6th Grade English

6th Grade English students conclude the year with a reading of I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. Prior to reading, students research and present on World Religions in order to better understand the global world in which they live in. At the conclusion of the unit, students write a paper on how a specific quote from I Am Malala has impacted their lives and what change they will make in order to better themselves and those around them. They are then tasked with completing a research-based biography about a human rights activist which they then present to small groups of lower school students.

6th Grade Science

Sixth-grade science involves investigating and solving real-life problems and building and designing products that successfully meet a given challenge. A highlight is when students utilize their knowledge of plate motion and tsunamis to engineer a Tsunami Alert system for Sri Lanka. Each student takes into account the criteria provided by the Sri Lankan government and they go on to perform multiple iterations of their designs to obtain the best one. Students were “working” for a fictional organization, but they completed the task with plenty of purposive engagement.

6th Grade Life Skills

Life Skills class focuses on Executive Function. Executive functions are a set of cognitive and behavior skills, located in the prefrontal cortex of our brains, which include planning, working memory, and inhibitory control. In short, the content area is the “what” of learning and the executive function is the “how.” It’s how we get things done!  6th graders work on physical organization (backpack, locker and materials organization), cognitive organization (note taking, working memory exercises), self-advocacy, time management, and planning for large assignments. Students also develop digital citizenship skills such as: writing emails, finding balance in an online world, and finding credible news. 

6th Grade Math

The sixth grade Mathematics course uses the first trimester getting to know students and assessing them, in order to determine which students will move to an honors section for second and third trimester. The course builds and solidifies critical thinking abilities, computational skills and basic algebraic concepts in preparation for a full course of Algebra. The encouragement of independent thinking, creative problem solving, and excellent study habits are included throughout the course. Topics include operations with integers, fractions, decimals, and percents, problems involving perimeter, area and volume, solutions, applications of equations and inequalities, coordinate graphing concepts, and concepts of probability and statistics. The course also builds skills related to problem solving, critical thinking, note taking, and test preparation.

The Honors section moves at an accelerated pace and delves more deeply into topics and concepts. It culminates in a project that requires students to find area, perimeter, and circumference of multiple different shapes of the Bentley campus and on converting measurements and working with fractions and decimals.

6th Grade History

In alignment with their study of history, all sixth-grade students participate in the Medieval Trade Faire. This six-week-long project takes each student on a deep dive into learning about the rise and fall of Europe’s feudal system, and how guilds began contributing to the social, political, and economic landscape of medieval communities. On the day of the faire, each student assumes the role of an authentic medieval character to share what they’ve learned.

7th Grade History

A highlight of 7th Grade History is the Living History Museum Project. Students interview a relative, mentor, or an individual in their community about their personal experience of a specific time period. Students then conduct a wide breadth of research to collect relevant historical information about this period. The project culminates in the creation of an artifact or living product that represents this period in time through both a personal and historical lens.

7th Grade Life Skills

7th Grade students continue to build on the executive functioning and digital citizenship skills that were introduced in 6th Grade while also introducing topics such as Social Media usage, Cyberbullying, and Personal Data Collection. Students will also further talk about diversity in a wider range of topics, discuss healthy choices for themselves in regards to food, sleep, and socializing, and continue their sexual education by learning about relationships, gender identification, and being healthy sexually.

7th Grade Math

Seventh grade is an exciting year for math students. Pre Algebra skills are reviewed and reinforced as students are introduced to linear Algebra. Learners study the meaning of proportions using tables, graphs, equations. Students study functions, inequalities, and systems of equations while learning to apply the mathematics to real-world scenarios. A highlight involves using motion sensors to deepen their understanding of slope as rate. Hands-on, real-world applications of content engage students in a more holistic understanding of mathematical concepts.

7th Grade Science

In science, seventh graders take an adventure through the amazing world of living things, from tiny microscopic organisms to the human body to the processes that drive the evolution of living things. Students engage in frequent hands-on investigations to explore the living world and become familiar with the tools and modes of thinking of biologists. An important part of their science experience is applying their knowledge to the real world. Students become adept at exploring and discussing the ethical, social, and environmental issues that life science brings into focus.

7th Grade English

7th Grade English students engage in a month-long memoir unit. Students identify craft practices that elevate personal narratives and “storytelling” to reflective writing that makes larger or more universal meaning of captured experience and memories. Students read various short memoirs and The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez which animates the experience of emigration/immigration and migrant workers’ experiences through fictionalized characters in real-world settings. The unit culminates in students crafting memoirs that draw from significant moments in their life.

8th Grade Literature

Through meaningful conversations that connect literature to real-life issues and current events, eighth-grade students explore essential questions about the role of the individual in society and how seemingly small choices can reverberate throughout life. English class is a forum for ideas and attitudes to take shape in the context of community discussion, where conversations are built together, and differing viewpoints are not only respected, they are admired. Students also learn to enjoy language as art, whether by critical reading and creating poetry to reading and reacting Shakespeare’s plays.

8th Grade Technology

Technology is woven seamlessly into the learning experiences of Bentley middle school students. With one-to-one Chromebooks, students have access to not only a wealth of information and ideas, but also to Bentley’s expansive digital library of research databases and learning resources. Teachers use digital simulations, investigations, and primary source artifacts to enhance students’ learning in the classroom. Technology also fosters strong communication between students and teachers, helping students feel supported even after class is over.

8th Grade World Languages

Students pursue French, Mandarin, or Spanish as their World Language in the Middle School where they focus on one language for all three years. Each language offers four levels to accommodate our students’ varying levels of experience in the target language—whether students are true beginners, exploring a new language, continuing in their studies, or formalizing their knowledge of a language spoken at home. Our classes are conducted primarily in the target language with emphasis on communication. Culture is an integral part of language learning in the Middle School. Through the study of history, arts, celebrations, and cuisines, students learn about themselves and their role as global citizens.

8th Grade Science

Eighth-grade students at Bentley engage in a fully hands-on science experience while exploring key ideas of scientific thought in the domains of physical science and chemistry. Students learn science by doing science, often collaborating in teams to design their own chemistry investigations from scratch with the guidance of their teacher. One highlight of the year is when students design and refine experiments to produce real bar soap in the laboratory. The lab never smells better!

8th Grade History

Step inside an eighth-grade history class and you will instantly feel the pulsing debate of students engaging in the big questions and difficulties that drive historical thinking. Who is reflected in history? Who creates it? How do historical analyses influence today’s world? With a focus on American history, students explore the successes and challenges our country has faced, giving new meaning to our nation’s continuing journey toward democracy, equality, and freedom. As a capstone project, student-historians participate in a year-long effort to research and write a project of original historical interpretation.