Middle School

In each grade level and content, teachers are facilitating creative experiences for students- Wax Museum, Art, Technology Literacy including 3-D printing and Robotics, Science Olympiad, multiple club offerings, elective offerings. Students in each grade level and content experience innovative opportunities- Louisiana Tasting Day, Financial Literacy, STEAM Fair, Veterans Day projects. All middle school students have opportunities for growth in leadership- Student Council, NJHS, Clubs, Buddies, Student Ambassadors, Sports, Advisory Tutoring, fifth grade step up day.

Advisory

An important aspect of middle school is the daily Advisory period. This is a 30-minute time period during the school day when 5th - 8th graders have multiple opportunities for enrichment and growth within a small advisory group of grade-level peers. Each Middle School teacher is an advisor to middle school students, and this small group community time allows students to build strong relationships with their advisor and each other. Other advisory opportunities for students include multiple club offerings such as the Glee Club, Geography Bee, Fellowship of Christian Students, Math Counts, Junior Entrepreneur Club, STEM Club, and Environmental Club. Middle School students say their favorite advisory day is Opportunity Day where multiple options await them! Yoga, ping pong, outdoor basketball, board games, arts and crafts and painting challenges are just a few of these opportunities. Advisory period is also a time when students are able to meet with teachers and peers for one-on-one tutoring in all subject areas. Rounding out each week, Middle School students are part of a rally in which students and teachers are celebrated for their achievements and on some Fridays, students and teachers compete in head-to-head competitions- all in good fun!

Elective

Library Study : The focus of study in the library is learning to use reference materials, safe internet usage, and research skills, as well as incorporating technology with literature.

Physical Education : At Alexandria Country Day, students in all grades participate in physical education for 30-50 minutes a day. The program includes Dynamic Physical Education. Physical education courses emphasize general physical fitness, improvement of fine, and gross motor skills, team work, sportsmanship and fun.

Art: Students in middle school experience art class where the focus is principles of art and elements of design. Students are exposed to drawing and painting with a variety of mediums. Clay, 2-D and 3-D design are integrated where students use the state-of-the-art kiln to fire their creations. Art history and contemporary art are topics of study that are incorporated into design and unique student creations.

Technology Literacy (8th-HS credit): Middle school Technology Literacy features coding, programming, 3-D design and printing that is original and functional in the real-world. Additionally, students utilize robotics programming to design completely autonomous and virtual robots that perform basic tasks. The engineering and design process is integrated throughout the grades with student- designed special projects. Mastery of Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Publisher are infused throughout the courses.

Fifth Grade

Grade 5 Spanish: At the 5th grade level, students focus on recall of vocabulary words. By the end of the quarter, they will have learned over 200 words in Spanish. They learn days of the week, weather, introductions, numbers 0-100, months, time and date, articles, colors, shapes, animals, school subjects, and school, objects. They also construct simple, formulaic sentences in Spanish. If time permits, they will learn how to use subject pronouns and AR verb charts.

Grade 5 Social Studies: In 5th grade social studies, geography is interwoven in studies of American history topics including Native American cultures, U.S., Spanish, French, and English Exploration, the American colonies, and the American Revolution. Multiple individual and group hands-on opportunities are provided to help meet learning styles and engage all students. Group projects include collaborative responsibilities of research and planning, development of models, and presentation of information. A highlight of the fifth grade social studies course is the Wax Museum project, in which students conduct individual research, construct a biographical presentation and perform a speech as their chosen explorer. Students and families visit the event and tour the Wax Museum, hearing and seeing the students in character as explorers.

Grade 5 Math: In 5th grade math, Singapore Math Teaching Strategies is the topic of study. This approach to math instruction is structured in a step-based pathway where students learn concepts from concrete to visual and then on to abstract. This unique framework of study builds  problem-solving skills and provides an in-depth study of essential math skills. Students are not only taught how to do something but also why it works. Additionally, students are introduced to foundational Pre-Algebra skills.

Grade 5 ELA: In 5th grade ELA, the focus is Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Workshop. The Reading and Writing Project’s approach to instruction recognizes that “one size fits all” does not match the realities of the classrooms and schools in which they work. In each classroom, teacher’s address each child’s individual learning by teaching strategies that meet that student’s reading and writing needs. Small group and one-on-one conferencing provide multiple opportunities for personalizing instruction and build a learning community.

Grade 5 Enrichment: In 5th grade Enrichment, students examine a variety of concepts including social studies, geography, and math. This period allows needs-based enrichment for students.

Grade 5 Science: In 5th grade science the focus is earth, life, matter and energy science. Amplify Science is a module-based investigative curriculum that allows students to interact with natural phenomena and investigate how to solve real world problems. The approach is to introduce a real-world problem, collect evidence from multiple sources, build increasingly complex explanations, and apply knowledge to solve a different problem. Topics of study include: Ecosystem Restoration, Modeling Matter, Patterns of the Earth and Sky, and Earth Systems. Hands-on activities and lab work accompany each module.

Sixth Grade

Grade 6 Spanish: At the 6th grade level, students focus on combining old and new vocabulary words with new grammar skills. By the end of the semester, they have learned 3 regular verb patterns, over 35 regular verbs, and another 200 new words in Spanish. After reviewing 5th grade material, they learn subject pronouns, formal vs informal expressions, people terms, infinitive verbs, expressing likes and dislikes, clothing, accessories, verb patterns, beverages, meals, fruits, vegetables, and house terms. If time permits, they will learn family terms, possessive adjectives, and how to express family relationships.

Grade 6 Social Studies: In 6th grade social studies, students acquire digital skills in a collaborative environment utilizing Chromebooks and working in teams at stand-sit tables. The course provides a brief overview of prehistoric times before exploring the world’s ancient river valley civilizations. While learning about these advanced societies, students study geography, political structures, social hierarchies, religious beliefs, artistic achievements, technological advancements, and writing systems. 6th-grade social studies also analyzes Greek and Roman civilizations -- with an emphasis on the foundations these classical civilizations provided for American ideology. Cultural diffusion is a major course theme as students “think like historians” and link the past with the present times.

Grade 6 ELA: In 6th grade ELA, the focus is Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Workshop. The Reading and Writing Project’s approach to instruction recognizes that “one size fits all” does not match the realities of the classrooms and schools in which they work. In each classroom, teacher’s address each child’s individual learning by teaching strategies that meet that student’s reading and writing needs. Small group and one-on-one conferencing provide multiple opportunities for personalizing instruction and build a learning community. 

Grade 6 Math: In 6th grade, the focus is Pre-Algebra. Through the use of scaffolding, basic arithmetic skills build to pre-algebraic concepts. Students use problem solving skills to explore real world applications and expand their known abstract mathematical concepts, such as number sense, geometry, and linear equations. This course aligns with Algebra 1 in that it transitions into the upper level course and prepares students for standardized testing.

Grade 6 Science: In 6th grade science the focus is Life Science. This course examines the structures of living things. Students learn about cells, DNA, genetics, and how organisms interact with their environments. Through the study of ecology, topics to be investigated are the diversity of life changes and adaptations. Students also investigate the scientific and inquiry processes as they become proficient in laboratory and problem solving skills.

Seventh Grade

Grade 7 Spanish 1 (HS credit): At the 7th grade level, students are taught a full year of Spanish, covering the first half of high school Spanish 1. Students are taught the entire Avancemos 1A curriculum for junior high, which is over 900 vocabulary terms (at about 100 per chapter).

Grammar topics include 3 regular verb patterns, 7 irregular verbs, and 3 stem-changing verb patterns. They will also cover other grammar topics such as prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, and more!

Vocabulary topics include weather, seasons, conversations, likes and dislikes, numbers 0-100, adjectives, articles, telling time, classroom objects, feelings, locations, interrogatives, meals, beverages, restaurant terms, locations, family, comparisons, clothes, colors, restaurant terms, transportation, numbers up to one million, and more.

Grade 7 Algebra 1 (HS credit): In 7th grade, students study the first half of Algebra 1 which focuses on expressions, functions, real numbers, inequalities, exponents, polynomials, radicals, and rational expressions. Algebra is about finding the unknown or putting real-life variables into equations and then solving them. Students in Algebra use problem-solving skills from math and apply it to real-world situations.

Grade 7 English: In 7th grade, the English course emphasizes skill development in reading, writing, literature, research skills, language, grammar, critical thinking, and cooperative learning. Major writing forms include exposition, persuasion, comparison/contrast, and narrative. In literature, the major genres covered include fiction (short stories and novels), nonfiction, poetry and drama.

Grade 7 Science: In 7th grade science the focus is Science Olympiad, which is a STEM- based curriculum integrating science, technology, engineering, and math concepts. Students use the problem-solving approach to construct new designs, while applying prior knowledge. Life Science, Physical Science, weather, and geology are among the topics explored in Science Olympiad.

Grade 7 History: The historical focus changes to that of our local state in grade 7, as students delve deep into Louisiana history, culture, geography, government, economy, and political figures. As the year progresses, seventh grade students create Louisiana ABC books, capturing and recording through pictures and brief descriptions, images of the state representative of their studies. During the second semester, the course transitions into American History and how Louisiana contributes to the formation of early America.

Eighth Grade

Grade 8 Spanish 1 (HS credit): At the 7th grade level, students are taught a full year of Spanish, covering the first half of high school Spanish 1. Students are taught the entire Avancemos 1A curriculum for junior high, which is over 900 vocabulary terms (at about 100 per chapter).

Grammar topics include 3 regular verb patterns, 7 irregular verbs, and 3 stem-changing verb patterns. They will also cover other grammar topics such as prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, and more!

Vocabulary topics include weather, seasons, conversations, likes and dislikes, numbers 0-100, adjectives, articles, telling time, classroom objects, feelings, locations, interrogatives, meals, beverages, restaurant terms, locations, family, comparisons, clothes, colors, restaurant terms, transportation, numbers up to one million, and more.

Grade 8 Algebra 1 (HS credit): In 8th grade Algebra 1, students study the second half of Algebra 1 which focuses on expressions, systems of equations, functions, real numbers, inequalities, exponents, polynomials, factoring, radicals, and rational expressions.  Students in Algebra use problem-solving skills from math and apply it to real-world situations. Additionally, students translate mathematical equations into 3D objects.

Grade 8 English: In 8th grade, English I is a study of various genres of world literature to advanced reading, vocabulary, and thinking skills. Students learn forms and terms associated with selections being read, develop comprehension and vocabulary skills to greater depth and complexity, and analyze elements of text for greater understanding and modeling for their own writing. There is a focus on organizational strategies for writing the multi paragraph essays: descriptive, expository, persuasive, comparison/contrast, and personal writing. Research and documentation skills are also taught. Reading is done outside of class for in-class analysis.

Grade 8 Science (HS credit): In 8th grade, Physical Science is comprised of an introduction to chemistry and physics. This includes the study of matter, its physical and chemical changes, atoms, atomic structure and history of the atom. Motion study involves Newton’s Laws, forces, and electricity. Measurement skills are practiced and mastered throughout the source in the study of volume, density, length, mass. Topics learned in the classroom are applied to laboratory experiments.

Grade 8 History: The 8th grade social studies course explores American history from the Age of Exploration through the Civil War. The class uses a variety of sources -- digital and print -- primary and secondary --  facilitating student development of critical historical analysis skills.  8th-grade social studies explores the political foundations of American democracy and links the study of history to current events. Students have the opportunity to participate in an end-of-year trip to Washington, D.C. that also includes study visits to Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Gettysburg.

Traditions

Experiential learning is a critical part of the educational experience at Country Day. Each year there are traditions that have stood the test of time and proved positive for the school community. Below you will find a list of experiences that families should expect in Middle School:

Fifth Grade: Baton Rouge Field Trip, Explorer Wax Museum

Sixth Grade: Poverty Point Field Trip, STARBASE

Seventh Grade: Natchitoches, Field Trip, Louisiana ABC Booklet, Literary rally - District and State

Eighth Grade: Literary rally - District and State, Science Olympiad Competitions - Regional and State, Earning up to five High School Credits, Washington D.C. Trip