The Middle School Program espouses Abiqua's values of a rigorous, thematic-based, collaborative curriculum. Middle School provides an integrated, content based education in science, technology, engineering, arts and math along with English and social studies. In their challenging classes, middle school students apply leadership skills, responsibility, and empathy. Students are divided into small groups called Guide Groups. These mixed age groupings of 5th through 8th grade students have a teacher who remains a mentor throughout Middle School. Guide groups meet weekly and serve as a foundation for middle school students. Activities vary from sending parents weekly progress reports to building tools for dealing with topics such as cyber safety.
The study of literary masterpieces, essays, and poetic forms integrates skill development in reading, dictionary and research, listening, writing, and speaking. Particular emphasis on grammar, syntax and vocabulary development adds to the level of work students produce.
Reading is a developmental process which allows students to progress at their own rates. Students learn to use context cues, word identification strategies and sentence structure to gain understanding in a variety of authentic texts.
Through guided reading groups, students learn in various genres and are exposed to the elements of literature beyond character, plot and setting. They read, comprehend, evaluate, and apply meaning to text. Books are often chosen which pertain to the units they are studying. Students present book reviews, offering insight and suggestions to other readers.
Students learn to write for a variety of purposes for a variety of audiences.
Writing is taught as a process that includes pre-writing, drafting, editing, re-writing and publishing/presenting. Editing strengthens writing skills. Peers and teachers evaluate voice, word choice, organization, and writing conventions. Students incorporate changes from the editing process, using real-world editing demarcations. Their final draft provides opportunities to share their understanding with others.
Students conduct research on topics of interest or issues by generating ideas, asking questions, and recognizing problems. They gather and synthesize information to communicate understanding and knowledge.
This student-centered program is based on the learning values of student choice and ownership. It integrates word studies with personal writing, emphasizes that developing strong spelling and vocabulary skills is a process, and broadens student understanding of the pluralistic nature of the English language. The workshop approach supports the needs of varying students, challenges all ability levels, and teaches students lifelong learning habits by empowering them with the skills and tools necessary to successfully navigate written English. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of spelling, as well as practice applying new vocabulary words accurately in context.
In our mathematics program, students are encouraged to explore, discuss, and apply ideas as they gain problem-solving skills. Our goal is for students to see the relationship between mathematical concepts and a wide variety of real-world problems. Our students learn procedures for basic computation, estimation and mental math, which include all strands of mathematics: numeration, measurement, geometry, statistics and probability.
Mathematical competence focuses on:
- Making sense of problems and persevering in solving them
- Reasoning abstractly and quantitatively
- Constructing viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- Modeling with mathematics
- Using appropriate tools strategically
- Attending to precision
- Looking for and making use of regularity, structure and patterns
Cooperative learning and problem-based inquiry are key components. Teachers pull from a variety of curricula to enhance our program and make sure students are engaged in many mathematics experiences.
Beginning in fourth grade, students are assigned to the appropriate math class based on their skill level. In our accelerated math curriculum, students expected to take pre-algebra in seventh grade, and algebra in eighth.
The Abiqua Academy science program is based on observations and science principles. Students propose questions and then form a hypothesis that can be examined through scientific investigation. They design and conduct an investigation that uses appropriate tools and techniques to collect relevant data. Once completed, they organize and display relevant data, construct an evidence-based explanation of the results of an investigation, and communicate the conclusions.
At all grade levels, science topics are selected from the major science fields of physics, chemistry, life sciences and earth sciences. The goal is for the student to develop an understanding of personal and social perspectives of science, as well as gain an understanding of the history and nature of science.
Abiqua Academy is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and implements the Next Generation Science Standards.
The Abiqua Academy social studies program is multidisciplinary. Students are educated on the political, economic, cultural and environmental aspects of historical events. As our students gain an understanding of social sciences, curiosity and awareness of the larger world is fostered.
The curriculum helps students develop a deeper understanding of the world by applying what they know about the past and the present in order to participate in building the future.
Abiqua Academy’s social studies program emphasizes the importance of geography.Students develop a spatial sense of the world and an awareness of the physical properties and characteristics that shape interactions between humans and their environments, creating an understanding of the relationship between place and culture.