Middle School

Country Day's Middle School focuses on providing students the opportunities and tools to discover their talents and passions. A focus on written and verbal expression in classrooms, a widely-varied Advisory program, and a strong sense of community allow all students to learn, grow, and lead. Academic programs focus on creativity and innovation while a range of clubs, sports, and activities allow students to excel in numerous ways. Our teachers foster the exploration of new ideas, independent thinking, and responsibility as they prepare our Middle School students for the next step in their education.

 

Advisory

An important aspect of middle school is the daily Advisory period. This 30-minute period allows Fifth through Eighth grade students to have numerous opportunities for enrichment and growth. Each Middle School teacher acts as an advisor to a small group; community time allows students to build strong relationships with their advisor and each other. Students are able to join Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, Glee Club, Geography Bee, Fellowship of Christian Students, Math Counts, Junior Entrepreneur Club, STEM Club, or Environmental Club. Students have the chance to participate in yoga, ping pong, outdoor basketball, board games, and arts and crafts on a monthly basis. This time is also utilized for tutoring and middle school rallies that celebrate student success.

Electives

Physical Education: Country Days's Physical Education program includes Dynamic Physical Education. Each day, students engage in various activities to improve general physical fitness, fine and gross motor skills, team work, and sportsmanship while having fun.

Art: Middle School art classes focus on principles of art and elements of design. Using art history and contemporary art studies to inspire unique creations, students draw and paint in a variety of mediums. Students create 2-D and 3-D clay designs using our state-of-the-art kiln to fire their creations. 

Library Study: The focus of Library Study is effectively using reference materials and technology to enhance classroom studies, safe internet usage, research skills, and using technology. 

Technology Literacy (High School credit available in Eighth grade): Middle school Technology Literacy is a core class in fifth through seventh grade and is offered as an elective in eighth grade. The class features coding, programming, engineering design and fabrication, robotics (building and programming for autonomous operation), and original, functional 3D designs and prints.  The Engineering Design Process is integrated throughout the grades with student-designed projects using non-traditional building materials and numerous software programs, including AutoCad. Students utilize Ozobot, Makerbot, and Mindstorm EV3 to build and program autonomous operational robots. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher skills are infused throughout the courses.

 

Fifth Grade

English Language Arts: Fifth grade students continue Reading and Writing Workshop. The Units of Study in Reading and Writing allow students to explore multiple genres and texts through whole-class and small-group reading. The writing program allows students to express themselves in the creation of argument, informational, and narrative writing. Conferencing and rich discussion groups allow students to work collaboratively and individually to expand the skills of analysis, synthesis, and composition.

Math: In Fifth grade, students continue our Singapore Math program.  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.

Science: The focus of Fifth grade Science is earth, life, matter, and energy. 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.

Spanish: Students will focus on foundational vocabulary acquisition. By the end of the quarter, they will have learned over 200 words in Spanish. They learn the days of the week, weather, introductions, numbers 0-100, months, time and date, articles, colors, shapes, animals, school subjects, and school objects. Students will also construct simple, formulaic sentences in Spanish.

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

Sixth Grade

English Language Arts: Sixth grade students continue Reading and Writing Workshop. The Units of Study in Reading and Writing allow students to explore multiple genres and texts through whole-class and small-group reading. The writing program allows students to express themselves in the creation of argument, informational, and narrative writing. Conferencing and rich discussion groups allow students to work collaboratively and individually to expand the skills of analysis, synthesis, and composition.

Pre-Algebra: Sixth grade Pre-Algebra progresses from basic arithmetic skills to pre-algebraic concepts. Students use problem solving skills to explore real world applications and expand their knowledge of abstract mathematical concepts, such as number sense, geometry, and linear equations.   

Social Studies: Sixth grade Social Studies provides a brief overview of prehistoric times before exploring the world’s ancient river valley civilizations and early Greek and Roman civilizations. Students study geography, political structures, social hierarchies, religious beliefs, artistic achievements, technological advancements, and writing systems. Cultural diffusion is a major course theme as students connect the past with modern times.

Science: Students focus on Earth and Space Sciences. Through the study of Earth's systems, engineering design, nature of the universe, and the interaction between humans and the environment, students use the scientific process to examine and problem solve real-world issues in project based learning.

Spanish: During the course of study, students will learn three regular verb patterns, over 35 regular verbs, and an additional 200 new vocabulary words. After reviewing foundational material, students will 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. After mastering these skills, students will learn family terms, possessive adjectives, and how to express family relationships.

Seventh Grade

English Language Arts: English emphasizes deep study into literary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Using workshop methodology, students write narratives, literary analysis and research, and arguments. With a focus on close-reading and discussion, students learn to express themselves, not just in writing, but in verbal forms. Grammar and vocabulary are taught through professional texts and student writing.

Algebra I-A (High School credit): The first half of Algebra 1 focuses on expressions, functions, real numbers, inequalities, exponents, polynomials, radicals, and rational expressions. Students will use problem-solving skills to solve real-world math problems.

Louisiana and Early American History: Seventh grade students delve deep into Louisiana history, culture, geography, government, economy, and political figures. During the second semester, the course transitions into American History and how Louisiana contributed to the formation of early America.

Science: Seventh grade Science is a STEM-based curriculum integrating science, technology, engineering, and math concepts that culminates in Science Olympiad, a competition in which students participate in numerous hands-on building and problem-solving tasks. Students use the scientific process to approach problems, using prior knowledge and innovative thinking to create new designs and solutions. Life Science, Physical Science, weather, and geology are among the topics explored in Science Olympiad.

Spanish I-A (High School credit): Seventh grade students are taught a full year of Spanish, covering the first half of high school Spanish I. Students are taught the entire Avancemos I-A curriculum for junior high, which is over 900 vocabulary terms. Grammar topics include three regular verb patterns, seven irregular verbs, and three stem-changing verb patterns. Students will also cover other grammar topics such as prepositions, adjectives, and adverbs. 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, and numbers up to one million.

 

Eighth Grade

English I (High School credit):  English I is a study of various genres of world literature, 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 narrative, argument, and literary analysis and research. 

Algebra I-B (High School credit): Students complete the second half of Algebra I, which focuses on expressions, systems of equations, functions, real numbers, inequalities, exponents, polynomials, factoring, radicals, and rational expressions.  Students will translate mathematical equations into 3-D objects and use Algebra to solve real-world problems.

American History: Students explore American history from the Age of Exploration through the Reconstruction. The class uses a variety of sources to facilitate student development of critical thinking and historical analysis skills. Eighth 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.

Physical Science (High School credit): Physical Science is comprised of an introduction to chemistry and physics. This includes the study of matter, its physical and chemical changes, atoms, and atomic structure. Students will also study motion, Newton’s Laws, forces, and electricity. Measurement skills are practiced and mastered in the study of volume, density, length, and mass. Topics learned in the classroom are applied to laboratory experiments.

Spanish I-B (High School credit): Students will cover the second half of high school Spanish I. Students are taught the entire Avancemos I-B curriculum for junior high, which is over 900 vocabulary terms. Grammar topics include direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns, new irregular verbs, compound verb forms, reflexive verbs, affirmative and negative expressions, and imperative, progressive, and past preterite verb tenses. Vocabulary topics include ordinal numbers, party terms, housekeeping, holidays, sports, equipment, parts of the body, health terms, outdoor activities, technology, internet lingo, daily routines, vacation terms, bargaining, and handicrafts.

 

 

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is a critical part of the educational experience at Country Day. Each year, students engage in exciting learning opportunities. Middle School students can expect these fun, educational experiences:

Fifth Grade: Baton Rouge Field Trip, Explorer Wax Museum

Sixth Grade: Poverty Point Field Trip, STARBASE

Seventh Grade: Natchitoches Field Trip, Louisiana ABC Booklet, Science Olympiad, 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