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TREE Academy

8628 Holloway Drive

West Hollywood, CA 90069

​​

Tel: 424.204.5165

Please contact us for more information, or to arrange a tour.

© 2020 Academy for the Creative Arts, New Technology and Social Justice

Think cReate Engage Empower

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Our 6th Grade Curriculum

 

6th Grade Science

The science curriculum in 6th Grade emphasizes the study of earth and space sciences. The standards in grade six present many of the foundations of geology and geophysics, including plate tectonics and earth structure, topography, and energy and earth systems. The material is linked to resource management and ecology, building on what students have learned in previous grades.

 

6th Grade English

Our 6th grade English students will be exploring “The Hero’s Journey” by examining closely the Monomyth formula and structure embodied by the HARRY POTTER series (J.K. Rowling), and identifying how “The Hero’s Journey” can apply to each of us in a real-world context. In the Monomyth, the protagonist leaves their ordinary worlds to embark upon a quest into the unknown while searching for knowledge, truth, justice, and freedom amid several challenges that help them to grow and develop into whom they ultimately are to become.

6th grade students use the Potter series to explore grammar, vocabulary and literary devices, in addition to their exploration of story structure and character development as it relates to “The Hero’s Journey”. Lessons and activities drawn from engagement with the Potter series include sentence emulations, short essay responses, chapter summaries, and weekly vocabulary. Multimedia projects help students to personalize their experience with the Potter series and find new and exciting ways to recognize how they are on their own hero’s journey.

6th graders will synthesize all facets of their English class in a year-long creative writing project, called “The Monomyth Project,” in which they will combine, in a story of their own creation, their understanding of the Monomyth structure with their blossoming grammar, vocabulary, proofreading, revision, and analytical thinking skills.

Supplementary reading and viewing material is consulted while engaging with the Potter series to emphasize and challenge the important social issues addressed in the reading. Students will explore internet articles and sources, poetry, short stories, world mythologies and films in order to recognize connections between seemingly different works, thus preparing them for what will be expected of them academically in the 7th grade and beyond.

By exploring the Monomyth from as many angles as possible, students connect deeply with how they can shape the journeys they themselves are on and become the heroes they envision themselves to be.

 

6th Grade History

Students in this class will examine people and events that contributed to the development of major Western and non-Western ancient civilizations, such as the emergence of civilizations in Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome. There will be an emphasis on G.R.A.P.E.S. (geography, religion, achievements, politics, economics, and society) in order to establish a strong foundation for textual analysis, chronological and spatial thinking, and historical interpretation. Students will use multiple sources of evidence (primary and secondary sources), media, and argumentation to consider why and where civilizations developed, why they thrived, and why they declined. Thus, our objective in this course is to examine the rise of ancient civilizations that drastically changed and shaped the nature of human societies and interactions. Students will develop their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills in understanding the significant role of using evidence and research in history. By the end of the year, students will be able to identify the interactions among the various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and identify the link, despite time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds.

 

6th Grade Math

Math Explorations builds on knowledge from experience and prior understanding of basic math skills, number sense & operations, using formulas, and problem-solving. They will demonstrate fluency with the four operations without a calculator. Students develop an understanding of ratio, proportion, and percent, examine the order and absolute value of rational numbers, plot points on a coordinate plane. They will be able to write equations and expressions to describe a given situation. The students will also be studying probability and statistics where they will learn how to analyze and interpret graphs and data. Conversion of measurement units, find the area, volume and surface area in geometry. Algebra preparation and problem-solving skills will continue throughout the year.

 

6th Grade Spanish Beginners 

In our classroom, we will do a variety of activities and exercises, which include talking in Spanish, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish with classmates in pairs and small groups. Much of the class is conducted in Spanish in order to offer as much exposure to the language as possible, but English is used when necessary to offer clarity and efficiency. In this course we deal with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Grammar is studied not so that you can recite grammar rules, but rather so that you gain an understanding of how the language works. You must speak in order to learn to speak. Some students may feel inhibited about making mistakes in front of others. We will work together to make the class atmosphere as tension-free as possible. Students will have the opportunity to learn about different cultural aspects related to the Spanish language from various countries around the Spanish-speaking world. Students should expect to participate daily in class activities. Be prepared to move, act silly and have fun exploring another language and culture.

 

6th Grade Spanish 1

Students will be exposed to the State of California Foreign Language Framework, Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade nor their age to ensure proper placement for learning.

California’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry is tied with its Hispanic background. The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency.

In class we use the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course is a blend of language learning presented in class and online through Doulingo and Kahoot. Students will be exposed to common expressions, greetings, and grammatical structures. They will ask and answer guided questions and are encouraged to make up their own questions and answers in class and on the homework. Active participation is essential for success in this course. The group class meets twice a week, new vocabulary is introduced during the group meeting and reviewed, practiced and/or advanced during one-on-one tutoring.

In Spanish I, we will review basic grammar consisting of: How to form Plurals, Agreement with gender and number of Articles, Nouns, and Adjectives, How to form negative statement and negative questions with verbs. We will review the Subject Pronouns, Conjugation of Regular Verbs, lecture comprehension and sentence writing in the Present Indicative.

We will learn Question Words, the possessive adjectives, some Irregular Verbs in the Present Indicative, such as Ser, Estar, Ir. We will learn Stem-Changing Verbs Querer and Tener. We will learn the Direct Object Pronoun, the Indirect Object Pronoun, and the Verb Form ‘Megusta”. Students will read aloud in class and answer questions after short lectures. They will write sentences and short paragraphs on their own. They will be exposed to cultural knowledge and the Hispanic background of California.

 

6th Grade Spanish II

Students will be exposed to the State of California Foreign Language Framework and placed on Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge.

California’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry is tied with its Hispanic background. The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency. Spanish language prepares students for employment and enables them to compete in the worldwide marketplace in the future.

In Spanish II, we will review writing sentences with Regular Verbs in the Present Indicative, Construction of descriptive sentences using “es/son”, and writing sentences in the Present Participle/Gerund. We will learn some Irregular Verbs, such as Ser, Estar, Ir. We will learn Stem-Changing Verbs Querer and Tener. We will learn the Direct Object Pronoun, the Indirect Object Pronoun, and the Verb Form ‘Me Gusta”. We will learn the Preterite and the Imperfect of Regular Verbs. In our class we focus on the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course is a blend of language learning presented in class and practice online through Doulingo and Kahoot. Students will ask and answer guided questions as well as made up their own questions and answers in class and on the homework. Active participation is essential for success in this course. The group class meets twice a week, new vocabulary is introduced during this group meeting. It is reviewed, practiced and/or advanced during one-on-one tutoring.

Students in Spanish II shall be familiar with phrases, grammar patterns, and identify parts of speech such as Nouns, Adjectives, Subject Pronouns, Verbs, Conjugations, Adverbs, etc. In cultural awareness, they will learn some early California History that relates to the Hispanic Culture such as the colonization of California by the Spaniards, California becoming part of Mexico, the discovery of gold, the purchase of California by the USA, and the becoming of California as a State.

 

6th Grade Study Skills

Study Skills is a course designed to facilitate the executive functioning abilities needed to become an active learner. It does not focus on any particular academic subject, rather the concept and act of learning. This course will facilitate the growth of necessary confidence, organization, advocacy and self-awareness for students to succeed. It takes a whole-person approach to learning, not focusing on any one particular area of difficulty, but the whole learner. This course will be a foundation for their entire learning environment, providing reflection, inspiration, stability and a source of control over their education.
 

Goals: Balance, Organization & Advocacy. Establish and maintain customized organizational, time management, studying and advocacy skills for each TREE participant. Own their relationship to learning. Homeroom & Accountability. Students will have a reliable schedule to check in on organizational, planning, and development of various school projects/courses. Practical skills building for deeper level learning ex: presentations, essay construction, note taking etc. Future Planning. Create a home for college and career research, personal/professional development and exam/application preparation. The teacher will enrich student interest through strategic planning of Passion Projects.

 

6th Grade Learning Lab

“It’s more than just a quiet room for independent work. In many ways,
it’s the heartbeat of what we’re doing at TREE.” - Director of School, Darryl Sollerh

The Learning Lab is where the nexus of learning occurs. Students are taking what they’re exposed to in the classroom and putting that into practice. In addition to being a space for academic practice & guidance, the Learning Lab gives staff the opportunity to observe and learn how our students are absorbing and processing what is being taught in the classroom. As TREE strives to serve the whole student, the Learning Lab is where our community learns to thrive together.

 

6th Grade Life Skills

The Life Skills course is designed to assist students in growing and deepening their capacity to build relationships and community. An integral part of this process is to further curiosity and challenge the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others, in order to become better able to understand and value differing perspectives.

Most conflict, whether interpersonal or cultural, arises when we assume that others hold a perspective that is antagonistic to our own. By better understanding our assumptions and biases, and by being curious about other stories and motives, we are better able to communicate with kindness and empathy.

Encouraging kind, empathic communication is the foundation of this course, and topics of discussion will include issues that arise in adolescence such as bullying, isolation, online safety, temptation and experimentation (drugs) and friendship, all with an underlying theme of personal safety.

Larger themes of social and cultural relevance will be explored as well, and I envision conversations about power and oppression, race and privilege, cultural diversity, gender equality, and poverty to name a few. Given the nature of our current political and social landscape, I intend to remain flexible in order to give space for conversations that arise in response to current events.

There will be, as well, a psychoeducational component to the class. General topics that I plan to cover are sexuality, gender, and sexual health and hygiene.

Additionally, some simple education about the connection between our nervous system and our bodies and emotional experiences will be presented as I introduce some simple skills for self-regulation and overall wellness.

 

6th Grade Sustainable Culinary Science

The object of sustainable gardening is to introduce the students to urban horticulture using sustainable methods such as organic practices, composting and water harvesting. The lectures will provide the background necessary to start an urban garden at home. The lectures will be reinforced with presentations in the form of slideshows and short films and discussions in class. TREE has several gardening beds and a small aquaponic system where the students will be exposed and encouraged to apply the learned material for the cultivation of edibles.

6th Inner Peace (Meditation)

Based on the forthcoming book by Venerable Burin, the inner peace curriculum explores how we can bring more equilibrium, calmness and mental focus to our everyday lives through the art and techniques of meditation based on age or principles.

6th Grade Sustainable World Studies

Environmental education studies broaden and deepen our students’ understanding of the immediate and long-term issues facing our natural world, including studies in resource management. By partnering with leading non-profits in the field, our students are challenged to exercise both practical and creative thinking -- thinking that can lead to both low- and high-tech solutions.

6th Grade American Sign Language
ASL is fun and easy to learn! Students will learn fingers-spelling, basic grammar, vocabulary, numbers, and will begin to create sentences. Students will also learn cultural information related to the Deaf Community. Whether you are brand new to ASL or a returning student from Spring 2019, by the end of the course you will be communicating in full ASL sentences, and you will be able to sign a short story, poem, or song in ASL.

Our 7th Grade Curriculum

7th Grade Science

Seventh-grade science is a standard and laboratory-based program. Introductory principles of life science will be explored in detail. The standards in grade seven present many of the foundations of biology, including cell biology, genetics, and evolution. Constructivist methods of teaching are employed to ensure the best possible comprehension and retention of science concepts. Science activities will be based on the California Science Standards as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

 

7th Grade English

In English 7, students read and write extensively, inspired by their individual interests as well as project-based learning units centered on contemporary issues. The first semester focuses on building writing skills and flexibility as well as growing as an independent reader, while the second semester turns the in-class focus to reading and research, with writing acting as an avenue for students to explore and share their ideas. The overarching end-of-course goal is that each student will be able to truthfully make the following statements: I love to read and I know what type of books, stories, articles, and poems I prefer; I use writing to express myself on personal and societal issues that matter to me; I know how to and regularly do pursue my specific interests in humanities by researching, reading, writing, and creating independently or with a group; I have grown enormously in my ability to read a variety of texts about a variety of topics; I have grown enormously in my ability to write in a way that effectively convinces, informs, and moves my readers; I have come to depend on rewriting and revision as an essential part of the writing process; and I write with correct grammar and interesting, complex language.

 

7th Grade History

In this class, students will build a strong foundation for textual analysis, critical thinking, and argumentation. The content will provide the vehicle by which we can explore progressively more complex historical thinking skills. These skills can be applied to any number of disciplines outside of history. The period covered in 7th grade is often referred to as “medieval history,” but this can be misleading. We will begin the year with the Roman Republic in the 6th century BCE and conclude with the rise of globalization in the 16th century CE. Thematically, the focus will be on growing exchange and connection among various regions of the world during this period. By the end of the year, students will be able to see the connection between the world they live in and the past that brought this world about. This will prepare them to begin thinking about their role in creating the world they want to see in the future.

7th Grade Math -- Math Concepts

Math Concepts is designed to assist students as they make the transition between the concrete subject of arithmetic and more abstract subjects like algebra and geometry. This is accomplished by working with variables, variable expressions, equations, inequalities, and formulas. Subjects covered in earlier math courses such as fractions, ratios, percent, exponents, roots, and probability are studied in further depth for greater mastery. The students also explore basic algebraic concepts and skills. In addition, this course aims to develop students’ ability to communicate technical information and mathematical knowledge, which places a heavy emphasis on the processes and reasoning to support answers as well as proper mathematical notation.

 

7th Grade Spanish Beginners 

In our classroom, we will do a variety of activities and exercises, which include talking in Spanish, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish with classmates in pairs and small groups. Much of the class is conducted in Spanish in order to offer as much exposure to the language as possible, but English is used when necessary to offer clarity and efficiency. In this course we deal with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Grammar is studied not so that you can recite grammar rules, but rather so that you gain an understanding of how the language works. You must speak in order to learn to speak. Some students may feel inhibited about making mistakes in front of others. We will work together to make the class atmosphere as tension-free as possible. Students will have the opportunity to learn about different cultural aspects related to the Spanish language from various countries around the Spanish-speaking world. Students should expect to participate daily in class activities. Be prepared to move, act silly and have fun exploring another language and culture.

7th Grade Spanish 1

Students will be exposed to the State of California Foreign Language Framework, Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade nor their age to ensure proper placement for learning.


California’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry is tied with its Hispanic background. The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency.


In class we use the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course is a blend of language learning presented in class and online through Doulingo and Kahoot. Students will be exposed to common expressions, greetings, and grammatical structures. They will ask and answer guided questions and are encouraged to make up their own questions and answers in class and on the homework. Active participation is essential for success in this course. The group class meets twice a week, new vocabulary is introduced during the group meeting and reviewed, practiced and/or advanced during one-on-one tutoring.

 

In Spanish I, we will review basic grammar consisting of: How to form Plurals, Agreement with gender and number of Articles, Nouns, and Adjectives, How to form negative statement and negative questions with verbs. We will review the Subject Pronouns, Conjugation of Regular Verbs, lecture comprehension and sentence writing in the Present Indicative.

 

We will learn Question Words, the possessive adjectives, some Irregular Verbs in the Present Indicative, such as Ser, Estar, Ir. We will learn Stem-Changing Verbs Querer and Tener. We will learn the Direct Object Pronoun, the Indirect Object Pronoun, and the Verb Form ‘Me gusta”. Students will read aloud in class and answer questions after short lectures. They will write sentences and short paragraphs on their own. They will be exposed to cultural knowledge and the Hispanic background of California.

7th Grade Spanish II

Students will be exposed to the State of California Foreign Language Framework and placed on Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge. California’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry is tied with its Hispanic background. The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency. Spanish language prepares students for employment and enables them to compete in the worldwide marketplace in the future.

In Spanish II, we will review writing sentences with Regular Verbs in the Present Indicative, Construction of descriptive sentences using “es/son”, and writing sentences in the Present Participle/Gerund. We will learn some Irregular Verbs, such as Ser, Estar, Ir. We will learn Stem-Changing Verbs Querer and Tener. We will learn the Direct Object Pronoun, the Indirect Object Pronoun, and the Verb Form ‘Me Gusta”. We will learn the Preterite and the Imperfect of Regular Verbs. In our class we focus on the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course is a blend of language learning presented in class and practice online through Doulingo and Kahoot. Students will ask and answer guided questions as well as made up their own questions and answers in class and on the homework. Active participation is essential for success in this course. The group class meets twice a week, new vocabulary is introduced during this group meeting. It is reviewed, practiced and/or advanced during one-on-one tutoring.

Students in Spanish II shall be familiar with phrases, grammar patterns, and identify parts of speech such as Nouns, Adjectives, Subject Pronouns, Verbs, Conjugations, Adverbs, etc. In cultural awareness, they will learn some early California History that relates to the Hispanic Culture such as the colonization of California by the Spaniards, California becoming part of Mexico, the discovery of gold, the purchase of California by the USA, and the becoming of California as a State.

7th Grade Study Skills

Study Skills is a course designed to facilitate the executive functioning abilities needed to become an active learner. It does not focus on any particular academic subject, rather the concept and act of learning. This course will facilitate the growth of necessary confidence, organization, advocacy and self-awareness for students to succeed. It takes a whole-person approach to learning, not focusing on any one particular area of difficulty, but the whole learner. This course will be a foundation for their entire learning environment, providing reflection, inspiration, stability and a source of control over their education.

Goals: Balance, Organization & Advocacy. Establish and maintain customized organizational, time management, studying and advocacy skills for each TREE participant. Own their relationship to learning. Homeroom & Accountability. Students will have a reliable schedule to check in on organizational, planning, and development of various school projects/courses. Practical skills building for deeper level learning ex: presentations, essay construction, note taking etc. Future Planning. Create a home for college and career research, personal/professional development and exam/application preparation. The teacher will enrich student interest through strategic planning of Passion Projects.

 

7th Grade Learning Lab

“It’s more than just a quiet room for independent work. In many ways,
it’s the heartbeat of what we’re doing at TREE.” - Director of School, Darryl Sollerh

The Learning Lab is where the nexus of learning occurs. Students are taking what they’re exposed to in the classroom and putting that into practice. In addition to being a space for academic practice & guidance, the Learning Lab gives staff the opportunity to observe and learn how our students are absorbing and processing what is being taught in the classroom. As TREE strives to serve the whole student, the Learning Lab is where our community learns to thrive together.

 

7th Grade Life Skills

The Life Skills course is designed to assist students in growing and deepening their capacity to build relationships and community. An integral part of this process is to further curiosity and challenge the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others, in order to become better able to understand and value differing perspectives.

Most conflict, whether interpersonal or cultural, arises when we assume that others hold a perspective that is antagonistic to our own. By better understanding our assumptions and biases, and by being curious about other stories and motives, we are better able to communicate with kindness and empathy.

Encouraging kind, empathic communication is the foundation of this course, and topics of discussion will include issues that arise in adolescence such as bullying, isolation, online safety, temptation and experimentation (drugs) and friendship, all with an underlying theme of personal safety.

Larger themes of social and cultural relevance will be explored as well, and I envision conversations about power and oppression, race and privilege, cultural diversity, gender equality, and poverty to name a few. Given the nature of our current political and social landscape, I intend to remain flexible in order to give space for conversations that arise in response to current events.

There will be, as well, a psychoeducational component to the class. General topics that I plan to cover are sexuality, gender, and sexual health and hygiene.

Additionally, some simple education about the connection between our nervous system and our bodies and emotional experiences will be presented as I introduce some simple skills for self-regulation and overall wellness.

7th Grade Sustainable Culinary Science

The object of sustainable gardening is to introduce the students to urban horticulture using sustainable methods such as organic practices, composting and water harvesting. The lectures will provide the background necessary to start an urban garden at home. The lectures will be reinforced with presentations in the form of slideshows and short films and discussions in class. TREE has several gardening beds and a small aquaponic system where the students will be exposed and encouraged to apply the learned material for the cultivation of edibles.

7th Inner Peace (Meditation)

Based on the forthcoming book by Venerable Burin, the inner peace curriculum explores how we can bring more equilibrium, calmness and mental focus to our everyday lives through the art and techniques of meditation based on age or principles.

7th Grade American Sign Language 1

ASL is fun and easy to learn! Students will learn fingers-spelling, basic grammar, vocabulary, numbers, and will begin to create sentences. Students will also learn cultural information related to the Deaf Community. Whether you are brand new to ASL or a returning student from Spring 2019, by the end of the course you will be communicating in full ASL sentences, and you will be able to sign a short story, poem, or song in ASL.

 

Our 8th Grade Curriculum

8th Grade Science.

The purpose of this course is to help students understand real world phenomena in relation to the physical sciences such as chemistry and physics in order to prepare them for further studies of science in high school. Students will experience an introduction to chemistry by exploring topics such as atoms, molecules, atomic theory, laws of conservation, mixtures, chemical reactions, the pH scale, and acids and bases. Students will also experience an introduction to physics by exploring topics such as the different types of forces, Newton’s Laws of Motion, interactions between forces, the nature of energy, laws of conservation, waves, and electromagnetic radiation.

8th Grade Humanities (English & History)

This course is designed for students to engage in teacher-assigned readings as well as independent, self-selected readings; to read for pleasure, meaning, and thematic analysis in literature; to make associations and connections between literature and historical concepts; to learn to analyze different types of selections (short stories, novels, primary source documents, biographies, informational literature, and other non-fiction); to increase vocabulary skills; and to be able to evaluate information from a variety of sources and media. Most weeks students will write persuasive compositions where they support their claims with evidence. Students also practice the skills of summarizing, responding to literature, writing research reports, and other skills related to their journey towards becoming prepared for high school. The aforementioned skills will be taught through investigating how the U.S. began, expanded, went to war with itself, and then recovered from that war. Each week students will investigate a guiding question. For example: “What were the consequences of the Indian Removal Act?”, or “Was slavery the primary cause of the Civil War?” While each week’s question will be different, all of our investigations — our entire study — is guided by a larger question: Whose story are we telling? This is question enables us to look at history as both truth and fiction, and power as both privilege and oppression.

 

8th Grade Math (Algebra Bridge)

Algebra Bridge is a course designed for students who took Pre-Algebra last year, but are not yet ready for Algebra I. Emphasis will be on content from the last semester of Pre-Algebra and the first semester of Algebra I. Concepts such as proportional reasoning, one and two step equations, inequalities, powers and exponents will be reinforced through riddles, puzzles, and complex mathematical problems. Students will focus on formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, solving linear equations and systems of linear equations and analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence. In addition, precision and notation is emphasized throughout the year.

8th Grade Spanish Beginners 

In our classroom, we will do a variety of activities and exercises, which include talking in Spanish, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish with classmates in pairs and small groups. Much of the class is conducted in Spanish in order to offer as much exposure to the language as possible, but English is used when necessary to offer clarity and efficiency. In this course we deal with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Grammar is studied not so that you can recite grammar rules, but rather so that you gain an understanding of how the language works. You must speak in order to learn to speak. Some students may feel inhibited about making mistakes in front of others. We will work together to make the class atmosphere as tension-free as possible. Students will have the opportunity to learn about different cultural aspects related to the Spanish language from various countries around the Spanish-speaking world. Students should expect to participate daily in class activities. Be prepared to move, act silly and have fun exploring another language and culture.

 

8th Grade Spanish 1

Students will be exposed to the State of California Foreign Language Framework, Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade nor their age to ensure proper placement for learning.


California’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry is tied with its Hispanic background. The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency.

 

In class we use the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course is a blend of language learning presented in class and online through Doulingo and Kahoot. Students will be exposed to common expressions, greetings, and grammatical structures. They will ask and answer guided questions and are encouraged to make up their own questions and answers in class and on the homework. Active participation is essential for success in this course. The group class meets twice a week, new vocabulary is introduced during the group meeting and reviewed, practiced and/or advanced during one-on-one tutoring.


In Spanish I, we will review basic grammar consisting of: How to form Plurals, Agreement with gender and number of Articles, Nouns, and Adjectives, How to form negative statement and negative questions with verbs. We will review the Subject Pronouns, Conjugation of Regular Verbs, lecture comprehension and sentence writing in the Present Indicative.
 

We will learn Question Words, the possessive adjectives, some Irregular Verbs in the Present Indicative, such as Ser, Estar, Ir. We will learn Stem-Changing Verbs Querer and Tener. We will learn the Direct Object Pronoun, the Indirect Object Pronoun, and the Verb Form ‘Me gusta”. Students will read aloud in class and answer questions after short lectures. They will write sentences and short paragraphs on their own. They will be exposed to cultural knowledge and the Hispanic background of California.

 

8th Grade Spanish II

Students will be exposed to the State of California Foreign Language Framework and placed on Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge.

California’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry is tied with its Hispanic background. The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency. Spanish language prepares students for employment and enables them to compete in the worldwide marketplace in the future.

 

In Spanish II, we will review writing sentences with Regular Verbs in the Present Indicative, Construction of descriptive sentences using “es/son”, and writing sentences in the Present Participle/Gerund. We will learn some Irregular Verbs, such as Ser, Estar, Ir. We will learn Stem-Changing Verbs Querer and Tener. We will learn the Direct Object Pronoun, the Indirect Object Pronoun, and the Verb Form ‘Me Gusta”. We will learn the Preterite and the Imperfect of Regular Verbs. In our class we focus on the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course is a blend of language learning presented in class and practice online through Doulingo and Kahoot. Students will ask and answer guided questions as well as made up their own questions and answers in class and on the homework. Active participation is essential for success in this course. The group class meets twice a week, new vocabulary is introduced during this group meeting. It is reviewed, practiced and/or advanced during one-on-one tutoring.

Students in Spanish II shall be familiar with phrases, grammar patterns, and identify parts of speech such as Nouns, Adjectives, Subject Pronouns, Verbs, Conjugations, Adverbs, etc. In cultural awareness, they will learn some early California History that relates to the Hispanic Culture such as the colonization of California by the Spaniards, California becoming part of Mexico, the discovery of gold, the purchase of California by the USA, and the becoming of California as a State.

 

8th Grade Study Skills

Study Skills is a course designed to facilitate the executive functioning abilities needed to become an active learner. It does not focus on any particular academic subject, rather the concept and act of learning. This course will facilitate the growth of necessary confidence, organization, advocacy and self-awareness for students to succeed. It takes a whole-person approach to learning, not focusing on any one particular area of difficulty, but the whole learner. This course will be a foundation for their entire learning environment, providing reflection, inspiration, stability and a source of control over their education.

 

Goals: Balance, Organization & Advocacy. Establish and maintain customized organizational, time management, studying and advocacy skills for each TREE participant. Own their relationship to learning. Homeroom & Accountability. Students will have a reliable schedule to check in on organizational, planning, and development of various school projects/courses. Practical skills building for deeper level learning ex: presentations, essay construction, note taking etc. Future Planning. Create a home for college and career research, personal/professional development and exam/application preparation. The teacher will enrich student interest through strategic planning of Passion Projects.

8th Inner Peace (Meditation)
Based on the forthcoming book by Venerable Burin, the inner peace curriculum explores how we can bring more equilibrium, calmness and mental focus to our everyday lives through the art and techniques of meditation based on age or principles.

8th Grade Learning Lab

“It’s more than just a quiet room for independent work. In many ways,
it’s the heartbeat of what we’re doing at TREE.” - Director of School, Darryl Sollerh

The Learning Lab is where the nexus of learning occurs. Students are taking what they’re exposed to in the classroom and putting that into practice. In addition to being a space for academic practice & guidance, the Learning Lab gives staff the opportunity to observe and learn how our students are absorbing and processing what is being taught in the classroom. As TREE strives to serve the whole student, the Learning Lab is where our community learns to thrive together.

 

8th Grade Life Skills

The Life Skills course is designed to assist students in growing and deepening their capacity to build relationships and community. An integral part of this process is to further curiosity and challenge the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others, in order to become better able to understand and value differing perspectives.

Most conflict, whether interpersonal or cultural, arises when we assume that others hold a perspective that is antagonistic to our own. By better understanding our assumptions and biases, and by being curious about other stories and motives, we are better able to communicate with kindness and empathy.

 

Encouraging kind, empathic communication is the foundation of this course, and topics of discussion will include issues that arise in adolescence such as bullying, isolation, online safety, temptation and experimentation (drugs) and friendship, all with an underlying theme of personal safety.

Larger themes of social and cultural relevance will be explored as well, and I envision conversations about power and oppression, race and privilege, cultural diversity, gender equality, and poverty to name a few. Given the nature of our current political and social landscape, I intend to remain flexible in order to give space for conversations that arise in response to current events.

There will be, as well, a psychoeducational component to the class. General topics that I plan to cover are sexuality, gender, and sexual health and hygiene.

Additionally, some simple education about the connection between our nervous system and our bodies and emotional experiences will be presented as I introduce some simple skills for self-regulation and overall wellness.

 

8th Grade Humanities

This course is designed for students to engage in teacher-assigned readings as well as independent, self-selected readings; to read for pleasure, meaning, and thematic analysis in literature; to make associations and connections between literature and historical concepts; to learn to analyze different types of selections (short stories, novels, primary source documents, biographies, informational literature, and other non-fiction); to increase vocabulary skills; and to be able to evaluate information from a variety of sources and media. Most weeks students will write persuasive compositions where they support their claims with evidence. Students also practice the skills of summarizing, responding to literature, writing research reports, and other skills related to their journey towards becoming prepared for high school. The aforementioned skills will be taught through investigating how the U.S. began, expanded, went to war with itself, and then recovered from that war. Each week students will investigate a guiding question. For example: “What were the consequences of the Indian Removal Act?”, or “Was slavery the primary cause of the Civil War?” While each week’s question will be different, all of our investigations — our entire study — is guided by a larger question: Whose story are we telling? This is question enables us to look at history as both truth and fiction, and power as both privilege and oppression.

American Sign Language

ASL is fun and easy to learn! Students will learn finger-spelling, basic grammar, vocabulary, numbers, and will begin to create sentences. Students will also learn cultural information related to the Deaf Community. Whether you are brand new to ASL or a returning student from Spring 2019, by the end of the course you will be communicating in full ASL sentences, and you will be able to sign a short story, poem, or song in ASL.

Our 9th Grade Curriculum

 

9th Grade Biology

Students in high school develop understanding of key concepts that will help them make sense of life science. The ideas are built upon students’ science understanding of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts from earlier grades. There are four life science disciplinary core ideas in high school: 1) From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, 2) Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics, 3) Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits, 4) Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity. The performance expectations for high school life science blend core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing useable knowledge that can be applied across the science disciplines. We intend to focus the development of critical thinking skills with interactive engagement and active participation of laboratory investigations.

9th Grade World Literature

In strengthening their foundation in writing cogently, reading independently, and thinking critically and analytically, 9th grade students engage with challenging reading material, explore thought-provoking topics of discussion, and produce increasingly more sophisticated writing assignments.

9th grade students will continue to strengthen these skills by delving further into elements of critical reading, interpretations of poetry, the study of rhetoric and composition, traditional grammar and vocabulary development, sentence emulations, and socratic discussion skills.

In studying poetry, students will focus on a variety of poems and their various elements (imagery, meter, metaphor, etc.) as presented in Laurence Perrine's Sound and Sense. Students will explore poetic devices in writing assignments and poetry memorization-recitation assignments, with the occasional opportunity to write (and share) their own poetry.

In further developing their analytical reading skills, students will read and discuss such novels as Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz), and Lord of The Flies (William Golding), as well as short stories by Kate Chopin, Shirley Jackson, Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe, among others. Reading assignments will be followed by a 5-paragraph essay (or project) in which students will demonstrate their understanding of the reading’s central themes and messages, as well as their own ideas of that reading’s relevance to their lives.

The study of grammar and rhetoric will focus on two books as points of reference: The Art of Styling Sentences (Longknife) and The Elements of Grammar in 90 Minutes (Hollander.) The main teaching of composition will occur in tutoring sections where each student's mastery of grammar will be addressed while examining their written work with the instructor. This is also where students will further develop and strengthen their approaches to proofreading, sentence combining, exercising diction, and drafting in order to submit their highest caliber work.

9th Grade Human Geography

Human Geography is a study that examines the settings in which people live their lives as part of a continual process of struggle and transformation. The central focus is the analysis of the relationship between society, place, and space. This year-long course gives students the opportunity to study humanity’s historic and contemporary relationship with the physical world and natural resources, along with human innovations in culture, governance, agriculture, and industry. The breadth of topics covered in Human Geography expose students to engaging topics and complex questions regarding how humans live, build, farm, govern, communicate, worship, migrate, fight, innovate, design, and compromise across the diverse regions of the Earth’s surface. Historical information and background knowledge serves to support the analysis of the impacts of phenomena such as globalization, colonialism, human-environment relationships on places, regions, and cultural landscapes.

 

9th Grade Algebra 1

Algebra I is split into two main parts: lines and curves. The first half of the class will focus on learning all about lines. Students will learn about how to graph a line, how to write an equation for a line, the slope of a line, how lines are used to model real life situations, and how to solve systems that have multiple lines. The second half of the class is about curves or also called nonlinear equations. Students will learn about exponentials and quadratics. They will learn how to graph and write equations for curves and how to solve nonlinear equations. This class is intended to explore the world of algebra through engaging activities and math discussions. Students will learn to think critically, come up with creative solutions to problems using previously learned tools, and focus on detail and precision.

 

9th Grade Spanish: Beginners 

In our classroom, we will do a variety of activities and exercises including talking in Spanish, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish in pairs and small groups. Much of the class is conducted in Spanish in order to offer as much exposure to the language as possible, but English is used when necessary to offer clarity and efficiency. In this course, we deal with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Grammar is studied not so that a student can recite grammar rules, but so that students gain an understanding of how language works; you must speak in order to learn to speak. Some students may feel inhibited by the idea of making mistakes in front of others but we will work together to make the atmosphere as tension-free as possible. Students will have the opportunity to learn about cultural aspects from various countries around the Spanish-speaking world. Students should expect to participate daily in class activities and be prepared to move, act silly, and have fun exploring another language and culture.

 

9th Grade Spanish 1

Students will be placed in Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade or their age, to ensure proper placement for learning.

The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency.

In Spanish I, we will review basic grammar consisting of forming plurals; agreement with gender and number of articles, nouns, and adjectives; how to form negative statement and negative questions with verbs. We will review subject pronouns, conjugation of regular verbs, lecture comprehension, and sentence writing in the present indicative.

 

Students will read aloud in class and answer questions after short lectures. They will write sentences and short paragraphs on their own. They will be exposed to cultural knowledge and the Hispanic background of California.

 

9th Grade Spanish II

Students will be placed in Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade or their age, to ensure proper placement for learning.

The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency.

 

In Spanish II, we will review writing sentences with regular verbs in the Present Indicative, construction of descriptive sentences using “es/son”, and writing sentences using the present participle/gerund. We will learn some irregular verbs such as ser, estar, and ir, and will work with some stem-changing verbs such as querer and tener. We will learn direct and indirect object pronouns and the verb form "me gusta” as well as the preterite and the imperfect tense of regular verbs.

9th Grade Study Skills

Study Skills is a course designed to facilitate the executive functioning abilities needed to become an active learner. It does not focus on any particular academic subject, rather the concept and act of learning. This course will facilitate the growth of necessary confidence, organization, advocacy and self-awareness for students to succeed. It takes a whole-person approach to learning, not focusing on any one particular area of difficulty, but the whole learner. This course will be a foundation for their entire learning environment, providing reflection, inspiration, stability and a source of control over their education.

Goals: Balance, Organization & Advocacy. Establish and maintain customized organizational, time management, studying and advocacy skills for each TREE participant. Own their relationship to learning. Homeroom & Accountability. Students will have a reliable schedule to check in on organizational, planning, and development of various school projects/courses. Practical skills building for deeper level learning ex: presentations, essay construction, note taking etc. Future Planning. Create a home for college and career research, personal/professional development and exam/application preparation. The teacher will enrich student interest through strategic planning of Passion Projects.

9th Grade Learning Lab

“It’s more than just a quiet room for independent work. In many ways, it’s the heartbeat of what we’re doing at TREE.” - Director of School, Darryl Sollerh

The Learning Lab is where the nexus of learning occurs. Students are taking what they’re exposed to in the classroom and putting that into practice. In addition to being a space for academic practice & guidance, the Learning Lab gives staff the opportunity to observe and learn how our students are absorbing and processing what is being taught in the classroom. As TREE strives to serve the whole student, the Learning Lab is where our community learns to thrive together.

9th Grade Inner Peace (Meditation)
Based on the forthcoming book by Venerable Burin, the inner peace curriculum explores how we can bring more equilibrium, calmness and mental focus to our everyday lives through the art and techniques of meditation based on age or principles.​

9th Grade Life Skills

The Life Skills course is designed to assist students in growing and deepening their capacity to build relationships and community. An integral part of this process is to further curiosity and challenge the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others, in order to become better able to understand and value differing perspectives.

Our 10th Grade Curriculum

 

10th Grade Chemistry

The purpose of this course is for high school students to receive a more in-depth exploration and education into chemistry using Next Generation Science Standards in order to help prepare them for further studies in science, future science courses in college, and applications in everyday life. Students will learn about the structure, properties, and interactions of matter; nomenclature of molecules based on atomic structure and electron arrangement, molar concentrations and stoichiometry, molecular kinetics, solution dynamics and equilibrium, and energy dynamics. Through learning these foundations of chemistry, students will also be able to classify different forms of matter, identify and predict chemical reactions, and design their own experiments in order to further explore these concepts. Furthermore, this class will incorporate utilization of mathematical, analytical, data acquisition, and communication skills through hands-on laboratory experiences, group collaboration, and the integration of other branches of science. Not only will this course provide students with a strong physical science background needed for future education, but it will also hone students’ critical thinking skills needed to solve real-world problems, help them make informed decisions about the chemicals they choose to use in everyday applications, and know the impact chemicals found in everyday use have on the environment around them.

10th Grade Literature

Unique world views are yielded once you take the time to step into the shoes of others; tantamount to this is our acceptance of categorical differences between one another. A simple perspective shift may yield you all you need to examine the ways in which societies can be seen as a global community, rather than disparate communities. Central to our unity is our experience of the human condition, whereby we are interconnected by our experience of this world and the structures our societies have created. To this end, the course will endeavor to discover the ways in which cultures, as different as they might seem, connect in surprising ways. Our analysis will begin with four central novels: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and Sophie's Choice by William Styron.

10th Grade Modern World History

In designing the curriculum for this course, we have aligned the California State Content Standards for 10th Grade History with the Common Core State Standards for History and Social Studies to ensure that students with a range of interests and learning styles get the most from this class. The entirety of World History cannot be taught in a single year. Historians make entire careers out of studying a single region over a narrow period of time, and even then must choose which sources to study in depth, and which to gloss over. For this class, we will focus primarily on events from the 16th century to the present. As a class, students will examine the process of globalization and how it has precipitated political, environmental, economic and socio-cultural in various regions throughout the world. As students become more familiar with the phenomena being studied, each will  pursue (alone or in small groups) more directed inquiry into the concepts and narratives that they find most compelling. By the end of the year, each student will be able to trace one or more present-day challenges or pressing concerns to its historical roots, and present a clear argument about the significance of this connection.
 

10th Grade Geometry

This course is designed to emphasize the study of the properties and applications of common geometric figures in two and three dimensions.  It includes the study of transformations and right triangle trigonometry. Inductive and deductive thinking skills are used in problem solving situations, and applications to the real world are stressed.  It also emphasizes writing proofs to solve (prove) properties of geometric figures. Toward the end of the year we will spend some time focused on SAT/ACT geometry. Students who complete Geometry should take Algebra II next.

 

10th Grade Spanish: Beginners 

In our classroom, we will do a variety of activities and exercises including talking in Spanish, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish in pairs and small groups. Much of the class is conducted in Spanish in order to offer as much exposure to the language as possible, but English is used when necessary to offer clarity and efficiency. In this course, we deal with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Grammar is studied not so that a student can recite grammar rules, but so that students gain an understanding of how language works; you must speak in order to learn to speak. Some students may feel inhibited by the idea of making mistakes in front of others but we will work together to make the atmosphere as tension-free as possible. Students will have the opportunity to learn about cultural aspects from various countries around the Spanish-speaking world. Students should expect to participate daily in class activities and be prepared to move, act silly, and have fun exploring another language and culture.

 

10th Grade Spanish 1

Students will be placed in Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade or their age, to ensure proper placement for learning.

The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency.

We will be using the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course is a blend of language learning presented both in class and online through Doulingo and Kahoot. Students will be exposed to common expressions, greetings, and grammatical structures; they will ask and answer guided questions and are encouraged to ask their own questions both in class and on homework. Active participation is essential for success in this course. The group class meets twice a week. New vocabulary is introduced during the group class and is then reviewed, practiced, and advanced during one-on-one tutoring.

 

Spanish I students will study grammar, sentence formation, and vocabulary while being exposed to cultural knowledge and the Hispanic background of California.

 

10th Grade Spanish II

Students will be placed in Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade or their age, to ensure proper placement for learning.

California’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry is tied with its Hispanic background. The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency. Spanish language prepares students for employment and enables them to compete in the worldwide marketplace in the future.

 

Students in Spanish II shall be familiar with phrases, grammar patterns, and identifying parts of speech such as nouns, adjectives, subject pronouns, verbs, conjugations, adverbs, etc. In cultural awareness, they will learn some early California history that relates to Hispanic culture, such as the colonization of California by the Spaniards, California as a part of Mexico, the discovery of gold, the purchase of California by the USA, and how California became a state.

10th Grade Study Skills

Study Skills is a course designed to facilitate the executive functioning abilities needed to become an active learner. It will devote time and focus to SAT/ACT test prep and test- taking techniques. This course will additionally facilitate the growth of necessary confidence, organization, advocacy and self-awareness for students to succeed.

Goals: Balance, Organization & Advocacy. Establish and maintain customized organizational, time management, studying and advocacy skills for each TREE participant. Own their relationship to learning. Homeroom & Accountability. Students will have a reliable schedule to check in on organizational, planning, and development of various school projects/courses. Practical skills building for deeper level learning ex: presentations, essay construction, note taking etc. Future Planning. Create a home for college and career research, personal/professional development and exam/application preparation. The teacher will enrich student interest through strategic planning of Passion Projects.

10th Grade Learning Lab

The Learning Lab is where the nexus of learning occurs. Students are taking what they’re exposed to in the classroom and putting that into practice. In addition to being a space for academic practice & guidance, the Learning Lab gives staff the opportunity to observe and learn how our students are absorbing and processing what is being taught in the classroom. As TREE strives to serve the whole student, the Learning Lab is where our community learns to thrive together.

10th Grade Inner Peace (Meditation)

Based on the forthcoming book by Venerable Burin, the inner peace curriculum explores how we can bring more equilibrium, calmness and mental focus to our everyday lives through the art and techniques of meditation based on age or principles.​

10th Grade Life Skills

The Life Skills course is designed to assist students in growing and deepening their capacity to build relationships and community. An integral part of this process is to further curiosity and challenge the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others, in order to become better able to understand and value differing perspectives.

 

 

Our 11th Grade Curriculum

11th Grade Physics

The physics curriculum includes interactions of matter and energy, velocity, accelerations, force, energy, momentum and charge. Students will be challenged to apply their knowledge of the laws of physics to solve physics related critical thinking problems. The material studied shows how technical concepts can be analyzed and applied to equipment and devices in mechanical, fluid, electrical, and thermal energy systems. The course is designed for students to explore and apply the principles of technology in a classroom setting with hands-on laboratory activities.

11th Grade American Literature

What defines us as uniquely American? As a country renowned for being a melting pot, each migrant group to the United States bring with them a rich cultural history that breathes new meaning into what it means to be American. The heart of the American experience stems from two major concepts: individual freedoms and the American dream. This year will begin by defining what concepts are understood as uniquely American through the analysis of the Great Gatsby. From there, we will transition into what the American experience looks like from the context of American citizens by examining the work known as The Other Wes Moore. We will refine what we've understood as unique characteristics of American society by refining these defining characteristics through an outsider's perspective by examining the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Once we've generated an understanding of what others and the collective of the United States feel, we will examine the direction of American Society through the reading of Walden and Citizen: An American Lyric. Once we've worked out way through the words and ideas of others on the concept of what it means to be American, students will choose a novel or literary work of their own to investigate their own understanding of their American Identity.

11th Grade U.S. History

This course will focus on this history of the United States from the late 19th century to the present day. Students will use the content as way to develop historical thinking skills: analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation. The class will explore United States history from a variety of perspectives, challenging students to consider how different experiences can give rise to a different historical narratives. Each unit will examine events, ideas, developments and individuals through different historical themes, including: society and culture, ecology and environment, gender, race, class migration, technological change and political power. The goal of the course will be to help students trace the present realities of the United States to their historical roots, and evaluate their role in the ongoing development of this nation. 

11th Grade Algebra 2

Algebra II extends the exploration of nonlinear equations (curves) which started in Algebra I with a particular emphasis on quadratic functions. Students will learn how to graph quadratics functions, how to solve quadratic equations, and how to factor. Graphing and solving of equations will also be extended to different types of nonlinear equations besides quadratics like exponentials, logarithms, radicals, and rationals. Students will begin to understand the importance of finding zeros of polynomials and the importance of trigonometry in preparation for Precalculus. This class is intended to explore the world of algebra through engaging activities and math discussions. Students will learn to think critically, come up with creative solutions to problems using previously learned tools, and focus on detail and precision.

11th Grade Spanish Beginners 

Beginners Spanish consists of a variety of activities and exercises including speaking in Spanish to practice pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish with classmates in pairs and small groups. Much of the class is conducted in Spanish in order to offer as much exposure to the language as possible, but English is used when necessary to offer clarity. The course deals with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Grammar is studied to gain an understanding of how the language works. Although some students may feel nervous about making mistakes in front of others, we will work together to make the class atmosphere as tension-free as possible. Students will have the opportunity to learn about cultural aspects of various Spanish-speaking countries around the world and should expect to participate daily in class activities. Be prepared to move, act silly and have fun exploring another language and culture!

 

11th Grade Spanish 1

Students will be placed in Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade or their age, to ensure proper placement for learning.

We will be using the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Through a blend of class presentations and online learning, students will be exposed to common expressions, greetings, and grammatical structures. Spanish I will review basic grammar including the formation of plurals and negative statements, subject pronouns, the conjugation of regular verbs, and sentence writing in the present indicative.

We will learn question words, possessive adjectives, and some irregular verbs such as ser, estar, and ir. Stem-changing verbs such as querer and tener are on the syllabus, as well as direct and indirect object pronouns. Students will read aloud in class, answer questions after short lectures, and write sentences and short paragraphs on their own.

 

11th Grade Spanish II

Students will be placed in Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade or their age, to ensure proper placement for learning.

California’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry is tied with its Hispanic background. Cultural awareness is therefore central to the Spanish II curriculum. Students will learn some of the early California history that relates to the state's Hispanic culture, such as the colonization of California by the Spaniards, Mexico's acquisition of California, the discovery of gold, the purchase of California by the USA, and the events surrounding California's statehood.

In Spanish II, we will review writing sentences with regular verbs in the present indicative, construction of descriptive sentences using “es/son”, and writing sentences in the present participle/gerund. We will learn irregular verbs such as ser, estar, and ir, as well as the stem-changing verbs querer and tener, direct and indirect object pronouns, and the verb form "me gusta". 

At the completion of Spanish II, students will be familiar with phrases, grammar patterns, and parts of speech such as nouns, adjectives, subject pronouns, verbs, conjugations, and adverbs.

11th Grade Study Skills

Study Skills will continue to devote time and focus to SAT/ACT test prep and test- taking techniques. This course will additionally facilitate the growth of necessary confidence, organization, advocacy and self-awareness for students to succeed.

Goals: Balance, Organization & Advocacy. Establish and maintain customized organizational, time management, studying and advocacy skills for each TREE participant. Own their relationship to learning. Homeroom & Accountability. Students will have a reliable schedule to check in on organizational, planning, and development of various school projects/courses. Practical skills building for deeper level learning ex: presentations, essay construction, note taking etc. Future Planning. Create a home for college and career research, personal/professional development and exam/application preparation. The teacher will enrich student interest through strategic planning of Passion Projects.

11th Grade Learning Lab

The Learning Lab is where the nexus of learning occurs. Students are taking what they’re exposed to in the classroom and putting that into practice. In addition to being a space for academic practice & guidance, the Learning Lab gives staff the opportunity to observe and learn how our students are absorbing and processing what is being taught in the classroom. As TREE strives to serve the whole student, the Learning Lab is where our community learns to thrive together.

11th Grade Inner Peace (Meditation)

Based on the forthcoming book by Venerable Burin, the inner peace curriculum explores how we can bring more equilibrium, calmness and mental focus to our everyday lives through the art and techniques of meditation based on age or principles.

11th Grade Life Skills

The Life Skills course is designed to assist students in growing and deepening their capacity to build relationships and community. An integral part of this process is to further curiosity and challenge the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others, in order to become better able to understand and value differing perspectives.

Our 12th Grade -- Our Senior Seminar Curriculum

Ethics Seminar with Warren Spaeth

In this course, we will explore: 

1. What is Ethics? Are there absolute ethical concepts or is everything relative? Who gets to decide what is ethical? How do our emotions reflect our ethical decisions?
2.   The psychodynamics of prejudice. How are prejudicial feelings learned in childhood? Why are some people more prejudiced than others? What can be done to lessen prejudice? What are some of the consequences of extreme prejudice in history?
3.   Advertising. How has something so ubiquitous and seemingly benign caused such severe problems in our culture? What is the relationship between advertising and our value system? What is the relationship between advertising and anxiety? What is the relationship of misogyny to advertising?
4.   The Civil Rights Movement. What important events preceded the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision? Why was Southern resistance so strongly against this decision? What role does the history of slavery in the United States play in the movement?
5.   Privilege. What does it mean? Who has it? Who doesn’t have it? What are the consequences of various categories of privilege in our culture?

Literature Seminar with Dr. Paul Cummins

The 2019 – 20 Senior Seminar in English at TREE Academy will combine independent studies, with small group classes twice-a-week for 90 minutes, with a variety of the elements of traditional English grammar and rhetoric. In addition, there will be a rich selection of readings – some assigned, some selected by the students according to their interests. As at every grade level at TREE, one Shakespeare play will be assigned: This year we will be reading and analyzing The Tempest. In addition to The Tempest, we will read and explicate 10 – 20 poems during the year – mostly selected from the classic study Sound and Sense by Laurence Perrine. Students will also memorize and perform at least one poem per month.

The fiction this year will include:

Richard Yates: A Good School

James Joyce: “The Dead”

Ernest Hemingway: “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”

Toni Morrison: The Bluest Eye

Leslie Marmon Silko: Ceremony

Julia Alvarez: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

Fae Ng: Bone

Robert Penn Warren: All the King’s Men

 

The grammar and rhetoric studies will be drawn from:

Ann Longknife and K.D. Sullivan:  The Act of Styling Sentences

Robert Hollander: The Elements of Grammar

Francis Christensen: Notes Toward a New Rhetoric

Of course, writing will be a central concern of this seminar. Students will write eight major essays and eight first drafts during the year. Each draft will be individually analyzed with each student one-on-one.

In addition, we will read, discuss, and write on topics drawn from non-fiction. We will read the following “classic essays” and write in response to them:

George Orwell: “Reflections on Gandhi”

Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Letter from the Birmingham City Jail”

Henry David Thoreau: “On Civil Disobedience”

Wendell Berry: “Life is a Miracle”

Jonathan Swift: “The Art of Political Lying”

E. M. Forster: “What I Believe”

Edmund Wilson: “The Two Scrooges”

Bill McKibben: “Has the Human Game Played Itself Out?”

Finally, we will read, discuss and write about several plays – in addition to The Tempest. These will include:

Aeschylus: The Oresteia

Maxwell Anderson: Lost in the Stars

Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman

Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot

Luis Valdez: Zoot Suit

The Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies is an inter-curricular course in which students will explore ecological systems and historical impact of human activity on the natural world. Students will consider the cultural, social, and scientific issues pertaining to the environment, and evaluate ways in which the connection between humanity and the rest of the living world has changed over time. The ultimate goal of the course will be to help students identify the most pressing environmental issues of our time and develop possible solutions to these challenges.

Senior Mathematics and Science

Interested seniors may elect to take a classes in either pre-calculus, advanced Physics or Human Anatomy.

Senior Math (Pre-Calculus Elective)

Precalculus starts taking a much deeper look at functions and why they are so important in preparation for Calculus. Students will learn about polynomial functions, how to find their zeros, how to graph functions, and how to solve nonlinear equations. Graphing and solving of equations will also be extended to several types of nonlinear equations such as exponentials, logarithms, radicals, and rationals. After polynomials have been covered, the focus will turn to trigonometry and geometry. Students will learn about the unit circle, right triangles, trigonometric functions, and conic sections. Also, a brief introduction to limits will be discussed at the end to help familiarize students with Calculus concepts. This class is intended to explore the world of algebra and prepare students for entry into Calculus through engaging activities and math discussions. Students will learn to think critically, come up with creative solutions to problems using previously learned tools, and focus on detail and precision.

Senior Foreign Language

Interested seniors may elect to take Spanish III, or a class in American Sign Language, or take an independent study in a foreign language of their choice. 

Senior Physical Education

Seniors will take courses in either Yoga, Dance, Team Sports and Krav Maga, or play on one our CIF competitive sports teams in JV or Varsity Basketball, Cross Country or Volleyball.

Meditation 

All seniors will take a semester (or more) of Meditation practice at TREE.