The main goal of Hillsboro Elementary Middle School is to provide an enriched academic environment that meets the diverse needs of our student population. in order to meet this goal, HEMS provides kindergarten through eighth grade students with instruction in four core academic areas: language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Hillsboro students also experience instruction in the following Related Arts Programs: art, computer technology, music, and physical education. Middle school students have more opportunities to explore and customize their experience. They take two related arts classes at a time: one major and one minor.
Hillsboro Elementary Middle offers a variety of programs to support our diverse learner population. Students with emotional disabilities and learning disabilities receive an individualized curriculum to meet their specific needs. Classroom and resource teachers work together to prepare lessons that use multiple teaching techniques. This ensures skill master by all students.
Organization of the School Year
The school year consists of two semesters, each divided into two nine-week quarters.
- First Quarter: August 10 – October 16
- Second Quarter: October 22 – December 21
- Third Quarter: January 7 – March 15
- Fourth Quarter: March 25 – May 23
Language Arts & Reading
Students in 6th grade language arts will engage in a rigorous curriculum which focuses on the standard areas of reading, writing, and communication. Students will read a variety of literary genres such as poetry, novels, short stories, and non-fiction. As a complement to the reading instruction, students will be required to write in a variety of modes which involve text-based evidence for student responses. Students will learn to prepare and write narrative, expository, descriptive, and persuasive types of writing pieces in the form of stories, reflections, essays, letters, and reports. Teachers will also provide vocabulary instruction to enhance students’ skills in reading and writing. Equally as important, students will continue to sharpen their grammatical skills so they can become effective writers and speakers.
During the first semester, students will learn real number operations, including whole numbers, decimals and fractions. Students will also strengthen their knowledge as they analyze data and probability and evaluate and solve one-step equations during second semester. Throughout the year students learn the relationship between ratios and percentages and apply their skills to real-world scenarios. They are also introduced to the fundamentals of geometry and integers. Students will be expected to persevere in problem solving, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Scientific inquiry skills and the application of technology and engineering are embedded as grade level expectations in the science curriculum. In the life science study of interdependence, students will explore the world’s major biomes, how living things interact with one another and the non-living elements of their environments, cycles in nature and how matter and energy are transferred through ecosystems. The Earth and space science curriculum includes a study of the major components of the universe and the relative distances of objects in the solar system from Earth. Students will learn about the positional relationships between Earth, the moon and the sun and how they control the lunar cycle, length of day, and year. Lunar and solar eclipses, tides, and seasons will be explored. Also included is the study of Earth’s atmosphere, currents, weather, and interpretation of meteorological data. Physical science content includes a study of energy transformations and the interplay between magnetic fields and electrical currents. Students will learn about forms of energy, their transformations, and how circuits are associated with the transfer of electrical energy when heat, light, sound, and chemical changes are produced. Students will be engaging in expository writing to explain scientific principles.
Sixth grade students will study the beginning of early civilizations through the fall of the Roman Empire. Students will study the geographical, social, economic, and political foundations for early civilizations progressing through the Roman Empire. Students will study the development of civilizations, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Ancient Israel, Greece, and Rome. The study of these civilizations will include the impact of geography, early history, cultural development, and economic change. This course will be the first concentrated study of world history and geography and will utilize appropriate informational texts and primary sources.
Language Arts & Reading
Students in 7th grade language arts engage in rigorous application and reinforcement of grammar skills, as well as fine tuning writing techniques. Students will compose essays that in which they will support their points with evidence from various genres or informational texts. Students complete a full research paper. Reading includes varied genres, including novels, short stories, poetry, nonfiction, and informational text. Vocabulary study incorporates both traditional, grade-appropriate words and Greek morphemes. Use of technology, as well as intentional emphasis on 21st century skills and digital literacy, is woven into the program of study.
In 7th Grade Math, students will use problem solving strategies and technology to master TCAP skills and state standards for the 7th grade. These skills include working with rational numbers and percents, solving equations, working with proportions, understanding geometric figures, and using techniques of statistics and probability. Students will also begin to look at linear and nonlinear functions and how those apply to real world scenarios. Students will be expected to persevere in problem solving, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Students will be introduced to the study of cells, photosynthesis, respiration, heredity, the rock cycle, plate tectonics, motion, force, work, and simple machines. Students will sharpen their scientific inquiry skills and explore technology and engineering using the following methods: participating in many hands-on laboratory activities in order to make proper observations and draw conclusions for themselves, investigating multiple solutions to scientific questions and problems, identifying and testing the best solutions, and appropriately communicating their findings to a specific audience such as fellow students, teachers, or parents.
Seventh grade students will explore the social, cultural, geographical, political and technological changes that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire and in Medieval Europe. Students will also study the period from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, including the Middle East, Africa, China, and Japan, but with a heavier emphasis on western civilization in Europe during the Renaissance and Reformation. Students will compare and contrast the history and geography of civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout these continents during medieval times. They will examine the growth in economic interactions among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. Seventh grade students will end the year by examining the Meso-American and Andean civilizations, and the age of European explorations. Appropriate informational texts and primary sources will be used in order to deepen the understanding of how these civilizations influence the modern world.
Language Arts & Reading
Eighth grade reading/language arts follows standards to develop greater analytical reading and thinking skills that consistently spiral student learning. Students write expository, narrative, and persuasive essay, incorporating textual evidence from literary or informational passages. Grammar instruction requires students to embed grammar concepts into writing. Students study novels, short stories, and poetry. Vocabulary building is also stressed.
Pre-Algebra is the first portion of a high school level math course that uses problem solving situations, physical models and appropriate technology to extend algebraic thinking and engage student reasoning. 8th grade state of Tennessee math standards and begin with a study of the real number system as well as solving multi-step equations. Word problems are deeply embedded within the course, and students use algebraic concepts in order to solve them. In addition to solving equations, students will explore functions, writing equations, graphing linear equations, including systems of equations and statistics. Students will be expected to persevere in problem solving, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others as outlined by the state standards.
Eighth grade science focuses on the practical application of science as it relates to life and the environment. Students will explore scientific inquiry and the impact science has on the development of new technologies. A well-balanced exploration of life and physical science subjects covered include: classification of organisms response to the environment, composition and structure of matter and its behavior, and the electrical and gravitational fields at work in our universe. This program will place an emphasis on writing skills, technology, and hands-on learning. Students will learn to interpret data and use it to solve problems.
Eighth grade students will study the European colonization of North America, along with the geographic features that influenced early settlements and colonies. This course will emphasize the development and maturation of the British colonies, and the political, cultural, and economic influences that led to the American Revolution. The major events and outcomes of the American Revolution will be analyzed, along with the individuals that played influential roles in the development of the new nation. Students will follow the development of the United States and its government, continuing through the early 19th century. The impact of the expansion of the United States will be analyzed, including implications on domestic and foreign policy. Policies that affected the American Indians will also be studied. The events leading up to the Civil War will be examined, along with the individuals and events that were significant during the war. The history, people, government, and geography of Tennessee will be emphasized in order to illustrate the role our state has played in American history. Reconstruction and the development of the American West will conclude this course. Appropriate primary sources and informational texts will be included in order to enhance understanding of the content.