Academic Programs

Curriculum | Course Descriptions | Language Arts | Science | Math | Social Studies | Computer Science | S.T.E.A.M. | Exploratory Art | Beginning Band | Beginning Orchestar | 7th Physical Education | 8th Body Conditioning | Teen Health | Elective | Intermediate Band | Intermediate Orchestra | PantherVision | Exploratory Wheel | Yearbook

Curriculum
Hawaii’s public schools are currently utilizing Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, the Hawaii Content and Performances Standards, Vol. Ill (HCPSIII) and six General Learner Outcomes (GLOs). Detailed information is available on line at http://hawaiipublicschools.org.

The BASIC REQUIRED CURRICULUM PROGRAM for AMS students includes Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Fine Arts, Computer Science, Health, and Physical Education. This forms a basis of common learning experiences for all students.

The Elective Program is provided to give each student an opportunity to select courses that meet a personal interest or need.

Course Descriptions

7th Grade Language Arts (year): teaches reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grade-appropriate vocabulary skills. Instruction and lessons are based on Common Core Standards and performance benchmarks which focus on reading a range of literature and genres and writing for a variety of purposes, SpringBoard English Language Arts consumable/digital text supports students to develop the knowledge and skills needed for higher education and career readiness. An interactive online reading program (Zinc Learning Lab) is included in this curriculum to further develop language arts skills for all students. Additional supplemental text and activities are implemented to develop higher level thinking skills.

8th Grade Language Arts (year): continues to teach reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grade-appropriate vocabulary skills. Common Core standards continue to be the targeted skills for 8th graders in preparation for higher education and career readiness. Supplemental texts and activities are implemented to develop higher level thinking skills.

7th Grade Life Science (year): is an introduction to the biological concepts of life processes, relationship of structure and function, classification of organisms, interdependence of living things and examination of biotic environment, the cell as the basic unit of living things, reproduction, and genetics. Biochemistry and physical science concepts, which affect living things, are also included. Laboratory activities are included to develop inquiry, laboratory skills, and the use of equipment. This school year we are transitioning to the Next Generations Science Standards (N6SS). Instruction, although varied in nature, should provide student proficiency in the following:

  • Knowing, using, and interpreting scientific explanations of the natural world (disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts)
  • Generating and evaluating scientific evidence and explanations (practices)
  • Participating productively in scientific practices and discourse (practices)
  • Understanding the nature and development of scientific knowledge (practices and crosscutting concepts)

8th Grade Science (year): covers Earth and Space Science. Earth science covers topics such as the forces and processes that shape the earth, earth’s atmosphere, and the composition of the earth. Space science covers the solar system and the system of the sun, moon, and earth. In addition, studies move further out in to space and cover stars, galaxies, and other parts of the whole universe. Laboratory activities are included to develop inquiry laboratory skills and the use of equipment. This school year we are transitioning to the Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS). Instruction, although varied in nature, should provide student proficiency in the following:

  • Knowing, using, and interpreting scientific explanations of the natural world (disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts)
  • Generating and evaluating scientific evidence and explanations (practices)
  • Participating productively in scientific practices and discourse (practices)
  • Understanding the nature and development of scientific knowledge (practices and crosscutting concepts)

7th Grade Math (year): uses the Common Core Standards for mathematics – both content standards and mathematical practice standards. Topics covered in this course include: rational numbers; proportionality; expressions and linear equations; scale drawings and informal geometric constructions; working with two- and three- dimensional shapes to solve area, surface area, and volume problems; sampling inferences; and probability.

8th Grade Math (year): emphasizes developing critical thinking concepts and skills at an Introduction of Algebra level. Students will do projects to strengthen their skills in problem-solving, modeling, data analysis, communicating reasoning, number and operations, measurement, geometry and spatial sense; patterns, functions, and algebra concepts.

*AMS is one of the few middle schools that offers high school-level Algebra I and Geometry courses. Grades in these courses and scores on the end-of-course final exams will affect acceptance into college, university, and scholarship programs.*

7th Grade Social Studies (year): History of the Hawaiian Kingdom (Semester 1) emphasizes an understanding of change and continuity during the unification of the Hawaiian Islands, the development Hawaiian monarchy, the roles of significant individuals and groups, and their involvement in the overthrow of the monarchy. Students will also demonstrate the impact of the sugar industry through the social, political, and economical changes in Hawaii. In Pacific Island Nations (Semester 2), students will study geography and the Pacific Island Nations. The course will trace the development and evolution of government systems within Oceania from pre-contact to present and analyze the roles and responsibilities of contemporary
governments in the Pacific Island Nations.

8th Grade Social Studies (year): engages students in in-depth historical inquiry focusing on the people, ideas, and events that have shaped – and continue to shape – the nation. It allows students to examine history through multiple perspectives to develop a deeper understanding of the foundational principles that helped to shape national development. Thematically, this course explores American history through the period of Post-Revolution to Reconstruction and examines the philosophical and historical foundations of the nation through themes, such as immigration; settlement; conflict; and democratic principles, such as justice, equality, and independence.

Introduction to Computer Science (semester): introduces students to fundamental computer science concepts and skills. Students will have opportunities to apply them in a problem-solving context. Some of the computer science concepts covered will involve programming, coding, cybersecurity, and digital citizenship. Students will have opportunities to learn and apply computational problem-solving skills through various activities that may include robotics, and computer program design.

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead (semester): is an introductory course to S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and Makerspace Learning that will engage students in activities through project-based learning. Students will participate in hands- on classroom experiences to create, design, build, discover, collaborate, and solve problems using the Engineering Design Process. Projects include Egg-Drop, Cardboard Structures, 3-D Modeling and Printing, Video Game Design, Mobile App Design, Robotics, Virtual/Augmented Reality, MinecraftEDU, and other design challenges. This course will help develop critical reasoning, collaboration and problem-solving skills for students to become leaders in the 2l” century.

Exploratory Art (semester): covers the fundamentals of art, providing students with opportunities to explore a variety of media and techniques and to become familiar with various basic art materials, tools, and equipment. Activities include experiences in both two and three dimensional areas of study which emphasize expression and creativity and the development of necessary related skills, attitudes, and understandings.

Beginning Band (year): will teach students to play a wind or percussion instrument and gain a better understanding and appreciation of music through the performance and learning of music from the various periods in music history. At this level, instruction is focused on the development of motor skills, general musicianship, playing techniques, and embouchure development. Music Theory will also be a topic of study for the beginning of the school year. Music performance will be focused on the Grade I level. Students will be expected to purchase Care Kits (which include all materials needed to play) which range from $20 – $88. Students are encouraged, but not required, to purchase their own instrument. pdf-icon-25x25 Band Handbook

Beginning Orchestra (year): will introduce students to musical techniques and string instruments. This will include care of an instrument, correct posture, tone production, intonation, bowing styles, basic note reading, musical terminology and theory, and fingering. Students will study beginning orchestra literature (sheet music, grade 1-2) and are given the opportunity to play and listen to different types of musical compositions. Students are encouraged, but not required, to purchase their own instrument The rental of school instrument is free.

7th Grade Physical Education (semester): provides students an opportunity to explore and develop fundamental movement skills, physical fitness, and social skills. Students explore the principles of exercise through their warm-up, aerobic conditioning, and strength training units. Fundamental movements, skills, rules, strategies and teamwork are experienced through cooperative game unit. Student learning is demonstrated through modified game play, aerobic activities, strength-training activities, written assignments, and tests. Make Up Form

Body Conditioning (semester): This standards-based course is designed for students to strengthen physical movement forms, concepts, principles, and skills through participation in a variety of training and conditioning exercises. Activities may include, but are not limited to: resistance training, aerobic, anaerobic activities, cooperative games and other activities that contribute to improved cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, and flexibility. The development of individual student goals for life-long physical activity and understanding of the connections between physical activity and the psychological benefits of exercise and healthy living will occur as a result of this course. Make Up Form

Teen Health (semester): provides students an opportunity to obtain, interpret, experience, and understand basic health information. The content areas explore mental and emotional health, healthy eating and physical activity, personal health and wellness, safety and unintentional injury and violence prevention. In addition, the content areas promote a tobacco-free lifestyle, an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle, and sexual health and responsibility. Teachers use a variety of approaches, video presentations, and guest speakers to supplement the text material.

Elective Courses

Intermediate Band (2nd+ year): is designed for students who have completed Beginning Band with a “C” or better and must obtain the band teacher’s approval on the registration card. Students must also be able to read music fluently (rhythm and notes). This class will elevate the student’s reading and playing techniques as a continuing course from Band I. Further development of skills and musical understanding is maintained through the study of more difficult literature and a more in- depth study of the various periods of music. Students will be participating and performing at music festivals, for school, and outside activities. Students will be expected to purchase a Band Polo shirt (approximately $25). Students are encouraged, but not required, to purchase their own instrument.

Intermediate Orchestra (year): is designed for students who have fulfilled the requirements of the Beginning Orchestra course or its equivalent (must obtain orchestra teacher’s approval on the registration card). Intermediate levels of performance techniques such as vibrato and tuning and musicianship are taught for students who aspire to improve their reading and playing abilities. Musical skills and concepts are developed through the study of complex etudes and orchestra literature (sheet music, grade 1 – 3). Students will be performing for school, in music festivals, and other outside performances. This class is for String Instruments only. Students will be required to purchase an Orchestra Polo shirt (approximately $25). Students are encouraged, but not required, to purchase their own instrument. The rental of school instrument is free.

8th Grade Explorations in Media Production-PantherVision (year): is an exploratory course focusing on journalism and media production. Prerequisites include teacher recommendation, t”‘ grade Computer Science, and prior multimedia experience. Students will practice real-world journalism skills, with an emphasis on television broadcasting. The course will give students the opportunities to examine the nature and impact of various media on their lives. Media such as film/video production, computer graphics, digital imaging, audio editing, and virtual/augmented reality are featured in class. Students in this class will also be responsible for the daily operations of PantherVision, the school’s closed circuit television channel. In addition, they will be involved with producing segments for PBS Hawaii’s Hiki No student news network and participating in various digital media competitions. Class size is limited.

Exploratory Wheel (quarter): classes provide students with opportunities to sample a variety of new learning experiences. Each spoke of a wheel is a quarter-long course aimed at introducing students to new interests or strengthening skills. Although these may sometimes seem unorthodox, the activities at their core are geared to develop basic skills students will need as adults and will fulfill many of the standards set forth by the Department of Education.

Yearbook Production (year): is an opportunity to create an artistic and informative book showcasing AMS memories for the student and his/her classmates. Prerequisites include teacher recommendation, B or higher in 7th grade Language Arts, and Computer Science. Students will learn basic principles of yearbook production, including graphic design and photography.
Students will be introduced to planning and producing the school’s yearbook and using technology tools for production. Students will be tasked with writing copy, captions, and headlines; designing and completing layouts; working with photography; and meeting deadlines. The yearbook is completed using digital photography and an online graphics design process. Class size is limited.