Additional Middle School Subjects

Collaborative Integrated Problem Solving - Sequoia

Working with peers, using technology and project-based learning are among the qualities students note as essential to engagement. The Sequoia Project, a yearlong project involving fifth through eighth graders, integrates the subjects of science, technology, math, social studies, and language arts, and uses the 21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Students not only collaborate with each other, but with their teachers, administration, and most of all, with experts in the field. Each year, students use a fictitious island, Sequoia, which they developed, to problem solve real-world issues, such as the discovery of oil and how it will affect their country, designing and building homes in their country during a water shortage, and researching the country’s past through the discovery artifacts in an archeological dig.

Outdoor Classroom

In both the classroom and our state-recognized Texas Wildscape, students:

  • Participate in investigations that develop the early skills of scientific inquiry through group and independent activities.
  • Value, empathize with, care for and feel comfortable in their natural environment.
  • Explore the process of cyclical changes in matter, organisms and the environment.
  • Plant and harvest vegetables and herbs.
  • Have an appreciation for wildlife and the interdependence of living things.
During Outdoor Classroom in Middle School, our fifth grade students manage the school prairie. Our Middle School students also have a hand in native landscaping their area. The fifth graders volunteer time to the program and no grades are given.

Physical Education and Health

Students acquire the knowledge and skills for movement that provide the foundation for enjoyment, continued social development and access to a physically active, healthy lifestyle.

  • Students learn group games in which they develop behaviors which exemplify individual character and the sportsmanship to resolve conflicts with peers, including responsibility, best effort, cooperation, and compassion.
  • Students actively participate in physical activities that address each component of health-related fitness including: strength, endurance and flexibility.
  • Students follow activity-specific safe practices, rules and procedures.

Service Learning

Middle School students have participated in various service projects for the benefit of fellow humans, animals and the environment.Projects last year were incorporated in Sequoia.This coming year, they will partner with Cathedral Urban Service Experience (C.U.S.E.) for weekends to serve in our urban community.

Spanish

Our Middle School students make deep connections to our global society through their exposure to the Spanish language. Spanish is incorporated in cross-curricular activities and practical life situations. Students also use the online Scholastic ¿Qué Tal? magazine and online supplementary program. Middle School students are provided with the tools to become successful foreign language learners. After completing seventh and eighth grade Spanish with a grade of B or better, students may gain high school credit for Spanish I.

Technology Foundations

Middle School students learn best when they are actively engaged with the content. Lessons that include technology applications, provide teachers with ways to motivate students into becoming active, real-world learners. Computer-based strategies help students develop higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. Participation in real-life applications included in technology-rich teaching environments promotes the ability to draw analogies, infer relationships, predict outcomes, and analyze data. In the Middle School, each student has their own laptop which they use daily. All Middle School students also bring a tablet or have access to a school tablet for use during the school day.Each grade level has focused technology skill lessons each week in technology class. All classrooms are equipped with interactive Promethean Boards for both teacher and student use.