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Academic Enrichment

Weston Middle School prides itself on the extensive practical and fine arts (PFA) program where students are encouraged to develop new skills and interests.  Our daily schedule provides for 2 periods of PFA classes, which are offered on an every-other-day basis.  Students may enroll in 8-10 offerings in a given year depending on their grade level and individual needs.  This program includes courses in the areas of art, computers, music, health, physical education, talented and gifted, academic assistance, and technology education.

Visual Arts Summary by Grade:

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Visual Art – Grade 6

tudents in grade six review the elements of art; focusing in particular on color theory and value to create the illusion of form. They also study how to develop an engaging character and plot for a fictional story, writing and illustrating their own story introductions. In the clay unit, students learn to develop and evaluate their own ideas for vessels that carry symbolism or character, and create advanced pinch and coil pot projects. In the collage unit, students learn about the work of artists including Romare Beardon, while they look at the development of art in the twentieth century

Visual Art – Grade 7

Students learn the basics of graphic design by creating two-dimensional and/or video advertisements for a product or service that they invent. The purpose of this unit is to analyze both the messages carried by advertising and other media, as well as the visual strategies used to communicate these messages to and influence viewers. In the sculpture unit, students will study proper techniques for making large-scale, hollowed clay constructions by designing pieces that clearly express an intentional persona or approach to abstract form. The final unit examines acrylic painting as students learn to express their own sense of place, memory, and an honoring of the natural world. The objectives are to locate and cultivate ideas important to the artist and to execute the artwork so that these ideas have impact on all viewers as well. Students learn to create value, texture and effective composition in a painting. Included in each unit is an overview of an artist or artists from both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Visual Art – Grade 8

Students learn the basics of creating the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface through a study of one-point perspective drawing. This unit is combined with a study of surrealism in order to contextualize students’ artwork and drive the choice of compelling imagery. Students also study the process of monotype and create a series of prints focused on elements and principles of design. The final unit for grade eight is stone carving, in which students learn that the objects made by persons in any time period and culture offer valuable information about their values and beliefs. Students may make either a purely sculptural, non-functioning piece, or a piece of jewelry using professional jewelers’ tools and equipment. Soft and highly workable carving stones such as alabaster, marble and soapstone are used.

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT

Art Education

The mission of the Weston Public Schools Visual Art Department is to develop the following skills:

  • Heightened perceptual awareness
  • Insight
  • Alternative approaches to problem-solving
  • Increased motor coordination

These skills will allow students to manipulate the various tools and media necessary to explore their creativity and to find their own aesthetic reality. Through exploration, creating and responding, skills are fostered and synthesized.

FAQs

Get answers to our most often arts education questions

FAQ

Art Education Frequently Asked Questions

How often does my child have art?

1st and 2nd grade have art once a week for 45 minutes.

What is grade 7 Integrated Art?

Grade 7 students who do not participate in a performance musical group have this class in the rotation.  It involves a combination of art and music skills taught by one music teacher and one art teacher.

What is grade 8 Contemporary Art?

Grade 8 students who do not participate in a performance musical group have this class in the rotation.  Projects differ from general art.

Is there an art show?

Art by students is on display throughout the year in the art room hallway.

Do we have homework in art class?

Some projects require that students bring in materials for the project.  Some require replanning or research of the project outside of the art class.  The plan is to be brought in as part of the project requirements.

What projects do we do in general art class?

Grade 6, 7 and 8 art classes focus on media based projects in painting, drawing and sculpture.  Projects build on skills learned in previous years.

Is the art room open to work on projects in addition to class time?

The rooms and teachers are available before and after school on specified days or by special arrangement.  Lunch periods may also be available.

Can I make or finish my project at home?

Depending on the specific project this may be an option.

Computer Education Curriculum by Grade:

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6th Grade Curriculum

Students explore the use of productive software such as:  Inspiration, Excel, Microsoft Word, and the Smart Board to communicate, strategize, and solve problems.  The students compare and contrast different kinds of search engines available on the Internet in order to successfully conduct research, and engage in safe Internet practices, especially using student friendly search engines, and netiquette.  Students create PowerPoint projects employing proper design techniques in order to both impress and inform.

All lessons are designed and presented within the context of the Connecticut Frameworks for Technology and are aligned with the connected academic standards.

7th Grade Curriculum

Students continue preparing for their secondary education experience.  Students build on their previous knowledge of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint by learning additional software functions and commands.  Products include:  tables, forms, templates, spreadsheets, graphs and chars, and graphic presentations.  The latter project integrates all three software applications.  Expository essays relating to Excel spreadsheet and graph assignments are required.  Lesson on Internet safety and website reliability are incorporated into the curriculum.

All lessons are designed and presented within the context of the Connecticut Frameworks for Technology and are aligned with connected academic standards.

8th Grade Curriculum

Students continue preparing for their secondary education experience.  Students build on their previous knowledge of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint by learning additional software functions and commands.  Products include:  tables, forms, templates, spreadsheets, graphs and chars, and graphic presentations.  The latter project integrates all three software applications.  Expository essays relating to Excel spreadsheet and graph assignments are required.  Lesson on Internet safety and website reliability are incorporated into the curriculum.

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT

Computer Applications

Students explore the use of productive software such as:  Inspiration, Excel, Microsoft Word, and the Smart Board to communicate, strategize, and solve problems.  The students compare and contrast different kinds of search engines available on the Internet in order to successfully conduct research, and engage in safe Internet practices, especially using student friendly search engines, and netiquette.  Students create PowerPoint projects employing proper design techniques in order to both impress and inform.

All lessons are designed and presented within the context of the Connecticut Frameworks for Technology and are aligned with the connected academic standards.

FAQs

Get answers to common health education questions.

CURRICULUM

Health Education

The Health education program prepares students for the physical, social and emotional changes experienced during adolescence.   Topic areas include substance abuse education, personal safety, nutrition, and physical fitness. Students develop personal fitness plans for improving their own fitness level. Class instruction focuses on providing students with relevant information needed to make healthful life choices. The Health curriculum includes several mandates from the State of Connecticut.  Parents, for personal or religious reasons, may submit a written request to the school to have their son/daughter(s) excused from portions of the curriculum related to Human Growth and Development and AIDS education.  The remainder of the curriculum is mandated by the State of Connecticut and students are required to participate

The program seeks to help students answer questions like 

  • Why is overall wellness important?
  • Why is it important to understand your physical and emotional body changes?
  • How can your decisions impact your future?

FAQ

Health Education Frequently Asked Questions

What topics are addressed in each grade?

6th – Physical fitness, nutrition, personal safety, and substance abuse.

7th – Substance Abuse (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants), human growth and development (male and female reproductive systems)

8th – Substance Abuse (peer pressure, positive relationships, methamphetamines, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, GHB, prescription drugs, review of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, inhalants), common teenage issues (sexual pressures, abstinence, depression, eating disorders, academic and extracurricular pressures, self esteem, positive family and peer relationships), and goal setting (proactive behaviors and strategies).

How is substance abuse education approached, and why is it part of the curriculum every year? grade?

It is mandated by the state of Connecticut that every public school student receive substance abuse education each year (K-12).  At the middle school level we teach about the dangers of substance use and abuse, and place a heavy emphasis upon positive relationships, goal setting, and good decision making.

Are the boys and girls separated during the 7th grade human growth and development unit?

No. These are mixed gender lessons and every student experiences lessons that focus on both the boys and girls reproductive systems. If a parent desires, they may request that their child be excluded from this instruction. If this is the case, the teacher will provide their child an alternative lesson in another setting.

How are sexual issues addressed in the eighth grade teenage issues unit?

Students on their own come up with common issues that teenagers often face.  From there, instruction stems to include an anonymous question/answer period.  The teacher will address any question that is considered appropriate (by the teacher) and will give an age appropriate answer or explanation. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Students are consistently informed that adolescents and teenagers are not emotionally mature enough for sexual relationships.  In the eighth grade, abstinence is discussed and promoted.  Students will learn about contraception and STD’s during high school health education.  These topics are not part of our curriculum. However, if related questions arise, the teacher will answer them in an age appropriate manner and also explain that these are topics that will be addressed by their future health education teachers.

Can I receive information and related materials regarding what my child will be learning about in class?

Of course, feel free to contact your teacher any time. Your teacher will be more than happy to help you and to address any questions or concerns that you may have.

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT

Music Education

The music program at Weston Middle School provides students with the choice of taking General Music, Band, Orchestra or Chorus. Student participation in each of these courses is a full-year commitment.

General Music – Grades 6, 7, 8

The Weston Middle School General Music program is designed to address performance, aesthetic training, and further develop musical understanding. It is an eclectic and integrated program aligned with National and State Standards for music education.

6 – Group Guitar Class

In the sixth-grade Group Guitar Class,  students will explore traditional American folk and popular music through performing and responding to a variety of music styles and genres, and by composing their own music.

7 – Piano Lab

In the seventh-grade Piano Lab program, students will Incorporate the elements of music, cultivate listening and responding skills and perform music by playing and improvising on piano. Students will also compose their own music using Sibelius Software.

8 – Music Technology

In the eighth-grade Music Technology program, students will develop an understanding of music in relation to history and culture. Students will create music with Sibelius Software, Garageband Software, digital keyboards, microphones, and present their compositions through a variety of technological mediums such as iMovie, iPhoto, and iTunes.

Performing Ensembles – Grades 6, 7, 8

Performance music includes participation in choral, band and string ensembles which culminates  in public performances. It provides the opportunity to develop and refine individual aptitudes, skills and understanding, experiences in group dynamics and communicative power. Each student who participates in a performing ensemble will be part of their grade-level band, orchestra or chorus.

Chorus is open to any student who enjoys singing and wants to improve their ability. Attention is given to proper breathing, tone production, diction and music reading. Students learn two and three-part singing and upper grade levels perform more complex vocal ensemble music. There is a minimum of three performances each year.

Band is open to any student who wishes to continue studying their band instrument. Students develop technical skill on their instruments and are involved in music sectionals in addition to full ensemble rehearsals. There is a minimum of three concerts each year.

Orchestra is open to any student who wishes to continue studying their stringed instrument.   Students develop technical skill on their instruments and are involved in music sectionals in addition to full ensemble rehearsals. There is a minimum of three concerts each year.

Auditioned Ensembles – Grades 6-8

WMS Chamber Singers is a small vocal ensemble of students from grades 6 through 8, chosen through audition, who learn and perform more complex vocal material. They meet one to two afternoons per week after school, and perform in various venues and competitions. Students must have a serious commitment to acquiring vocal excellence, both individually and as an ensemble.

WMS Chamber Ensemble is a small string group of students from grades 6 through 8, chosen through audition, who learn and perform advanced string ensemble music. They meet one afternoon a week after school, and perform in various venues and competitions. Students must have a serious commitment to acquiring excellence on their instruments, both individually and as an ensemble.

WMS Jazz Lab Band is a beginning jazz ensemble open to 6th and 7th grade students. Auditions for this group take place at the beginning of each new school year. Students learn to improvise and perform beginning and intermediate levels of jazz music on their instruments. Participation in a WMS music ensemble during the school day is required by all students admitted into the Jazz Lab Band. Rehearsals are after school, there is a minimum of three performances per year.

WMS Jazz Ensemble is a performance ensemble that meets once weekly after school and in a small section ensemble once a week before school. Participation in this ensemble is by audition. Students will study jazz music through performance and continue to the study concepts that were introduced in the jazz lab band. The WMS Jazz Ensemble is an extension to the school’s instrumental music program and all students participating in the jazz ensemble are required to be a part of the band, orchestra, or chorus.

FAQs

Get answers to our most often asked music education questions

FAQ

Music Education Frequently Asked Questions

Can my child begin instrumental lessons in the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade?

Yes, a student may begin in these grades although it will have to fit into the teacher’s schedule which might be on a different day than his/her given grade lesson schedule. In this case, teachers must give permission.

Could 6th grade chorus, band and orchestra be part of the school day rather than at 7:00 AM?

Yes, a student may begin in these grades although it will have to fit into the teacher’s schedule which might be on a different day than his/her given grade lesson schedule. In this case, teachers must give permission

What are the requirements for becoming a member of jazz band, chamber singers and chamber orchestra?

To become a member of jazz band, chamber singers, or chamber orchestra, students must pass an audition. Requirements for these auditions may be obtained from our music teachers.

Is there a safe place for instruments to be kept in school?

The music rooms are locked at night but instruments should go home for daily practice. They should never be left in school over the week ends or vacations

Will my child be missing too much of his/her academics when taking lessons?

Because lessons occur on a rotating schedule, students should miss each academic class only once every six weeks. Teachers do not give tests or quizes on lesson days.

What instruments are offered at the MS?

The instruments offered at the MS are woodwind, brass, percussion, violin, viola, cello and bass.

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT

Physical Education

  • Why is it important to be physically fit?
  • How do you achieve and maintain a healthy fitness zone?
  • How do you resolve conflicts in a positive way?
  • Why is it important to cooperate with others?

The physical education program promotes adoption of physically active lifestyles by providing enjoyable participation in physical activity; by developing participation competencies in developmentally appropriate physical activities; and by promoting acquisition of the behavioral skills needed for an active lifestyle.  A balanced program, which includes instruction in individual, dual and team sports, and indoor and outdoor activities are provided.  The skills developed become the basis for future extension and mastery and are a firm foundation for lifetime sports. 

FAQs

Get answers to our most often asked physical education questions

Areas of Instruction:

SOCCER                                            GYMNASTICS

SWIMMING                                         BASKETBALL

PROJECT ADVENTURE                         FITNESS TRAINING

FIELD HOCKEY                                    INDOOR HOCKEY

TRACK AND FIELD                               INDOOR LACROSSE

BASIC WATER SAFETY                         AEROBICS

FLAG FOOTBALL                                   VOLLEYBALL

SOFTBALL

FAQ

Physical Education Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to wear anything special to Physical Education class?

Students are required to change into appropriate attire for class.  Attire is as follows:  shorts/sweatpants, T-shirt sweatshirt, athletic socks and athletic sneakers.  Appropriate bathing suits (one piece suits for girls) are required for all swimming classes.

What units/activities do the students participate in?

Physical Fitness, project Adventure, Soccer, Football, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball, Gymnastics, Floor Hockey, Swimming/Water Safety, Aerobics/Dance, Lacrosse, Track and Field, Softball.

How often is Physical Education Class?

Classes are scheduled five times in a 10 day cycle.

What do I need to do if I cannot participate in class due to illness or injury?

Students who cannot participate in physical education class for one week or less need a note from their parent/guardian or school nurse.  Students who need to be excused for more than one week due to injury or serious illness must submit a physician’s note to the school nurse.  Any student excused from  PE class will be required to make up class through written or physical activity.

Do students have a place to store their clothing?

Students in grades 6-8 are assigned a PE locker and given a lock to use for the school year.  All students are encouraged to keep their personal belongings locked in the locker during physical education class.  Students are responsible for the condition of the lock and locker.  A $5.00 accountability fee will be charged to any students losing or damaging their assigned lock.

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT

Technology Education

TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION – GRADE 6

What is technology?  What is the problem-solving model?  How do Robots work?

Technology is the study of the human development and the use of tools.  Focus is on manufacturing technology.  Students learn to manufacture products using safe tool practices in a woodworking laboratory.  They use this knowledge to develop a new product and to refine it using the problem-solving model (Input-Process-Feedback).

During the second half of the course, students work in the modular technology laboratory and learn about robots using Lego Mindstorm Robots.  Robots are built and programmed to allow students to experience physical problem solving and design.

TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION – GRADE 7 

  • What Careers are available in Technology?
  • How are buildings constructed?
  • How does a car work?

Students rotate through 12 modular stations. Each station touches on a different technology area, which gives students a broad exposure to career options and a general knowledge of core technologies.  The stations are: GPS and navigation, Graphics and Animation, Construction, How Computers Work, Electricity, Robotics, Automotive Technology (NEW!), Alternative Energy, Electronic Communications, Multimedia Production, Computer Aided Publishing, and Digital Photography.

In addition, students design bridges using a computer simulation, then build and test them under load.

TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION – GRADE 8

  • What careers are available in Technology?
  • How do people build houses?
  • What courses should I take at the High School to prepare for a technological career?

When in grade 8, students continue to rotate through 12 modular stations. Each station touches on a different technology area, which gives students a broad exposure to career options and a general knowledge of core technologies.  The stations are: GPS and navigation, Graphics and Animation, Construction, How Computers Work, Electricity, Robotics, Automotive Technology, Alternative Energy, Electronic Communications, Multimedia Production, Computer Aided Publishing, and Digital Photography.

In addition the 8th grade term project is to run a simulation that has students buying property, researching the codes, applying for a permit, building a house, running a real estate ad, evaluating buyer’s credit, and selling the house for a profit. This challenging program is packed with real life math and science, and exemplifies the philosophy of authentic problem solving.

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT

World Language

Our program is aligned with National and State standards with expected outcomes designed around the ACTFL proficiency guidelines for K-12 learners. Teachers use a variety of learning activities and differentiated instruction such as songs, cooperative learning groups, projects, dialogues, presentations, software and games to achieve desired learning goals. Students are evaluated on their communicative ability in the target language through variety of linguistic tasks, listening, oral and written evaluations as well as authentic performance assessments. The goal of the program is for students to gain knowledge of world history, language and culture that will serve them throughout their lives in order to succeed in the global community.

Program Goals and Outcomes:

As a result of participating in World Language course of study, students will:

  • Communicate in a language other than English. (Communication)
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures. (Cultures)
  • Make connections to other disciplines and acquire knowledge using a second language. (Connections)
  • Participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world. (Communities)
  • Gain insight into the nature of language and culture. (Comparisons)

6th Grade Curriculm

Students engage in language study every other day for the full year.  Instruction builds on previous language learning begun in FLES program. This is a transition year for students in which they begin to utilize a textbook and apply software and multimedia technology to language learning.  There is a strong emphasis on listening and speaking with increased development of reading and writing skills as students learn to express their ideas. Students explore concepts such as; How are cultures the same? Why study another language? What are the advantages of knowing another language? Students exchange information on topics such as greeting others, family, school, school subjects and schedules, numbers, foods, telling time and more. At the end of the year students choose with the guidance of parents and teachers which course of language study to follow (either Spanish or French) in seventh grade.

Grade 7 and 8

The World Languages available are Spanish and French. Students engage in language study daily and are expected to commit to studying one language while in grades 7 and 8.  At the end of grade 8 students enter high school at a course appropriate to their performance level which may include:  Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III, French I, French II or Latin I.

Spanish

Students practice basic language structures in the present tense and begin to apply more complex structures to express events in their everyday lives, as well as their needs, wants, and opinions in the target language. Students engage in a variety of real-life topics that include things of personal interest to them such as sports, free-time activities, the family, home, chores, and travel in order to further develop linguistic competence. Through a variety of dynamic and differentiated linguistic tasks, such as listening to authentic language, songs, creating projects, role playing, and reading for understanding, students demonstrate emerging proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Major concepts include a broad knowledge of Spanish and Hispanic culture as well as reinforcing grade level skills in other subject areas.

French

The French program begins in grade 7 with daily language study. Students who have previously participated in the FLES program benefit from earlier exposure to another language however, this course is also open to students with no previous language background. Emphasis is on using basic structures to help students express needs, wants, and opinions in French. Topics covered in this beginning level are greetings, numbers, school subjects, foods, family, telling time and more.

FAQs

Get answers to our most often asked world language questions

FAQ

World Language Frequently Asked Questions

Which world languages are offered as part of the curriculum at Weston Middle School 6-8?

Spanish is offered to students in grades 6, 7, 8

French is offered to students beginning  in grades 7 -8

What books are used for Spanish?

Spanish Grade 6 En sus marcas level A Textbook , EMC Paradigm Publishing. 2001

Spanish Grade 6 En sus marcas level A workbook, EMC Paradigm

Spanish Grade 7 En sus marcas level B Textbook, EMC Paradigm Publishing. 2001

Spanish Grade 7 En sus marcas level B workbook, EMC Paradigm

Spanish  Grade 8 Listos, EMC Paradigm Publishing. 2001

French Grades 7 & 8, Allez Viens Textbook , Holt Rhinehart

Freanch Grades 7 & 8, Allez Viens workbook , Holt Rinehart workbook

What is the Spanish Club? Who can Join?

The mission of the Spanish Club to promote cross-cultural acceptance and understanding of  Spanish language and culture, and to encourage service to school and the community.  There are  1-2 field trips organized each year.  Some activities include crafts, foods, and school and community service opportunities.

Any 7th or 8th grade Weston Middle School student can join the Spanish club

What is the COLT Poetry Contest? Who can Join? When is it?

The Colt poetry contest is an annual poetry recitation contest in American Sign Language, Mandarin Chinese, ESL, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Modern Greek, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, and Spanish sponserd by the Connecticut Council of Teachers of Language Teachers.

Any 7th or 8th grade Weston Middle School student can join the Colt Poetry Contest

The contest is held early- mid  April every year.  The registration deadline is in January. Interested students should inquire about exact dates. This information is available from the World Language teacher, department chair,  or by calling the main office secretary.

How often do World Language classes meet?

Grade 6 Spanish meets twice a week and every other Friday for 48 minutes.

Grade 7 and 8 Spanish and French classes meet every day for 48 minutes.

What supplies do I need for World Language?

Each student is responsible for bringing his/her textbook, workbook, notebook, and pencil or pen to classs each day. Individual teachers may request additional supplies on occasion to meet class objectives. A Spanish/French dictionary is strongly recommended but not required.

How much homework is assigned in World Language?

World Language is a regular academic subject and

homework is assigned in accordance to the school homework guidelines of 10 -20 minutes per night per subject area.

Is there extra help available for World Language?

Yes. There is extra-help offered on a regular basis by each individual World Language teacher. Please contact the individual teacher for when extra-help sessions meet.

What happens if I lose my textbook or workbook?

Each Student is responsible for taking care of the textbook assigned at the beginning of the year by his/her World Language teacher.

A cost to replace either a lost or damaged textbook/workbook  will be issued to the student by the teacher.  Payments for lost or damaged textbooks should be made to Weston Middle School and sent to the WMS Main Office secretary.

 

SPANISH TEXTBOOK/WORKBOOK  REPLACEMENT INFORMATION

 

Grade 6 En Sus Marcas Textbook Level A, EMC Paradigm 2001    $55.00

Grade 6 En Sus Marcas Workbook Level A, EMC Paradigm 2001  $  12.00

 

Grade 7 En Sus Marcas Textbook Level B, EMC Paradigm 2001   $55.00

Grade 7 En Sus Marcas Workbook Level B, EMC Paradigm 2001  $12.00

 

Grade 8 Listos Textbook, EMC Paradigm 2001   $66. 00

 

FRENCH TEXTBOOK/WORKBOOK REPLACEMENT INFORMATION

 

Grade 7 Allez Viens Textbook , Holt Rinehart   $66.00

Grade 7 Allez Vien Workbook, Holt Rinehart  $12.

 

Grade 8 Allez Viens Textbook, Holt Rinehart  $66.00

Grade 8 Allez Viens Workbook, Holt Rinehart  $12.00

 

Above prices include 10% shipping charge