About the Academic Block

Standards-based, district approved courses

All students attending Aurora Hills Middle School are enrolled in standards-based, district approved courses that are organized into 4 core disciplines:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Students have two different flex blocks throughout their day to support this learning - one dedicated to literacy and one dedicated to math. Within these blocks students will receive academic interventions and/or enrichment.

Academic Course Descriptions


Literacy is taught daily through an instructional model that supports rigorous intellectual engagement in a Readers/Writers Workshop approach. During reading instruction students independently read and respond to their reading in increasingly sophisticated ways. In addition, reading guidance is given through small groups and individual conferences, as well as, through reading demonstrations. The goal of all reading instruction is to move students to independence with increasingly complex and challenging text.

Writing is another segment of the literacy block. Students write with increasing independence through writing demonstrations by the teacher, small group writing instruction, and individual writing conferences. In addition, the craft of writing is demonstrated, discussed, and given as models for student writing in the classroom so that students can move to increasingly sophisticated writing during the school year. It is expected that students read/write a minimum of 30 minutes per night to support reading growth and understanding.

Those students who are not proficient in either reading or writing will be given additional support in separate reading and writing courses.


Mathematics is composed of daily instruction in which the students are assessed to discover what they already know. Teachers use this information to differentiate for each student in order to build a strong math foundation which will help meet the challenges of high school and post-secondary options.

All grades are exposed to integrated mathematics through enVision Mathematics. This program allows students to study a variety of mathematical topics which align with State Standards for all three years.


Students will have a science class for the entire year that includes laboratory and small group experiments.

In the 6th grade, students study both earth science and physical science. In the 7th grade, students are introduced to units of study specific to life sciences. The 8th grade students work on an in-depth study of earth and physical sciences.

Science plays a significant part in building authentic math skills and creating understanding of their world and the importance of critical thinking.

Social Studies:

Students will also have a Social Studies class for the entire school year. Social Studies help develop an understanding of the diverse cultures that make up the world and our community. Social studies instruction also helps build literacy skills within the context of history and geography.

Areas of study for 6th grade Social Studies: Geography, Mesopotamia and Ancient Israelites; Ancient Egypt; Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

In the 7th grade, the students will learn about the end of Rome to the Middle Ages, Civilizations of the Americas and the Islam War in Iraq.

The 8th grade students cover US History from early settlement to industrialization.

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