Middle School Curriculum

The Middle School course of study reflects an integration of the Montessori philosophy with Georgia's requirements, current learning theory, the most recent studies on the developmental needs of early adolescents and the skills needed for a productive life. Unlike other programs at Springmont, the Middle School students are graded on weekly tests and cycles of study. Self-discipline and organization are skills included in the curriculum.

Areas of study include:
  • Language Arts

    This area of study includes vocabulary, literature, grammar and mechanics and writing. Vocabulary is presented across the curriculum and is formally approached by learning the etymology of words. Writing exercises culminate in the completion of a traditional research paper and requisite parts, including appropriate documentation, bibliography, and other standard elements. Literature includes the study of literary elements and the reading and discussion of all genres of literature. The study of spelling and grammar is based on the students’ reading and writing. In addition to weekly writing workshops, students incorporate their writing skills into their work in all subject areas.
  • Mathematics

    Math courses are taught in a classroom-style setting after which students are given time for extensive one-on-one work sessions with the Teacher. Though the emphasis is on the fundamentals of mathematics, students receive opportunities to apply their knowledge of math in electives - science and the microeconomy. Placement for incoming students is determined by prior work done, standardized test scores, a diagnostic given at the beginning of the school year and conversations with parents, the student and the 6th-grade teacher. The following courses are offered:

    • Pre-algebra: Students learn how to translate the arithmetic-based mathematics into the equation-based mathematics. Students also begin to use more than one set of skills within individual problems, such as solving equations that use fractions. Topics include expressions, equations, integers, decimals, basic number theory, rational numbers, inequalities, two-dimensional graphing, ratio, proportion, percent and geometry.
    • Algebra I: This is considered to be the foundation of nearly all mathematics in high school and beyond. Students expand their basic knowledge of arithmetic and algebraic equations to solve a variety of equation-based problems. An emphasis is placed on learning how to justify the reason for a particular solution. Topics include integers, rational numbers, equations, inequalities, exponents, polynomials, factoring, graphs, linear equations, systems of equations, absolute value, rational expressions and equations, radical expressions and equations, relations and functions, and quadratic equations.
    • Geometry: The role of this course is twofold – first, expanding the students’ knowledge of special relations, and secondly, to serve as a foundation course for Logic. Deductive reasoning and critical thinking play key roles in Geometry, particularly as students learn how to prove solutions and theorems in a step-by-step format. Topics include proofs, parallel lines and planes, congruent triangles and applications, similarity, right triangles, circles, constructions and loci, polygons, surface area and volume, and coordinate geometry.
    • Algebra II: This course directly builds on the progress from Algebra I and integrates some concepts learned in Geometry. Students extend their knowledge of single, linear equations to systems of multiple linear equations, as well as exponential, polynomial, and polar equations. A unit on trigonometry is also given.
    • Other mathematics courses may be offered on an as-needed basis.
  • Science

    The Science curriculum focuses on experiential learning, discovering connections in the natural world, working in small groups and independent research. Three separate components constitute the Science curriculum. The first consists of traditional lessons, labs, assignments, and tests. The second component consists of a science project, often outdoors, that directly relates to the material previously studied. Finally, the students execute the project and summarize the results in a report, presentation, or both.

    Science is divided into three branches – Life ScienceEarth Science, and Physical Science -which are evenly divided across the two-year program. On school years ending in even numbers, Life Science and Physics are taught; on school years ending in odd numbers, Earth Science and Chemistry are taught.

    • Life Science involves the origin, function, and structure of living beings, and their interrelated role in the environment. Prior knowledge of chemistry is recommended for Life Science.
    • Earth Science covers astronomy, geology, meteorology and environmental science. Good performance in Earth Science requires a solid knowledge of geography.
    • Physical Science is divided into two fields: chemistry and physics. Physics primarily deals with Newtonian (classical) physics, which studies the interaction of matter at the visible level. Chemistry involves the interaction of matter at the molecular level. Both divisions of Physical Science require a solid set of math skills.
  • The Middle School L.A.N.D. Program

    The Middle School L.A.N.D. Program (Linking Adolescents to Nature and Discovery) is designed to give the Middle School students meaningful work experiences in order to build community, personal confidence and life skills in a natural setting. Through team building exercises such as hiking the Pinhoti Trail directly behind our lodge, students learn to depend on their own inner resources and on those of others. The importance of independence and inter-dependences on one another are equally emphasized.

    The program is taught at Springmont's Poplar Springs Landschool, consisting of 86 acres in Summerville, Georgia, approximately 80 miles from campus.  The property is equipped with a 4,000 square-foot lodge, complete with separate sleeping quarters and bathrooms for males and females, a fireplace, and large commercial kitchen. There is also a covered pavilion and a three-acre pond, in addition to several hiking trails and a spring-fed creek.  
  • Humanities

    This two-year course includes the study of geography and history. The Geography curriculumincludes the study of the themes of location, place, movements, regions, and interactions of people and their environment. The History curriculum focuses on the progress of people and their environment through investigation of world and United States history. Students undertake individual and group work, including creative projects and presentations. The Middle School curriculum is divided into two carefully designed modules. Module one explores pre-history up through the age of discovery. Module two focuses on the New World, Native American traditions and American history, and concludes with present day events.
  • Latin

    Numerous studies have shown that the study of Latin enhances the acquisition of critical language and vocabulary skills, especially in the years leading up to high school. Our Latin program provides an overview of Latin syntax and vocabulary, while also enhancing the understanding of romance language sentence construction and creative writing skills. Translation exercises, taught in tandem with historical analysis, maintain interest and accentuate the cross-curriculum approach essential for a Montessori middle school.
  • Spanish

    The Spanish class meets twice a week in 45-minute increments. In this time the students develop and explore Spanish language skills and oral proficiency around a variety of topics and themes. We use the Buen Viaje textbook and workbook in our overall theme and lessons. Each theme in the book focuses on a different lesson, showing different vocabulary, phrases and grammar (verb conjugation). We do several projects for each theme in the text book. We also incorporate games such as Scrabble, Loteria and Bingo. Scrabble is a great way to help students recall vocabulary, as well as strengthen their awareness of spelling in Spanish. After each theme, the students take a test to see their improvement in Spanish grammar.
  • Academic inquiries

    Developing adolescent students benefit from work and study based on the growth and exploration natural to this age group. By exploring and discussing material related to the teenage years, decision making, and productive life choices, the adolescent creates a healthy basis for sound lifestyle decisions. Whether studying the Seven Habits of Highly Efficient Teens or reading a biography of a successful innovator, this class prepares the adolescent for success in life from a balanced and informed perspective. Critical thinking skills figure greatly in the curriculum offered in this class.
  • Physical Education and Health

    The Physical Education class focuses on team sports, individual sports and aerobic activities with an emphasis on basic skills and cooperation over competition. 

    The Health curriculum includes the study of issues pertinent to the needs of early adolescents. Students explore topics such as belonging, friendships, adolescent development, stress management, self-esteem, peer pressure, drug education, sexuality and nutrition.
  • Adolescent Development

    The significant factors in helping students make good choices for themselves are: decision-making strategies, goal setting and planning, constructive ways for having fun, stress management, good peer relations, self confidence, responsibility for their behavior, respect for others, and the deference of immediate desires. These elements are part of the regular classroom curriculum. In addition, the Health curriculum focuses on information about sexuality and drug education. We encourage parents to learn about our Drug and Sexuality curriculum to support family discussions at home.
  • Speech and Communication

    At the beginning of each year, the class develops a Code of Conduct that establishes the guiding principles of the Middle School community. Students are able to practice these skills daily by working in community meetings, class committees, small group projects, and peer teaching activities. The development of intrapersonal skills through journal writing and personal reflection is a critical part of the daily schedule. Each year, one carefully chosen work of literature such as Great Works AnthologiesThe Good Earth and The Chosen, are used as the focus for dialogue and personal growth.
  • Fine Arts and Creative Expression

    The fine arts are an important part of a holistic curriculum. Students integrate their musical and artistic knowledge and skills into ongoing projects and use them for avenues of self-expression. Studies in music history and lessons with Orff instruments are included in the curriculum.

ACCREDITED BY:

SAIS, SACS

RECOGNIZED BY:

AMI

MEMBER OF:

AAAIS, GISA, NAIS

SPRINGMONT

5750 Long Island Drive, NW  | Atlanta, GA  30327
T: 404-252-3910  | F: 404-843-9815