The Middle School program serves to build the academic, social, and emotional foundation that is needed for the students’ secondary school education. Academically, we provide a stimulating and innovative program that helps students to become independent problem solvers. We accomplish this through individualized instruction and an integrated curricular approach that builds both academic and life skills. To foster social development, we model and encourage students to become responsible, respectful, honest, and accepting world citizens.
Who doesn’t love games? In math, you will find students playing jeopardy to review concepts before a test, bingo to master our decimal skills, and battleship to practice our coordinate graphing skills! While math can be intimidating to some, at Mizzentop we believe there can be fun while learning. Those students that need a challenge can join our advanced courses such as Algebra I or Geometry upon readiness. However, each student looks forward to the Problem of the Week, as well as the nationwide Math Olympiad contests, which foster creativity and ingenuity. When you least expect it…..the Legos appear and fractions become more and more clear!
From earthworms to aortas to whale watches, science at Mizzentop is about getting your hands dirty and exploring the unseen side of the world around them. Research indicates that we retain only 10% of what we hear; 20% of what we see; 65% of what we hear and see; but 90% of what we hear, see, and do! In the Mizzentop Science Lab, it's all about doing! Instead of learning about maps in Earth Science, students make them and then read them as they race through the woods on an ‘amazing race’ challenge. Instead of just learning about physics, they experience it as they adopt an amusement park ride, research it, and describe it from the point of view of the ride.
At Mizzentop, we don’t teach social studies: we teach children. Our students write in clay like the ancient Sumerians, play mesoamerican ball games, joust in medieval tournaments, and study perspective in renaissance art. Students learn both American and world history, and in doing so master the art of taking notes, citing sources, and organizing ideas in an effective and efficient manner.
From Greek gods to greasers, you will see a wide range of characters in the English room here at Mizzentop. Walk down the private Middle School corridor and you’ll come across eighth graders dressed up as greasers and socs as part of their Outsiders unit, click-clacking away on their keyboards as they type their critical analysis paper in leather jackets and slicked back hair. Some grades research Greek gods and goddesses then write and perform their own original Greek play, while others study literature and create a personal coat of arms in their study of medieval times, ending the unit with a mock medieval tournament guaranteed to keep kids and adults alike at the edge of their seats.
Grammar and composition don’t always have to be so drab! In the Writing Lab, students are engaged in a game of adverb-charades or noun function Jeopardy. Students quickly gain the value of working in a small, guided class setting as they draft assignments ranging from poetry to one-act plays, as well as persuasive essays for a "Scientist Hall of Fame" project in Science class or an expository essay on the Progressive Era in Social Studies.
¡Oye como va!, a catchy song sung by the Spanish students that carries through the hallways and into the lunchroom. Students not only sing, but they also design vocabulary and grammar games to engage them in the learning process. Culture lessons are an integral part of the program; a favorite field trip is our trip to a Mexican Restaurant where students are able to use the language skills learned and taste the many flavors of Mexican cuisine!