Middle School Academics
English (meets twice daily)
In English classes, students study the basic elements of grammar, literature, vocabulary, and written expression. Students learn proper grammar usage in order to improve their writing and proofreading skills. Students learn the elements of literature and improve their reading comprehension using literature texts as well as novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Giver, Number the Stars, A Wrinkle in Time, and Romeo and Juliet. Through projects and papers, students become able to demonstrate their comprehension of the material. Students learn a structured writing process that progresses from simple sentences to expanded paragraphs and research papers. Students’ reading and oral vocabulary are improved through direct instruction of new vocabulary, using Wordly Wise.
Math (meets twice daily)
The primary purpose of the math class is to develop math skills in the areas of concepts, computation, and application. Students continue to review the basic operations while expanding their ability to apply basic concepts to a higher level of application. Direct instruction of new material, cooperative groups, guided and independent practice are teaching strategies used to engage students and maintain attention. Grade-level texts and materials are used in a curriculum which progresses from General Mathematics to Pre-Algebra & Geometry to Algebra 1.
The Middle School social studies classes are designed to teach the content of grade-level materials while continuing to improve skills in reading comprehension, note-taking, test-taking, and written expression. All material is read aloud in class and thoroughly discussed. Students master essential strategies to learn factual information and are also directly taught how to demonstrate their knowledge in written form. Projects, videos, PowerPoints, and hands-on experiences help to enhance the students’ learning and understanding of material. Specific classes include World Geography, Civics, World History and American History.
The Middle School science program is also designed to teach grade-level content while improving other academic comprehension and expression skills. As in other classes, all material is read aloud and discussed in class. Hands-on laboratory experiences help students grasp scientific concepts that are introduced in texts and understand the scientific method. Students learn to do basic research and documentation of topics in science as well learning to plan and execute a science fair project. A variety of individual and group projects help to enrich the students' understanding. Middle school students are exposed to various scientific concepts related to earth, physical, and life science each year.
Students attend a period of exploratory each day, participating in structured physical education, art, or another exploratory class. Generally students participate in PE for two weeks followed by art for one week. Students participate in an adaptive PE program that teaches isolated skills and leads to implementing them in team games. Emphasis is placed on teamwork, sportsmanship, and following directions. Students are exposed to traditional team games, eccentric games, exercises, problem-solving activities, ropes course initiatives, and low and high ropes course elements. The Meet the Masters art curriculum is used to introduce students to famous artists and their techniques. Students imitate these masters’ techniques through lead-up activities and culminating projects. Our music curriculum exposes students to the fundamental components of music (rhythms, notes, instruments) as well as introducing them to various types of music. Students also have opportunities to participate in Middle School Chorus and in a spring play or musical. Middle School students who need to work on decoding skills may work in the S.P.I.R.E. reading program in small groups of 3-5 students during one week of their PE/Art/Music rotation.