Seventh and Eighth Grade:
Our Middle School Program
True education occurs when teachers and students explore the world of learning as fellow thinkers. During the middle school years, this becomes even more important as students struggle to define their thinking. We believe that seventh and eighth grade students should be presented with a challenging curriculum that allows them to develop as critical thinkers. This requires providing students with a safe learning environment where ideas can be shared freely. Learning at this level is approached as an honest inquiry with the teacher serving as a facilitator rather than a giver of knowledge. We believe our middle school program inspires a spirit of curiosity and a desire for excellence.
Education in the seventh and eighth grade levels focuses on teaching students how to think in varied and powerful ways, and on teaching students how to become responsible for their own learning. We believe that it is our responsibility to nurture the capacity to learn, to develop the ability to reason critically, and to weigh the merits of conflicting information in responsible ways. This provides students with the tools necessary to negotiate and determine the varying courses of change in their lives.
These students create a variety of written and oral literary works. Students continue to develop the many different styles of writing introduced in the elementary years as well as learning the basics of formal writing, including literary analysis.
Mathematics is developed as students gain greater skills in division, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics. Problem solving and real-life math experiences are essential components in grasping mathematical concepts. Students are firmly rooted in the general patterning and rhythm of mathematics. Through the use of various games, manipulatives, and cooperative learning opportunities, students further develop skills in long division, multiplication, algebra, decimals, fractions, measurements, and written and oral problem solving.
Higher level thinking skills and historical analysis become essential as students dive more deeply into Global Studies and American History. Students discuss world issues, current local events, and draw comparisons between the past and the present. Projects at this age become more focused and students are expected to analyze and synthesize historical information.
Science continues to be a hands-on experience in the middle school years. Subjects are similar to those taught in the elementary years, but are taken to a deeper level as more complicated questions and materials are introduced. As in social studies, science projects become more focused and students are expected to apply higher level thinking skills in their work.
Independent Projects are an integral component at this age level. Students practice essential research skills such as selecting a topic, searching for information, and note-taking. Information is presented in a variety of formats including formal and informal oral presentation as well as written reports.