Abiqua's values of rigorous, thematic-based, collaborative curriculum is foundational to the middle school program. In addition to challenging classes, middle school students develop leadership skills, responsibility, and empathy through Guide Groups. In grade 5, students are welcomed into small, mixed grade Guide Groups and given a teacher that remains a mentor throughout the middle school years. Guide groups meet weekly and serve as a foundation for middle school students. Here, activities vary from sending parents weekly progress report emails to building tools for dealing with topics such as cyber bullying.
For most course work, students attend blended classes of grades 5-6 or 7-8. Middle school music electives are choir, band, guitar, and orchestra. To aid in the transition from lower to middle school, 5th grade students have a multiple skills course. They also have a music history class. In grades 6-8 students have a choice of STEM or Seminar Art and Writing.
At Abiqua Academy, our goal is for students to acquire and apply language skills in a wide variety of areas and applications. The Language Arts curriculum include skills in verbal communications, listening, reading, writing, grammar, phonics and spelling, dictionary use, and, the writing process. Abiqua integrates content instruction and the practice of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
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 all aspects of the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, editing, re-writing and publishing/presenting. Students gain experience as editors, strengthening them as writers. Both peers and teachers evaluate topic sentence and paragraph, voice, word choice, organization and writing convention. In re-writing, students incorporate changes to a writing piece from the editing process, using real-world editing demarcations. Students present their final writing work, which gives them opportunities to share their understanding with others.
Students conduct research on topics of interest or issues by generating ideas, asking questions, recognizing problems, then gathering and synthesizing information to communicate understanding and knowledge. Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language, while learning correct English grammar, syntax, vocabulary and dictionary skills.
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.