In the Middle School program at Arbor Creek Montessori Academy, as in all levels of Montessori education, there are areas and opportunities for discovery and experiential learning in which participation is the goal. These are: career education, outdoor education, electives, and trips. Our Middle School students have the opportunity to engage in hands on learning experiences at the end of each Cycle of Learning. We call this week Immersion Week and the activities align to the different topics studied over the Cycle.
During Cycle 1 the following subject matters were studied:
Natural World: Students explored the guiding questions, “How are all living things connected?” and “How are the cell’s structures connected to its function and processes?” They learned about the sixteen patterns of life, the characteristics of living things, the four basic needs of living organisms, and the tower of life. Students also studied the cell in its environment, the cellular structures of plant and animal cells, the processes of photosynthesis and respiration, the chemical compounds in cells, and the process of cell division
Social World: Students explored the guiding questions, “How is the physical geography of a region connected to the culture of the people that live there?” and “How does the means by which people meet their needs evolve over time?” Students researched the place, region, interaction, and movement of the Dallas area during the following time periods: 1500s, 1850s, 1900s, 1950s, 1970s, ad preset day. Students examined the needs of people living in Dallas and how these needs evolved over time.
Language: Students explored the guiding questions, “what are the qualities of a memoir?” and “Why do we write memoirs?” Students read and reflected over different memoirs written in both essay and novel format. Students worked to develop, draft, and edit their own personal memoirs, which communicated a theme to their reader. Students also studied the function of the comma within writing conventions.
Math: Students explored the guiding questions, “How can understanding grouping symbols help with order of operations?” and “How are exponents and roots connected?” Students strengthened their math skills by solving problems with multiple grouping symbols, simplifying roots, simplifying roots with fractions, negative exponents, scientific notation and fraction and decimal exponents.
During our first immersion weeks students will have the opportunity to visit in person the Dallas historical sites they studied including: the first house in Dallas, the Dallas Heritage Village, the Old Red Museum, the Reunion Tower, and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Museum. Students will visit the first cemetery in Farmers Branch and create tombstone rubbings from time periods across history. They will complete an organelle lab from UT Southwestern Medical Center to strengthen their understanding of cellular structures. These experiences are meant to provide hands on learning opportunities and deepen their understanding.