Upper School Curriculum (6th-8th Grade)
In grades 6-8 in the Triad Division, language arts and language tutorial are combined for a 90-minute block. This extended class time gives faculty the flexibility to meet each child at his or her language skill level be it basic decoding or advanced research writing.
Essential skills for writing are taught in coordination with the Language Tutorial program, and at a student’s reading/spelling ability level. Following a logical progression of skills hierarchy, students are taught the grammatical and structural components necessary for building sentences, paragraphs, essays, and writing reports. Outlining strategies, graphic organizers and color coding are used to help students identify parts of speech and produce organized writing samples. Vocabulary development focuses on direct instruction in understanding the Anglo-Saxon, Latin and Greek origins of words and word parts and their meaning, which are the morphological layers of the English language.
Multisensory math applies strategies from reading instruction to conceptually based mathematics instruction. With an emphasis on instructional language, multisensory math helps students develop skills that can be applied to mathematical concepts; it uses explicit language to make math concepts memorable. Based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to learning, multisensory math allows students to receive and process information visually, auditorily and kinesthetically. Taught in a sequential order, multisensory math begins with basic elements and progresses methodically toward more difficult material. The use of daily routines and structures help to build fluency as well as automaticity. The use of manipulatives, along with repetition helps to reinforce concepts and aid in memory. Like Orton-Gillingham, multisensory math is diagnostic and prescriptive for each student. A teaching plan is based on careful and continuous assessment of the student’s needs.
Our science curriculum provides multi-sensory, hands-on, inquiry based learning experiences with an emphasis on developing process skills, science reasoning ability, and selected science concepts. With a focus on depth of understanding vs. breadth of presentation, select goals from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study are used to build a rotating four-year strand that focuses on life, physical, or earth science and an additional science elective such as environmental science. Science is integrated with other subject areas when possible and technology is used as a tool to help students develop concepts, and gather, record and display information. Emphasis is placed on using science texts to develop note taking, study skills and textbook mining strategies to prepare students to succeed.
Our history curriculum provides a multi-sensory and hands-on approach to learning while teaching students specific skills such as note taking strategies, study skills, and textbook mining. Select goals from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study are used to build a four-year rotating strand that focuses on economics, legal and political systems, United States history, world history and a history elective such as European history. Students are engaged in the time period being taught through the use of the performing and visual arts in the classroom.
Our literature curriculum provides students with the ability to appreciate literature through many avenues while learning and utilizing reading comprehension strategies that are directly taught, modeled and emphasized. The curriculum provides a hands-on approach to learning various uses of figurative language, content-based vocabulary, and story grammar. Different types of literature are taught such as poetry, short stories, novels, autobiographies, biographies, memoirs, essays and factual material. Select goals from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study are used to build a four-year rotating strand that focuses on British literature, world literature, American literature and a literature elective.