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In middle school, students have an increased level of flexibility to work on projects that align with both their interests and their capacity. Each year students will explore thematically driven curriculum that will lead them through the core standards for grades 6-8 in a highly engaging, hands-on way. These science and social studies driven themes will capitalize on middle school students’ natural interests and strengths. Expeditions will incorporate artistic expression in final products ranging from hand-assembled, laser cut wooden 3D structures, to oil paintings and dramatic enactments, music scores and sculpture.
Students will have time in expeditionary blocks as well as targeted math, English language arts, and science time, with exploratory classes offered quarterly in a variety of arts and science based foci. Example electives include coding, apps, and maker space innovation; robotics; art through different media such as drawing, sculpting, jewelry making, film production, creating comic books; music through orchestra, band and choir; and foreign language.
Math will be tiered to encompass pre-algebra through geometry and higher, to meet the needs of all our students. Expeditions will be tailored for each student to demonstrate their use of applied math within their projects, at their level of comprehension.
Projects focus on meeting grade level proficiency and mastery in all areas of achievement, or above grade level as high as each student is able to reach.
Since all science and social studies standards are designed to be mastered by the end of 8th grade there is room to explore them through many themes and projects.
Expeditions may include:
The Science and Engineering of Speed – from race cars to rockets to roller coasters.
- This dovetails with the 3rd grade exploration of Transportation Through the Ages and brings us into the modern times.
The Rathdrum Prairie Watershed – Our region’s greatest resource.
- From mountains to lakes and rivers and the aquifer–how does the water move through the region and who does it impact?
- The biology, ecology, earth forces, water science, atmospheric science, and human activity that interact within the watershed
Forensics – Who Dun It?
- Chemistry at the crime scene
- Identifying 5 mystery white powders, finger printing, ink identification, DNA sequencing simulation, microscopic fiber analysis,
Liberty and Justice for All – Articles of Confederation, Federalist Papers and their role in the founding of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
- A deep dive into how these foundational pieces of our government have forged our American Republic, the design of Democracy, and how different factions of society have experienced the interpretation and carrying out of constitutional law throughout our history.
- Analysis of our roots in ancient Greek and Roman governance, to comparisons with Hitler’s Germany, Fascism, Communism, and modern European governments such as the UK, France and Finland.
Worlds Apart: The Global Community – similarities and differences among historical and modern nations in governance, cultures, and faiths.
- For example: comparing Egyptian and Aztec cultures—the development of math, science, engineering that led to the construction of pyramids, similar belief systems, similar governance, yet on opposite sides of the globe.
- Explorations from the wilds of Alaska to the dramatic mountain peaks of Patagonia
- The people, biomes, wildlife, and characteristics that define each unique region.