Middle School

Upcoming Events

16 Apr

Early Dismissal

18 Apr

LE/UE/MS Pizza Day

21 Apr

NO SCHOOL - Patriot's Day

22 Apr

Fun Days

Thru: Friday, April 25, 2014

Middle School

The Oak Meadow Middle School offers an academically challenging, interdisciplinary program that is designed to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of adolescents in grades seven and eight.

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he Middle School curriculum includes humanities, math, science, Spanish, drama, art, music, and physical education. Students participate in numerous outside-of-the-classroom experiences and other experiential learning opportunities such as running their own businesses, and serving the Oak Meadow community as classroom volunteers.

During their time in Middle School, our students develop an understanding and confidence about their role within the School community and beyond. Students work in multi-age groups on developmentally appropriate and increasingly complex activities that promote self-reflection and self-expression, teamwork, effective communication, and most importantly, critical thinking. Our program offers students opportunities for in-depth study and for exploration of individual interests. The Middle School is founded on the belief that each individual student’s strengths and passions should be celebrated. Prior attendance at a Montessori school is not a prerequisite for admission.

Because our Middle School curriculum emphasizes critical and analytical thinking, our students are given the tools to succeed in any secondary school setting. Through cultural and practical life studies, students develop a lasting, compassionate global perspective. The learning environment in the Middle School community reflects the developmental need for social interaction, self-expression, and self-knowledge.

Math

The Middle School math curriculum includes pre-algebra, algebra I, and geometry. High school level work is available for those who are ready in eighth grade. Oak Meadow’s small class sizes allow for the teacher to work with individual students or small groups. Rather than presenting formulas to memorize, our students learn to develop and test conjectures by observing patterns, and seek an understanding of how mathematical rules are derived. Students then conjecture concepts based on repetitive models, and derive formulas on their own. Through this process of discovery, students truly understand the meaning and application of the formula. A strong emphasis is also placed on the understanding of graphs and the behavior of linear, quadratic, and exponential functions. The graphing calculator (TI83-84) is used to enhance understanding of the graphs of different functions, and for statistical analysis. Students also have many opportunities to work on projects that connect math with art and nature, such as the symmetry found in nature and the scaling used in building projects when studying proportional reasoning. The Middle School math teacher works closely with students during STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) labs co-taught with the Middle School science teacher to connect math with scientific concepts. Through collaborating and strategizing with their classmates, students build confidence and reinforce their knowledge of math.

Science

The Middle School science curriculum is a two-year program that focuses on both process and content under the umbrella of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math). Through the emphasis on process, students learn how to navigate the scientific method, apply mathematics to their investigations, write formal lab reports, research and present on current science topics, and conduct community environmental impact studies. Through the emphasis on content, students participate in lessons focusing on earth science, life science, astronomy, human health and biology, chemistry, and physics. Students meet daily for science classes, and participate in a weekly STEM lab co-taught by Middle School math and science teachers. Students not only conduct and design weekly laboratory experiments, but also participate in weekly fieldwork at Prouty Woods in the spring and fall. All students participate in the annual Oak Meadow Science Fair, with ten students continuing on to the Massachusetts Regional Science Fair and State Science Technology Engineering and Math Fairs.

Humanities

The Middle School humanities curriculum is an interdisciplinary exploration of history, English, literature, philosophy, geography, and grammar. Students are exposed to classical literature and philosophies, both western and non-western, with the intent that students will develop knowledge-based integrity that will guide them throughout their lives. Students learn to appreciate the richness of cultures from other places in the world and other times in history, and to recognize common universal principles. Students work toward improving reading for comprehension, and writing with literary skill. Progression in grammar lessons is assured, and verbal debate and discourse are ongoing.

World Languages: Spanish

In the Middle School, Spanish classes meet daily. Students are provided with a weekly syllabus that outlines the material to be covered, any anticipated assignments, and a list of vocabulary and grammar structures that will be taught. Verb tenses for regular, irregular, and stem-changing verbs include the present, imperfect, the preterit, present progressive, and future tenses. Students learn verbs in the reflexive form, and the formal and informal forms of the imperative. Emphasis is placed on fluency, and all instruction is expressed in Spanish. Students gain understanding of the language through listening exercises. Students practice their language skills through role-playing of phone conversations, interviews, purchasing and placing orders, and travel situations all in the target language. Cultural exploration into the Spanish-speaking world may include the study of historical figures and events, classic and contemporary literature, art and architecture, music and current events, geography and ethnic identity. Students cook traditional recipes, listen to authentic folk music, and learn about regional dances and celebrations.

Social and Emotional Learning

Social and emotional learning as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning includes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision- making and relationship skills.  The development of these skills helps to promote prosocial behavior, reduce violence and bullying behaviors, and increase ability to learn and achieve in the school environment. Middle School students explore developmentally appropriate concepts of social and emotional learning. Small group sessions are often facilitated to promote group work and relationship skill development.

Art

Middle School students attend art classes by grade level once a week. Students continue to develop a deep understanding of materials and processes in order to independently pursue projects according to their own interests, as well as achieve competency while working on collaborative projects. Awareness of art history and art as an expression of culture remains a focus at this level. Several interdisciplinary projects are managed in collaboration with math, science, and humanities curriculum.

Music

The Middle School music curriculum emphasizes group singing, ear-training, development of individual confidence for performance, and critical thinking and listening with attention to musical form and structure, historical perspectives, global awareness, and sociopolitical content in music. Topical units are rotated annually with consideration for interdisciplinary connections to other areas of the Middle School curriculum. Recent units have included Native American music and dance, Balinese gamelan orchestra and puppetry, Caribbean steel pan drumming, protest songs of the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement, and a musical theater scenes workshop. In addition to weekly classes, Middle School students have various musical opportunities during the after school hours, including a musical theater production, Concert Band, and lessons in vocal performance and a wide variety of instruments.

Drama

Drama classes at Oak Meadow allow students the opportunity to find their unique voice through the exploration of theatrical imagination. Beginning in the Lower Elementary program and continuing into Middle School, students participate in games, exercises, improvisations, and scripts that encourage confidence, enhance team-building skills, intellectually challenge, and heighten awareness. Through drama classes, students gain a better understanding of their emotions, and recognize their commonality with one another instilling in them a greater empathy towards others. Middle School students also participate in an annual play such as Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Physical Education

Middle School students attend physical education classes by grade twice a week for ninety minutes. The main focus is placed on building a greater self-image and increasing self-confidence by setting attainable goals and working hard to achieve them. Muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardio-respiratory endurance are important factors for lifelong health and wellbeing. These factors are improved upon during team related sports and games, individual challenges, and cooperative games. Middle School students also attend health and wellness classes led by Oak Meadow’s physical education faculty.

Field Trips

Each academic year begins with a week-long camping trip, which allows for the students to become comfortable with one another and themselves as they begin the school year. Trips rotate annually to avoid repetition in the Middle School’s two-year program. One year students will visit the Leadership Camp at Camp Kieve in Nobelboro, Maine, while the next year they visit Camp Chewonki in Wiscasset, ME. As part of our outdoor education, students spend overnights at Prouty Woods in Littleton during the fall. In addition, students who participate in Montessori Model United Nations travel each spring to New York City to participate in the annual meeting. Each academic year culminates in a week-long middle school trip, which brings to life the themes and concepts studied throughout the year. Recent trips include a trip to cities in the American south to study the Civil Rights Movement, and a trip to Washington, D.C. to study our nation’s history. When our students travel, they become comfortable with planning what to bring, packing, navigating through an airport, and managing public transportation. Our students gain confidence and self-reliance as they practice these new-found skills.

Practical Life

Practical life experiences are prevalent in the Middle School program. Our students operate businesses in order to expose them to numerous entrepreneurial skills. Students write business plans, market the enterprise to the school community, and run all aspects of the business with the guidance of adults. Businesses include a school store, staff luncheons, coffee sales, and pizza sales. Proceeds from these endeavors enable students to research entrepreneurs in developing countries and provide micro-loans through KIVA.org.  Within our Montessori community, students learn to care for their environment. Each year our Middle School students refinish benches and tables for indoor and outdoor use. Within this work, they handle tools while learning safety and practical life skills. Students also participate in community service programs such as The Food Project in Lincoln, MA.