Spring River's combined grades Middle School Program meets on Mondays and Tuesdays, with two days of Math and Science and one segment each of Creative Writing, Cyber Civics, and Art. PE will occur on both days prior to Science to give the students an outlet of energy in between afternoon classes. Beginning fall of 2020, Sixth grade students will have the opportunity to join in on the afternoon Science block.
Science is dominant in the middle school years, with several distinct areas of study.
Kitchen Chemistry, the chemistry of cooking: Experiential demonstrations of organic chemistry for middle school children. The Middle School child needs facts. In this block we will study three important kinds of organic compounds: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and oils. We will explore how these compounds are transformed during, cooking, baking, nutrition, and other transformational processes. Emphasis will be placed on the qualities of the substances themselves, not the processes that produced them. Each time a new organic compound is introduced, the students will be shown a test for that substance, then we will explore the qualities of that substance through demonstrations. Health and nutritional issues will be topics of conversation. Food production and industrial processes will also be discussed and hopefully a field trip will be possible.
Physics Block I: Mechanics Students will learn about the six simple machines; lever, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, and screw. Students will enjoy tackling the study of simple machines and observing for themselves how these devices redirect, transform, and multiply forces. Hands on demonstrations will be emphasized. Students will be participants in the process of scientific inquiry rather than being mere observers. We will enjoy a two-day rhythm: The first day will be spent with all of the children enthusiastically participating in the experiments. The second day will be spent comparing and contrasting the experiments - how did they differ and how were they the same? We will analyze the experiments in detail and write our conclusions into our main lesson books along with illustrations.
Physics Block II: Hydraulics and Aeromechanics: Students will study air pressure, water pressure, atmospheric pressure, Archimedes’ Principle, Pascal’s Principle, and the hydraulic press. This block will go hand in hand with our meteorology block. This physics block will end with a field trip to I Fly so the children can experience air pressure and aeromechanics firsthand.
Meteorology: Students will study air pressure, convection currents, severe weather, clouds, ocean currents, folklore, and the water cycle. This block will be taught with our hydraulics and aerodynamics physics block.
Anatomy: Muscles and Bones Students learn about the structure of muscle and bones and how they work together to support their bodies.
The class will plan several field trips that will include families throughout the year to compliment the main lesson classes. In years past the Middle School class visited the Florida Caverns and studied Astronomy on an overnight camping trip at Goldhead State Park.
Our Middle School Math Program will help students build the strong math foundation important for future studies. Middle School Math is a time of coming together and going deeper. Students will revisit areas of past study to gain confidence and increase proficiency, as well as, explore new concepts in Algebra and Geometry. With a focus on logic, problem solving and accuracy, the math program will incorporate the use of practical life situations, hands-on projects and art to enhance learning.
In this class, students will establish a journaling practice and explore their inner thoughts, feelings, and identity, and begin to observe and notice similarities and differences in their lives and in the lives of others in their community and world. They will take what they are learning and put it into artistic expression as poetry, short story and personal essay. Students will learn 2-3 poetic forms, basic short story structure and a framework for personal essay. They will read the work of poets, short story writers, and essayists to ignite their creativity.
Cyber Civics is Middle Grades program designed to teach Cyber Citizenship- the safe, responsible, and respectful use of digital tools. This developmentally appropriate material is social and behaviorally based and is designed to proactively build skills without inducing fear in children. Spring River students will be presented with Level 1 (of a three level program) which includes topics such as understanding how technology connects and disconnects us from others, investigating today’s technology, digital citizenship (focusing on honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility, and courage), digital reputations, ethical thinking, cyber bullying/ digital drama, and privacy. Cyber Civics focuses on empowering children with the premise that there’s no better way to teach kids about how to be safe online, than to teach them how to keep themselves safe. Parents are provided with weekly updates and can visit the resource www.cyberwise.org to learn more.
Middle school Art is both an inner exploration of self and identity as well as a relation to the culture and community of the students. The class will explore fundamental drawing skills, printmaking, color mixing, and sculpture with an emphasis on art history.