The GAI middle school curriculum is based on the idea that all children should be challenged to expand their knowledge, think critically, and use their knowledge every day of their lives. At GAI, we are not simply guided by NYS standards, we surpass them.
Our english curriculum entails study of vocabulary and grammar using Sadlier textbooks. Each grade reads numerous free- standing books each year: novels, plays, poetry, and selected non-fiction. Examples include Tuck Everlasting in fifth grade, Miracle’s Boys in sixth grade, Of Mice and Men and The Pearl in seventh grade, and All My Sons and The Glass Menagerie in eighth grade. Writing, from critical essays to playwriting and fiction writing, is extremely important and is assigned on a daily basis.
Our math curriculum involves the Go Math textbook series. Fifth grade focuses on fluency with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. In sixth grade, students become masters at multi-step operations. Seventh grade focuses on building numeracy knowledge with integers. In eighth grade, students begin with algebra concepts and move on to functions, slope, and the Pythagorean theorem. Although we do not focus on standardized tests, students from grades three through eight take the NYS ELA and Math exams.
GAI’s science curriculum rigorously focuses on all areas of science. In fifth grade, we study life science, Earth science, and physical science. In sixth grade, students learn about motion, forces, Newton’s Laws, weather and atmosphere, and the diversity of life. Seventh grade includes geology, energy and matter, and chemistry. Eighth grade is focused on Earth science. Fourth graders and eighth graders take the NYS Science exams. Eighth graders also take the NYS Earth Science Regents.
Our social studies/history curriculum covers all areas of our world. In fifth grade, we begin with geography, map reading skills, and civics. In sixth grade, we study world history, beginning in Mesopotamia, then moving on to Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Islamic Societies. Seventh grade begins with the Renaissance, then moves on to the Age of Exploration, then the United States up until the Civil War. Eighth grade is focused on America from the Civil War up until the present.
Students also prepare for the TACHS exam through practice and review. They build familiarity with what could be expected on the test. It is a 12-week course divided into two sessions. The first six week
session is offered during spring of seventh grade and the second six week session is offered during fall of eighth grade.