Middle School Specialty Curriculum
The last part of the year in Middle School art revolved around creating individual 8 x 8 inch stained glass panels. Each student created their own design and cut each piece of glass to fit their pattern. Copper foiling was applied to the edges of each piece and then all of the pieces were soldered together using lead-free solder. It was a labor-intensive process involving much patience and resilience to complete.
Comprehensive program that emphasizes participation in a wide variety of dynamic activities that develop overall physical fitness for the individual student. Group opportunities to increase the value placed on physical activity for health, enjoyment, self- expression, and confidence. Each class presents a strong emphasis on lifelong health and wellness. Activities include: cooperative games, jump rope, tag games, track & field, floor hockey, kickball, calisthenics, throwing games, ultimate frisbee, & basketball.
The first-year middle-schoolers have continued in the textbook Ecce Romani, which follows the narrative of a fictional Roman family in the first century CE; each chapter introduces grammar, vocabulary, and cultural information. The first-years have now passed the first great grammatical hurdles of Latin: learning the forms and functions of all six cases of the nouns (sets of differing forms that indicate grammatical function) as well as many different verb-forms for several categories of verbs. The students maintain their own vocabulary lists as we move through the book, and we study one vocabulary list at the beginning of each lesson to keep the words fresh; as for culture, we’ve covered the early history (/mythology) of Rome and looked at some aspects of Roman daily life.
Most classes are a mix of large-group instruction and small-group or individual work. We’ve also continued to explore how to work most effectively in the classroom, including students’ keeping track of their own materials, staying focused on the work, and working respectfully with others in the same space.
The second-year middle-schoolers have continued in Ecce Romani I, the first of two textbooks used in many high school Latin programs (including at IHS), which follows the narrative of a fictional Roman family in the first century CE; each chapter introduces grammar, vocabulary, and cultural information. At this point the second-years know the forms and functions of all six case-forms of three kinds of nouns, and the several verb-forms of four tenses of verbs. Students maintained their own vocabulary sheets throughout the year, and we studied a vocab sheet at the beginning of each lesson to keep the words fresh; we also covered a good deal of mythology, history, and Roman daily life, and looked at the various ways in which Latin words and phrases come into English.
The students have also made great progress in learning to bring their best work to the classroom, showing respect to me and each other, and staying focused on the material.
- Introduction of the additional verb tenses and more in depth verb studies
- Asking Questions: ¿Qué?, ¿Cómo?, ¿Cuándo?, ¿Por qué? …..
- ¿Adónde Vas? Talking about leisure activities and daily routines.
- Making plans and talking about the near future
- Collaborative Project: Presentation of Costa Rica as a team through the use of google slideshows
- Families around the World
- An Introduction to the Social Structure in Spain: The Spanish Royal Family, detailed descriptions of people
- Cultural Explorations México: The coming of age ceremony of La Quincañera and how it compares to other cultures
- Cinco de Mayo
- The year ends with cooking a Costa Rican meal using authentic recipes in Spanish.
- Review through activities and games, which help develop speaking and listening skills.
- Viajes y Experiencias:
- Students become travel agents and clients and choose a trip to a country of their choice
- Talking about travel, transportation, hotels, attractions, visiting a doctor, asking for directions etc.
- Costa Rica History, Geography, Culture, Language and Food
- Preparation for the trip to Costa Rica
- Practice speaking and listening
- Trip to Costa Rica: Language Immersion at Conversa Language School, a White River Rafting Trip, visit to San José including the historic market (Mercado Central) and the National Theater in San José. Volunteering in a preschool and a soccer match with local kids from Santa Ana are highlights of their trip
- ¿Qué tal en Costa Rica?
- Students write a short “trip report” and talk about the experiences at the Language School and in the rainforest in Spanish
- Short writing assignments and speaking practice prepare students for their final exam
- “Hábitat para la Humanidad International”, learning about volunteer work in Spanish speaking countries
Proficiency exam preparation
- Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing activities
- Review of vocabulary, grammar and culture
- The year ends with cooking a Costa Rican meal using authentic recipes in Spanish
- Final exam based on past NY State Proficiency exams.