Curriculum

00 CurriculumHIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM

For complete details concerning High School curriculum, please visit the MAHS Counseling page located HERE.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Middletown Area Middle School reflects the attributes identified as necessary for successful schools for young adolescents. It is necessary for middle schools to differ from elementary schools, because young adolescents have needs that are quite different from their pre-adolescent years. It is a time for students to try on new identities to see which one fits them best. They also have an emerging need for greater independence, albeit a need that must be balanced with continued adult guidance and support. Some of the essential differences between elementary and middle school are listed below:

✦  There is homework, usually every night
✦  There are formal tests, quizzes, and grades in all subjects
✦  They will have different teachers for different subjects
✦  They will have a schedule which they must learn to follow
✦  They will have a locker, which will require them to organize their day

The Middle school provides a bridge between elementary and high school teaching and curriculum practices. Middle school students are at an age where they are ready to study with teachers who have expertise in a particular subject matter, which is typical of high school teachers, yet they still need the support and comfort level provided in elementary classrooms. To this end, staff “teaming” is used to support and teach middle school students. Each of the three grade levels has four major or “core” subject areas: English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The teachers in each of these areas work together during the year, keeping track of the academic and developmental progress of individual students as well as the cohort of students for whom they are responsible. Teachers have common planning times, enabling them to meet with the guidance counselors, support staff, and administrators as needed. They are also able to use this time to ensure that work is evenly distributed, organize special activities, and plan interdisciplinary instructional units. The core teachers are also available to meet as a group with parents during this time, if needed, to discuss a student’s progress. This type of meeting can be arranged through the guidance staff.

In addition to the core team, students at the middle school receive daily instruction over the course of the year in the creative and physical arts, including: health and physical education, music, art, family and consumer science, and industrial technology. This balanced approach is beneficial to middle school students, as it enables them to explore a wide variety of content and engage in hands-on, active learning for a substantial portion of their day.

The faculty and staff at Middletown Area Middle School understands the importance of educating the whole child – the developmental as well as the academic picture – and of building personal relationship to help students navigate the challenges of adolescence while attending to their studies. At the conclusion of three nurturing, intellectually challenging years of study, middle school students emerge prepared and confident to take full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead in high school.

ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM

The kindergarten program is a full day experience designed to provide students with fundamental reading, writing and math readiness skills. Emphasis is placed on the developmental areas of human growth: physical, social, emotional and intellectual. Activities are designed to progress students through a series of readiness skills at their individual pace.

The K-5 curriculum is structured to provide students with the opportunity to reach their full academic potential and to prepare them for success at the middle and high school levels. Elementary students are offered the following areas of study:

✦  Language Arts develops the skills of speaking, writing, handwriting, reading, literature, listening, English and spelling.
Mathematics provides instructions in basic mathematical functions with emphasis on active student involvement and continuous application.
✦  Science includes topics from the study of life, physical and earth science.
✦  Social Studies expands the student’s worldview beginning with self and family and extending to communities, regions and countries.
✦ Health teaches the functions of the body at age appropriate levels of instruction. It also includes instruction on drug and alcohol prevention, violence prevention and safety.
✦  Physical Education, Music, Library and Art are a vital part of the well-balanced educational program because they provide expanded opportunities for students to express themselves. Emphasis is placed on developing student talents to the fullest potentials and lifelong enjoyment of the arts.

Elementary Reading

The Middletown Area School District has adopted Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys Reading/Language Arts program for use in kindergarten through fifth grade. The program provides instruction in the five key areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Teachers use the reading anthology, leveled books, decodable readers, and trade books in their instruction of literacy skills. The Journeys program also provides instruction in spelling, grammar, writing and study skills. Writing is an integral part of the program that is integrated into instruction. Zaner-Bloser materials are used to teach penmanship.

Essential Components of Reading

✦  Phonemic Awareness: recognizing and using individual sounds to create words
✦  Phonics: understanding the relationships between written letters and spoken sounds
✦  Reading Fluency: developing the ability to read text accurately and quickly
✦  Vocabulary Development: learning the meaning and pronunciation of words
✦  Reading Comprehension: acquiring strategies to understand, remember and communicate what has been read

Elementary Mathematics

Students in Middletown Area School District elementary schools utilize Pearson’s EnVision program for mathematics instruction. This research-based program is aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards for Mathematics. Students in grades kindergarten through five will participate in sixteen units or “topics.”  After each topic, students will participate in an assessment to determine their level of proficiency with the topic, and after every four topics, students will take a benchmark assessment to determine their retention of previously taught topics. Reteaching will occur as necessary, and additional home practice will be provided to assist students who may be experiencing difficulty with concepts. Mastery of basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts is critical for students in order to ensure success in higher level mathematics. Parents are strongly advised to encourage and assist with fact practice at home. Your child’s teacher will be happy to assist you in locating online or print resources to use with your child at home.

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