Mater Christi School

35 Hurst Avenue
Albany, NY  12208
Phone: 518.489.3111
Fax: 518.489.5865

Middle School Grades 6-8


In middle school the study of religion begins with an overview of the Old Testament. This leads to the study of the New Testament with an emphasis on the life and teachings of Jesus. By 8th grade, students are prepared to examine the history of the Church. Theological study is enriched by the incorporation of service projects, music, art, prayer services, and Liturgies.

English/Language Arts  

Separate courses are devoted to the teaching of English and literature. In English, students experience an intensive and competitive study of vocabulary through a program called “WordMasters”. Students have weekly lessons in writing and grammar. Writing is presented through the Six Trait Writing program. The traits include idea, organization, sentence fluency, voice, word choice, and conventions. These skills are integrated into the study of literature as students read many genres and write about what they have read. Students write poetry, essays, short answers and creative pieces. Additionally students at every level devote a semester to learning how to create a research paper using a multiple-step process with increased responsibility and expectations for each grade level. There is an emphasis on reinforcing and integrating skills throughout the curriculum. Further, technology and audiovisual resources are used to supplement and enhance learning.


Our middle school math program is designed to help and encourage each student to strive for his or her own level of excellence. Hands-on learning, “math labs,” Smart Board lessons, group problem-solving, and games are just a few of the ways that traditional instruction is enhanced. Algebra and geometry are central focuses of instruction in each grade. The basic mechanics that are necessary to succeed at higher levels of math are continuously reinforced and evaluated. Extra help is offered to those who may need it during the day and after school in an environment of encouragement.

We provide students in grades 6-8 with two levels of math instruction – grade level and accelerated (1 year advanced). This enables classes of 8-15 students to learn at the level where they can experience challenge and success. Students in grade 8 are instructed in Integrated Algebra and take the New York State Regents.


Students learn science process skills most effectively when they have a central role in the discovery process. Students learn to understand the scientific process, including investigation and experimentation, through individual and group interactive labs and demonstrations. Our middle school science program is a comprehensive program that incorporates using individual laptops, interactive Smart Boards, and on line homework assignments where students fully benefit from the experiences technology has to offer.

Grade 6 – Earth Science

Earth science is the branch of science that deals with the processes and characteristics of earth and space. Topics in earth science include: astronomy, geology, meteorology, and climatology.

Grade 7 – Physical Science

In physical science, topics in both chemistry and physics act as the focus for students as they learn the processing skills, content, and concepts that are necessary to be a good scientist.

Grade 8 – Life Science

This course is designed for students to study living things in their world, through cell biology and genetics. Students learn how modern living things have evolved, survive, and reproduce through the study of earth and life history. Students also learn how physical principles function in living systems.

Grade 8 – Living Environment Regents Course

This course is specifically designed to prepare students for the Living Environment Regents Exam in June. Students learn scientific inquiry, cell structure/function, basic biochemistry, nutrition, photosynthesis, respiration, mitosis, meiosis, genetics, protein synthesis, evolution, classification, plants, animals, systems of the body, ecology, and human impacts on the environment.

Social Studies

Middle school social studies begins with an introduction to ancient societies. It focuses on the changes societies incur over time and place to meet the changing needs and wants of their people.

Students explore ancient civilizations, the Middle Ages, and Reformation and Renaissance to learn how such diversity has significantly influenced civilization. Social studies in grades 7 and 8 focuses on a study of United States and New York State history from pre-Columbian times to the present. Political, geographic, economic, and social trends in the United States are explored and developed through related multi-media materials, magazines, books, maps, projects, and interactive Smart Board technology.


The middle school Spanish class is designed to develop proficiency and confidence in conversational and written Spanish. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary, listening comprehension, pronunciation, and Spanish culture. Students will learn Spanish syntax, developing an understanding of parts of speech and sentence structure. Activities focus on the essential language skills of listening, writing, reading, and speaking.

High school Spanish I course is completed two years beginning in the 7th grade and continuing instruction in 8th grade. Grade 8 students take the Diocesan Spanish Proficiency in June, which enables them to take Spanish II in their first year of high school.