INTERMEDIATE ONE: Fifth and sixth grades
The Intermediate students serve as role models for younger students and are expected to contribute positively to the everyday operation of the school.
As new members to the Intermediate level (middle school) fifth graders take on increased responsibility and independence in their daily activities. The fifth grade year is a year of tremendous academic and social growth. Students develop basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and social sciences, while gaining experience and confidence in independent thinking. It's also a year of physical and emotional growth and social and intellectual development. Students also begin to evaluate social dynamics and begin to experience a greater sense of personal responsibility.
The sixth graders are able to take more responsibility for their learning and personal behavior. An important goal for a sixth grade student is to develop strong study skills and habits of learning. Social expectations for sixth graders are to be respectful of their teachers, peers, other students and visitors. They are to be accepting of different learning styles and interests in order to provide good role models for the younger students in the school.
Through reading, writing and associated projects, Intermediate 1 students develop a broad array of skills.
Students read a variety of literature. Book projects, class discussions, comprehension questions and written reading responses help students develop an appreciation of structure and theme in a variety of genres. The emphasis is on reading actively, observing and questioning to help students become familiar with the literary elements of plot, setting, characters, point of view and theme. Class discussion is very important and participation is required. Poetry is integrated into the regular readings and assignments, with a special focus during National Poetry month in April.
Students practice the writing process, which reinforces the steps of prewriting, drafting, revision, conferencing, editing and keyboarding. Content for writing comes from personal experience, teacher-directed writing prompts and themes from literature reading. The Six Traits Writing Rubric is used to teach and assess components of all good writing. These include: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions. Assignments are varied, allowing students to examine and practice expository, descriptive, narrative and persuasive writing. Students are encouraged to think broadly and stretch beyond their comfort zone in their writing. Students expand their spelling and grammar skills through revision of their own work, in addition to other materials and activities.
Prentice Hall Mathematics is used as the core of the Intermediate math curriculum. Frequent checkpoints include regular homework, quizzes, periodic projects, activity labs, class participation and preparedness and tests.
The fifth grade math program strengthens a student’s understanding of concepts and operations through class activities and individual work. Fifth graders review basic facts and operations and work to develop an understanding of estimation; place value; fractions; percent's; probability; decimals; measurement; and graphs and geometry. Students are also introduced to algebraic concepts. There is an emphasis on problem solving with games and word problems integrated into the lessons.
Sixth grade students continue to build conceptual understanding and develop skills in six content areas: number and numeration; operations and computation; data; measurement; geometry; patterns; functions; and algebra. Proportional reasoning is addressed through fractions; decimals; percent's; rates; ratios; and scale. Students construct and transform geometric figures, as well as find area and volume. Students work with variables, solve equations and analyze graphs. Students are encouraged to demonstrate their mathematical knowledge through writing and sharing their work in small groups and/or on the board.
SOCIAL STUDIES (Geography, History, Civics, Economics)
The social studies curriculum facilitates a student’s understanding that history is a record of human experiences linking the past to the present and future. Through the development of a strong foundation of the skills and processes of historical inquiry, students will be able to understand historical themes by acquiring and interpreting factual knowledge of time, places, ideas, institutions, cultures, people and events. Students will ultimately be able to integrate historical knowledge and a strong understanding of economics and government with contemporary issues to effectively participate as a citizen and as a lifelong learner in an increasingly global society.
Science is an active enterprise in which students focus on scientific concepts and develop the ability to think critically through inquiry, investigation and analysis. The students are challenged to develop their ideas about proper scientific process and methodology through active, hands-on engagement. Students generate interesting questions, create hypotheses, design and conduct experiments and communicate their findings.
Intermediate students complete an extended individual project. Students from grade six through grade eight are eligible to participate in the Sussex County Science Fair. The mission of the SCSF is to promote an interest in science and scientific investigation. The fair provides an opportunity for innovation and investigation as students showcase their science, mathematics and engineering projects. Many project-based, hands-on activities connect us with community partners and take us outside allowing us to investigate our woods, nature trail, two ponds, green house, gardens and goats on our 43 acre campus.