Middle School

ENGLISH

6th Grade
The objective in this course is to gain exposure to the different styles of literary genres. The students’ writing skills will improve through in-class writing prompts and through the weekly Writing Workshop. The girls will be conducting a variety of writing tasks this year, including a personal narrative, a research paper, a literary analysis essay and mastering paragraphs. The students will become more comfortable brainstorming and organizing their information, writing an outline, constructing a draft, editing and peer editing, and turning in a final paper. The sixth graders will be reading different novels throughout the year, as well as short stories, poetry and informational texts. The selection includes The Giver, and Dear America: The Fences Between Us.

7th Grade
The emphasis in this class is on improving upon the skills learned as sixth graders. Through poster projects, speeches, creative writing papers, literary analysis papers and a persuasive essay, the students will be able to explore many different ways that they can express themselves through the written word. Some of the books the students will be reading this year are Animal FarmI Will Always Write Back, and And Then There Were None. The students will also be reading and analyzing a variety of short stories, poetry and informational texts.

8th Grade
8th grade English is focused on building students’ writing, reading, and critical skills. As such, students will begin with Persuasive Writing and work toward Literary Analysis as the year progresses. Writing units will cover tenets of rhetoric, and engaging with writing as a process that is motivated by curiosity and that requires multiple drafts. Students will also learn effective strategies for peer review, as well as practice and develop sound research skills, including the mechanics of quoting and citations. Students will also be able to identify primary and secondary sources in nonfiction writing and evaluate them for accuracy and relevance; they will apply this knowledge to their own writing as they use interviews and research to develop written assignments. Texts for 8th grade English include John Steinback’s The Pearl, as well as reading the play of Anne Frank. Students will study a variety of poetry through which they will gain a deeper understanding of tone, mood, symbolism and figurative language. Through short stories, students will also be able to identify and analyze setting, irony, climax, elements of characterization, foreshadowing. By engaging with the language of literary elements, students will be able to develop claims and support them with details and examples in writing and orally.

MATHEMATICS

6th Grade
Both Regular and Accelerated levels of Mathematics are offered. The Regular level classes follow the Florida State Standards and topics include Decimals, Patterns and Variables, Number Theory and Fractions, Adding and Subtracting Fractions, Multiplying and Dividing Fractions, Ratios, Proportions and Percents, Data and Graphs, Tools of Geometry, Geometry and Measurement, Integers, Exploring Probability, Equations and Inequalities.

On the Accelerated level, the students will cover Fraction Division and Base Ten Arithmetic, Area, Ratios and Unit Rates, Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities, Proportional Relationships and Percentage Situations, Rational Number Arithmetic, and Data Sets and Distributions.

7th Grade
 Students continue in the appropriate level of Mathematics, either Regular or Accelerated. Topics that are covered in the Regular class include: Decimals and Integers, Equations and Inequalities, Exponents, Factors and Fractions, Operations with Fractions, Ratios, Rates and Proportions, Percents, Geometry and Measurement, Patterns and Rules, Graphing in the Coordinate Plane, Displaying and Analyzing Data and Using Probability. 

On the Accelerated level, the students will cover Proportional Relationships and Percentages, Rational Number Arithmetic, Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities, Rigid Transformations and Congruence, Dilations and Similarity, and Linear Relationships.

8th Grade
Students continue their studies based on their previous levels and accomplishments. The Regular level of Mathematics follows the Florida State Standards for Mathematics & Curriculum covering topics such as Integers and Algebraic Expressions, Equations and Inequalities, Graphing in the Coordinate Plane, Real Numbers, Applications of Proportions, Exponents and Powers, Geometry and Measurement, Using Graphs to Analyze Data, Probability.

The Accelerated level of Math studies High School level Algebra.

SCIENCE

6th Grade
 The study of Science in the sixth grade allows students to explore Scientific Methodology and study of Earth Science. The studies will be divided in the disciplines of astronomy, geology, meteorology, and oceanography. Many of the classes incorporate hands-on discovery lessons.

7th Grade
The students will explore the concepts of Physical Science. This serves as a basic introduction to physics, chemistry, and the physical world.

8th Grade
The students will explore the concepts of Life Science following the Florida State Standards.  This serves as a basic introduction to the Human Body, the Animal Kingdom and an appreciation for the planet we inhabit.  

SOCIAL STUDIES

6th Grade
This course will teach students how to read maps and timelines, identify primary and secondary sources, as well as create and read graphs. They will learn about different forms of record keeping (oral history, pictures, forms of writing, languages, etc.) They will also be able to describe the factors associated with the development of early civilizations and the rise and fall of major civilizations. There is a great emphasis on project based learning and teamwork as part of skills taught in this class.

7th Grade
This course will delve into the fundamentals of Civics. Students will learn the meaning of citizenship and the rights, responsibilities, and duties that come with it. Their course related vocabulary will expand and they will have a better foundation to understand politics and the United States government. Students will give oral presentations that will help each one gain confidence in public speaking and learn how to organize and articulate her thoughts both orally and in writing. At the end of the year, each student will have a better appreciation of what it means to be an American citizen.  Students also begin studying early American history.

8th Grade
American History: Throughout this course, each student will build on the knowledge that she learned in seventh grade  history of the United States. We will explore what America was like before contact with Europeans, after the arrival of the British, the fight for independence to become the United States, and the years that led up to the Civil War and beyond.  

ART

6th Grade
Students are introduced to the foundations of the Art Elements, Principles, and Techniques of drawing and painting with standards based on their grade level, personal talent, and skills.  The Elements of Art include: Line, Shape/Form, Value/Shading, Color, Unity/Balance, Space, Texture, and Perspective.

7th Grade
Students will learn new art concepts and further hone their skills on their knowledge of the Art Elements, Principles, and Techniques of drawing and painting with standards based on their grade level, personal talent, and skills.

8th Grade
 Students will learn new art concepts and build on the skills they have attained in the previous years as they continue to incorporate the Art Elements, Principles, and Techniques in their drawing and painting.  

COMPUTERS/TECHNOLOGY

6th-8th Grade
Following the code.org curriculum, students develop computational thinking skills such as breaking down a problem, recognizing patterns, and abstracting, as they learn and apply the elements of computer programming. They use structures such as loops, events, conditionals, variables, and functions as they develop algorithms to solve problems. The courses culminate in a project where students apply their learning to design and build a game or other interactive project. Students also explore digital citizenship and the impact of technology on their lives and their community.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

6th-8th Grade
All students receive Physical Education and Health Instruction twice a week from our experienced fitness and health coach.  The girls learn about proper nutrition, care for their bodies, and the importance of exercise.  

Middle School

ENGLISH

9th Grade
9th grade English introduces students to more advanced rhetorical strategies, which will be applied to both personal endeavors as students become active consumers of media, and as academic sources of analysis. Students will use the language of rhetoric, and learn to engage with writing as a process that requires asking questions of genre, audience, and purpose. Students will also explore the various ways in which messages persuade by learning about ethos, pathos, and logos, and using the three modes of appeal to guide their own analyses of speeches and written works. To achieve this aim, students will read and listen to speeches by well-known orators, as well as the popular TED talks. In addition to analytical writing, students will write personal narratives, research-based informative essays, and persuasive essays that are aligned with individual interests and therefore motivated by personal curiosity. The major texts for study in 9th English include poetry by culturally diverse authors, The Soul of an Octopus (nonfiction), Fahrenheit 451Lord of the Flies, and Romeo & Juliet. By engaging a variety of literary genres, the course aims to provide students with an opportunity to identify themes in texts by formulating opinions, supporting claims with reasons, as well as recognizing and using figurative language. There is an additional emphasis on Vocabulary and Grammar as students engage new vocabulary in context by learning and applying new sentence structures to new vocabulary. New sentence patterns and vocabulary serve the dual purpose of enriching students’ readings, and promoting increasingly sophisticated skills in writing.

10th Grade
10th grade English builds on the skills learned in the 9th grade curriculum by asking students to engage in more complex analytical writing activities. This includes more purposeful efforts in the writing process, such as brainstorming and invention, peer editing and review strategies, and the technical aspects of citations, formatting, and formal research. Students will understand that good writers revise, edit, and produce multiple drafts; they will reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses as writers and readers, and they will look more closely at the ways in which authors’ tone and purpose work to establish distinct moods in literature. In 10th grade English, students will learn more about the conventions of drama, fiction, and nonfiction as they read William Shakespeare’s Julius CaesarThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, and Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire. By way of assigned readings, students will be able to identify themes in texts and relate them to themselves and others. Students will also recall distinctions between metaphor, simile, and other examples of figurative language, as well as discuss the ways in which texts defy genre-specific categorization. To support intelligent and efficient learning strategies, students will practice effective note taking and annotation strategies, and hone skills in skimming and scanning nonfiction articles in order to identify main ideas and supporting details. Students will also compare & contrast the effects of literary elements in different texts, and establish relationships between similar and disparate elements through analysis and inference. Vocabulary will be introduced in-context, with a focus on syntax, by reviewing Complex, Compound, and Complex-Compound Sentences, and learning new sentence patterns, like Loose and Periodic sentences.

11th Grade
Language Arts and Literature in eleventh grade places a great deal of emphasis on essay writing, critical thinking skills, and preparation for high stakes college entry exams. The writing focuses include drafting Personal Statements and Admissions Essays for college and seminary applications, and thesis-based research essays driven by student interest. In 11th grade English, students engage in more rigorous analytical work by consistently responding to literature in writing, and integrating research with attention to accuracy in attributive tags. Furthermore, students will learn distinctions between MLA and APA style, which are the most commonly used style and formatting guidelines in college and university level courses. Course readings are chosen for the explicit purpose of analyzing intertextuality, or the ways in which literature produced in different time periods correlate to texts that came before. As such, primary readings include BeowulfGrendelHamletRosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Through the readings, students will be able to make connections between the literature emerging from the Old English and Medieval Period, the Renaissance, Modern, and Postmodern socio-cultural contexts. Students will continue to identify themes in texts and they will work to formulate original, sophisticated opinions that can be supported with claims with reasons. Additionally, students will work with complex and classical poetic forms, which will introduce them to rhyme schemes, sonnets, and other important conventions of poetry. To promote students’ success on college entrance exams, students will learn new SAT vocabulary and practice diverse sentence structures. 

12th Grade
The components of the course, as in previous years, are based on developing students’ skills in Writing, Reading, Vocabulary, and Grammar. In the twelfth grade, students are encouraged and expected to demonstrate both mastery of the knowledge and skills taught in previous years, as well as demonstrate the ability to independently analyze literature that is simultaneously interesting and challenging to them. Students will focus on broadening their scope of analytical inquiry through literary analysis, and becoming purposeful writers with a distinct voice and style. Technical skills, such as listening for academic purposes, reinforcing personalized note-taking strategies, and synthesizing previous knowledge with original commentary are key elements of 12th grade English, and are further developed through collaborative learning strategies and peer review activities common in university and college level writing courses. The course also asks students to engage in creative writing activities, including poetry, fiction, and integrating details and examples for timed writing exams. Main Texts in 12th grade English range from classics, such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, to modern literature, such as Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. By way of these readings, students will learn to identify the form and function of literary elements in literature, including allegory and symbolism, and the ways in which these elements develop narrative structures and socio-cultural critiques.

AP Literature (11th & 12th grade):
The AP Lit. & Comp.Curriculum focuses on the relationship between culture and literature. Culture can be understood as the ideas, artistic manifestations, philosophies, and ways of life of a group of people. To that end, much of our work will focus on better understanding how culture shapes artistic and literary endeavors, and how it informs the simultaneously singular and universal struggles of identity, agency, conflict, and its attendant resolutions. Indeed, we will often ask questions about the ways in which literature helps us understand ourselves as more empathic, accountable subjects. The works for summer reading help introduce the theme, and guide our discussions of the independent readings, written literary analyses, and research assignments throughout the year. The goal of this trajectory is to help the student think about how culture affects an individual’s decision-making and sense of self, and how conflict between cultures leads to personal and political strife. The questions the student answers for each work, then, are designed to lead her into thinking about culture as a moving force in individual lives and in the histories of groups and nations. In an increasingly connected world, the responsibility of not just tolerating – but of embracing – difference falls to us. With this aim in mind, students will read texts such as The IliadOedipus RexKing Lear, Jane Eyre, and The House of the Spirits, as well as various poems, short stories, and scholarly criticism of assigned readings. Students will prepare for the AP exam by regularly completing multiple-choice AP drills and in-class timed essays taken from past AP exams. Students will additionally demonstrate autonomous learning by teaching the literary terms and devices they are likely to encounter on the AP exam to their peers. Collaborative learning is a crucial aspect of the AP course as it works to prepare students for the rigors of university by helping them understand the value of constructive feedback, working through challenging literature, and making connections between the social contexts from which literature emerges, and applying it to contemporary human experiences.

AP Language and Composition (11th & 12th Grade):
The aim of AP Language & Composition os to ensure that upon completing the course, students should be able to analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identify and explain an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques, while applying effective strategies and techniques in their own writing. Students will also create and sustain arguments based on readings, research and/or personal experience, write for a variety of purposes, including analytical and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate evidence drawn from primary and/or secondary sources, establishing cogent explanations and clear transitions. Students will also demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their own writings, and they will demonstrate an understanding of the conventions of citing primary and secondary sources by effectively moving through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing and review. Attention is also dedicated to encouraging students to write and reflect thoughtfully about their own process of composition, thus allowing them to revise a work different audiences, analyze images as text, and evaluate and incorporate reference documents into researched papers. Readings for AP Language include reading about writing by exploring authors like Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Anne Lammot. Students will also analyze the rhetorical success of orators and thinkers like Martin Luther King Jr., Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Virginia Woolf.

Dual Enrollment Coursework
Sha’arei Bina is working to meet the increasingly competitive demands of post-high school education by offering dual enrollment courses in partnership with Florida International University and Broward College.

Dual enrollment promotes students’ success by familiarizing them with the demands of college course work across various disciplines, promoting student agency & time management, and – in the case of FIU courses – providing support for qualified SBTAG educators via co-curricular development, mentorship, and resources.

Dual enrollment is an ideal option for students seeking more demanding course work in general studies with the purpose of earning credit for Florida colleges and universities.
 

Dual Enrollment English
Sha’arei Bina is proud to offer Dual Enrollment courses in Writing & Composition 1101 & 1102. ENC 1101 focuses on writing across multiple genres with a strong focus on rhetorical awareness.

ENC 1102 builds on skills from the 1101 course to teach students the importance of responsible research practices as part of the writing process, and developing writing skills for digital platforms. Both courses emphasize the role of social responsibility and informed citizenship as driving forces for learning and inquiry.

MATHEMATICS

9th Grade
The Regular Level classes will master Algebra. The topics include Foundations for Algebra, Solving Equations, Solving Inequalities, An Introduction to Functions, Linear Functions, Systems of Equations and Inequalities, Exponents and Exponential Functions, Polynomial and Factoring, Quadratic Functions and Equations, Radical Expressions and Equations, Rational Expressions and Functions.  They will also learn Trigonometry.

The Accelerated level will learn Geometry. The topics include Tools of Geometry, Reasoning and Proof, Parallel and Perpendicular lines, Congruent triangles, Relationship within triangles, Quadrilaterals, Similarity, Right Triangles and Trigonometry, Transformations, Area, Surface area and Volume, Circles.

10th Grade
 The Regular level will study Geometry. The topics include Tools of Geometry, Reasoning and Proof, Parallel and Perpendicular lines, congruent triangles, Relationship within triangles, Quadrilaterals, Similarity, Right Triangles and Trigonometry, Transformations, Area, Surface Area and Volume, Circles.
The Accelerated level is studying Advanced Algebra, whose topics include Math Modeling, Tools of Algebra, Linear Systems, Matrices, Quadratic Equations & Functions, Polynomials & Polynomial Functions, Radicals Functions, Rational Exponents, Exponential Functions, Logarithmic Functions, Rational Functions, Quadratic Relations, Conic Sections, Sequences & Series, Probability, Statistics, Periodic Functions, Trigonometry, Trigonometric Identities, and Trigonometric Equations.

The Accelerated Level will study Advanced Algebra (see 11th grade) .>

11th Grade
Students may either choose Advanced Algebra or Precalculus.

For advanced students the precalculus course includes topics such as Function, Graphs, Applications, Trigonometry, Discrete Mathematics, Data Analysis, Limits and Introduction to Calculus. 

Advanced Algebra students will study the nature of mathematical relations and functions. Mathematical modeling is an inherent component of the course. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to use a graphing calculator and mathematical software.

12th Grade

Students may take pre-calculus or calculus.  

Regular level – Pre- calculus (see above 11th grade) 

Advanced level – Calculus students will have a brief review of polynomials, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions, followed by discussion of limits, derivatives, and applications of differential calculus to real-world problem areas, an overview of integration, basic techniques for integration, a variety of applications of integration, and an introduction to (systems of) differential equations.

SCIENCE

9th Grade
Biology is the study of all things concerning life. The Living Environment course emphasizes how biological organisms function and how they interact with one another and their environment. The content of this course will be covered through lecture, in-class practice, and lab activities. The goal of this course is to help students gain a better understanding of and appreciation for science.

10th Grade
Topics in chemistry which follows the Florida State Standards include Matter and Change, Scientific Measurement, Atomic Structure, Gases, Solutions, Thermochemistry, Acid, Bases and Salts, Oxidation-Reduction reactions, Electrochemistry, Hydrocarbons, Nuclear Chemistry.

11th and 12th Grade (combined classes)
 Following state standards for three years of required science, students in the eleventh and twelfth grade may chose between Physiology, AP Biology, or Physics.
Anatomy and Physiology topics include Structure and Function of Components of the Human Body, Cellular Transport, Human Digestive System, Human Respiratory System, Cardiovascular and Circulatory System, Basics of Microscopes, Osmosis, Cellular Transportation Lab.

AP Biology topics include Structure and Function of Cell Organelles, Photosynthesis, Cellular Respiration, Cellular Transportation, Enzymes, pH, Metabolism and other topics covered in this College level course.

Principles of Engineering (STEM)
Students in the 10th grade begin this two-year course by learning to observe the world around them through the lens of seeking problems in need of solutions. They study scientific principles related to electricity and mechanics, as well as computer science topics and coding. Students learn that a system is composed of inputs, processing, and outputs, and study the Arduino microcontroller as an example of a system whose inputs, processes, and outputs they can define and control. In the second half of the course, students choose a problem to address and apply their learning to design and build their own solutions. Throughout the course, our students’ work in collaborative groups where they learn to communicate effectively, conduct research, provide feedback, and hold productive discussions leading to effective decision-making.

SOCIAL STUDIES

9th Grade
World History spans from the development of civilization in Mesopotamia to post-WWII. The class will concentrate on critical thinking skills such as: Analyzing historical resources, synthesizing information, and crafting historical narratives..

10th Grade
Economics/Government. The first half of the year is devoted to U.S. Government, where the students will build upon their knowledge of the American government system and electoral process. The second half of the year is devoted to Microeconomics, including a concentration on individuals and businesses in the marketplace, and an attention to understanding investment options and Federal taxes/expenditures.

11th Grade
AP US History or Regular Level History.

As a college-level course, the students will be working on the following historical thinking skills: Analyzing and interpreting primary/secondary sources, making historical connections, chronological reasoning, and creating and supporting an argument. The skills will be applied to learning and understanding U.S. History from roughly 1492 to the present. The students will be learning both social and political implications of each historical time period, corresponding with the Advanced Placement guidelines.

American History  (regular level)
This course aims to build students’ knowledge of American History from 1492 to the Present. Special attention will be paid to building students’ ability to: Make historical connections through comparison, contextualization, and synthesis; develop chronological reasoning by establishing causation; and create and support a historical argument.

12th Grade
History for this year is Holocaust Studies (see Judaic Studies Curriculum).

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

9th-12th Grade
All students receive Physical Education and Health Instruction twice a week from our experienced fitness and health coach.  The girls learn about proper nutrition, care for their bodies, and the importance of exercise.  

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

9th-12th Grade
All students receive Physical Education and Health Instruction twice a week from our experienced fitness and health coach.  The girls learn about proper nutrition, care for their bodies, and the importance of exercise.  

ELECTIVES

Students of the 11th and 12th grade are offered a number of Elective Options. Electives are full credit subjects, which allow students to choose subjects that they have a particular interest in and will advance their journey to higher education.

Current Events
This class is a fluid and timely class based on understanding how the media is presenting current newsworthy events.  The end goal is not the accumulation of specific information, but the ability to analyze what is currently happening in the world, based on various news sources (i.e. not just Fox or MSNBC) and to investigate each event to decide for themselves what kind of impact it has. Students learn to detect media bias as well as make them more aware of the greater world around them.

SAT Prep
The course is designed to help students increase their performance on the high stakes SAT and ACT tests through practice, practice and more practice.  Students learn the techniques of test taking as well as the actual knowledge being assessed.

Advanced Art/Art History
The topics included in this course are:  Recognition of art through the ages, drawing with a focus on linear quality, shading, values, drawing with a focus on gesture, line quality, shading, color, value, portraiture, composition, perspective, painting, collage and personal expression. Students also master the techniques of classical drawing, 3-dimensional object definition, foreground/background, line shading and color

World Languages
Both Hebrew and Spanish are taught as a requirement for graduation. The Hebrew classes are listed under the Judaic Studies Curricula.

Ulpan – This course is designed to help students master modern conversational Hebrew as well as become better acquainted with daily life and culture of Israel. As the students anticipate spending a gap year in Israel seminaries the Ulpan class prepares them to navigate and converse with the Israeli people they will encounter. 

Spanish – Students who have already begun the study of Spanish in earlier grades are continuing to enhance their Speaking and Reading ability in classic Spanish.

AP Psychology
A college level introductory Psychology course. This AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

Criminology
Criminology is an introductory class where students will examine the nature, function, and causes of crime in society. Students will be introduced to concepts of crime and the factors that cause criminal behavior. Students will learn the different types of crimes committed in society. Students will also be introduced to police administration and laws associated with different types of offenses.

FLVS (Florida Virtual School)
Students may also opt to take advanced classes through the Florida Virtual School and receive High School credit towards graduation.

Senior Project
In addition to their coursework in 12th grade, every senior is working on a yearlong independent study on a topic in which they are interested. At the end of the school year, the students will have to present a written journal of their project, as well as demonstrate what skills and knowledge they have gained by doing this particular project.