, presentations, etc.). Students also read and analyze short selections of texts in various forms (i.e. poem, drama/play, short story, etc.) and genres (mystery, historical, fantasy, etc.).

Writing

Middle School ELA classes maintain a high level of rigor in writing. Students develop their writing skills through various writing activities, ranging from journal entries to short-answer responses to multi-paragraph essays. Students produce expository, narrative, and persuasive writing to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes. They engage in research and learn to apply the MLA format to their writing.   

Listening and Speaking

The Middle School ELA program highly values the development of students’ communication skills. Students are given opportunities to practice their listening and speaking skills through various activities - presentations, collaborative and individual projects, group discussions, etc.  All of these activities are connected to the reading / writing being done in class and allow students to communicate with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

Language Foundations

Learning the foundations of language (grammar, conventions/mechanics, vocabulary, figurative language, etc.) is an essential component to the Middle School ELA program. Students are explicitly taught language foundations skills in conjunction with applying those skills to their reading and writing. Teachers use mini-lessons to directly teach language foundations related to the reading/writing being done in class. Students then demonstrate appropriate language foundations skills as they read and through their writing products.

French

The French Program at ACS is a grade 3 to 12 academic program which leads to a high level of proficiency in the French language. The aim is to allow students to be able to express themselves orally and in writing and to enjoy learning the language. In Middle School, French is offered to all students. In each grade, three blocks of sixty minutes per cycle are allocated to French instruction. The program is organized in three language proficiency levels: level A1 (beginners), level A2 (intermediate), and level B1 (advanced). The students are placed in one of the three levels after teachers’ recommendation and/or placement test. In order to ensure that the students are provided the course content most appropriate to their level, the French Department uses a variety of resources and materials to plan class activities and assignments (various textbooks, grammar books, magazines, websites, audio CDs, DVDs, literature books, music, movies, and games).

Level A1 (Beginners)

The objective of this course is to provide the students with a basic acquisition of the French language through listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. By the end of this course, students will be able to express themselves on topics such as: greeting people, describing their family, discussing daily activities at home or school. While the primary skills emphasized are listening and speaking, students are also encouraged to develop their ability to read and understand practical documents such as agendas or menus. As for the writing skills, students will be able to produce diverse forms of short written documents (e.g. a postcard or an invitation). Students also work on small projects (designing a page of a comic strip or preparing a short Power Point Presentation on a simple topic). Finally, the course presents insights into the culture of the French speaking world.

Level A2 (Intermediate)

The objective of this course is to allow the students to continue their acquisition of the French language and to be able to use it accurately in a range of simple everyday life situations of communication such as asking for directions to get around a city, understand cooking recipes or brochures.

At this level, the emphasis on reading and writing skills is increased to allow the students to use the spoken and written forms of the language to engage in simple conversations. They are able to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions on a variety of topics such as family, school, leisure time activities as well as the culture and customs of the French speaking people. Students’ projects involve learning and performing French songs or the tales of La Fontaine.

Level B1 (Advanced)

This course is designed for students with an already high level of competence in French. The objective is to further develop the students’ acquisition of the French language. The main focus of this course is the reinforcement of the four language skills through a variety of class activities and assignments. Students at this level will be able to both in writing and orally provide data about themselves and their environment, their personalities and interests as well as interact in everyday life communication situations. Projects in this course can consist of creating a newspaper or participating in an exchange program with another school. This course also expands their knowledge of the French speaking culture.

Math

In Middle School, Math is designed in a way that builds up on basic skills and develops the fluency of conceptual and procedural understandings of mathematics. The main areas of study are the Number Sense, Proportional Reasoning, Expression, Equations and Inequalities, Linear Functions, Geometry, and Statistics. In all these areas the students learn how to make connections between numbers, variables, and shapes through real life situations. Students explore the different concepts using manipulatives such as algebra tiles, integers’ tiles, and geometry sets. They use technology to visualize concepts and interpret results. We use software such as Geometers’ Sketchpad and Geogebra. In Middle School, students are expected to communicate their thoughts and ideas using proper mathematical terminology. In addition to the fluency in procedural understanding, our students explore and develop strategies to master conceptual understanding and apply what they learn in real life situations. The members of that department facilitate the learning process and try to ensure mastery of concepts at all levels. We provide our students with a lot of feedback and support during and after school hours. We ensure the learners are getting many chances to express their ideas and develop their thinking.

Physical Education

The role of Physical Education (PE) goes far beyond the playing of games. The program develops an understanding of the importance of physical activity, health and well-being to overall life-long wellness. It seeks to emphasize cooperative learning and teamwork skills as well as a positive competitive spirit and appreciation for individual differences and abilities. PE in the Middle School years provides a variety of sporting opportunities to students, developing skills and sportsmanship while striving for excellence and fostering friendships.

Science

Middle School students go through a journey of curiosity, creativity, collaboration, innovation, engineering, design and tinkering while learning about the natural world. Students get hands-on experience in various topics pertaining to earth, physical and life sciences in an environment that promotes scientific inquiry using an approach that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

Social Studies

Social Studies at the Middle School is divided between different world regions.

6th Grade - Europe, Egypt, China and Japan

7th Grade - Europe, Africa, and Oceania

8th Grade - The Americas

The goal of the Social Studies Department is to bring the regions alive through a course of study that provides for gradual learning of concepts and skills. Students are challenged at every level to develop critical thinking skills through the use of inquiry and in depth exploration of subjects. Units of study include: physical geography, trade and resources, legacy and accomplishment, and government systems. At the end of each year, students work collaboratively to develop a project that creates a positive change in the world. Students will gain an understanding of what it means to be a contributing member of their community.

Fine Arts

The arts, recognized as the highest expression of culture, inform us of each historical period through its literature, paintings, sculptures, architecture, music, dance, and drama. Today it is recognized that to be truly educated, one must not only learn to appreciate the arts, but must have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work. The universal language of the arts cuts through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability.

The focus of the Middle School ETA program is to allow our 6th, 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to explore a variety of visual and performing arts. 6th grade explores 5 different art forms, 7th explores 3 different art forms and 8th explores 2 different art forms.

  • Drama
  • General Music
  • Digital Media
  • Vocal
  • Movement / Dance
  • Band
  • Visual Arts
  • Digital Photography

We want to provide our students opportunities to take creative journeys through these artistic areas. We believe this explorative experience will nurture in our students the skills necessary to develop into creative leaders, able to meet the challenges of the future - to become 21st century learners meeting the demands of the 21st century.

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