Ages 11 – 14
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Before and After School care available from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The academically challenging Middle School Curriculum at Fraser Woods Montessori inspires creative thinking and academic skills. A passionate team of departmental teachers create a sense of awe as they engage students in a variety of discussions about literature, historical origins, conflict and resolutions. Students learn, practice, and master a variety of writing techniques as they find their own voice. Math materials that began in the Lower School are now replaced with the use of textbooks to work with pre-algebra and algebra. An engaging sciences curriculum provides students with investigations in both the laboratory and the field.
The Middle School Adolescent
The Fraser Woods Middle School adolescent learns self-discipline and personal accountability in an evolving, nonjudgemental environment of unconditional respect, emphasizing a sense of membership in and responsibility to their world. We also spotlight responsibility for one’s own education and a responsibility for one’s growth in moral character. This approach prepares the students for the adaptations of high school and beyond while maintaining and building their lifelong love of learning.
The Fraser Woods Middle School Mathematics Curriculum focuses on critical thinking, problem solving, and building a strong algebraic foundation. We differentiate to meet the developmental needs of our mathematical thinkers and understand that transitioning to abstract thinking can be challenging and that each student develops and excels at their own pace. We honor and celebrate the unique learning style each student possesses by using a variety of curriculums, manipulatives and resources including but not limited to: Singapore Math and Glencoe Math.
In sixth grade, students take a Course 2 program. The overall goals of this course are to develop strong mathematical problem-solving and reasoning skills, and a solid foundation in essential mathematical concepts and skills. The students will learn to work collaboratively by building on each others’ ideas/understanding and challenging themselves and their group to identify multiple ways to approach and solve problems and justify their thinking.
In seventh grade, students take an accelerated Pre-Algebra course. This course builds a foundation of algebraic concepts through the use of manipulatives, problem solving, and cooperative learning. Concepts include algebraic expressions, linear equations, polynomials, factoring, inequalities, geometry, statistics, and graphing. Problem solving, reasoning, estimation, and connections between math and everyday applications are emphasized throughout the course.
The eighth grade students take an accelerated Algebra course that is designed to give students a foundation for all future mathematics courses. In this course, the fundamentals of algebraic problem-solving are explained. Students explore: foundations of Algebra, solving equations, solving inequalities, an introduction to functions, linear functions, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and exponential functions, polynomials and factoring, quadratic functions and equations, radical expressions and equations, with some data analysis and probability.
The Fraser Woods Middle School Science Program is an inquiry-based program that draws from a diverse set of curricular resources. Inquiry-based science offers students the opportunity to learn in a setting in which they feel safe to question and explore. By investigating science phenomena through active discovery, they develop deep knowledge, overcome incorrect preconceptions, and build a foundation for future learning. All 6th and 7th year students take part in our annual Science Fair, conducting and presenting an experiment of their own design while 8th year students conduct a long-term, in-depth research project.
The main objectives of the science program are to help students develop skills in the following key areas while acquiring content knowledge: laboratory procedures and safety, measurement, information processing and management, scientific investigation, critical thinking and data organizing. Our program’s emphasis is on the scientific method and discovery through hands on activities, field studies and research. Middle School students learn these skills through active, inquiry-based lesson plans and cross-curriculum projects that interact with Art, Humanities, Mathematics, and Technology. In addition to regular classroom activities, students conduct laboratory investigations and research projects individually and in teams, presenting their results in a variety of formats.
Middle School Humanities classes are part of a three-year journey through regions of the world, continuously making parallels between the past and today’s world. A conglomerate of literary studies, vocabulary, writing, and social studies, Humanities uses a variety of texts and approaches to the topics that are student-centered and allow the individual to thrive.
Regular, critical reading is practiced in Humanities classes. Poetry, articles, essays, short stories, and novels of various genres are frequently incorporated into classes. Both individual and group reading occur as well as discussions about texts. Students learn how to annotate in their 6th year, and they will use annotations to drive class discussion with inquiry, insight, and analysis.
Fluent, multi-paragraph writing is practiced with the students throughout their Middle School years using the Columbia Teachers College rubric as a guide. Essays, poetry, narratives, and research are all part of the writing program. Students are taught to be writers and editors and practice the writing process independently and together.
Presentations are a regular part of Humanities classes with collaborative projects related to units of study and bimonthly current events days. Current events are an important component of Humanities as they allow students to become experts in a present, global or national news item. Students write a paper that incorporates research about the issue, summarizes the event, discusses the greater impact on the world, and gives compelling reasons why it matters.They must also lead a discussion with the class using prepared questions to further the conversation and allow others to voice their opinions.
All students in Middle School use the Word Wisdom vocabulary program. The units center around root words and prefixes and teach students to find meaning not by memorizing definitions, but by making parallels between words. Synonyms, analogies, reading in-context, and writing for meaning with new words help students master them.
At the heart of the Middle School experience is our advisory program. Advisory groups created by grade level meet daily to discuss group activities and dynamics as well as to offer individual planning and organizational guidance to students.
8th Year – Leadership
The 8th Year Leadership Students take great care planning community-building events specifically within the Middle School (in addition to taking part in the larger school community). These include several large community service projects, including a food drive for local families and a funds drive for global organizations chosen by the students. Other functions include art and athletic events, academic presentations, social events and day and overnight field trips.
The Expert Project is a long-term independent research project during which 8th Year students investigate a subject of heightened interest with the explicit intention of interacting with experts in that particular field or subject matter to gather research and experience. Students prepare an abridged thesis paper and a multi-media presentation of their work to the entire school community. The Expert Symposium is the culmination of the 8th Year’s academic work and a celebration of their accomplishments.
An important aspect of the Fraser Woods Montessori School mission statement is supporting students to become confident and civic-minded citizens of the world. To that end, the Middle School schedule sets aside time weekly for students to serve the wider school community by assisting younger students in their classroom setting and on the playground. This consistent experience leads to a deep awareness of our dependence on one another and the dual reward for the older Middle School child being a mentor and for the younger child having a mentor.