Daycroft Middle School

The Daycroft Middle School curriculum is a two-year process that occurs over the Seventh and Eighth Grades. The work of the older students in any cycle is more sophisticated and more challenging than that of the younger students. Each unit of study culminates in major projects and presentations of work by the students to demonstrate their mastery, including a capstone project each year.

Math

Students are given summer math homework to assess their placement in the math curriculum. Students begin their studies with Pre-Algebra and advance to Algebra 1 during their second year in the program.

Students receive small group or individual lessons each day and have daily math work. Work is corrected daily and mini-lessons are given as needed.

Quizzes and end-of-cycle tests must be passed with an 80% or higher before moving on to the next cycle’s work.

At the end of their second year, students are given a comprehensive exam to earn credit on their transcript for Pre-Algebra or Algebra 1.

Students who progress more quickly through the math curriculum may also have the opportunity to take Algebra 2 or Geometry on a case-by-case basis.

Language

The middle school language curriculum is based on the reading and writing workshop models, and students continue to develop reading and writing skills throughout their two years in the program.

Students study different genres of writing in each cycle. For example, students will study memoirs by reading a variety of memoirs and constructing a memoir of their own. Writing is developed in a workshop model through drafts, peer editing, and individual teacher-student conferences. Feedback is individualized to help each child further develop their writing skills.

Weekly, students apprentice themselves to master authors to delve deeper into the meaning of grammar, punctuation, and syntax. These apprentice sentences help them expand their writing style and expression.

Daily, students read texts and respond using a variety of strategies which help them think deeply about the text. Students discuss their text responses with their book club twice a week. At the end of the cycle, students do a book club project to synthesize their learning and show mastery.

Students read three books per cycle in middle school. Weeks 1 and 2 are dedicated to anthologies in the genre of the writing being studies. In weeks 3 and 4, students get to choose from a selection of novels which tie back to the Social World theme for the cycle. For example, students are reading The Journals of Lewis and Clark after a unit on North American Exploration. Weeks 5 and 6 are free choice for the student to choose a book that models the writing genre being studied during that cycle.

Natural World

The Natural World curriculum is based on the experiential model of learning which emphasizes experiences for understanding the world. Students partake in many student-led experiments and investigations with the teacher there to guide learning and discovery. Students use textbooks as well as research articles and a variety of texts. Students learn how to engage in the world around them with a scientific understanding.

Natural World is the study of Life, Earth, and Physical Sciences. Life Science is covered in Year A. Earth and Physical Sciences are covered in Year B.

Each cycle, students devote 2 weeks to their Natural World studies. Natural World and Social World alternate to allow for a maximum immersion and deep exploration of the curriculum.

Group and individual work are assigned based on the topic of study. Work will include a group research component which will culminate at the end of each week with a group presentation to show mastery. In addition to teacher assessments, students self-assess and peer-assess their group work and discuss areas of growth for future group work sessions. Group projects and reflective learning help build important soft skills that are in demand, but sorely underrepresented, in today’s top colleges and careers.

Individual projects allow each student to further research a specific topic within a broad list of choices.

Personal World

Personal World encompasses Health and emphasis deep thinking and metacognition.

Daily, students take 25 minutes to reflect on our Personal World book of study. This time is devoted to thinking about ourselves, our decisions and directions, and the world around us. While this curriculum meets the adolescent need to think deeply about themselves and the world around them, it also reinforces the deep thinking and thoughtful responses that we are fostering throughout the entire curriculum.

In Year A, students study The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. In Year B students study Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.

Social World

The Social World curriculum emphasis research and understanding history from multiple points-of-view. Textbooks are used in addition to individual accounts that provide a wide range of perspectives and information. Students learn that history is a dynamic and exciting process. Students learn how to consider multiple causes and effects and to think about the world through a historian’s lens.

Social World is the study of world, country, state, and local history; as well as political geography, government, and economics.

Each cycle, students devote 2 weeks to their Social World studies. Natural World and Social World alternate to allow for a maximum immersion and deep exploration of the curriculum.

Group and individual work is assigned based on the topic of study. Work will include a group research component which will culminate at the end of each week with a group presentation to show mastery. In addition to teacher assessments, students self-assess and peer-assess their group work and discuss areas of growth for future group work sessions. Group projects and reflective learning help build important soft skills that are in demand, but sorely underrepresented, in today’s top colleges and careers.

Individual projects allow each student to further research a specific topic within a broad list of choices.

Internships

Students partake in two internships every year. The fall internship is done in a classroom as a teacher’s assistant. The spring internship is done out in the community. Students are able to choose their spring internship based on their goal setting done through the Personal World studies.

Community Service

Students participate in community service on a weekly basis. For one hour on Friday afternoons, students work on a project at the school or in the greater community. Past and current projects include: designing a rain garden, garden wedding, raking, winter garden clean-up, and preparation, assisting teachers, and making muffins for teachers. Future projects will include a pond-clean-up and hydro-pump engineering project, designing a nature trail, building a labyrinth, making a worm bin, as well as assisting various organizations in the community.

Adventure Trips

Students take two adventure trips a year. These trips are full-immersion learning experiences

Community Outings

In the sixth week of every cycle, students take trips out into the community. During this intercession week, we take time to experience what the community has to offer that links back to our studies for the past five weeks.

Community Meeting

Every morning students begin the day with a community meeting. Each student cycles through as meeting facilitator for a week. During this time students learn about art appreciation and music appreciation while strengthening our bonds of community.