Ligonier Valley Middle School » Learning

Learning

Learners at the middle school follow academic progressions. As a learner moves through the middle level band the rigor and challenge increase.  
 
CORE BLOCK
ELA Reading - Learners continue to master reading strategies including visualization, questioning, making inferences, synthesizing and summarizing.  They implement these strategies to comprehend a variety of genre.  As learners move further through the ELA progression, they develop skills essential for analyzing, and interpreting complex literary works. Learners read short stories, articles, novels, and poetry to help develop these skills.  More specifically, learners examine the structure and purpose of literary works with emphasis on close reading strategies.
 
ELA Writing - ELA writing is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and encompasses the following genres of writing: narrative, descriptive, argumentative, and informational.  The progression is designed to enhance the learner’s ability to communicate through writing, as well as speaking and listening.  
 
Mathematics - The mathematics progression is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards. Topics include statistics, data analysis, ratios, rates, and proportions.  Introductory algebraic skills are emphasized as well and incorporated into geometry concepts.  Learners engage in problem-solving applications and integration of skills and concepts.
 
Algebra - Prior to starting the algebra progression, each learner has a solid foundation of computation skills with whole numbers, integers, and real numbers.  In the algebra progression, learners work towards  mastery of skills included in the real numbers and expressions, linear equations and graphs, polynomials, linear inequalities and graphs, and properties of functions measurement topics.  Learners take the Algebra Keystone Exam upon completion of the progression.  
 
Science - Learners engage in inquiry-based learning in the general science progression.  They investigate the nature of science, chemistry, Earth's place in the Universe, force and motion, heredity, organisms and cells.   
 
Social Studies - In order to promote civic competence, learners participate in an integrated approach to social studies. The strands in the social studies progression include economic interdependence, historical analysis, how government works, international relationships, documents of government, rights and responsibility of citizenship, themes of geography, United States history, Pennsylvania history, and world history.  
 
HUMANITIES BLOCK
Art - Learners in the visual arts progression are introduced to a variety of media through the production of art. Using a discipline-based approach, learners consider aesthetics, arts heritage, and criticism to develop their visual literacy skills. 
 
Band (elective) - Learners learn necessary components for instrumental musicianship development: scales, key signatures, rhythms, and expanded technical items.  Each learner participates in a weekly 30-minute lesson.  Learners may participate in small ensembles, which meet during scheduled lesson periods.  Beyond study and performance skills, band members work collaboratively in order to perform in concerts during the year.
 
Chorus (elective) - Learners strengthen ear training and music-reading skills through composition study and practice.  Chorus members may take group vocal lessons, which are scheduled during the lesson periods. 
 
Music - Learners interact with music composition components in order to appreciate and create works across different media genres.
 
FITNESS/WELLNESS BLOCK
Health and Physical Education - Learners examine how healthy living improves the quality of life.  The health and physical education targets are aligned to state and national standards. Instead of the traditional game approach to physical education, the strand concentrates on personal fitness.  In the health strand, learners investigate body systems,  growth and development, personal safety, and emergency procedures, and disease prevention.
 
Family and Consumer Sciences - Learners study basic cooking techniques along with guidelines for healthy eating using  ‘My Plate’ as a guide to help make good choices.  An introduction to child development as well as pointers on balancing family, and community responsibility is included in the Family and Consumer Sciences progression. As learners move further into the progression, they discuss character building and the importance of personal finance and resource management.
 
TECHNOLOGY BLOCK
Computers - Learners in the computer applications progression develop fundamental keyboarding and word processing skills, and learn about internet research and safety.  As learners move further along the progression, they acquire skills to create spreadsheets and graphic presentations.  
 
STEAM - This exploratory introduces learners to basic electrical components and how they function in a circuit.  The engineering design process is taught and utilized throughout projects that are completed in small groups.  Learners also explore STEM-related fields and beyond through various career exploration activities and career interest inventories.  
 
Tech Ed - The middle level band of the technology education progression contains three strands: introduction to technology education, manufacturing technology, and introduction to engineering.  In introduction to technology education, learners study systems of architecture and robotics through hands-on activities. In manufacturing technology, learners create small projects using woodworking machinery and hand tools.  In introduction to engineering, learners explore the different methods of mechanical and CAD engineering drawing and design.
 
Study Skills/Career Portfolio - Learners investigate a variety of study skills and strategies that help them identify the best way they can locate and process information.  The learners also explore career pathways aligned to their interests as they develop personal career portfolios.