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AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL FOR BOYS GRADES 7-12

Three-week Workshop Descriptions

Session 1: June 29-July 21 Session 2: July 24-August 11

Writing, English, History

List of 10 items.

  • English Language Acceleration

    Grades 6-12
    This class meets for two workshop blocks.
    This course is designed for non-native English speaking students who need language support as they accelerate their learning. The primary goal is to develop skills to communicate more naturally, confidently, and expressively. This happens through a disciplined, playful approach to interactions and discussions. Readings and projects provide a framework for the learning, which integrates all skills. Students gain experience demonstrating their learning in front of classmates. Throughout the course, there are opportunities for whole class, small group, and independent learning.
  • Grammar

    Grades 6-8
    The three-week grammar course is designed to be a place where students in grades six through eight can focus their attention exclusively on the grammar and structure of the English language. The purpose of devoting an intensive time to the study of grammar is so that students will be able to express themselves more clearly and articulately both in speaking and writing formal English.

    The course begins with assessments to show how much grammar the students know. The instructor then reviews the basic parts of speech, and expands students’ understanding of how words may be construed differently, depending on their use.   Students will examine verbs in all forms, the use of tenses, the parts of sentences, the distinction between phrases and clauses, the four sentence types, subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and other issues, including punctuation, capitalization, et cetera.

    There will be writing assignments, as well as assignments involving completion of grammar exercises. Grading will be based on class work, weekly assessments, and various writing assignments. A final grammar assessment will be given to evaluate students’ progress at the end of the three-week session.   
  • Speech and Debate

    Grades 6-12
    Speech and Debate will cover the fundamentals of formal public speaking, including preparation and delivery.
    Students will practice making both extemporaneous and researched speeches, while also participating in formal and informal debates. Gradually, students will develop confidence with public speaking while discovering how to organize information clearly, present their ideas effectively, and maintain the attention of their audience. Throughout this course, class participation will be emphasized. Students will be expected to share their thoughts and views on a regular basis, and participate in various class activities and exercises. Students will regularly be encouraged to challenge themselves as speechwriters and as increasingly confident public speakers. Regular written homework will be given, and students will be expected to come to class prepared for lively discussion.
  • Study Skills

    Grades 6-8
    This course addresses students' understanding of themselves as learners, as well as their approach to organization, time management, reading, and note-taking.  The emphasis is on building skills across disciplines, including test-taking, pacing long-term projects, avoiding procrastination, giving presentations, and using technology effectively.  In addition, students explore subject-specific skills and study habits to improve upon areas of strength and bolster areas of need.
  • Writing & Literature 1

    Grades 6-7
    Students practice, develop, and strengthen specific skills in creating a variety of pieces in the six genres of writing, focusing on descriptive, persuasive, and expository writing. Through teacher feedback and editing comments, students are made aware of areas they need to improve upon, such as following specific grammatical rules and using sentence variety. The six-step writing process is used to help the student brainstorm, create an outline, write a draft, share feedback, make revisions, and ultimately construct a well-organized essay. Students read passages of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry to identify the writers’ use of figurative language and to guide them in using concrete imagery in their own writing.
  • Writing & Literature 2

    Grades 8-9
    The second-level English course reviews and reinforces the essential skills of grammar, usage, and mechanics appropriate to these grade levels. Readings include poetry, novels, and short stories. Improved reading comprehension is emphasized. Writing assignments encourage students to be both exact and imaginative in content and language.
  • Writing & Literature 3

    Grades 10-11
    Students in this class explore their ability to communicate personal experiences, perceptions, and values in their writing by examining the critical, the persuasive, and the descriptive essay. Attention will focus on the mechanics of clear, cohesive writing: diction, grammar, organization, and transitions. Critical readings will be assigned.
  • Advanced Composition

    Grades 10-12
    This class gives students additional guidance and practice in crafting effective, engaging essays. The small class size allows students to write frequently. They will learn about essay structure and organization while they hone their own syntax and grammar. Students write in both analytical and narrative genres. Open only to students who have completed Writing and Literature 3 or are entering tenth grade.
  • College Essay

    Grades 11-12
    The college essay is a quick snapshot of who you are. In this course students will be given ample opportunities to investigate him/herself in the context of the questions presented through a series of writing experiments. We will use The Common Application as a reference point as well as actual Supplemental Essay Questions to help students craft thoughtful, compelling, and unique essays.
  • Topics in U.S. History

    Grades 9-12
    Topics in U.S. History is a three week survey of the major time periods in United States History from Columbus to the present.  During the first week, we will cover the founding of the country through the Civil War while focusing on the Constitution and the issue of slavery.  The second week will address major events from the Civil War to WWII with an emphasis on how the U.S. became a world power.  The final week will highlight important developments from WWII to the present.  In particular, we will consider the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War in light of events in the U.S. today.  The goal of the class is to introduce students to the important people, events, themes, and debates from U.S. History.  It is intended to provide a broad overview so that students will be more prepared heading into their history class in the fall.  There is nightly homework, projects, writing assignments, and a final test.

Math

List of 6 items.

  • Topics in Algebra 1

    Grades 8-10
    Following a class assessment, students will engage in problem-solving, small group work, and lectures on topics including but not limited to number sense (positives, negatives, fractions, decimals and integers), solving equations and inequalities, graphing linear equations and inequalities in the coordinate plane, solving systems, and graphing, factoring and solving quadratics, exponents, and basic trigonometry. Given the nature of a workshop model, some students may not progress through each topic covered but will be challenged at an appropriate level.
  • Topics in Algebra 2

    Grades 9-12
    Following a class assessment, students will engage in problem-solving, small group work, and lectures on topics including but not limited to solving first degree equations and inequalities, graphing linear equations and inequalities, solving and graphing systems, solving and graphing polynomial equations and inequalities, radicals, roots and imaginary numbers, rational expressions and equations, exponents and logarithmic expressions and equations. Given the nature of a workshop model, some students may not progress through each topic covered but
    will be challenged at an appropriate level.
  • Topics in Calculus

    Grades 11-12
    Following a class assessment, students will engage in problem-solving, small group work, and lectures on topics including but not limited to rational functions and limits, techniques of differentiation, related rates, optimization, graphing and rectilinear motion. Given the nature of a workshop model, some students may not progress through each topic covered but will be challenged at an appropriate level.
  • Topics in Geometry

    Grades 8-10
    Following a class assessment, students will engage in problem-solving, small group work, and lectures on topics including proofs (direct and indirect), congruency, similarity, parallel lines, polygons, circles, trigonometry of the right triangle, areas and volume, and some construction. This course will cover topics in Geometry including but not limited to points, lines and planes, parallel lines, congruent triangles, proofs, quadrilaterals, solids and right triangles. Given the nature of a workshop model, will be challenged at an appropriate level.
  • Topics in PreAlgebra

    Grades 7-8
    In Topics in Pre-Algebra, following a class assessment, students will engage in problem-solving, small group work, and lectures.  Topics covered include:  Concepts of negative numbers and operations; order of operations; real number properties (associative, commutative, and distributive properties); and solving linear equations and inequalities that are related to various types of real-world scenarios.  Given the nature of this workshop model, some students may not progress through each topic covered but will be challenged at an appropriate level.
  • Topics in PreCalculus

    Grades 10-12
    Following a class assessment, students will engage in problem-solving, small group work, and lectures on topics including but not limited to solving and graphing first degree equations, inequalities and systems, solving and graphing polynomial equations and inequalities, radicals, roots and imaginary numbers, rational expressions and equations, exponents and logarithmic expressions and equations, simplifying, solving and proving trigonometric functions and identities, rational functions and limits and matrices, sequences and series. Given the nature of a
    workshop model, some students may not progress through each topic covered but will be challenged at an appropriate level.

Test Prep

List of 5 items.

  • ACT Prep – English/Reading

    This course prepares students for the English and Reading portions of the ACT exam.
    Students will use specific test materials and test questions to help prepare them for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and rhetorical skill questions on the exam. Students will practice reading comprehension skills in the various types of readings
    presented in the ACT (fiction, social studies, humanities and natural sciences). Practice tests will be administered, scored and evaluated for strengths and weaknesses.
  • ACT Prep – Math/Science

    This class prepares students for the Math and Science portions of the ACT exam.
    This class prepares students for the Math and Science portions of the ACT exam, including reviewing skills in Algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and trigonometry. It also will bolster skills in interpreting graphs, charts, tables and research summaries in scientific based passages. Practice tests will be administered, scored and evaluated for
    strengths and weaknesses.
  • ACT/SAT Combo

    Grades 10-12
    This course will provide a comprehensive understanding of both the ACT and the SAT. The idea is to prepare students who are taking both tests as well as those who are undecided. Studies will include a variety of strategies to work efficiently through both tests, as well as a review of the differences between the two tests. It is highly recommended that students practice regularly outside and after class to maximize the skills they will learn.
  • SAT English

    Grades 10-12
    This course will prepare students for the redesigned English SAT.  Students will review topics and practice questions in three content areas: reading, writing and language, and essay. Daily class work and homework includes practice in applying reading and reasoning skills in order to extract information from texts, interpret documents and tables, analyze and synthesize content, understand words in context, and identify proper grammar and language conventions. Instruction includes timed practice sections and guidance on question types and strategy.
  • SAT Math

    Grades 10-12
    This course will prepare students for the redesigned SAT.  Students will review concepts and practice problems in four content areas:  algebra, problem solving and data analysis, passport to advanced math (quadratic and higher-order equations) and additional topics in math (geometry and trigonometric functions).  Daily class work and homework will include problem-solving and timed practice test sections, as well as approaches to question types and strategy.  

Science and Technology

List of 8 items.

  • Advanced Robotics

    Grades 6-12
    In Advanced Robotics, students will explore the use of open-source software and build robots based upon multiple hardware platforms. Students will learn how to utilize hardware components from LEGO NXT Mindstorm and TETRIX kits, interfacing this equipment with Arduino-based circuits such as Bricktronics and Adafruit Motor shields. Students will also learn how to utilize bluetooth technology, by building a remote control app that allows their robot to pair with an integrated mobile Android-based device. Through this 3-week course, students will learn principles of algorithm design, explore the use of pattern recognition in robotics, as wellas learn some C and JAVA coding.
  • AppInventor

    Grades 6-12
    This course is designed for students with no previous programming experience who wish to learn basic programming concepts through designing simple Android apps. Students will create their apps in the computer lab and then run them either on their own mobile devices or computer emulators. In the first part of the workshop students will complete specific assignments designed to introduce them to the AppInventor language and programming environment.  In the second part of the workshop students will design and complete their own projects.
  • Drones

    Grades 6-10
    Will meet during Session 2 ONLY and meets for two workshop blocks

    AM Class: Drones: Search & Rescue, Create & Innovate
    Drone search and rescue is a necessity for first responders around the world, adding a new layer of solutions to save lives across the globe. Now you too can take part in and learn from simulated missions during this action-packed and creative program.
     
    Participants will learn how to fly and code drones while relying on their rescue team to utilize unique vantage points over specific areas on campus to locate victims and safely rescue them to safety. Teams will also learn invaluable lessons on how to quickly and accurately acquire aerial data that, in return, will enable them to make informed and targeted decisions for real-world positive applications.
     
    Also included in this program:
    This program will open the creative minds of participants as they learn all about some of the most fascinating drone solutions to date. Teams will learn about some of the incredible problems drone technology has solved; and then have the opportunity to interact with inventors currently in the drone industry via video conference. Upon building a base of knowledge, experience and confidence, participants will then fly and code drones as they work together in teams to create their own business, environmental, or safety drone solution. Instructors will challenge teams to focus on the social and ethical responsibilities that accompany the powerful and evolving drone technological advances.
     
    Drone safety and the social responsibilities of flying drones are included in this program.
     
    -Each participant receives their own Drobots Flight Book™.
    -No drone flying experience necessary.
    -Participants are organized into age-appropriate groups.
    -Where Technology Meets Fresh Air™.

    PM Class: Drone Flying: Exploration, Adventure & Video
    Time to get away from behind the screen - it’s time for a new STEM scene. During this program teams will be challenged to combine their flight skills with their creative minds to produce a drone video. Participants will work together to self-select topics, create storyboards, record, and produce their very own drone footage. Participants will also code and fly drones on adventurous missions after designing obstacle courses. Complete challenges and earn points, which are applied to the highly anticipated end-of-program event: The Ultimate Drobot Games.
     
    Also included in this program:
    This program will open the creative minds of participants as they learn all about some of the most fascinating drone solutions to date. Teams will first learn about some of the incredible problems drone technology has solved; and then have the opportunity to interact with inventors currently in the drone industry via video conference. Upon building a base of knowledge, experience and confidence, participants will then fly and code drones as they work together in teams to create their own business, environmental, or safety drone solution. Instructors will challenge teams to focus on the social and ethical responsibilities that accompany the powerful and evolving drone technological advances.
     
    Drone safety and the social responsibilities of flying drones are included in this program.
     
    -Each participant receives their own Drobots Flight Book™.
    -No drone flying experience necessary.
    -Participants are organized into age-appropriate groups.
     
  • iLab and Engineering

    Grades 6-12
    Students participating in this course will use Belmont Hill School’s innovation lab, or iLab, a makerspace in the recently-completed Melvoin Academic Center, to create 3D-printed objects, in order to solve real world problems. Students will work collaboratively, utilizing principles of the engineering design process to creatively solve a task where custom-built assemblages are employed. Students will learn how to use 123D Design, a powerful 3D creation tool for 3D printers, learn basic circuitry, and develop essential drafting skills. Students will learn now to produce
    3D objects, and how to safely fabricate assemblages using laser cutting and metal milling machinery. In addition to critical thinking and problem solving skills, students will develop valuable skills in engineering, design, and fundamental STEM-based principles.
  • Java

    Grades 9-12
    This course is for high school students with no previous experience who wish to learn the fundamental constructs of the Java programming language. The course will cover the basics of data types, selection and repetition structures, input/output, arrays, and functions. Additional topics such as recursion, files, and classes will be discussed as time
    allows. This course is designed to give students a good head start for an AP Computer Science course.
  • Lab Science Inquiry

    Grades 6-8
    This three-week workshop will encourage and help students to develop their scientific skills through a variety of experiments, group activities and presentations. Topics will include chemistry, biology, and earth processes, among others. The course will focus heavily on inquiry-based activities and experimental design, in addition to short readings, discussions, group work, and presentations, all meant to encourage and foster problem solving skills and critical thinking.
  • Robotics

    Grades 6-12
    Students will use LEGO Mindstorm kits to build robots that can move, see, feel, and hear. Students will program their robots using ROBOTC, a premiere robotics programming language for education robotics and competitions. Students will work in groups of two or three to complete various challenges and will present their findings and
    projects in front of the class. By the end of the 3 weeks, students will have improved logic skills, problem solving abilities, and the experience working in teams. This class is a great base for students who want to do more intensive coding in the future.
  • Topics in Chemistry

    Grades 9-12
    Serving to prepare students for several topics covered in a traditional high school Chemistry class, students will engage in problem-solving, small group work, and lectures involving relevant topics in chemistry including atoms and molecules, principles of chemical reactions and reactivity, stoichiometry, and states of matter. Given the nature of a workshop model, some students may not progress through each topic covered but will be challenged at an appropriate level.  
     

Foreign Language

List of 3 items.

  • Spanish 1

    Beginner
    This class is an introduction to language learning through immersion. Vocabulary such as greetings, weather, places, and activities will be studied. Novice-level grammar and syntax will be covered. Students will learn the present tense of reflexive, regular, stem-changing and irregular verbs, as well as conjugations using the near future tense. Students will develop communicative skills and practice vocabulary and grammar by engaging in real-life conversations in the target language.
  • Spanish 2 Intermediate

    At this level students will expand and reinforce their knowledge of the language. Grammatically, students will practice the use of present progressive and idiomatic expressions. Students will demonstrate effective use of superlatives, comparisons, demonstrative adjectives, direct and indirect object pronouns. They will also learn the past tense conjugations of regular, irregular, and stem-changing verbs. Students will increase proficiency by listening, reading, writing, and conversing in the target language.
  • Spanish 3 Advanced

    Spanish 3 Advanced
     
    Students will continue to hone their listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Assignments will include reading newspaper articles and various pieces of literature as well as reflecting on culture in Spanish speaking countries.  Students will also write compositions, and participate in class discussions. The goal of this workshop is for students to achieve an advanced level of proficiency in all modes of communication. Students must have successfully completed Spanish 2 in order to register for this workshop.

Art & Activities

List of 5 items.

  • Drawing and Painting

    Using a variety of media, students will sharpen their skills through projects created from observation and imagination. The class will focus elements of color and composition as well as line and form. Students will work with instruction going beyond the traditional approaches to painting and drawing. There will be opportunities for both the novice and the experienced artist, allowing both to develop individual styles. Previous painting and/or drawing skills are not a prerequisite for this course.
  • Pottery

    Students will use clay in a variety of techniques, from slab construction and coil work to throwing on the wheel. Appropriate for all levels of experience, each assignment will include demonstrations and individual instruction to help students gain confidence and improve their skills. Finished functional ware will be glazed and fired. Class size
    will be limited to 10 students in order to maximize opportunity for one-on-one instruction.
  • Tennis

    For grades 6-12
    We welcome any boy or girl entering grades 6-12, whether experienced or new to the game. Our tennis program is tailored to all ages and skill levels with the goal of improving fundamentals and level of play. Young players are grouped according to age, grade and playing experience for optimal instruction and skill development. We use the
    four indoor courts in the Gerald R. Jordan Athletic Center for instruction. Students provide their own racquet. Enrollment is limited to students who are also enrolled in our summer school classes or workshops.
  • Woodworking

    Available to students of all levels, this course provides students with an opportunity to learn basic woodworking skills and become confident using hand tools and small power tools.   Students will draft their ideas on paper to help them plan and create their crafted piece. Examples of projects include clocks, boxes, frames, small furniture and birdhouses.  Personal ideas are welcome upon discussion with the instructor. 
  • Woodworking: Adirondack Chair

    This course is designed around students who have some woodworking experience and would like to learn more.  Students will continue to develop their basic skills with hand and specified power tools to craft wood by cutting out and assembling an Adirondack Chair.  The course will include demonstrations and instruction on some of the larger power tools such as the band-saw and belt sander while incorporating hand tools, like planes, pull saw, and drill.
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Belmont Hill School educates boys in mind, body, and spirit to develop men of good character. Our community encourages and challenges students to discover and pursue passions, seek excellence, and face adversity with resilience. We cultivate critical thinking and creativity, teamwork and competition, hard work and reflection, tradition and innovation. Valuing our differences and working together, we embrace camaraderie, compassion, and service to others. Our school strives to instill in each boy ethical judgment, a sense of common humanity, and a lifelong love of learning.