Whole Child Approach to Education
In middle school, students benefit from a holistic approach at a transitional time of development. In addition to a standards-aligned curriculum, students are supported and challenged through experiential learning, small peer advisory groups, restorative practices, and mindfulness.
Arts, Electives, and Sports
Most arts and specials classes meet weekly, including dance, drama, visual arts, music, and physical education. Middle school students also experiment with new ideas and develop their interests through electives like anime, drawing and painting, improv/acting, stagecraft, creative writing, and cooking. After school team sports offered throughout the year include intramural soccer, cross country, basketball, and ultimate frisbee. All middle school grades have designated recess time.
Inquiry- and Project-Based Learning
Middle school students develop critical thinking skills and take ownership over their own goals through inquiry- and project-based learning, so that by 8th grade, students are ready for their capstone project: researching, gathering data, and devising solutions to a real-world issue. Middle school students at High Meadow School are engaged in creative problem solving, social change, curiosity, and community development.
PREVIEW THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
5TH GRADE SCIENCE:
The 5th grade scientists explored food systems. They began with the question of where their food is sourced. They created a list of resources needed for each ingredient of their lunch and made maps of their possible sources. They drew parallels and create juxtaposition between modern agricultural food systems and strategies other organisms have developed to meet this essential need.
Students then investigated local food systems including foraging, indoor outdoor and community gardening, and hunting and fishing. They practiced using a variety of tools for identifying edible organisms. They learned safe and sustainable practices for sourcing their own food.
The class partnered with our school gardener, Courtney, to grow edible plants and mushrooms in the classroom. They will be competing with an automated indoor nursery to grow our own greens, herbs, tomatoes, and peppers.
6TH GRADE HUMANITIES:
The 1619 PROJECT
In 6th Grade Humanities, students launched into an inquiry around The 1619 Project. This work involved lots of close reading, collaborative annotations, and discussion.
It’s challenging, learning about hard history, and it’s also vital to build our understanding of how events in the past made things the way they are today.
This work will grow into independent and/or collaborative research into a variety of different topics including thriving African civilizations, the experience of Black people in America, and anti-racist education today.
7TH GRADE HUMANITIES:
This month we started book clubs. Students chose to read A Wrinkle in Time, To Kill a Mockingbird, or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Students are setting their own reading goals and assigning themselves jobs each week so they can come to book club discussions ready to talk about their books and try to get to the deeper meaning of the texts.
We also toured the campus investigating the history of the main building. This kicked off our person or place history projects, where students will choose an old building or a local person (probably a relative) and research their history to present it to the class. This project will help students with their research skills beyond internet searching as we embark on a unit that will explore the complexities of colonization and migration.
The 8th grade has been working on showing work in math with one-step and two-step equations, while getting ready for linear equation work.
We are also reviewing combining like terms and subtraction of integers. We also started our Regents prep class!
This unit serves as a time to get to know the material and format, and there have been a few growing pains, but all in all we are off to a great start!