The 7/8 team at Birmingham Covington School is dedicated to providing a safe, caring environment in which all students are challenged to perform at their highest levels. In supporting students in preparing for the transition from middle school to high school, BCS helps students take responsibility for their learning, teach them about strategies for learning on their own, and provide them with a challenging curriculum. The teachers on this team are committed to providing students with hands-on, real-world learning activities, integrated instruction, and cooperative learning experiences.
The 7/8 Academic Lab class provides our students with a home base to focus on academic goals. This course focuses on improving students’ organization and study skills. Through the guidance of their Academic Lab teacher, students are empowered to track their own work, communicate with their teachers regarding their progress and advocate for their own success.
Twenty-first century learning skills are the new 3 R’s for our students. Teachers at Birmingham Covington School designed a unique curriculum that inherently built the capacity for all students to become effective learners in our knowledge-based, digital society. The Engage program at Covington captures student interest and imagination in science, engineering, math, and technology. Projects and challenges offered through Engage are specifically designed to develop student literacy in and across each of these arenas.
Click here to visit the Engage program page.
Integrated Learning Design (ILD)
The ILD course allows for students to meet weekly with their teacher for the purpose of embracing our BCS theme, Learn Globally, Serve Locally through service learning, mentorship opportunities and building more global connections outside and within the school walls.
Literacy – English Language Arts
At 7th and 8th grade, English Language Arts is taught in multi-age classes. The multi-age classes provide unique opportunities for students to peer mentor. Students typically stay with the same teacher for a two-year rotation. This results in a familiarity that benefits both teacher and student. 7/8 English Language Arts bridges the gap between elementary school and high school with a unique curriculum that aligns with the Common Core State Standards and draws on components of reader’s and writer’s workshop. With a range of ability levels, curriculum often has an open-ended design to meet the needs of all students. While creative thinking is a part of the curriculum, critical thinking receives more emphasis as teachers strive to prepare students for high school and 21st century learning. Meaningful technology integration remains a focus throughout the two-year cycle.
At BCS, we strive to provide a variety of learning opportunities to meet students’ individual strengths and needs. We incorporate a wide range of teaching strategies to engage students and challenge them at a level that is appropriate for them. BCS’s individualized 7th and 8th grade pacing allows students to access Math classes that match their abilities. Classes aligned with the Common Core State Standards include Math Lab, Pre-Algebra, Introduction to Algebra, 7/8 Accelerated Math, Algebra 1, and Honors Geometry. All of these courses offer opportunities to explore math concepts and to develop logical-critical thinking skills. Through mathematical inquiry, students will master critical content, learn to persist with challenging questions, and articulate their math reasoning. Our goal is to provide students with opportunities to develop valuable problem solving skills that will not only help them to be successful in their future math classes but will also show students how to relate material they have learned to other disciplines and real life relatable situations.
Click here to visit the Math program page.
Science is a way of making sense of the world. Scientists seek to describe phenomena, explain events, and find patterns that allow for inquiry and design. The BCS science program puts into practice the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The goal of the BCS science program is to educate, engage, inspire and create literate students who collaborate and solve real-world problems utilizing inquiry-based ideas/materials. We encourage our students to become intellectual thinkers and risk takers. We allow students to put knowledge to use by answering researchable questions and solving design challenges. This is done by developing a deeper understanding of the practice of science through the exploration of core ideas. By allowing students to ask and pursue questions about the world, students develop solutions to problems they encounter. The BCS science program hopes to create and inspire life long scientific literacy.
The 7/8 Social Studies team utilizes the TCI (Teacher Curriculum Institute) curriculum which covers Geography and American History on a 2-year cycle. Our student-centered, project-based instruction provides a rigorous and engaging approach to studying the past and the present as they relate to real-life events for our students. Over the past few years, we have had an opportunity to offer voluntary trips to Boston, Washington D.C., and other locations which allow our students to learn about the Core Democratic Values in an authentic learning environment. With a focus on inquiry and project-based learning, our teachers bring geography and American history to life!
Experts agree that competence in Spanish will enhance communication and career opportunities in the 21st century. Spanish is taught to all students at BCS. In grades 7 and 8, focused class time emphasizes conversational and written use of the language and prepares students for advanced high school study of Spanish. Students develop an understanding of the cultural and geographic context of the Spanish language and its significance to our hemisphere. The Spanish teachers at BCS are committed to providing high-quality instruction and learning opportunities that challenge students to develop to the maximum their language proficiency in Spanish, as well as to know and understand the literature and cultures of the Spanish-speaking peoples of the world. The teachers expect students to develop their proficiency in a foreign language by focusing on the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. We encourage our students to think critically, to question their cultural assumptions about the Hispanic world, and to seek to immerse themselves, as much as possible, in a Spanish-speaking community.
Click here to visit the Spanish program page.