In a Kehoe-France Middle School classroom, the students are the center of learning. We understand that these years represent a time of significant change for adolescents. With an academically challenging curriculum supported by social-emotional guidance and empathy, we work to help our Middle School students grow into creative, confident critical thinkers.
The Learning Environment and Our Staff
As a candidate school for the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), our fifth through seventh graders make connections between their subjects and the real world through a rigorous curricular framework. Students develop the knowledge and skills needed in order to take responsible action for the future. Action, learning by doing and experiencing, and service are valued components of the MYP.
Our teachers work with students to guide them to their fullest potential. They receive ongoing professional development to better their pedagogy as well as constantly reflect on their teaching practices to better student learning.
In their seventh grade year, students are required to participate in a seventh-grade community project that culminates all the skills they have learned at their years at Kehoe-France to help others.
The Daily Middle School Curriculum
With the adolescent brain and learning styles in mind, our Middle School curriculum builds on the foundation of Elementary School and provides students with the tools they need to flourish in high school—and beyond.
Students in fifth through seventh grades explore literature through different lenses. They explore genres that include Greek literature and poetry. Students read, write, and reflect on real-world issues and connect this to the literature that is being studied, which helps develop critical thinking skills.
Teachers use a wide variety of strategies such as Socratic seminars, literature circles, philosophical chairs, and small group and whole group accountable talk. Students write for a purpose and develop their own point of view. Teachers utilize mentor texts to guide reading and writing together to discover which style works best for them.
The Middle School math program aims to equip students with the skills necessary to value mathematics and recognize its importance in real life, demonstrate confidence in their mathematical abilities, develop into enthusiastic mathematical problem-solvers, communicate mathematically both verbally and in writing, apply technology to mathematical processes and to reason mathematically.
In fifth grade, instruction is focused on developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing an understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases; extending division to two-digit divisors; developing an understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; as well as developing an understanding of volume.
In sixth and seventh grades, instruction is focused on using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; developing understanding of statistical thinking; and reasoning about relationships among shapes.
The science program utilizes hands-on approaches to study scientific concepts, investigate scientific inquiries, and experiment to test their inquiries.
In fifth grade, students continue to learn that living things grow, change, are diverse, interdependent and interact with the changing environment. Students also study the universe and its components as well as rudimentary physical science.
In sixth grade, the science curricular emphasis is in physical science. Students learn scientific process skills and participate in investigations and experiments of the often unseen world around them. In grade seventh grade, students turn their emphasis to life science. Students learn that all living things are related and depend on a healthy environment for future success.
To support the curriculum in seventh grade, the students participate in dissections and use many hands-on activities including microscope work and processing their own DNA.
Students build upon the fundamentals that they have learned and take a deeper study of history in fifth through seventh grade. In fifth grade, students study the cause, course, and consequences of the early explorations through the beginning of our nation after the Revolutionary War.
Students in sixth grade expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major western and non-western ancient civilizations. Students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did, why they became dominant and why they declined. Students analyze the interactions among the various cultures, the contributions, and the link, despite time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds.
In seventh grade, students will cover American history from the American Revolution to the present day. Students will also cover the governmental and economic systems of the United States. Research-based projects will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their grasp of the historical concepts that have been covered.
The design course covers four key concepts: community, communication, development, and systems.
While covering these key concepts, students will engage in STEM projects, learn about visual literacy, enhance their presentation and blogging skills, become more responsible digital citizens, and learn the basics of computer programming. Students take a hands-on approach while solving real-world problems, which helps develop critical thinking and collaboration skills.
The seventh-grade design class also includes designing, building, and programming Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots.