In addition to preparing students in grades six through eight for the next step in their academic careers, we are committed to supporting middle school students in the transition from childhood to young adulthood. We believe that the needs of middle school students are best served within/in our small, multi-age class setting.
Traditional school models, divided arbitrarily into age, grade, and isolated subjects, cannot address the richness and complexity of life. An integrated, project-based approach to education is learning for the real-world; addressing the whole child, creating learning experiences that are tailored and relevant to students, enhancing engagement and providing a greater depth of knowledge, cultivating the academic and social skills needed to succeed in the classroom and in life.
Project-based learning favors depth and application of knowledge over breadth. Focusing on real-world challenges, multiple subjects are integrated into a single unit of study.
Topics for our integrated units of study for the 2016-2017 school year may include, but are not limited to: Systems of Government, Hawaiian History, Colonization, U.S./Pacific Island Relations, Climate Change, Adaptation, Ecology, Farming, and Marine Science.
Each day begins with Language Arts and Math Workshops, providing students with daily practice of essential skills in these core subjects.
Midday classes are dedicated to thematic units integrating Science, History, and Social Studies. Students explore and apply their knowledge through a variety of hands-on projects, presentations, assignments, quizzes and tests, service work/study in the community, and special events.
Afternoons feature a variety of enrichment classes and instructors. Enrichment class offerings may include: Art, Physical Education, Music, Gardening, Crafts, Drama, Spanish, Human Development, Communication, Test Taking, and more.
Service is another important form of learning. Students in grades 6-8 participate in our year-long “Reading Buddies” program, teaching reading strategies to an elementary student for a half-hour each week. Roots students also perform independent community service on a monthly basis.
Reading, writing, speaking and listening are essential literacy skills integrated across the Roots curriculum. In grades 6-8, the Language Arts Workshop format features frequent student-teacher conferences, providing regular opportunities for feedback, individualized goal setting, and tracking of student progress as readers and writers.
Independent reading is a daily practice at Roots, fundamental to fostering a community of readers and to our student’s continued academic success. During the upper elementary and middle school years, a period in which young readers typically regress, the Reading Workshop supports each reader’s continued growth through student choice and accountability, and gets students thinking, writing and talking about their reading.
Grades 6-8 Language Arts curriculum includes:
- Spelling and Word Study
- Conventions and Grammar
- Literary Terms and Analysis
- Creative Writing
- Genre Studies
- Essay Writing
- Research Skills
- Citing Sources
- Public Speaking
Math Workshop for grades 6-8 is designed to instill appreciation and build strong connections between Mathematics and its application to problem solving in everyday life. Students work toward mastery of common concepts including: Number sense and operations, Geometry and spatial sense, measurement, Algebra, and data analysis and probability. Students learn about practical uses for Math in building and design, music theory, cooking, forecasting, budgeting, shopping, travel, and business.