The WMA Middle School has developed an integrated academic program that aims to accomplish the following:
- Stimulate and satisfy the innate and individually unique curiosity of the young adolescent
- Feature learning experiences that are highly integrated and connected to life lessons
- Provide a safe environment for each child to explore his or her emerging identity under the guidance of nurturing adults
- Expose students to a wide range of academic, social and recreational opportunities
- Allow students to question and explore their environment
- Involve each student in the richness of the world with the goal of developing caring, responsible and ethical citizens
- Grade 6
- Grade 7
- Grade 8
- Course Offerings
- Curriculum Guide
- Daily Academic Schedule
- Summer Work
Art 6: Integrating material covered in Humanities class, Art 6 begins with prehistoric cave art. It travels through Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, engaging images, forms and architecture to create a richer understanding of these early civilizations.
French 1A: Students build a solid foundation in vocabulary, sentence structure and basic grammar. A big emphasis is put on verbal skills. On parle français! Students learn presentational skills with projects such as the National French Week project on Francophone countries.
Health 6: From setting positive smart goals to showing empathy and kindness, students learn the importance of what makes them healthy and how to understand and express their emotions.
English 6: Solidifies each student's foundation in the reading, discussion, and analysis of literature in a fun and engaging classroom environment. Through structured projects involving short fiction, memoir and poetry, students will engage their more creative side while also exploring their written voice. Students will also participate in lively discussions, brainstorming sessions and revision groups - all in a classroom where laughter and learning go hand in hand.
World Cultures 6: The world’s most populous nation, its largest democracy and the region experiencing the greatest urbanization at present are the three focus areas of World Cultures 6. Looking at the histories, religions and realities of China, India and Sub-Saharan Africa affords students insights into these major world players whose future directions will impact their own lives in this age of ever-increasing globalization. Two main texts will help with this curriculum - Pearson myWorld Interactive World Geography and Huston Smith’s, The Illustrated World’s Religions: A Guide to Our Wisdom Traditions. Students will also explore a wide variety of rich supplemental writings texts and other media. while primary source documents and PowerPoints are among the other resources that will aid in understandings. Outlining, note-making - not just note-taking - and writing based on critical thinking prompts are some of the skills that will be developed this year as will active viewing of film and news clips. Graded discussions, quizzes, tests and presentations involving technology will help students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of formats.
Grade 6 students will begin our three-tiered "Crossing Borders" project, a research-driven exploration of a country selected by the student in Grade 6, and carried through Grade 8. "Crossing Borders" in World Cultures 6 asks students to learn the key features of their chosen nation, including political, geographic and social elements, thereby forming a strong baseline for their presentations in Grade 7 and 8. With this research and background knowledge, students will then create a visual component to serve as backdrop for a public presentation on Crossing Borders Day in the second trimester.
Math 6: When will I use this? How does it play a role my life? Can I figure out another way to solve math problems? Taking math to a new level to see how it plays a role in the real world and in the life of a student.
Music 6: From first learning how to hold the sticks to performing a complete composition, students will tap into their innate rhythm and jam with their peers, all while developing teamwork, improvisation skills and an ability to synchronize.
PE 6: Whether we engage in team sports, individual sports, lifetime skills, or partner and group building activities, the students have an opportunity to be physically active, work as part of a team, and learn new skills all year long.
Science 6: What is it to be a scientist? Science 6 looks from the cosmos to the tiniest grains of sand to find out. Students become scientists - investigating, gathering data, asking questions, posing hypotheses and working together.
Spanish 1A: Students will interact with each other in English and Spanish, trying on new vocabulary, playing with basic verbs and building simple sentences. Creating a solid foundation and removing the anxiety around learning a new language top our list of priorities, but fun comes in a close third.
Art 7: Who are we as a community of learners and members of the WMA Middle School? Our Grade 7 students consider these questions and explore the use of images and symbols in art throughout history and in different communities.
French 1B: Students continue their acquisition of vocabulary and learn the four essential skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Lots of games are used to make learning fun and to help with memorization. An exciting project this year is the Dream House project.
Health 7: Character (good character in the community) from honesty to developing confidence and compassion, students understand the importance of how to treat other people and a sense of self-worth.
Math 7: Thinking through math underlies everything we do: reading the problems to determine the process; seeing the concepts come together through technology and hands-on projects; determining the “why” and the “how” with the help of peers. It is through these processes that we bring Algebraic concepts to life, and support the learning process across the board.
Music 7: Music students learn about pitch, rhythm and musical teamwork as they choose music and prepare for the spring concert.
PE 7: Whether we engage in team sports, individual sports, lifetime skills, or partner and group building activities, the students have an opportunity to be physically active, work as part of a team and learn new skills all year long.
Science 7: Student scientists think individually while working in collaboration with others, actively learning about and engaging in scientific processes, methods and research. The emphasis is on an active classroom, where our scientists conduct hands-on investigations including individual clinical trials on human dexterity, the impact of the human community on native food webs, and the process of natural selection.
Spanish 1B: Building on the foundation of basic sentence structure and vocabulary, students will tackle hand-on projects and expand their written Spanish. Reading, writing and speaking Spanish will be explored through cultural celebrations and interactive games.
English 7: Students will spend the year returning to two essential questions that form a thread throughout the curriculum:
- What determines character?
- What is revealed by character?
With these two questions in mind students and teacher will engage literature through traditional and non-traditional approaches, with options for choice reading. Novels, poetry and short stories form the core of their reading, but students will tackle a screen play and works of creative non-fiction as well. The process of reflection on and analysis of these texts cover both verbal and written expression, including debate, socratic discussion, comparison and analysis essays and in-the-style-of exercises.
World Cultures 7: Between ever-shifting political winds as well as trade and immigration issues continually filling the headlines, it is more essential than ever for young people to understand their places in societies, as well as realties to the north and south of U.S. borders. This course traces the origins and evolution of the American nation through its history, religious threads and governmental institutions while stopping to focus on civic structure, opportunities and need for civic engagement. National realties in Canada, Mexico and Latin America will be considered, as are U.S. relations across the hemisphere. Major religions such as different threads of Christianity as well as value systems of indigenous peoples such as Incas and Aztecs will be explored in the context of their societies. Pearson myWorld Interactive World Geography and Huston Smith’s The Illustrated World’s Religions: A Guide to our Wisdom Traditions will be the course’s texts, yet students will also explore a wide variety of rich supplemental writings texts and other media, while primary source documents and PowerPoints are among the other resources that will aid in understandings. Outlining, note-making - not just note-taking - and writing based on critical thinking prompts are some of the skills that will be developed this year as will active viewing of film and news clips. Graded discussions, quizzes, tests and presentations involving technology will help students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of formats.
Working from a baseline established in Grade 6, Grade 7 students continue to build their knowledge of their selected country for the "Crossing Borders" project, a research-driven exploration of a country selected by the student. "Crossing Borders" in World Cultures 7 is a more focused approach to their nation’s history and culture, and explores a significant historical event in detail. Students will once again create a visual display containing an interactive element, while also crafting a structured expository presentation, all to be shared with our Crossing Borders guests.
Art 8: Students make connections to the art of different countries and cultures with a focus on significant historical milestones. Particular emphasis is placed on how art has been used as a vehicle for personal expression in response to social issues and historical events.
Health 8: From responsible decision making to appropriately managing stress, students recognize and harness their individual strengths and aspirations through the practice of self-awareness, and the application of grit and a growth mindset.
English 8: As Grade 8 students already have an eye on Grade 9, English 8 builds upon the terms, structures and processes explored in English 6 and 7, but focused on mastery of those elements. Text annotation, for example, takes a more central role in their reading and forms the basis of their in-class discussions. The bar is similarly raised on literary analysis essays and compare/contrast essays, and students will regularly engage in spirited debates as they learn how to structure sound oral arguments in the moment. Most of all, Grade 8 students will tackle more assignments on their own as they strive to become more independent students of English.
World Cultures 8: World Cultures 8 is an opportunity for Grade 8 students to continue building upon the geographical and cultural foundation laid in Grades 6 and 7 through the exploration of North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Russia. Their focus on these regions is enhanced by the study of Judaism and Islam, as that study of ancient and modern practices of each religion might illuminate how each has impacted the given regions. Showcasing their strengths as readers, writers and presenters, students they will express their understanding through text-based annotation, project based learning and research projects. While two main texts anchor this curriculum - Pearson myWorld Interactive World Geography and Huston Smith’s The Illustrated World’s Religions: A Guide to our Wisdom Traditions - students will also explore a wide variety of rich supplemental writings texts and other media.
Additionally and in preparation for the Upper School’s Global Capstone Project, Grade 8 students will complete the final components of our three-tiered "Crossing Borders" project, a research-driven exploration of a country selected by the student. "Crossing Borders" in World Cultures 8 asks students to focus on a pivotal and student-selected current event tied to the country’s geography or culture, and which in turn highlights thematic global trends. Such trends may include human rights, government and politics, environmental policy and natural disasters. Through the WC8 curriculum students will leave the Middle School with an admirable knowledge of their physical place in our world, as well as the impacts of religion, culture and geography on their lives as well as, and the lives of others.
French 2: Students are now ready to practice past tenses and more complex grammar. They can write a paragraph in French, understand a native speaker on a set topic and engage in a conversation. Students expand their knowledge of Francophone culture with a special focus on Africa, learning the history of colonization and decolonization.
Music 8: A culmination of Grade 6 percussion and Grade 7 music comes to a head where the learning of rhythm, pitch and teamwork has students forming a class band that will be sure to rock your socks off.
PE 8: Whether we engage in team sports, individual sports, lifetime skills, or partner and group building activities, the students get an opportunity to be physically active, work as part of a team, and learn new skills all year long.
Science 8: Hands-on and thought-provoking, students engage science and one another through the study of water and energy, thereby unlocking a deeper understanding of their physical world. A focus on large data sets necessitates an introduction to digital technology through G-Suite, where students are taught how to create and navigate data tables for the purpose of analysis.
Spanish 2: Students will begin to apply their language skills while bolstering their understanding of verb tense, and navigating regular and irregular verbs. Students are also given the opportunity to turn up the heat and aim for Spanish 3 in Grade 9, or stabilize the foundation and enter high school ready to lead the charge.
The Academy values engagement in summer reading. Not only does it allow students to maintain or further develop reading comprehension and vocabulary skills, but it also creates a common starting point for discussions in the classroom, all-school meetings, and even advisor meetings. Each summer we require an all-school read, as well as additional reading assignments for certain classes. In addition, we require summer math work so that the skills and content that was learned in the previous year is reviewed and remain sharp for the upcoming math class in the fall. Last, in order to assure a smooth start, students in our Boarding Program will receive a list of key terms and definitions in the areas of Mathematics, Science, and Humanities. These terms are to be memorized before their arrival at the start of the school year.