Middle Learning Curriculum

In Middle Learning, curriculum creation and development is a collaborative process. In the beginning of the school year, each grade level team chooses a theme for the year and strives to tie it into lessons, outdoor education, and Immersion throughout the year. Grade level teams also meet weekly and often discuss curriculum to encourage collaboration and integrated units and projects. In addition, teachers meet monthly in vertical departments to discuss scope and sequence of concepts to ensure that skills are built upon each year. Furthermore, the grade level and department meetings are a time for teachers to share sound teaching practices and new research and ideas.

At Galloway, teachers often strive for depth rather than breadth. We want students to spend time really looking, thinking, questioning, discussing, and creating to get the most out of a concept. Novels, magazines, guest speakers, film clips, field trips, articles, textbooks and other resources are utilized to enrich the curriculum as students delve into new areas of study.

Grade 5

In 5th grade, we work to help students develop a sense of empathy and encourage them to consistently show kindness to others through our theme “Choose Compassion”. With the understanding that choosing compassion is a choice, we work to make this the natural choice of our 5th graders throughout the year. This theme is reflected in our classroom curriculum in each class, our outdoor education experience, and our immersion experience.
Some areas where students are encouraged to Choose Compassion are:
  • In class novels and stories
  • In History when examining different perspectives and ways of looking at historical events
  • In learning about individuals with physical and mental disabilities
  • In learning about individuals who are of different cultures and backgrounds
We encourage all students to be accepting and welcoming of many different types of people and to celebrate the unique characteristics of us all.
 

Math

The fifth grade math program uses the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ Curriculum Focal Points as a springboard to ensure the mastery of essential foundational skills. Our math program allows students to go above and beyond these fundamental skills as they develop the ability to use critical and flexible thinking to relate mathematical concepts to real world situations. The principles of our mathematical instruction include: conceptual understanding, fluency in computation and procedures, and problem solving. Students explore concepts through an array of experiences including cooperative learning activities, cross-curricular projects, field trips, and more.

Our fifth graders will become proficient with whole numbers, fractions, basic geometry and measurement. Main topics include: numeration, operations with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals, variables and expressions, introduction to integers, volume and surface area of three-dimensional figures, data analysis, and measurement.

Language Arts

We aim to ignite a passion for reading and writing by reminding 5th grade students that Language Arts is all about sharing our stories. People love to tell their stories, and that’s just what we do in this class. We talk, we share, we listen, and we learn how to make those exchanges work better. Students begin to examine books closely to draw implicit and explicit inferences and conclusions, using strategies that teach them when and where to stop and notice what the author is doing. Many of the novels we read offer us a chance to see the world from a variety of perspectives and to see what it means to Choose Compassion, our yearlong theme. Students begin to use evidence from literature to support their thinking, writing pieces that express their opinions. We explore a variety of writing genres, including personal narratives, poetry, personal essays, and expository writing. Students are coached through each part of the writing process. The program is rounded out with the study of grammar, spelling rules, and vocabulary (at times taken from our literature)—all taught in relationship to reading and writing.
 

Social Studies

In fifth-grade social studies, we explore early American history, beginning with the voyage of Christopher Columbus and continuing through the Civil War. Guided by our theme of Conflict and Peacebuilding, we analyze historical case studies, then connect what we learn to our everyday lives and to current events. Throughout the course, we consider these essential questions: What if we take a different perspective? What causes conflict? How does this connect to present day? How can we build peace? Through role-plays, simulations and skits, students enliven history with their enthusiasm and curiosity. By reading and writing historical fiction, students make personal connections to history and develop compassion for people whose experiences differ from theirs. By investigating current events, students realize how history connects to present day. By discussing complex issues affecting our world today, students consider different perspectives, make sound arguments supported by evidence, and envision solutions. In class, students practice note-taking, reading comprehension, public speaking, and collaboration, and demonstrate their learning through tests and projects. A highlight of the year is the Jamestown Project, in which students design a new and improved Jamestown Colony from the bottom up, deciding everything from the location to the government and laws! Through a series of 3 research projects, students are introduced to the research process. They develop skills in note-taking, paraphrasing, citing sources, and expository writing, culminating in a formal 3-paragraph research paper about the Civil War. By the end of the year, 5th graders are history lovers who think deeply, ask thought-provoking questions, and care about their world, both past and present.

Science

In 5th grade Science, students engage in interactive, inquiry based learning focused on life science. Beginning with the characteristics of living things and cells, students examine what it means for something to be considered alive. We then move into understanding how living things are classified and grouped into domains and kingdoms. This allows us to explore the various characteristics of bacteria, viruses, protists, and fungi.  We also explore ecosystems and the earth’s biomes in order to understanding the ways living thing interact with their surroundings. We examine different human body systems, which helps students explore the function and structure of our body systems. Finally, student embark on a student-led learning experience to understand ways to ensure optimal health. Through our NEWSTART unit, students are able to pace their learning and create artifacts that represent their understanding. Through labs, field observations, and hands on activities, 5th grade students learn to use critical thinking skills and the scientific method to extend their learning beyond the classroom. Research, note taking, and study skills are incorporated throughout the year as students learn to formulate thesis statements and defend hypotheses using the scientific method. Students’ knowledge is assessed through projects, group activities, tests, and research papers.
 

Music

ML Music builds on the foundation of the Early Learning music program. All students in grades 5 and 6 learn the instrument of their choice selected from woodwind, brass, orchestral strings, guitar, percussion and chorus during the school day, three days a week. Students also participate in creative projects that strengthen and develop skills in music notation, music theory, basic composition and arranging. Students may also elect to participate in the percussion-based World Music Ensemble which meets after school one day a week.  Voice students in grade 6 may register to participate in the ML Musical. After school music lessons on a variety of instruments are also available through G360.

Dance

Galloway dance teachers work in collaboration with ML classroom teachers to provide support for interdisciplinary presentations. Dance teachers guide students as they discover movement as a vehicle for learning and understanding across a variety of disciplines. Interested sixth-grade students may also sign-up to participate in the Junior Dance Ensemble, which meets after school two days a week.  

Visual Arts

All students in 5th and 6th grade attend visual arts class during the school day, two days a week.  Our ML students improve their fine-motor and thinking skills through projects that range from three-dimensional sculpture, drawing and painting to computer art applications. They learn the elements of art and principles of design as they work using a two-step process in which students first explore new media and then step back and revise and edit a final piece. While the emphasis of lessons is on the creative process, student artwork is proudly displayed throughout the school and at a special exhibition in the spring.

Theatre

Galloway theatre teachers work in collaboration with ML classroom teachers to provide support for interdisciplinary presentations.  Theater teachers guide students as they discover and develop character, plot, conflict, actions and change while learning how to work together as a group.  Interested 6th grade students may also sign-up to participate in the ML musical.

Kinetic Wellness: 5th and 6th

Kinetic Wellness is a body movement and wellness class. 5th & 6th grade students participate in Kinetic Wellness two days per week, for 45-minute classes. On the kinetic side of the class, students will be introduced to team and individual sports while learning sport skills, movements, game tactics, and components of fitness. On the wellness side of the class, students will practice sportsmanship, game courtesy, social interactions, and compassion.

Grade 6

The sixth grade theme of “Belonging” resonates throughout the year.  Students explore questions related to individual and group identity, beginning the year with a focus on what it means to belong to the sixth grade community at Galloway.  In Language Arts, students begin the year in a Harry Potter theme and identify where they belong in Hogwarts houses. In Social Studies, students explore belonging by learning about topics such as religious traditions and immigration.  In Science and Math, students work collaboratively in teams through challenges related to the real world as part of belonging to the global community. The sixth grade immersion experience turns these questions to our local surroundings by exploring what it means to belong in the city of Atlanta.
 

Social Studies

Students in sixth grade social studies explore the themes of global awareness and human rights.  The curriculum is designed around a framework with four goals: investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas, and engaging communities.  Students will discover ideas related to different topics and themes through these four lenses. For example, students begin the year with a debate over immigration policy that involves research from current news sources, developing empathy for multiple perspectives through role play, communicating ideas in a formal speech, and engaging the community of peers by collaborating effectively in a team and engaging the broader global community in understanding a complex global issue.  This framework helps students navigate globally relevant topics such as world religions, colonialism, the biography of Gandhi, and deforestation in the Amazon. Students develop confidence in skills of civic discourse through student-centered, discussion-based learning. In the background, students develop their geographic literacy through weekly geography quizzes.

Language Arts

The sixth-grade year in language arts is one of challenge, discovery, and sparking curiosity. The students study literature, vocabulary, grammar, and writing. They read a number of novels, short stories, and poetry. As they read a piece of literature, students practice reading strategies such as predicting, visualizing, and summarizing to heighten their comprehension. In addition to focusing on the action of plot, students are encouraged to explore the rich world of meaning that literature offers through setting, conflict, theme, characterization, and figurative language (simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, and personification). Furthermore, students enhance their understanding of new vocabulary through identification and practice. In grammar studies, students connect to the material through explicit instruction and exercises, but also by exposure to real-life scenarios such as identifying parts of speech in magazines, movie reviews, and other areas of the world around them. Students also practice both creative and expository writing through a guided writing process. When revising and editing, students specifically focus on creating sentence fluency and variety, crafting their own writing voice, and improving their word choice by using new vocabulary and replacing overused words. Most importantly, students have choice in their writing topics, thereby taking greater ownership of their writing process as a whole.

Science

Sixth grade scientists problem-solve, think critically and make connections with scientific concepts through guided and open-inquiry investigations. Labs develop inquiry process skills such as asking questions, making hypotheses, designing procedures, recording observations, creating graphs, analyzing data, and forming conclusions. Students delve deeper into researching specific topics that spark their curiosity and culminates with a project that reflects their understanding and creativity. Writing science in a variety of genres, applying basic study skills to science content, and developing individual and group work skills are continually emphasized. Topics progress from global to microscopic, and then telescopic while students study freshwater resources, genetics, and astronomy concepts. Through class discussions of the history of science and current events, students come to understand science as an ever-changing, dynamic body of knowledge and discovery.

Math

The sixth grade math program uses a multi-sensory approach that ensures every student academic success and encourages a growth mindset. Built upon the Curriculum Focal Points developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, our program warrants that each student develop a strong foundation of math understanding and to reach a higher level of critical thinking. Through a wide range of classroom activities we are able to provide a dynamic approach that allows students to solve problems while providing appropriate support and enrichment. We are deliberate in promoting peer collaboration and communication, harvesting skills that are essential in becoming a responsible and independent learner. The course builds on the foundational math concepts and skills taught in grades K-5. By making thinking visible and strengthening critical thinking skills we are able to introduce higher level concepts, preparing students for Pre-Algebra in seventh grade. Sixth grade concepts include, but are not limited to: operations with integers, fractions, decimals, and percents, rates and ratios, solving one-step equations, mathematical expressions, two-dimensional geometry, and basic three-dimensional geometry.
 

Music

ML Music builds on the foundation of the Early Learning music program. All students in grades 5 and 6 learn the instrument of their choice selected from woodwind, brass, orchestral strings, guitar, percussion and chorus during the school day, three days a week. Students also participate in creative projects that strengthen and develop skills in music notation, music theory, basic composition and arranging. Students may also elect to participate in the percussion-based World Music Ensemble which meets after school one day a week.  Voice students in grade 6 may register to participate in the ML Musical. After school music lessons on a variety of instruments are also available through G360.

Dance

Galloway dance teachers work in collaboration with ML classroom teachers to provide support for interdisciplinary presentations. Dance teachers guide students as they discover movement as a vehicle for learning and understanding across a variety of disciplines. Interested sixth-grade students may also sign-up to participate in the Junior Dance Ensemble which meets after school two days a week.  

Visual Arts

All students in 5th and 6th grade attend visual arts class during the school day, two days a week.  Our ML students improve their fine-motor and thinking skills through projects that range from three-dimensional sculpture, drawing and painting to computer art applications. They learn the elements of art and principles of design as they work using a two-step process in which students first explore new media and then step back and revise and edit a final piece. While the emphasis of lessons is on the creative process, student artwork is proudly displayed throughout the school and at a special exhibition in the spring.

Theatre

Galloway theatre teachers work in collaboration with ML classroom teachers to provide support for interdisciplinary presentations.  Theater teachers guide students as they discover and develop character, plot, conflict, actions and change while learning how to work together as a group.  Interested 6th grade students may also sign-up to participate in the ML musical.

Kinetic Wellness: 5th and 6th

Kinetic Wellness is a body movement and wellness class. 5th & 6th grade students participate in Kinetic Wellness two days per week, for 45-minute classes. On the kinetic side of the class, students will be introduced to team and individual sports while learning sport skills, movements, game tactics, and components of fitness. On the wellness side of the class, students will practice sportsmanship, game courtesy, social interactions, and compassion.

Grade 7

The theme in seventh grade is Advocacy, which has two meanings. We want students to develop self-advocacy by practicing independence at school, and we want students to develop community advocacy by learning to engage with important issues locally and globally.
 
Some areas where students develop advocacy skills are:
  • Taking initiative to ask teachers for help
  • Choosing elective classes that interest them
  • Analyzing issues related to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
  • Engaging as a global citizen in the development of a sustainable future

Language Arts

Seventh-grade language arts builds upon organizational writing, focusing on developing sentence structure, literary analysis, persuasive writing, and cultivating style and voice. Students will practice application and demonstrate their learning through a variety of modes, including project-based activities, persuasive and informative essays, presentations, and exhibitions. Our classroom novels and short stories connect to our grade-level theme of advocacy, and focus on identity, privilege, intersectionality, oppression, and assumptions based on unconscious bias.

Social Studies

What makes a sustainable community? How does reducing inequalities benefit everyone? Why does education promote a sustainable future?

In Global Studies, students look in-depth at the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We examine 10 of the 17 goals and analyze an area of the world in which people are working toward achieving the goals: No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well being, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, peace, justice, and strong institutions and partnerships for the goals.

Our year culminates with a final project in which students design and present their own plans for a sustainable community. During Immersion, we visit a variety of sustainable developments around Atlanta and students use those experiences combined with the content they have learned in science and social studies to address as many of the SDGs as possible.

Science

In seventh-grade science, students learn about the Earth and its place in the universe. Earth science includes the study of rocks and minerals, meteorology, plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Students investigate and discover that science is not a stagnant body of knowledge, but a constantly evolving process—a human endeavor requiring both skepticism and openness to new ideas, as well as an intellectual honesty that gives an objective view on the natural world we are continually trying to understand and explain. Throughout our study, students are learning by discovery - conducting investigations, doing research, and having discussions (Making Thinking Visual), giving students several opportunities to develop their analytical and critical thinking skills. Our survival is dependent on understanding Earth's resources, and how we can practice sustainability (conservation and preservation). This is in keeping with the 7th grade overarching theme of advocacy.

Math 7

Galloway’s Math 7 program builds upon the foundational skills of mathematics as they pertain to algebra. Throughout the year the students receive reinforcement of previously learned concepts studied sixth grade and mastery of skills important for success in algebra and geometry. Meaningful use of fractions, decimals, and percentages will be stressed as well as real numbers and linear equations, inequalities, probability, fractions, graphing, operation sense, estimation skills, the ability to judge reasonableness of results through real world application, problem solving, and some elements of geometry. Moreover, we strive to develop mathematical expertise that will strengthen the student’s critical thinking skills and enable each student to take the math concepts to a higher level and beyond. Galloway’s laptop program allows each student access to 21 Century tools to ensure a math curriculum that is both daring and dynamic.

Pre-Algebra

Galloway’s Pre-Algebra program builds upon the foundational skills of mathematics as they pertain to algebra. We strive to develop mathematical expertise that will strengthen the student’s critical thinking skills and enable each student to take the math concepts to a higher level and beyond. Lessons encourage collaborative learning, communication, and precision. Major concepts include: rational and negative numbers, ratios and proportions, solving two-step equations, solving inequalities, area of polygons, graphing and slope.

Music

Students in grades 7 and 8 may elect to participate in large and small musical ensembles on the instrument of their choice, including woodwind, brass, orchestral strings, guitar, percussion, keyboard and chorus. These ensembles meet during the school day, four days a week and cover a variety of musical styles with student input in musical selection and presentations. The various ensembles often work together on original arrangements and students are given the opportunity to create their own self-directed, chamber ensembles with faculty support. Electives are also offered in music technology, introduction to keyboard, and digital recording.  Students interested in additional music experiences after school may join the World Music Ensemble, participate in Regional and All-state GMEA musical events, and may join the UL pep band. After school music lessons on a variety of instruments are available through G360.

Dance

Students in grades 7 and 8 may elect to take dance and mind/body/spirit classes. These classes meet during regular school hours and create a safe environment for students to experience dance with an option, but no pressure, to perform. Additional performing opportunities abound for students desiring to share their talents through participation in the Junior Dance Ensemble (grades 6 - 8), talent show, or at one of the Wonderful Wednesday Performances held in the Chaddick Center for the Arts weekly throughout the year.

Visual Arts

Students in grades 7 and 8 may elect to  sign up for a variety of visual arts classes including painting, drawing, graphic design, ceramics, sculpture, and printmaking. They are introduced to a wider variety of art experiences, tools and processes. Lessons often provide interdisciplinary connections to social studies, language arts, and science curriculum and may include field trips to view art or additional work with artists-in-residence. Students also gain practice in the five steps of art criticism as they learning how to discuss the formal qualities of art. Additional arts classes are offered after school through G360 throughout the year.

Theatre

Students in grades 7 and 8 may elect to take theatre classes including Introduction to Stagecraft, Improvisation, Acting, Building Props, Woodworking, and Musicals. These classes meet during regular school hours and create a safe environment for students to experience theatre with an option, but no pressure, to perform. Additional performing opportunities abound for students desiring to share their talents through participation in the Junior Theatre Company musical (grades 6 - 8), talent show, or at one of the Wonderful Wednesday Performances held in the Chaddick Center for the Arts weekly throughout the year.

Kinetic Wellness: 7th and 8th

In 7th & 8th grades, students can take Kinetic Wellness as an elective for one nine-week term and a total of 18 weeks over two years. Students in this course meet four days per week and are in a mixed class (7th & 8th grade). During this class, students continue to participate and learn team and individual sports. In addition, 7th & 8th grade students will start to learn more about the components of the musculoskeletal system, heart rate monitoring, basics of sports injury care, nutrition, and more.

Grade 8

The theme of 8th grade is “Courage” which gives the students an understanding of what it takes to be courageous across all parts of our curriculum and in their own lives. We work hard to establish the students’ grasp of fearlessness, boldness and heroism.

Some areas where students are encouraged to identify and demonstrate courage are:

  • In cooperative learning groups where learning to work with and get along with their peers involves stepping outside of their comfort zone
  • Through our summer reading book and other novel studies throughout the year in English
  • In learning about important historical events involving many courageous men and women
  • By examining courageous individuals and acts in historical and current science contexts
  • During our outdoor education trip where they backpack in the North Carolina mountains
  • In their experiences around immigration in our Immersion week

Language Arts

Eighth-grade language arts is divided into Writer’s Workshop and Reader’s Workshop. The more children read, the better they write. With this in mind, students set reading goals for themselves each quarter. At regular intervals throughout the year, they share their thoughts and feelings about their outside reading books through oral presentations and written analysis. This generates conversation about books between the students, and it motivates them to become more active readers. In class, several novels are studied with a focus on the writer’s individual style as well as broader themes. As writers, students learn about various grammatical concepts, beginning with sentence structure, which is the foundation of writing. This knowledge allows their writing styles to become more sophisticated and fluid. Students experience the writing process through a variety of steps, such as pre-writing, using visual organizers to organize ideas, multiple rough drafts, and an emphasis on self, peer, and teacher editing. Throughout the year, students are required to write extensively through in-class journals, personal narratives, persuasive, expository, and literary essays, which includes proving a thesis statement using textual citations as evidence. In keeping with the eighth grade theme of courage, the focus is on each student’s courageous attempts to improve his or her writing ability and to develop his or her individual voice.

Social Studies

Students will cover the time period from the Industrial Revolution through the Vietnam War. The year begins and continues with a study of Ethics and how choices play into every decision made in history. The students will be expected to write essays, journal, take notes, present, and write 2-3 papers. They will be graded for both the content and structure of their writing. This class is a discussion-based class, so each student will be expected to contribute on a daily basis. They will also be collaborating in small groups learning to become capable group members, while respecting others’ opinions and ideas. As the year progresses, the students will understand the potential of the individual and the courage it takes to make changes in his/her society.

Science

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of physical science. Many key concepts in chemistry and physics are covered, which will be analyzed further in Upper Learning. We explore topics such as the interactions of matter, atomic structure, mechanics, and energy, while developing and applying scientific inquiry skills. The curriculum incorporates independent and cooperative learning activities and encourages critical thinking and problem solving. Students experience a “hands-on, minds-on” approach to learning achieved through small group and class discussions, formal lab investigations, research, and projects. By the end of this course, students have a solid foundation in physics and chemistry; a connection to science and the world around them; and a thorough understanding of inquiry-based thinking and experimentation.

Math 8

Galloway’s Math 8 course serves as a primer for algebra, allowing for a reinforcement of the skills from Math 7 for students who are not quite ready for our 8th grade Algebra curriculum. Basic mathematics and other skills essential for success are reinforced and mastered to ensure academic success in Algebra I. Strengthening critical thinking skills and problem-solving techniques allows students to apply their algebraic skill to create a better understanding of algebra. Various topics are covered using collaborative learning including integers, algebraic expressions, equations, inequalities, decimals, fractions, exponents, ratios, proportions, percents, area, volume, data analysis, and probability. Through Galloway’s laptop program and other 21st century tools, the students are taught how to be deliberate in their learning and in turn are able to take their math skills above and beyond.

Algebra I

Building on skills learned in Pre-Algebra, this course begins with a brief reinforcement of the mathematical concepts necessary for algebra. Throughout the year, the majority of our focus will be on the overarching concepts of functions and equations, with additional concepts including: expressions, inequalities, graphing, and probability. Through critical thinking, collaborative learning, and integrated technology, the concepts from this course will be solidified as students work towards higher level thinking and making real-world connections.

A successful understand and application of the material in this course exempts students from Algebra I in Upper Learning.

Music

Students in  grades 7 and 8 may elect to participate in large and small musical ensembles on the instrument of their choice, including woodwind, brass, orchestral strings, guitar, percussion, keyboard and chorus.  These ensembles meet during the school day, four days a week and cover a variety of musical styles with student input in musical selection and presentations. The various ensembles often work together on original arrangements and students are given the opportunity to create their own self-directed, chamber ensembles with faculty support. Electives are also offered in music technology, introduction to keyboard, and digital recording.  Students interested in additional music experiences after school may join the World Music Ensemble, participate in Regional and All-state GMEA musical events, and may join the UL pep band. After school music lessons on a variety of instruments are available through G360. 

Dance

Students in grades 7 and 8 may elect to take dance and mind/body/spirit classes. These classes meet during regular school hours and create a safe environment for students to experience dance with an option, but no pressure, to perform. Additional performing opportunities abound for students desiring to share their talents through participation in the Junior Dance Ensemble (grades 6 - 8), talent show, or at one of the Wonderful Wednesday Performances held in the Chaddick Center for the Arts weekly throughout the year.

Visual Arts

Students in grades 7 and 8 may elect to  sign up for a variety of visual arts classes including painting, drawing, graphic design, ceramics, sculpture, and printmaking. They are introduced to a wider variety of art experiences, tools and processes. Lessons often provide interdisciplinary connections to social studies, language arts, and science curriculum and may include field trips to view art or additional work with artists-in-residence. Students also gain practice in the five steps of art criticism as they learning how to discuss the formal qualities of art. Additional arts classes are offered after school through G360 throughout the year.

Theatre

Students in grades 7 and 8 may elect to take theatre classes including Introduction to Stagecraft, Improvisation, Acting, Building Props, Woodworking, and Musicals. These classes meet during regular school hours and create a safe environment for students to experience theatre with an option, but no pressure, to perform. Additional performing opportunities abound for students desiring to share their talents through participation in the Junior Theatre Company musical (grades 6 - 8), talent show, or at one of the Wonderful Wednesday Performances held in the Chaddick Center for the Arts weekly throughout the year.
 

Kinetic Wellness: 7th and 8th

In 7th & 8th grades, students can take Kinetic Wellness as an elective for one nine-week term and a total of 18 weeks over two years. Students in this course meet four days per week and are in a mixed class (7th & 8th grade). During this class, students continue to participate and learn team and individual sports. In addition, 7th & 8th grade students will start to learn more about the components of the musculoskeletal system, heart rate monitoring, basics of sports injury care, nutrition, and more.

World Languages

5th and 6th Grade Spanish/French

In 5th grade students can choose Spanish or French as their second language, based on their curiosity and interests.  Our goal for our 5th and 6th grade students is to help them acquire a second language at the novice level in an environment that is safe and fun, and aims at building their confidence. Students work on listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Language instruction is based on Dr. Stephen Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition and his research on comprehensible input and storytelling through TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling).

In language classes students sing, play and use movement to acquire the language.  They role-play, tell and write stories, watch videos, and engage with authentic resources. We focus on high frequency vocabulary and language structures so that students can quickly start to communicate effectively with their teachers and peers.  Students start to learn about the many different cultures of these languages spoken in so many countries, and explore how those ways of life intersect with and diverge from their own. Our hope is that the study of a second language will be a tool for students to explore the world, reflect on themselves and expand their perspectives.

7th and 8th Grade French

In 7th and 8th grade French, students begin the exciting adventure of communicating in the world's most beautiful language. Immersed in authentic francophone scenarios, students develop vocabulary and grammatical structures to express personal preferences, describe themselves, friends and family and cultivate multidimensional cultural competencies in the arts, geography and everyday interactions. French class is active, fun and busy as students pursue personal interests in individual and collaborative projects using poetry, music, video, paint and sculpture. A three-pronged approach of interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication meets the learning styles of all students through the use of engaging and authentic resources to create language proficiency. Exploring the cafés, museums, schools and shops of the French-speaking world while integrating our rich resources in Atlanta such as the Théâtre du Rêve, French restaurants and the Consul Général d'Atlanta, Galloway French students expand their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Our new partnership with the Lycée Grand Air and the Lycée Saint Elme in Arcachon, Bordeaux is opening doors of collaboration, exchange and international friendship through the French language preparing students for opportunities and achievement in Upper Learning.

7th and 8th Grade Spanish

In 7th and 8th grade Spanish, students acquire the language by communicating with the teacher, their peers, and other Spanish speakers using high frequency vocabulary and grammar. Through storytelling and tasks that are tailored to students’ interests and strengths, each class is exposed to basic linguistic features of Spanish as well as products, practices and perspectives found throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Students learn about the many cultures of this widely spoken language and explore how those ways of life intersect with and diverge from their own. By the end of the year, students are able to understand, write and speak Spanish in a variety of contexts. They leave the course with the fundamental skills needed to communicate effectively and the beginnings of intercultural competence that they will continue to develop in Upper Learning Spanish.

7th and 8th Grade Latin

In 7th and 8th grade Latin, the focus is on exposing students to a variety of Latin authors while laying the grammatical foundations of the language.  Students will engage with abridged ancient texts to learn about Roman history and culture along with the discovery of grammatical structures. They learn through dynamic inductive-reading approaches, combined with traditional grammar-translation methods. They read through translations and discover for themselves what they know and what they do not know. Grammar and syntax are then presented in a deliberate and systematic way. In this way students are able to explore the language at their own pace and take ownership of their learning before solidifying it through group instruction. They also engage with the ancient world through various cultural and historical research projects that provide a window into the daily experiences of Romans from over two thousand years ago. Students in turn realize that the ancient world is both very similar and different than their modern experiences. Students take ownership of the language by composing their own writings in Latin like love poems and graffiti inspired by texts from Ancient Rome.  Throughout the course, students gain knowledge of both Latin and English grammar while expanding their understanding of the relationship between the ancient world and our own.

Electives: Grades 7 and 8

In seventh and eighth grade, students have two elective periods each nine-week term. Students are able to choose from a wide-variety of classes.

  • Academic Skills and Organization
  • Acting
  • Breakout
  • Ceramics
  • Creating in GarageBand
  • Creative Writing
  • Coding and Coding VR
  • Cyber Civics
  • Dance
  • Design for Sustainability
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Express Yourself
  • Fashion Design, Marketing and Merchandising
  • Folk Art
  • Francophone Artists That Marked History
  • French Fashion in Films
  • Gambling and the Stock Market
  • Graphic Design
  • Human Rights
  • Improv
  • Intro to Keyboard/Piano
  • Intro to Marketing
  • Kinetic Wellness
  • Let’s Get Cooking! Traditions, Culture and Culinary Celebrations Around the French-Speaking World
  • Life Hacks for the 21st Century
  • Makers Exploration
  • Makers for the Real World
  • Mind Body Conditioning
  • Middle Learning Musical*
  • Money and Sense
  • Movie Making
  • Music Ensemble (Band/Chorus/Guitar/Orchestra)*
  • Pathfinders
  • Philosophy Puzzles
  • Public Speaking
  • Robotics
  • Science Action
  • Science Olympiad
  • Sculpture
  • Service Learning
  • Spoken Word Poetry
  • Super Readers
  • Stress Management
  • Theatre Tech
  • Theatrical Props
  • Topics in Art
  • Wilderness Training
  • Windows to the World
  • Woodworking
  • World Turned Upside Down: Social Justice on Broadway

*Academic Skills and Organization is designed for specific students with learning needs. Approval from Sue Feig, Director of Learning Services, is required for these courses.

*ML Musical - 7th Period for 2 terms PLUS after school commitment

*Music ensembles are year-long courses

Technology

In 5th and 6th grade, technology is offered to every student. Students learn to communicate and collaborate through word processing by using the Google Suite to accomplish a number of objectives. Students also learn how to create spreadsheets and databases by using Google Sheets and Excel. Students also learn to program through use of Scratch.org and Mindstorms Programming and aim to show proficiency in a number of skills including sequencing tasks, troubleshooting and debugging programs, using loops and conditions, creating interactive scenes, and designing and building simple games. Students also will learn how to research and have fluency through effective and efficient web browsing. Internet safety and digital citizenship are a key component, and students will learn to be responsible digital citizens by understanding copyright, citing sources and plagiarism.

In 7th and 8th grade students are able to choose more specific elective classes that allow them to dive more deeply.  Some classes offered are Robotics, Advanced Coding, Digital Breakout, Moviemaking, and a Makers class.

Middle Learning also offers a competitive Robotics team that advanced to the state finals last year.