In grades six through eight, Triangle Day School’s Middle School students benefit from small classes, supportive teachers, and a dynamic academic experience. Students receive solid instruction in the core academic areas including math, science, social studies, language arts, Spanish, and physical education. Combining time-tested methods with innovative techniques, lessons focus on critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, written and oral communication, and creativity. In addition, students attend a variety of complementary classes.
The rigorous academic program in the Middle School prepares students to meet the challenges of any high school setting. Daily study halls where every teacher is available for questions and enrichment teach students about time management, self-advocacy, and to see their teachers as allies. Students graduate from Triangle Day School as confident, lifelong learners, equipped with a sound academic foundation and the life skills necessary for success.Language Arts
The goals of the Middle School language arts program are for students to read, analyze, appreciate, and enjoy high-level texts representing a variety of genres and to communicate clearly, concisely and accurately in both writing and speaking. Through discussions, independent and group projects, writing, and presentations, students explore literature, grammar, the mechanics of writing, and vocabulary. They exercise critical thinking skills as they respond to quality literature and to differing viewpoints. Students acquire higher level vocabulary by working in the Wordly Wise curriculum weekly. Below are some examples of the literature for the 2013-2014 school year:
Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), Chasing Vermeer (Blue Balliet), Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Mildred Taylor), Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan)
Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card), Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson), Lord of the Flies (William Golding), The House of the Scorpion (Nancy Farmer), And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Shakespeare)
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens (Sean Covey), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), Diary of Anne Frank (Anne Frank), Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain), Divergent (Veronica Roth), Who Moved my Cheese (Spencer Johnson)
Middle School math focuses on providing a strong algebraic foundation for students. Small class sizes provide environments in which each student’s needs in math are met through reliance on a variety of instructional strategies. Students participate in group discussions, independent activities, traditional presentations and skills practice, small group exploration, writing out solutions with logical reasoning, projects, and problem-solving activities with a real-world focus. All of these methods combine to ensure that students are learning concepts and applications in a challenging yet supportive atmosphere. Students begin Middle School in a Pre-Algebra course and progress through Algebra or Geometry by the end of 8th grade. Students typically follow one of these three pathways:
- 6th grade Pre-Algebra → 7th grade ½ Pre-Algebra, ½ Algebra → 8th grade Algebra
- 6th grade Pre-Algebra → 7th grade Introduction to Algebra → 8th grade Advanced Topics in Algebra
- 6th grade Pre-Algebra → 7th grade Algebra → 8th grade Geometry*
*Students who complete the Geometry course in 8th grade will receive Geometry or Common Core II credit for high school.
Science at the Middle School level invites students to take an active role in their learning and to refine their investigative skills as they examine a range of scientific concepts and understandings. Using hands-on activities, inquiry-based labs, scientific readings, research, and discussions, teachers encourage students to apply their knowledge of science to real-life situations and events. The integration of math and technology helps students analyze and present scientific data and findings. As students work, they are encouraged to apply the skills and problem solving strategies employed by people working in scientific fields.
6th Grade: Earth Science
7th Grade: Life Science
- Regulation and Behavior
- Reproduction and Heredity
- Diversity and Adaptation of Organisms
- Populations and Ecosystems
- Structure and Function of Living Things
8th Grade: Physical Science
- Scientific Method
- Properties of Matter
- Changes of Properties of Matter
- Motion and Forces
- Transfer of Energy
Using a variety of instructional strategies, including lectures, group discussions and activities, peer teaching, research projects, and simulations, the Middle School teachers strive to fully engage their students in the study of history and its connections to the present and future. Students build critical thinking and investigative skills as they relate to people, events, and cultures, and they develop an awareness and understanding of different perspectives on history. Throughout their coursework students engage in research activities designed to help them ask thoughtful questions and seek and evaluate answers.
6th Grade: Ancient World Cultures
- First Civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India
- Greece and Rome
- Middle Ages in Europe
7th Grade: World Cultures in their development of Western Civilization
- French Revolution
- Industrial Revolution
- World Wars
8th Grade: United States History
- Early America (Mesoamerica/Central America)
- English Colonies
- American Revolution
- Bill of Rights
- Jacksonian Democracy
- Manifest Destiny
Coursework becomes increasingly academic to prepare students for foreign language study in high school. By the end of eighth grade, students have completed the Spanish II course and should be ready to take Spanish III in high school.
Spanish speaking countries and their capitals, present tense regular verb conjugations, possessive adjectives, noun adjective agreement, interrogation words, basic vocabulary, some irregular verbs, cultures of España, Puerto Rico, México and Estados Unidos
Negative and affirmative commands and words, ser vs. estar, reflexive verbs, preterit of irregular verbs, present progressive, indirect object pronouns, demonstrative adjectives, cultures of Costa Rica, Argentina, Ecuador, and República Dominicana
Direct and indirect object pronouns, regular and irregular preterit verbs, demonstrative adjectives and pronouns, reflexive verbs, present progressive, the imperfect tense, formal commands, double object pronouns, the subjunctive, por and para, the future tense, details of the cultures and Spanish dialect of Ecuador, República Dominicana, España, México, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Costa Rica, y mucho mas!
The primary goal of TDS physical education curriculum is to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles. Students participate in a movement based curriculum as they are challenged to understand the relationships involving self, space, equipment and others around them. Group activities, cooperative games, and problem solving are integrated into more physically demanding situations, allowing students to challenge their skills while building their concept of self.
In Middle School, students have Physical Education on a daily basis. They are taught to lead their own warm-up exercises, and they learn advanced skills and strategies for team games like badminton, soccer, and basketball. Students also participate in health classes. Topics include nutrition, alcohol and drug use, CPR & first aid, sex education, and fitness.
At each grade level, a number of classes complement the core curriculum. Students take Art and Music during each year of Middle School, along with a variety of other classes (which meet twice per week for one trimester).
This course exposes students to a variety of media, techniques, and artists’ works. There is a focus on elements of art and the principles of design, as well as an effort to integrate art into the academic subjects. For example, students attempt Chinese brush painting as they learn about Ancient China in Social Studies. In order to foster an appreciation for art, artworks are connected to artists and art history movements.
This course focuses on the development of an awareness and appreciation of the music that surrounds us. Students begin to acquire performance skills as they rehearse and participate in shows.
Sixth graders also take Transitions (taught by the counselor), Study Skills, and Environmental Science.
This course exposes students to a variety of media, techniques, and artists’ works. There is a focus on elements of art and the principles of design, as well as an effort to integrate art into the academic subjects. In order to foster an appreciation for art, artworks are connected to artists and art history movements.
Music Theory or Chorus
Students choose to join a performance-based ensemble or opt for Music Theory, a course that focuses on the development of an awareness and appreciation of the music that surrounds us.
Seventh graders also take four of the following courses: Math Problem Solving, Current Events, Drama, Environmental Science, Creative Writing.
As a culminating artistic experience, students work closely with the teacher to paint an original work of art.
Eighth graders also take four of the following courses: Chorus, Drama, Yearbook, Current Events, Recreational Science.