The academic program in place at Cornerstone Christian Academy is based on providing all students with access to rich, challenging curriculum and research based, best instructional practices that are differentiated and intended to be responsive to the needs of a diverse student body. Emphasis is placed on developing higher order thinking skills in all subject areas.
A top priority of Cornerstone Christian middle school teachers is to inspire each student to acheive their academic potential, while developing an aptitude to successfully undertake a rigorous high school or college curriculum. Our middle school department is comprised of vibrant and diverse sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.
In keeping with our mission to equip students with skills for life and faith for eternity, we provide an academically challenging curriculum that focuses on developing the whole student. Our students participate in an academically rigorous and varied curriculum designed to facilitate higher level learning. Students are challenged to think critically and to analyze the world around them. Many opportunities for leadership, collaboration, and service are provided to further develop students into the leaders of tomorrow.
Students enjoy outclasses which include: Band, Art, Spanish, Bible, and Physical Education.
At CCA we strive to create a developmentally appropriate environment that encourages academic, spiritual, and emotional growth for our middle schoolers. We seek to educate the whole child, so that our students leave us ready and primed for success in whatever they choose to pursue.
The middle school history program starts by teaching students geography of the world starting in sixth grade, focuses on the history of Texas in seventh grade and finishes up with U.S. history in eighth grade. The Pearson textbook is used to teach middle school history classes.
The student will study the geography and history of these continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia through class discussions, reading the text, projects, group work, and technology.
The student will study the geography and history of the great state of Texas. They will understand how Texas became a state and learn about the people and places that were influential in the history of Texas.
The student will study American history starting with European exploration through Reconstruction with a focus on the American Revolution and the development of the United States.
The middle school Science program at CCA seeks to equip students with a working understanding of scientific principles and knowledge, and build creative problem solving skills through projects, examination of the natural world, hands-on exploration, studies of accumulated scientific knowledge, and the use of the scientific process.
The middle school English Language Arts program at Cornerstone Christian Academy has as its focus:
Refining reading skills through the use of close reading strategies
Integration of reading and writing skills through writing activities tied to students' reading
Refining writing skills through editing practice, grammar study, and use of the writing process
Systematic vocabulary study using the Wordly Wise vocabulary program
Students in grade 6 will be encouraged to develop an enjoyment of reading through their use of self-selected fiction and non-fiction books. We promote student engagement by using a variety of texts: short stories, poetry, short non-fiction selections, novels, and biographies/autobiographies.
Writing skills are taught primarily through the writing process with additional concept and practice support using the Write Source textbook. Students will produce narrative, expository, and persuasive essays. Our in-class novels, The Cay, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Shakespeare Stealer, are studied in literature circle groups to facilitate class-wide participation and interaction with their assigned reading.
Students in grade 7 ELA will continue to use self-selected fiction and non-fiction to develop the lifelong practice of reading for enjoyment. In-class assigned reading will consist of our in-class novels, The Wave, The Outsiders, and The City of Ember, as well as poetry and short selections both fiction and non-fiction. We will continue with the use of literature circles to maximize student engagement during our in-class novel study.
In grade 7, students will be expected to grow as writers through the use of more sophisticated sentence structure. Use of more mature phrasing and effective word choice will be supported through examples and practice using the Write Source textbook. Students will produce four essays using the writing process: narrative, literary analysis, persuasive, and timed essay writing, which will be a multidisciplinary effort using content from their Texas History class.
Eighth grade students will spend the school year refining their reading and writing skills using both fiction and informational texts. Students will be expected to read paired texts and then make connections between various selections from different reading genres.
Classroom and group discussion, use of Cornell Notes, and response writing using open-ended prompts will prepare students for writing timed essays. In-class novels, The Giver, The Hiding Place, and the play, Comedy of Errors, will be studied using literature circles to encourage student engagement and enhance deeper understanding of these selections. Our reading will serve as a connection to writing in all modes: narrative, expository, and persuasive. Persuasive writing will require use of research writing skills to prepare for high school level English class.
The highest goal of the language class is to be able to learn to communicate verbally their basic feelings, needs, and desires in everyday context with an excellent accent and reasonable grammatical accuracy, and to be able to converse comfortably in the Spanish language. The result will be that after one year of learning the student will know a great deal but will be able to use a relatively small amount of that knowledge in speech or writing.
Course 1 is designed for 6th graders who demonstrate an ability to operate on grade level. Students build on their numerical foundation execute the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with integers and rational numbers. Proportional relationships are introduced as students represent, compare and apply ratios and rates. This leads to an understanding of percents. After practice with exponents, prime factorization and order of operations, students are introduced to Algebraic thinking and processes. They will create equivalent expressions, solve one-step equations, write equations from various types of information and represent those equations in various formats. Students will perform many of those same processes with inequalities. Course 1 also includes a Geometry unit that explores basic area and volume as well as the measures of the sides and angles in a triangle. 6th graders become beginner statisticians as they calculate and interpret measures of central tendency. They will display their data on dot plots, box and whisker plots, stem-and-leaf plots and histograms. A unit on personal finance concludes the year.
Course 2 includes 7th grade students who are working on grade level and advanced 6th grade students. Number sense is again the focus as the year begins. Mastery of all operations with rational numbers occurs here and students build on their proportional reasoning. They calculate rates of change, percent increase and decrease and convert between measurement systems. Proportion is further emphasized in the geometric unit on similar figures. Geometry concepts also include calculating and applying circumference and area of a circle. Additionally, students will understand angle relationships, volume and surface area. Probability is unique to Course 2. Students will compare and contrast experimental probability with theoretical probability while calculating the probability of both simple and compound events. The algebraic portion of Course 2 includes an introduction to linear equations in slope-intercept form and expects that, upon completion, students will be able to write and solve two-step equations and inequalities. A unit of Measurement and Data requires the analyzing and comparing of data in dot plots and box plots. Students are introduced to criteria for samples and populations and use that criteria to compare. A unit on personal finance concludes the year.
Algebra is open to any 8th grader who has demonstrated ability to perform at a high-school level. Students in this course will receive 1 high school mathematics credit. All prior math has prepared students for the abstract thinking, modeling and applying that is required in Algebra. Their number sense and ability to think abstractly is challenged as they operate within multi-step equations, inequalities, functions, patterns, sequences, rational exponents, radicals and polynomials. A large focus of the curriculum is on linear functions, equations and inequalities. Students will model, write, interpret and solve systems of linear equations. TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculators are used as an aide for understanding, including completing linear regressions. Quadratic Functions and Equations is another main component of the curriculum. Students will use various methods to solve and model these functions.
Pre-algebra includes 8th graders who are working on grade level and advanced 7th graders. Students will expand their knowledge of the number system and explore the function of each type of number as they build the foundation for Algebra I. This is true as they learn how to express numbers in scientific notation with both positive and negative exponents. Additionally, students learn to compose and solve multi-step equations and inequalities. Comparing and contrasting proportional and nonproportional relationships is a skill developed in this course. This leads to a full understanding of linear equations and functions. Given information in various formats, including real-world situations, students are able to write, graph, describe and manipulate linear functions. They leave pre-algebra with a strong Geometric understanding as well. This includes use of the Pythagorean Theorem, surface area, volume, angle relationships in parallel lines and triangles, transformations, congruence, dilations and similar figures. An exploration of scatter plots and correct sampling make up the statistic units. Lastly, students will benefit from a unit on managing money and planning for the future.
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program was implemented in the 2017-18 school year. Through interactive and project-based learning, students will deepen their understanding of the STEM subject areas and gain real-world and authentic learning experiences that empower them to gain the skills they need to thrive in college, career and beyond.
The curriculum being used for our STEM emphasis is Project Lead the Way (PLTW). PLTW is a project-based learning program that allows students to explore STEM in various ways. The curriculum is rotated each year so that all students, 6th grade through 8th grade, will experience different aspects of STEM throughout their middle school careers.
Middle School students are given the opportunity to have an impact on the world outside of Cornerstone Christian Academy. Whether it is reaching people around the world with life-giving water or magi-boxes, their faith is having an impact. Locally, we have touched into the heart of our community by helping Parks Youth Ranch, Houston Food Bank, and several families in crisis for Christmas. Our Service Learning Trips to Austin, San Antonio, and Shreveport have connected impoverished children, orphans, single moms, and the homeless to the love Jesus Christ.