Our Middle School students at BFS, grades 6-8, are given more independence to demonstrate a comprehensive array of academic skills. The academic transition from elementary to high school is reinforced through our staff personalizing the curriculum within each course based on students’ interests, academic skills, and standardized assessments.
Our core subject areas – Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies – are designed to engage and challenge all students and promote personal academic confidence as they continue their schooling here or elsewhere.
Within the elective subject areas, the students in the Middle School – for the first time in their BFS experience – can choose classes of interest in the Arts, Physical Education, World Languages and other subjects. Here students sample many disciplines, which may prove to be a passion or interest in the future. In the elective program, we believe that by offering the best courses based on faculty talents and student interest, we best prepare our kids for all future academic challenges.
The course descriptions for the 2020-21 school year can be found here: 2020-21 SY Course Descriptions
The course descriptions for the 2021-22 school year can be found here: 2021-22 SY Course Descriptions
Grade 6 English Language Arts
This course will provide students with a solid foundation in reading narrative, informational, and persuasive texts.
Students will acquire skills to help them tackle tough texts, learn critical reading strategies and analyze techniques used by authors of both fiction and nonfiction. The workshop model empowers young readers through a variety of techniques including whole group instruction, read aloud, literature circles, individual conferences, and book clubs. Students will also have daily opportunities to focus on grammar and vocabulary, deepening their knowledge through the study of roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
Students will write original narrative, informational, and persuasive texts by practicing and following the steps of the writing process.
The workshop model provides students with a structured environment where students can write extensively and grow as authors. Students will be given frequent opportunities to share their writing through conferences, peer editing, group reads, and publishing of texts. Writing Workshop is closely aligned with the Reading Workshop scope and sequence; therefore, students can apply the strategies they have learned as readers to their own writing.
Grade 7 English Language Arts
In 7th Grade Reader’s Workshop, students will read and study a variety of different novels that span the many different genres of literature. They will read together as a class and read in literature groups analyzing the components that make up a story map. Students will increase their vocabulary skills throughout the year with a growing list of words taken from the books they read.
In 7th Grade writing workshop, students experiment with both narrative and expository writing, increasing their understanding of focus, specific details, and voice. Students work on identifying and correcting grammar errors through weekly practice.
Grade 8 English Language Arts
Reading workshop continues in 8th Grade as students read and master more challenging texts. Students practice developing inferential thinking while supporting their ideas and claims with relevant textual evidence.
Students tackle multi-genre projects and practice digging deeper into the texts they read in preparation for High School literature classes.
In 8th Grade writing workshop, students can expect to take their writing to a more polished level, both in terms of grammar and style. Students get an opportunity to experiment with expressing their perspectives effectively. Literature circles and reading responses continue in 8th grade, as well as higher level Latin and Greek vocabulary.
Three Courses are offered as part of the Middle School Mathematics Block.
Grade 6 Mathematics Course 1
In this class, students will investigate and explore decimal and fraction operations, collecting and displaying data, proportional and geometric relationships, and two- and three-dimensional measurements. Emphasis will be placed on fully communicating mathematical work, understanding mathematical notation, and multiple representations, i.e., exploring mathematical concepts simultaneously through graphs, tables, equations and written explanations.
Grades 7, 8 Pre-Algebra
In this class, students will investigate and explore rational and real numbers, integer and exponential operations, data analysis and probability, plane geometry, proportional reasoning, equations and inequalities, slope, sequences and functions, polynomials and logic and discrete math. Emphasis will be placed on fully communicating mathematical work, understanding mathematical notation, and multiple representations, i.e., exploring mathematical concepts simultaneously through graphs, tables, equations and written explanations.
Grades 7, 8, 9 Algebra I
In this class, students will investigate and explore equations, inequalities, functions and linear functions, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and polynomials, factoring polynomials, quadratic functions and equations, data analysis and probability. For advanced students, some of Algebra II topics will be introduced (exponential, radical and rational functions and equations). Emphasis will be placed on fully communicating mathematical work, understanding mathematical notation, and multiple representations, i.e., exploring mathematical concepts simultaneously through graphs, tables, equations and written explanations.
Grades 8, 9, 10 Geometry (Math Credit)
This course involves the student as a problem solver, one who can reason mathematically and who can communicate and make connections among various mathematical ideas, including the following: points, lines, planes and angles, parallel lines and planes, transformations and congruence, congruent triangles, similar polygons, right triangles, circles, areas of plane and solid figures, volume and surface area of solids, organizing proofs logically and using formulae to solve problems.
Different subjects are taught per grade level in the Social Studies block:
Grade 6 Ancient History
Ancient History covers the birth of humanity and growth of civilizations from Mesopotamia and Egypt to Greece and Rome. The course will include a discussion of characteristics of civilizations including the development of agriculture, governments, division of labor, social hierarchies, and culture. Students will focus on causes, effects, and turning points in the rise and fall of various civilizations. They will investigate major religions including Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam and their impact on governments, society, and culture. The course will be rigorous and relevant with instruction that integrates thinking skills, historical processes, and content so that students are able to apply their learning to their own lives. Instruction should include the integration of concepts and principles from history, economics, geography, civics, and the humanities.
Grade 7 Middle Ages History
Middle Ages History explores the legacy of civilizations from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to Asia and the Americas. The course will include ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire, feudalism, the Crusades, the Renaissance, and Enlightenment. Students will explore the histories of West Africa, China, Japan, and the Americas during Medieval times. The course should be rigorous and relevant with instruction that integrates thinking skills, historical processes, and content so that students are able to apply their learning to their own lives. Instruction should include the integration of concepts and principles from history, economics, geography, civics, and the humanities.
Grade 8 World Geography
Geography is the study of the world, its people, and the landscapes they create. This course will explore a stimulating, case-study approach to geography and students will develop map reading skills. In Mapping Labs, students work in pairs to complete a series of geography challenges that spiral in difficulty. They learn about the physical and human geography of regions around the world and discover and implement the steps in the geographic inquiry process (GIP).
Depending on the grade level of the student, different subjects are taught to Middle School students.
Grade 6 Earth Science
The primary focus for this course will be on earth sciences; Students will have the opportunity to explore the interesting world of science by participating in a variety of activities and differentiated assessments that cater to the different learning styles of individual students, while still encouraging the development and utilization of new skills and study techniques. There is also a strong emphasis on the scientific method which will be reinforced via laboratory work where students will learn and practice the procedure for conducting experiments. The units of study for this course are mapping, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, erosion, weather factors, and astronomy. Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources and how we capture energy from the natural world will also briefly be covered.
Grade 7 Life Science
The primary focus for this course will be on life sciences; however, we will cover some earth and physical sciences also.
Students will have the opportunity to explore the interesting world of science by participating in a variety of activities and differentiated assessment that cater to the different learning styles of individual students, while still encouraging the development and utilization of new skills and study techniques. There is also a strong emphasis on the scientific method which will be reinforced via laboratory work where students will learn and practice the procedure for conducting experiments. The units of study for this course are geologic time, evolution, cell processes, genetics, and structure and function in living things, and the identification/classification of living things.
Grade 8 Physical Science
The primary focus for this course will be on physical sciences, which is composed of chemistry and physics.
Students will have the opportunity to explore the interesting world of science by participating in a variety of activities and differentiated assessment that cater to the different learning styles of individual students while still encouraging the development and utilization of new skills and study techniques. There is also a strong emphasis on the scientific method, which will be reinforced via laboratory work where students will learn and practice the procedure for conducting a controlled experiment. The units of study for this course are motion, forces, waves, electricity, magnetism, the structure of matter, elements, the periodic table, atoms and bonding, chemical reactions, acids and bases, and carbon chemistry.
Within the elective subject areas, the students in the Middle School can choose classes of interest in the Arts, Physical Education, World Languages, and other subjects. Here students sample many disciplines, which may prove to be a passion or interest in the future.
Grades 6, 7, 8 Physical Education / Health
Physical Education for MS students consists of individual sport-specific skill training with an emphasis on volleyball & basketball rules, skills, techniques, and strategies for competition. This course ties in well with our school’s SKAC league sports seasons in semester 2. Additionally the course focuses on health-related physical fitness concepts based on the Fitness For Life program, which utilizes a textbook and supplemental online ancillary resources.
Grades 6,7,8 Maker Space: Design and Engineering (students choose either semester 1 or semester 2)
This is a semester long and project-driven course devoted to solving problems and creativity. Students will analyze problems, create solutions, and test their designs. They will learn to use a variety of materials from paper-craft, traditional wood construction, Lego robotics, and 3D printing as well as others to solve tasks. These tasks will be a combination of practical problems to be solved for the benefit of BFS, problems posed by the teacher, and problems and designs that the students will come up with on their own. Activities will include identifying possible construction projects, determining materials needed, learning the safe and proper use of hand and power tools, working both independently and collaboratively, and the basic use of circuits and programming to accomplish tasks.
Grades 6, 7, 8 MS Computer Science
Grades 6 ~ 12 Studio Arts
These middle and high school classes are designed with the serious art student in mind. We will emphasize art as an ongoing process that involves you making informed and critical decisions while working in a number of different artistic realms: drawing, 2D, and 3D pieces. You will add to your technical artistic skills and become more aware of all aspects of visual artistic elements. Students will create projects that range from the political to the personal and whimsical by using a variety of media – for example, a collage that makes a powerful visual statement about an important issue or a Picasso-like sculpture splashed with color and pattern. A key focus is the language of art, known as the Elements and Principles of Design. Some key art movements are studied as well as the larger question: “What is Art?” Feedback and reflection are other important parts of the learning process, facilitated by our art teacher. This class will open students’ eyes to new ideas about art and creativity.
Grades 6, 7, 8 MS Choir
The middle school Choir class is designed to develop the musical, creative, and expressive abilities of students. Chorus students will learn to use their vocal instrument to create a correct and pleasing singing sound. In addition to learning proper vocal singing technique, students will also learn music reading and listening skills, sight-singing skills, and performance etiquette. Students will begin to develop their mastery of solfege, major and minor scales, and 2 and 3 part harmonies. Students will learn to create and experience music as a musical ensemble. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of music from different cultures and periods of time. Students will have the opportunity to develop team building and leadership skills as they prepare for school and regional performances. This is a performance-based class. Participation in concert performances outside of regular class hours is required.
Grades 6 – 12 Beginner Band (HS Arts Credit/Elective)
Beginner Band is offered to Middle and High school students. All of the students in this class should be beginners on their instruments. Those with experience should consider the Concert Band or Intermediate Band class offered at BFS. Students who want to learn to read music and play in a good band will enjoy the Beginner Band course at BFS. For this class students will choose from the following instruments: Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet or Trombone. Later in your musical journey there could be an opportunity to branch into other instrumental areas.
In this course you will learn the fundamentals of your chosen instrument as well as learn to read music. We will listen to and play a variety of music while learning our instruments. It is possible there is an instrument available for a nominal rental fee from the school. For more information please talk to Dr Grant.
Grades 7 – 12 Intermediate Concert Band (HS Arts Credit/Elective)
This is a course designed for students who have had the equivalent of one year of experience playing in a concert band. If you have completed the Beginner Band class at BFS this is the next step! It is only for students who can play their instrument at an intermediate level. We will play music at the Grade 1-2 Concert Band level. Students should have a solid understanding of scales and keys, and be able to read music. We will learn about the fundamentals of music and prepare musical selections for performance around Busan and at festivals throughout the year. It is possible that there are instruments available from the school for rent if necessary. Come out and play in a dynamic musical ensemble at BFS! See Dr Grant if you are not sure if this is the right class for you.
Grades 7 – 12 Concert Band (HS Arts Credit/Elective)
Concert Band at BFS is a course designed for students who would enjoy playing in a more experienced wind ensemble. Experience playing an instrument is necessary to be in this band. Members must be able to play their instrument at an intermediate level and read music fairly well. The reading level will start at Grade 2.5. You must be comfortable playing in a variety of different keys. This is the most advanced Band class at BFS. We will continue to learn about the fundamentals of music and prepare musical selections for performance around Busan and at festivals throughout the year. It is possible that there are instruments available from the school for rent if necessary. Come out and play in a dynamic musical ensemble! See Dr. Grant if you are not sure if this is the right class for you. As this course will be offered outside the regular timetable, HS students who complete a full year of the course will receive .5 fine art credit towards graduation.
Grade 6-8 MS Spanish 1
This first-year middle school Spanish sequence will introduce students to the basics of the language and help to develop their expressive confidence. Through stories, songs, games, and other activities, students will communicate about their family and friends, likes and dislikes, school, food, and the world around them.
Lessons will focus on specific strategies to help students improve in the four skill areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Students should continue with MS Spanish 2 the following year.
Grade 7-8 MS Spanish 2
This second-year middle school Spanish sequence will build on skills learned in MS Spanish I, expand vocabulary, increase literacy skills, and give students the confidence to express themselves in the Spanish language. Students will work individually and collaboratively in groups to communicate about their personal lives, their communities, and the world around them.
During this course students will gain self confidence to express their opinions and points of view about current topics in the target language. Lessons will focus on specific strategies to help students improve in the four skill areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible to take a placement test to determine their level for HS Spanish classes.
Grades 6-8 Korean for Non-Native Speakers
This introductory course is for non-native Korean speakers only. The class is designed for students to understand the Korean alphabets, Hangul, and to speak basic Korean Language needed on a daily basis for more practical uses. Students will be able to satisfy a limited number of immediate needs such as greetings, self-introduction, buying things, ordering food, etc. Through individual and collaborative activities, students will communicate and develop vocabulary, literacy, listening and speaking skills, which helps broaden their understanding of Korean society and culture.
Grades 6 ~ 8 ELL Language Development
This non-graded class is designed to further develop the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of English Language Learner (ELL) students based on the WIDA English language proficiency assessment. Students work toward their individual language goals through a variety of hands-on small group and partner activities. Students develop their knowledge of academic English related to vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency in order to be successful in their content area classes. ELL Language Development content may also support English/language arts class units.