Our challenging standards-based curriculum emphasizes the development of essential skills, the understanding of important concepts, and the ability to apply learning to real-world problems.
Our curriculum includes courses of study for all students in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, music, visual arts, physical education, and health. In addition, students take grade-specific trimester courses in technology, research, and study skills which are designed to support their integrated learning experience.
English Language Arts
The English Language Arts curriculum is anchored by the New York State English Language Arts Learning Standards, revised in 2017. Our vertically aligned program builds on skill development from sixth through eighth grade, focusing on reading, writing, listening, and speaking for literary response and expression, information, and critical analysis. Each year, students produce a variety of written pieces, including narrative, persuasive, and informative pieces. Teachers provide lessons in grammar and mechanics and guide students through the writing process, emphasizing planning, drafting, and actively participating in collaborative groups to revise and edit their work. The ELA curriculum also provides students with a rich literary experience with opportunities to choose books that are both challenging and interesting to them. Each year, students read from a variety of genres, complete novel studies, and read a number of books working toward their personal reading goals. As they read independently, in pairs and small groups, and with the entire class, they learn and apply a variety of reading strategies to develop their ability to comprehend, synthesize, analyze, and enjoy the texts they read. In addition, students participate in a word study program that offers continued exposure to new vocabulary. As a result of the comprehensive ASMS three-year program, students will develop an appreciation for the language arts and confidence in their ability to read, write, and communicate as they continue on their journeys as life-long learners.
The seventh-grade ELA program provides students with opportunities to explore further the characteristics of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction reading and writing. Whole class short story and novel studies will include realistic fiction and speculative fiction, while students engage in independent reading of multiple genres. Nonfiction reading and writing will include personal narrative as well as researched informational and persuasive essays. Poetry studies will include reading and writing poetry of different forms as well as writing about poetry. Students will independently read a range of self-selected works and small or whole group selections with the class. Original writing is included in every unit. Writing assignments, group discussions, and more formal presentations support students’ development of their voices. A yearlong study of parts of speech, sentence structure, and mechanics supports students as they progressively incorporate a greater and more sophisticated variety of well-punctuated sentence constructions in their writing.