Middle School Course Descriptions
Core: Students rotate through core classes and exploratories Monday through Friday. Schedules may be adjusted occasionally to meet expedition needs.
Writing: All students will have a focused writing class every day. Here, they will complete required district writing curriculum which includes genre studies and perfecting their skills as writers. Expedition writing will also be crafted inside this class as well, allowing for extra time to focus on the skills students need to improve. This is a highly individualized class, differentiated and instructed based on students’ needs. This class is unique to middle schools, as most schools offer one class to focus on both reading and writing.
Math: At Bradford, math classes are leveled and students are placed into classes based upon assessment, teacher evaluation and prior performance in math classes. We pride ourselves that our math classes continue from year to year based upon where students finished their instruction the prior year and assure that students perfect each skill and move on at the appropriate pace. Options for 2017-18 will include Math 6, Math 7, Math 8 and Algebra and Math 6/7 or 7/8 as needed.
Science/Social Studies: Our science and social studies classes at Bradford are unique, as this is the area of focus for our Expeditions. Students will rotate through curriculum based upon the current Expedition. If the Expedition is science based, students will attend science every day, and will not attend a social studies class. Vice versa, if the expedition is based in social studies curriculum, students will attend social studies each day and not attend a science class. While students will still receive district curriculum in these areas, they will explore the concepts at a deeper level by using them to solve real-world problems and explore outside of the classroom in these areas. In addition to the time This focus is unique to Bradford and will allow more time for these subject areas than received at a traditional middle school.
Reading/Access: At Bradford, our reading classes are intertwined with Access classes. Here, teachers can individualize reading skill needs, run literature circles, and encourage reading for enjoyment. District reading curriculum is easily woven into the writing, science and social studies classes as well as a large focus for Expeditions. Our reading class is able to then focus on skills more deeply rather than focus on content reading.
Access time is time set aside for individual needs. This is time for extra interventions in areas for students who may struggle or extension time for students who need an extra challenge or may complete Advanced Learning Plan goals. This is time to work closely with support staff in Special Education or GT. It is also a connection time for classroom teachers to check in on areas of organization, study skills and social skills.
Our “Honors” Focus: Our Expeditionary approach lends itself naturally to “honors” extensions in all subject areas. Requirements for each Expedition are scaffolded to meet individual needs for challenges or modification. They adapt to push students to expect more from themselves and continually refine and improve their efforts and skills. Essentially, every class, every day, would be considered an “honors” extension for those students who desire and need the challenge. Expeditionary approaches prepare students to tackle honor’s classes in high school like no other program, teaching them self-evaluation skills, comparison views, self-motivation and constant self-reflection.
Technology: At Bradford, 6th-8th graders are 1:1 technology based. Students integrate technology into every aspect of learning in every class. They have constant access for whatever is needed in class from research and word processing to teamwork websites and communication across the country.
Exploratories: Our Philosophy: students will rotate through assigned Exploratories, and get a taste of everything, allowing students to discover interests and find their personalities in many different facets.
Band/Orchestra: This is an elective choice at Bradford, offered for those who choose to play an instrument in our band or orchestra. This will be a combined 6th/7th grade class during the school day, meeting every day. Extensions to this will be offered before or after school to gain extra practice and possibly mentor younger musicians in their craft. Concerts will take place throughout the year and combine with other area schools. Class opportunities are based upon enrollment.
21st Century Skills: This is an innovative focus on the technological skills needed in our growing and changing world. Engineering, robotics, international communication, computer skills combine with those learning skills needed to survive in our future. Learning skills (critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration and communication) along with Literacy skills (Informational, media and technology) combine with Life Skills (Productivity, initiative, flexibility, leadership and social skills) are all a focus in this unique exploratory. There is a basic and advanced level for this course.
Cultures: This class focused on exploring languages, history and current issues in countries throughout our world. This will involve communicating and completing projects with students in other countries to get realistic and current views and connect our cultures together.
Art: Art classes will vary in topic each trimester, offering opportunities in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture/3D art, set design, film study, etc. Often, art classes are included in Expedition presentation requirements and will allow students to see the importance of visual representation and appeal in persuasion and informational needs.
PE: Team sports (volleyball, basketball, soccer, etc.) fitness and health opportunities are offered in our PE classes. Lifelong interest in maintaining a healthy habits is the focus of all our PE classes.
Music: Dependent upon band and orchestra numbers, rotating music opportunities, such as musical theater, drama, music exploration and music appreciation will be a rotation on schedules.