Grades 6-8

We have greatly expanded our elective course offerings and have rearranged our middle school schedule in order to accommodate a program that focuses on personalized learning experiences for each student. The grade-level environment and integrated curriculum are specifically designed to encourage students to think independently, impartially, critically, and creatively.

The innovative architecture of the building makes use of grade-level pods, providing our students with a smaller school setting, a safe and secure learning environment, and a place to collaborate and build teams. Pods are equipped with audio/visual technology and provide a space for teachers to combine efforts in instruction across the curriculum.

An academic dean and a dean of student life are the primary contacts for parents, students, and teachers as they work together to foster an age-appropriate culture of hard work, dedication, and love.

Academic Excellence

Bible

Bible 6
This course introduces the transcendent story of Old Testament Scripture as seen in the New Testament light of Christ. In considering what the Old Testament reveals about God and how we, as humans, encounter Him, students will be invited to take practical steps forward in their own faith while being equipped to take greater ownership of their thinking and spiritual growth.

Bible 7
The primary objective for this course is to introduce students to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The course is divided into three distinct strands: The Study of Scripture, Reasons to Believe, and Spiritual Growth. Students will be encouraged to grow in knowledge, in their ability to reason, and in spiritual depth as they discover the love and power of our Risen Lord.

Bible Exploratory 8
Bible Exploratory 8 is an introduction to the exciting story of the first Christian believers, but tailored towards students who are still figuring out their personal beliefs. In thoughtfully considering Jesus and what happens when individuals and communities follow Him, students will be invited to learn from Him while being equipped and challenged to take greater ownership of their thinking, beliefs, and spiritual growth.

Bible Discipleship 8
In the Bible Discipleship 8 course, students will engage all three strands of our curriculum; however, there will be an emphasis on the practice of spiritual development as a community of students who have a common interest in Christian discipleship. Students will be introduced to the exciting story of the first believers through the book of Acts. We will study closely what happens when people and communities follow Jesus. Students in this class will be provided opportunities to step out of the classroom and begin to serve and lead in a variety of interactive assignments which include, but are not limited to, worship, leading devotions, sharing their testimony with their peers, and other spiritual development activities.

English

English 6

English 6 is an introduction to all aspects of thinking, reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will intelligently evaluate, verify, and articulate their own thoughts with a biblical base, understanding God as truth in a whole host of competing ideas. Through the readings, students learn the art of storytelling: why are stories told? How? As students hone their reading comprehension, they also develop their analytical and responsive reading skills, focusing on using evidence to support their opinions. The study of the basic parts of speech, in grammar and vocabulary from classical roots, helps to better understand language in units to holistically write, interpret, and understand. Throughout the course, the students are expected to develop through class discussions, projects, and presentations. Because the knowledge and skills obtained in one class should be applicable to all classes, in addition to the skills of reading, writing and speaking effectively, we connect course materials to history, art history, Bible, science, and math.

English 7
English 7 takes the foundation of English 6 and sets up the importance of language and identity. As students consider this theme through literature, writing, and public speaking, individual identity is influenced and transformed. Literature, both modern and medieval, shows how identity changes and what influences identity. This then forms the basis for all analytical and descriptive writing: How can we learn about identity through written text? How can we write to reflect our own identity? As the students respond to works of literature using well-supported arguments and begin to recognize literary techniques, a continued focus on vocabulary and grammar helps students begin to understand the importance of precise word usage and their intended meaning.

English 8
English 8 allows students to dive into deep grammatical waters in order to learn to think about the ways in which language choices, both style and structure, impact meaning. They learn to parse every word of complex paragraphs and then begin to talk about how diction and syntax shape the messages being communicated. In addition to intensive grammar, students add over 150 college-level words to their vocabulary arsenal and begin to work on developing a compelling academic writing style. While we read classic texts that integrate with their American history studies, our focus is less on literary themes and more on the impact of language choice. The primary means of instruction is discussion; we face each other and talk. A lot. This sets our students up for greater success in our high school program, which is also a grammar-based look at the power of words.

English 8 Honors
The honors course relies on the same texts as English 8 but with greater attention to the impact of language choice on meaning. The teacher assumes students have greater facility with their grammar knowledge and can apply it to poignant language analysis. The class moves faster through rudimentary ideas to linger in the abstract and nuanced.

History

History 6
Sixth-grade history is an introduction to the history of the first great civilizations of the world, from beginnings in the Fertile Crescent to Ancient Greece. This is the world of the Bible, the historical stage on which God chose to uniquely reveal Himself in time, as recorded in sacred Scripture. We discover history through the telling of stories based upon the lives of those who came before us.

History 7
Seventh-grade history is a global survey of medieval history. We examine the rise and fall of the great civilizations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. We seek to understand and to appreciate similarities and differences between the cultures of the medieval world and their modern-day counterparts. We inquire as to how cultures and ideas spread and recognize cause-and-effect relationships at work in the development and decline of civilizations, and appreciate the uniqueness of the God of Scripture in light of the religions and cultural practices of the medieval world.

US History 8
In studying the past, students will master specific skills, gain an appreciation for and an interest in American history, understand who we are as Americans, and learn how God has revealed himself in the history of our nation.

Mathematics

Math Foundations
This course is designed to provide students with the strong foundation required for success in the subsequent math courses at Oaks Christian School. In this course, students review the four basic mathematical operations using whole numbers, decimals, and fractions, and apply these operations to the use of ratio, proportion, and percent. The study of algebraic concepts becomes more sophisticated as the students learn integer computation, explore the coordinate plane, write and evaluate expressions, and solve for the unknown. The study of geometry and measurement includes perimeter and area of polygons, circumference and area of circles, and surface area and volume of three-dimensional solids. In addition, students study real-world applications and problem solving.

Pre-Algebra
This course provides a foundation in elementary techniques of algebra so that students may go into depth in the subsequent Algebra courses. Students are expected to develop speed and accuracy in solving problems and multi-step equations with integers, decimals, and fractions. They also learn to apply algebraic methods to the solution of word problems. In addition, the course covers laws of exponents, statistics and probability, and solving inequalities. Students will study the Cartesian coordinate system and fundamentals of geometry. Pre-Algebra will utilize lessons and guided practice designed to bridge understanding from the concrete to abstract applications of concepts.

Pre-Algebra Honors
Prerequisite: A yearlong grade of 90% or better in the prior grade-level math course, successfully passing the placement test, high ERB math scores, parental permission, and teacher recommendation.
This course provides a foundation in elementary techniques of algebra so that students may go into depth in the subsequent Algebra courses. Students are expected to develop speed and accuracy in solving problems and multi-step equations with integers, decimals, and fractions. They also learn to apply algebraic methods to the solution of word problems. In addition, the course covers laws of exponents, statistics and probability, and solving inequalities. Students will study the Cartesian coordinate system and fundamentals of geometry. The Pre-Algebra Honors course will require independent learners to grasp concepts through abstract applications and enrichment of some topics.

Algebra Readiness
Students placed in Algebra Readiness will cover nearly half of the Algebra 1 curriculum, but the pace of the course is slowed down in order for students to better grasp the concepts. Additional review of Pre-Algebra concepts are built into the units to help ensure success in Algebra 1. (Algebra Readiness is only offered in our middle school program.)

Algebra 1
Prerequisite: Completion of Pre-Algebra with an 80% or better, successfully passing the placement test, high ERB math scores, parental permission, and teacher recommendation.
This first year of algebra delves into the basic concept of function and it reinforces algebraic thinking. Much of the class is spent solving linear, fractional, and quadratic equations and inequalities. There is also a focus on operations with polynomials, radicals, and fractional expressions. Other topics include factoring polynomials, and graphing linear and quadratic equations.

Algebra 1 Honors
Prerequisite: A yearlong grade of 90% or better in the prior grade-level math course, successfully passing the placement test, high ERB math scores, parental permission, and teacher recommendation.
This first year of algebra delves into the basic concept of function and it reinforces algebraic thinking. Much of the class is spent solving linear, fractional, and quadratic equations and inequalities. There is also a focus on operations with polynomials, radicals, and fractional expressions. Other topics include factoring polynomials, and graphing linear and quadratic equations. The honors distinction is found in the challenge of problems solved.

Geometry Honors
Prerequisite: A yearlong grade of 90% or better in the prior grade-level math course, successfully passing the placement test, high ERB math scores, parental permission, and teacher recommendation.
Students in this course concentrate on solving problems through algebraic and spatial thinking. This traditional course in plane and spatial geometry includes the following areas of study: reasoning/logic; proofs; congruent triangles and properties of triangles; parallel lines and planes; properties of quadrilaterals in general and parallelograms in particular; geometric constructions using a straight edge and a compass; ratio, proportion, and similar polygons; right triangles and trigonometric functions; circles; areas of polygons, surface area and volumes of solids; coordinate geometry; and transformations. Students demonstrate their learning in words as well as numerically. Geometry Honors will require students to apply understanding of these concepts at a higher level.

Science

Science 6
Sixth-grade science is an integrated science course. Topics of earth science, life science, and physical science are incorporated together to form a whole understanding of creation and its governing principles. Students will use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. They will think logically to make the relationships between evidence gathered and explanations given. They will be asked to communicate about their investigations through written reports and oral presentations.

Science 7
The seventh-grade science class is an integrated, hands-on, inquiry-based class that uses materials collected from a wide variety of sources. This course emphasizes the life sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences and their interrelatedness to other areas of science. Students will learn the skills of scientific method, critical thinking, reading, and writing, in addition to learning science concepts.

Science 8
The eighth-grade science course will focus on various areas of physical science including the study of matter, atoms, forces, machines, and chemical reactions. A primary focus will be for the students to gain laboratory experience and develop critical thinking skills. They will also encounter hands-on projects that will require them to work as individuals or teams.

Conceptual Physics 8 Honors
The eighth-grade science honors course will focus on the area of conceptual physics including the study of forces, energy, simple machines, thermodynamics, and waves. A primary focus will be for the students to gain laboratory experience and develop critical thinking skills while modeling the physics of everyday life. They will also encounter hands-on projects that will require them to collaborate in teams as well as individual work.

Artistic Expression

Students have an exciting range of opportunities to explore their talent and their interest in the arts. Arts include a wide selection of courses, but also includes opportunities for students not enrolled in a particular class. Many fine arts courses do not presuppose any special talent but do require energetic participation and effort.

Performing Arts Electives

Note: All 6th grade students must choose at least one Performing Arts elective.
Beginning Band Class (one-year commitment) – includes the following instruments:

  • Beginning Flute
  • Beginning Clarinet
  • Beginning Alto Saxophone
  • Beginning Trumpet
  • Beginning Trombone
  • Beginning Baritone (Euphonium)
  • Beginning Tuba
  • Beginning Percussion (drums, bells, etc.)

This class is the beginning study of a band instrument and is designed for students with no prior experience on a band instrument. Basic skills such as correct hand positioning, tone production, and note reading will be taught. Several performances will be planned throughout the year. Rental or purchase of a band instrument is required.

Advanced Concert Band (one-year commitment) – Designed for students with one or more years of school band and/or private lessons on a band instrument. This class includes the study and performance of advanced band literature with emphasis on tone, intonation, balance, blend and musicality. Several performances will be planned throughout the year. Rental or purchase of an instrument is required. Placement audition required.

Jazz Lab (one-year commitment) – In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of jazz improvisation and technique. In addition to the techniques and rehearsal of performance, students will learn the theory and history of the music performed. Students are taught improvisation, jazz forms, and styles. Students will play beginning to intermediate level jazz music from various selected eras of musical history. Styles of music to be covered: swing, blues, rock, and Latin. Placement audition required.

Beginning Strings Class (one-year commitment) – includes the following instruments:

  • Beginning Cello
  • Beginning Viola
  • Beginning Violin

This class is designed for the student who has never before picked up a stringed instrument. Basic skills will be taught, incorporating both traditional and Suzuki methods. Students will learn technical skills, performance practice, music theory, and basic concepts of reading music. Several performances will be planned throughout the year. Rental or purchase of a stringed instrument is required.

Advanced Strings (one-year commitment) – includes the following instruments:

  • Advanced Bass
  • Advanced Cello
  • Advanced Viola
  • Advanced Violin

This class is designed for the student who has had at least one year of private/school instruction on an instrument. Several performances will be planned throughout the year. Rental or purchase of a stringed instrument is required. Placement audition required.

Middle School Vocal Ensemble (one-year commitment) – This choir class is designed to help students find and develop a love for singing and performance in a fun and safe environment. Students will grow the voice and develop ensemble singing; study different styles of music; develop needed vocal skills to sing in these styles; become comfortable on stage performing on their own or with a group singing traditional, jazz, gospel, Broadway and pop music; learn movement skills necessary to make performances more dynamic and expressive; explore digital recording and songwriting using apps to make music sound more professional; acquire the tools needed to sight sing and make music independently. MSVE will perform in concerts and one choir festival during the year. Vocal audition required.

Theatre and Vocal Performance (one-year commitment) – (Formerly Music Theatre and Advanced Vocal Ensemble) Learn to sing and act using time-tested techniques that will grow your voice while developing acting skills, improvisation, characterization, music theatre and ensemble singing. A combination choir and theater class, this 2 semester course will introduce students to vocal performance and dramatic presentations. Projects will include the Christmas show, theatre and vocal festivals, MS Spring Musical production (i.e. James and the Giant Peach Jr) and Middle School Arts Extravaganza. Students will develop skills needed for acting for the stage, ensemble and solo singing, microphone use, musical acting (how to sell a song), and movement as well as understanding of principles of theatre production. Students who have taken choir, musical theatre, or dance will be well-suited to this class. In preparation for each production or performance, individual auditions will be required for role determination. Application and vocal audition required.

Dance I (one-year commitment) – This class has an emphasis on fundamental technique and basic performance skills. First-time and/or inexperienced dancers will be exposed to multiple genres (jazz, ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop), and nurtured in personal expression, physical awareness, and creative discipline. Students will be put to the test in these areas during their performance in the annual dance concert. (This class can also earn PE credit.)

Dance II (one-year commitment) – Dance II is designed to develop and challenge the skills of previously-trained dancers. Emphasis is placed on proper technique and form through the advanced study of multiple genres (jazz, ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop). Performance skills are also polished through participation in different productions throughout the year, including the annual dance concert. Personal goal setting, concentration on physical discipline, and embracing the creative process are all on the agenda. Students will be placed in the this class based on technique, flexibility, and ability to pick up and retain choreography. Students should wear appropriate dance attire and bring shoes necessary for jazz and contemporary movement styles. Students with prior dance experience that have not taken Dance I will need to audition before being placed in the course. (This class can also earn PE credit.) Placement audition required.

Drama Production (fall semester) – Students who love theatre will enjoy the opportunity to be part of the cast who presents the middle school fall drama. From character development to curtain calls, this class allows both beginning and experienced actors to grow in their abilities through the process of putting on a show. Enrollment is not based on auditions, but students (and parents) should know that choosing this class is making a pledge to be in the fall production. Rehearsal time outside of class is required, including lunchtime and weekend rehearsals near the dates of the production. (Note: Students who audition for Musical Theatre may want to mark this as their #2 choice!)

Piano I (semester) – Students will be taught basic skills such as correct hand position, note reading, counting, and basic theory. Students will experience rhythm games and online theory as well as learning basic performance technique. Each semester will culminate in a performance for students or parents.

Piano II (one-year commitment) – Students will be taught sight reading, improvising, scales and more advanced theory as well as continuing to master basic piano skills. Students will also explore chording (improvisation using chords and melody line) as well as different techniques for learning music and digital recording. This class requires the ability to work independently on projects assigned by the teacher. Each semester will culminate in a performance for students or parents. Placement audition required.

If you have questions about placement, please email the following teachers:
Band – Mr. Kelly at rkelly@oakschristian.org
Choir and Piano – Mr. Rouse at erouse@oakschristian.org
Strings – Mrs. Altizer at maltizer@oakschristian.org
Drama and Musical Theatre – Mrs. Mikhail at rmikhail@oakschristian.org

Visual Arts Electives

3-D Art/Ceramics (semester) – Come explore a variety of art media, applications, and techniques to create 3-D art. Some of the projects will include clay, wood, wire, collage, and mixed media. Through studying the different 3-D assignments, students will learn how to create fun sculptures in any medium. In addition, students will be challenged to deepen their knowledge of both technique and concept while becoming more fully involved in all aspects of the ceramics process. Assignments will be geared toward both aesthetically pleasing projects and functional pottery. Students are encouraged to give specific attention to craftsmanship and self-expression.

Ceramics II (semester) – Prerequisite: 3-D Art/Ceramics. This course will continue to build on the skills learned in the beginning level ceramics class. Students will create larger projects and explore a variety of methods of construction and glazing techniques which reflect a greater level of craftsmanship and ability.

Drawing & Painting (semester) – Students will discover the joys of seeing the world around them and gain the ability to portray that vision through pencil, pastels, watercolor, tempera, and water acrylic paint. Projects will explore a variety of techniques which accommodate students of any ability or level. This class will encourage students to discover their personal style.

Painting II (semester) – Prerequisite: Drawing & Painting. Students will build on skills learned in the Drawing and Painting course and will focus on mastering painting techniques such as layering, color sharing and impasto texture. Using 20th century artists as a guide, students will explore the various techniques and methods used to create these paintings and utilize these skills in their own artwork.

Multicultural Art (semester) – This course acquaints students with various art forms from cultures around the world. Combined with art appreciation lessons for each country, students will create their own two- and three-dimensional projects using a wide range of materials and artistic techniques. These will be used to create artwork from Africa, Mexico, Haiti, Asia, and Central and South America. Some examples are balsa foam to make a relief carving, foil to create masks, and mixed media to create Haitian art.

Photography (semester) – This course is designed to teach composition and camera functions including the five pillars of photography present in every captured image. Using both cell phone and SLR cameras, students will become fluent in foundational skills that every photographer needs in the digital age. Photo editing and Photoshop tools will take the photographs to the next level and some will even be featured in the school yearbook. Digital camera and/or cell phone camera required; DSLR camera recommended.

Yearbook (one-year commitment) – This course creates individualized artwork and produces a corporate class project through the yearbook. Students will conduct interviews, take pictures, develop layouts, and design the cover. Students will also learn to prepare pages for submission, to work within deadlines, and to complete the expectations required for the yearbook. The final product is the pictorial representation of student life in the middle school.

Athletic Distinction

The focus of Oaks Christian Athletics is to develop positive and confident boys and girls who express exceptional character and high moral values on and off the field. We embrace the belief that the athlete's character comes first. Winning is secondary.

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheer
  • Cross Country
  • Flag Football (Grades 6-8)
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tackle Football (Grades 7-8)
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

For more information, visit Athletics.

Signature Electives

STEM / Engineering Electives

Intro to Engineering Design (fall)/Intro to Computer Coding (spring) – Students will learn the process of design thinking through participation in a variety of design challenges and projects. They will work to build understanding about how the innovation and creativity of innovation drive the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students will be exposed to a variety of computer languages, PHP, JavaScript, Robot-C, and others. Students will be given tasks to program a web-based operation, such as a website or ATM interface.

Computer Science I (fall)/Computer Science II (spring) – Prerequisite: Intro to Computer Coding or other similar course. Students will continue to develop fundamental concepts and computer languages while being challenged to explore how computing and technology impacts the world. Multidisciplinary in nature, the course teaches students to analyze problems, use creative thinking, and collaborate to investigate solutions to real-world issues using computing.

Quest Space Program (year-long commitment) – This course is ideal for students interested in pursuing science and engineering. Students learn through hands-on projects. Students use science and engineering to design experiments in microgravity. Students have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of electronics, fluid density, magnetism, robotics, software engineering, and thermodynamics. The engineering design process and scientific method are taught and used. Students may present their experiment at the American Society of Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) or at other science fairs. Due to limited number of students able to be in this course, placement in this class is subject to teacher approval, minimum of 3.0 GPA, and requires an application.

Robotics Design I (fall)/Robotics Application II (spring) – Prerequisite: Intro to Computer Science or other introductory engineering or robotics course. Middle School Robotics is part of the VEX robotics program, one of the largest and fastest-growing middle school robotics programs in the world. Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. Robotics is a specialized type of engineering that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots. Students will be engaged in meaningful STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. The project-based units of focus will instill proper engineering practices from an early age, while maintaining the fun and excitement that comes from competing in VEX competitions. By the end of the course, students will understand components and parts of the robot, understand key concepts engineers use in their everyday work, and will begin preparatory work towards developing the kinds of skills expected for future careers.

Rocketry (semester) – With a truly hands-on approach, students will learn the rocketry systems and components of physical science. Using a variety of methods including kit rockets and rockets made from scratch, students will compete against one another using launch data. The class emphasizes hands-on learning, scientific prediction, data collection, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. No previous experience or pre-requisites are necessary to enroll in this class.

Film & Videography Elective

Film & Video (semester) – Students will dive deep into the art of filmmaking through the study of various film genres. Students will then learn skills essential to filmmaking such as script writing, cinematography, directing, editing, and sound design. As a capstone to the course, students will produce an independent film project to showcase their skills. Along with filmmaking, students will experiment with graphic design and soundtrack enhancement to augment their films. All students will be required to utilize their Oaks Christian student Google account to post on their own YouTube channel to feature and promote films.

General Electives

Speech and Debate (one-year commitment) – Explore the unique act of oral communication as a life skill. We will practice with both prepared and impromptu forms of speaking, and we will focus on all the attributes that make an excellent oral presentation, particularly for an effective debater. Students will get detailed instruction in public speaking, learning the middle school debate terminology and procedures. After improving presentation skills, students will learn to research contemporary issues and write cohesive, logical arguments with accurate reasoning. This course prepares students to compete against other teams in debate tournaments.

OC Learning Center Tutoring (semester) – Available to students during their school day in lieu of an elective offering, the OC Learning Center provides tutoring to students at the middle school campus in all core subject areas. Professional tutors personalize their approach to meet each student’s needs and learning style, giving them the tools they need to be successful. Additional fee applies. (Other Tutoring options are also available; see OC Learning Center.)

Modern & Classical Language Electives

Note: Intro level courses are one semester long and provide students with an overview of the language and culture. They allow students the opportunity to gain exposure to a language before committing to study the language for extended years. Level 1 courses are equivalent to the first high school level 1 language course, and by taking the level 1 course, students are able to work towards the high school language requirement of three years of language study, opening up their high school studies for either other more specialized classes in other disciplines or more advanced language study, attaining levels four and five. Students planning to attend the high school are encouraged to begin their language study in middle school; students who do not complete level 1 in middle school will need to enroll in level 1 language study their ninth grade year of high school.

Intro to French (semester) – Introduction to French introduces students to the basic structures, high frequency vocabulary, speech patterns, sentence structure, art, culture, and geography of different Francophone cultures. At the course’s completion, students are expected to engage in basic conversations using present tense verbs.

French I (year-long commitment) – French I is the introductory course to the three-year high school foreign language requirement for all students. This college preparatory course introduces basic grammar, speech patterns, sentence structure, and common vocabulary used in daily interchange. A variety of approaches is used to enhance language-learning of all types of learners, therefore, enabling auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners to thrive. The direct method, where the teaching is done entirely in French, will be the main teaching method, but there will be opportunities to clarify grammar concepts and discuss cultural topics in English. French I will focus on developing the following language skills: listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking, and writing. By the end of French I, students will have the equivalent of one year of high school French.

Intro to Latin (semester) – Introduction to Latin introduces students to the Latin language through the study of basic grammar, vocabulary and syntax. The students will be using To Be a Roman. In this course students will begin to develop reading, writing and translating skills in Latin through constant reading and writing exercises, and the practice of parsing Latin sentences. To help the students become more familiar with the Romans, the students will learn Greek and Roman mythology in addition to highlights of Roman history.

Latin I (year-long commitment) – Latin I is the introductory course to the three-year high school foreign language requirement for all students. This college-preparatory course introduces the study of the Latin language through the study of grammar, vocabulary and syntax. The students will be using Cambridge Latin Course Units 1 and 2. In this course students will develop reading, writing and translating skills in Latin through constant reading and writing exercises, and the practice of parsing Latin sentences. To help the students become more familiar with the Romans, the students will learn highlights of Roman history and culture. By the end of Latin I, students will have the equivalent of one year of high school Latin.

Intro to Mandarin Chinese (semester) – This course is designed for students with few or no Chinese language skills to start their journey to acquire the language and explore the culture. It focuses on providing students with the experience to attain very basic Chinese language skills and to understand basic concepts of Chinese culture. A few themes and topics will be presented for students, mainly about themselves, family, friends and various other topics. While acquiring basic language skills in oral communication, students will learn about Chinese phonetics (Pinyin), tones, and the formation of Chinese characters (Hanzi). Students will finish this class prepared in oral proficiency and written ability to begin Mandarin Chinese I.

Mandarin Chinese I (year-long commitment) – Chinese I is the introductory course to the three-year high school foreign language requirement for all students. This college-preparatory course prepares students to gain a better understanding of learning the Chinese language. Students will be provided with the opportunity to delve deeper into different aspects of Chinese tradition and culture using thematic units to develop their communication skills to learn to deal with everyday life conversations. They will learn to create with the language and to ask and answer simple questions to meet living needs. Developing students’ basic literacy skills will be part of the focus as well. Themes will include, but are not limited to, learning about types of food, dining etiquette, and other aspects of lifestyles of different groups in China. By the end of course, students will have the equivalent of one year of high school Mandarin Chinese.

Intro to Spanish (semester) – The Introduction to Spanish class introduces students to basic structures, high-frequency vocabulary, speech patterns, sentence structure, art, culture, and geography of Spanish speaking countries. At the course’s completion, students are expected to engage in basic conversations using present tense verbs.

Spanish I (year-long commitment) – Spanish I is the introductory course to the three-year high school foreign language requirement for all students. This course introduces basic grammar, speech patterns, sentence structure, and common vocabulary used in daily interchange. This college preparatory course also introduces students to the art, culture, and geography of the 21 Spanish-speaking countries. A variety of approaches is used to enhance language learning of all types of learners enabling auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners to thrive. The direct method, where the teaching is done entirely in Spanish, will be the main teaching method, but there will be opportunities to clarify grammar concepts and discuss cultural topics in English. Spanish I will focus on developing the following language skills: listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking, and writing. At the course’s completion, students are expected to engage in basic conversations using present, present progressive, simple future, and past tense verbs. By the end of Spanish I, students will have the equivalent of one year of high school Spanish.

Physical Education Electives

Note: Students may be exempt from taking a semester of PE each year if participating in an OCS team sport. One season = one semester of PE.

PE (semester) – This course allows students to build confidence, character, and sportsmanship through play and sport. Students learn basic movement skills and implement them into team sports, allowing students to work together and strategize as a group. Students will develop a deeper understanding of fitness through the introduction of weight training and soft tissue self-care.

Strength & Conditioning (semester) – This course introduces the students to various forms of exercise, exercise technique, and basic exercise science principles in a safe environment. Students will utilize the middle
school weight room. Students study an in-depth look at movement and how it affects the human body. Topics include anatomy, physiology, bio-mechanics, and conditioning. There is a thoughtful and intentional approach to the body and fitness, encouraging students to think about what is happening to their bodies during play, sport, exercise, and daily activities. This course may be used to fulfill the yearly semester PE requirement.

Dance I & II (year-long commitment) – These courses may be used to fulfill the yearly semester PE requirement. Course descriptions are found under Performing Arts Electives.

Grade Level Programs

Grade 6

Becoming an Oak - We understand that the path to success is a journey. Our incentive program is to reward students along the way. Students can earn tickets throughout the month in order to participate in a monthly grade-level drawing to earn prizes.

Walk Through the Ancient World - This program is designed to allow students to actively participate in a rich retelling of ancient history. Through storytelling, games, and drama, history will come alive! Discover Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome through an imaginary tour of the ancient civilizations. Students portray historical people of the past, broaden their understanding with maps, timelines, and games while depicting a character from ancient history.

Catalina - Students and teachers experience three days at Long Beach Marine Institute’s Catalina Island Camp. Students are immersed in life science and marine ecology while hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and other activities. It’s a wonderful opportunity to build relationships and spend time in nature.

Greek Days - This annual event integrates all subject matters with two days of recreating the times of Ancient Greeks. Dressed in costume, all the students take the runway and model in a fashion show/contest. Students compete against each other in “Olympic” games. The top boy and girl of each event are crowned with a wreath in our Olympic ceremony. A highlight of the day is our Greek Feast with authentic Greek food.

Getty Center - The Getty is a world renowned museum with a collection that features many of the pieces our students study in 6th grade. This is an amazing opportunity to spend the day exploring the museum and experiencing art first-hand.

Arts Extravaganza - The MS Arts Extravaganza is an evening to celebrate both performing and visual arts in the middle school. Students from all visual arts classes display their art, our dance classes perform, and each beginning and advanced music class performs.

Grade 7

Student of the Month - In support of our school motto, “Preparing Minds for Leadership, Hearts for Service,” students are selected each month by the seventh-grade teachers in recognition of their outstanding character, attitude, participation, leadership, and/or service.

Lost Canyon Retreat - Spiritual Emphasis Week is a tradition at Oaks Christian Middle School. We purposefully schedule this retreat near the start of the school year to help students create solid connections with friends and encourage them in their relationships with the Lord. Students enjoy four days in the beauty of Arizona engaging in unique and fun experiences designed to encourage class unity and build teamwork.

Medieval Day - This annual event integrates all subject areas with a full day spent recreating the times of Medieval Europe. Dressed in costume, all students participate in a fun-filled day of activities including jousting and building catapults. The excitement builds as student groups present their castles for judging and the most creative costumes earn a prize. We conclude the day with a delicious Medieval Feast.

Arts Extravaganza - The MS Arts Extravaganza is an evening to celebrate both performing and visual arts in the middle school. Students from all visual arts classes display their art, our dance classes perform, and each beginning and advanced music class performs.

Grade 8

Lost Canyon Retreat - Spiritual Emphasis Week is a tradition at Oaks Christian Middle School. We purposefully schedule this retreat near the start of the school year to help students create solid connections with friends and encourage them in their relationships with the Lord. Students enjoy four days in the beauty of Arizona engaging in unique and fun experiences designed to encourage class unity and build teamwork.

East Coast Adventure - Los Angeles to Boston, then on to Lexington and Concord, New York City, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Washington, D.C. and back to Los Angeles. Nearly 1,000 miles by bus through eight states in eight days! That is what the eighth-grade students will experience on the annual East Coast Adventure. From Boston’s historic Freedom Trail to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, the group of students, chaperones, and teachers will explore our nation’s history. Filled with memories of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, insightful knowledge of our nation’s past, and opportunities to forge new and lasting friendships, the annual eighth-grade East Coast Adventure will inspire the young Americans who represent the future of our nation.

Arts Extravaganza - The MS Arts Extravaganza is an evening to celebrate both performing and visual arts in the middle school. Students from all visual arts classes display their art, our dance classes perform, and each beginning and advanced music class performs.