9-12 Curriculum Overview
- Students will construct, examine, and extend the meaning of various kinds of text.
- Students will organize and evaluate information to communicate with others.
- Students will use literary knowledge to connect self to society and culture.
- Students will use written and oral communication appropriate for various purposes and audiences.
Reading - Children in 9-12 classes will work towards the following according to developmental stages:
Use appropriate decoding and word recognition strategies:
- Use a combination of effective, efficient word recognition strategies to comprehend printed text (e.g., context clues, word parts, phonics, analogy)
- Read a variety of texts and genres fluently (orally)
Develop an increasingly extensive vocabulary to construct meaning while reading and enrich writing:
- Use context clues to determine meaning, e.g.:
- Read and reread sentences
- Use similes or metaphors
- Look for definitions in sentences (appositive phrases)
- Use reference works (e.g., dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries, computers, human resources)
- Use prefixes, suffixes and root words to determine meaning
- Understand synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms
- Use context clues to determine specific meaning of words with multiple definitions (homographs)
Assimilate information from prior knowledge and experiences to understand various genres:
- Set purpose(s) for reading, listening, or viewing
- Make and revise predictions
- Self-monitor comprehension (e.g., reread, adjust rate of reading, seek meaning of unknown vocabulary, use think-aloud strategies)
Develop an understanding of the literary elements used in creating stories:
- Identify character, setting (time and place), theme, plot, conflict/resolution/denouement, antagonist and protagonist, opening routine, trigger event
- Identify and interpret figurative language and literary devices (e.g., similes, metaphors, personification, point of view)
- Identify author's purpose
- Make inferences about content, events, characters, setting
- Recognize the effect of point of view
Respond to text in a variety of ways (speaking, writing, art):
- Make, revise and support predictions
- Summarize stories, including important details, in oral and written form
- Restate informative texts including important details
- Organize the important points of text using summaries, outlines, or other graphic organizers
- Compare information within and between texts
- Discriminate between fact and opinion
- Draw conclusions and determine cause/effect
- Accept or reject the validity of information, giving supporting evidence
- Follow oral and written directions
- Relate content of text to real-life situations
- Offer a personal response to texts
- Apply information from printed, electronic and oral texts to complete authentic tasks (projects)
- Understand the differences between genres
Use a variety of resources (print, audio-visual, technology) to gather and evaluate information to share with others:
- Connect and synthesize information from different sources
- Formulate, express, and support opinions
- Respond to a variety of questions (critical thinking)
- Draw conclusions and make inferences
- Differentiate between literal and non-literal meaning
- Recognize ambiguity in words or expressions
- Recognize the possibility of different interpretations of the same text
Written and Oral Communications Goals
Children in 9-12 classes will work toward the following according to developmental stages:
- Writing expressive, informative, and persuasive texts
- Experimenting with appropriate use of various types of texts (personal narrative, memoir, personal vignettes, personal essay, business letters, editorials)
- Writing that reflects appropriate organization, development of ideas, use of voice and tone, word choice, and transitions
- Begin to write with a sense of audience
- Uses the prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing components of the writing process
- Apply appropriate grammatical structures to writing
- Use complete sentences, varied in length and structure
- Use transitional sentences to connect paragraphs
- Vary sentence structure, leads and endings
- Use correct subject-verb agreement and noun-pronoun agreement
- Use compound and complex sentences
- Write cohesive paragraphs using supportive details and examples
- Apply appropriate mechanics of writing, such as
- Recognize words that are misspelled and refer to resources for correction
- Write using an increasing percentage of conventional spelling
- Capitalize beginning words of sentences, proper nouns, "I", and titles
- Use commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks, semi-colons, colons
Research – Use the research process to:
- Choose and specify topic
- Focus questions
- Use organizational strategies (note cards, outlines)
- Write rough drafts
- Revise and edit
- Cite sources using proper bibliographic formatting
- Prepare final copy
Use available technology to:
- Gather, organize and evaluate a variety of resources (encyclopedias, articles, internet, non-fiction, interviews, etc.).
- Analyze information from graphs, charts, tables and maps.
- Synthesize information into a meaningful format to share with others.
- Use oral language for different purposes (inform, persuade, and express self).
- Formulate and organize messages appropriate for the audience and the purpose.
- Stay on topic.
- Summarize main points before or after presentation.
- Maintain eye contact with audience.
- Use audio/visual aids when appropriate.
- Respond to feed-back and answer questions.
Students in a 9-12 classroom will develop their ability to:
- Solve problems.
- Communicate mathematically, both orally and written.
- Reason mathematically.
- Make mathematical connections.
Students will develop number sense and explain relationships between numbers. In a 9-12 classroom, students will work towards:
- Connecting representations of decimals, fractions, and percents (e.g., concrete materials, drawings or pictures, mathematical symbols)
- Showing whole/part relationships of common fractions, decimals, and percents
- Placing and reading fractions and decimals on a number line
- Demonstrating place value concepts with decimals
- Demonstrating an understanding of order relations for fractions and for decimals using physical, verbal, and symbolic representations
- Exploring the concepts of improper fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals
- Comparing fractions and equivalences
- Exploring the concept of reciprocals
- Identifying decimal fractions and place value through hundred thousandths
- Comparing and ordering decimals
- Expressing remainders as standard and decimal fractions
- Exploring the concept of positive/negative numbers
- Understanding prime and composite numbers, factors and multiples
- Demonstrating an understanding of exponents
- Exploring work with proportions, ratios, etc.
Students will develop an understanding of estimation, measurement, and computation. In a 9-12 classroom, students will work toward:
- Knowing and using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division fact families
- Continuing to refine addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, working with multi-digit multipliers and divisors
- Developing, using, and explaining algorithms (rules) for multiplication and division
- Making change by counting on and counting back
- Demonstrating an understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions
- Demonstrating an understanding of addition and subtraction of mixed numbers
- Making equivalencies among fractions, decimals, and percentages
- Exploring addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with positive and negative numbers
- Converting a number to a binomial or trinomial
- Using materials and exploring concepts of binomial and trinomial squaring, binomial and trinomial square roots, binomial and trinomial cubing, binomial and trinomial cube roots
- Calculating perimeters, areas, and volume of all figures
- Selecting an appropriate standard square unit and using it to cover, count, and compare the area of shapes
- Selecting an appropriate standard unit and using it to count/fill and compare the volume/capacity
- Making estimates before measuring and computing and determining if an estimate is reasonable
- Determining if an estimate is more appropriate than an exact answer
- Rounding decimals as an estimation strategy
Students will develop an understanding of basic algebraic concepts. In a 9-12 classroom, students will work towards:
- Using letters as representations of unknown variable quantities
- Explaining how to solve equations
- Using algebraic notations of binomials and trinomials
- Understanding order of operations
Students will develop spatial sense and understanding of geometry. In a 9-12 classroom, students will work toward:
- Comparing and classifying plane and solid figures using models
- Defining polygons using their attributes (e.g., number of sides, parallel or perpendicular sides, number of vertices, classification of angles, lines of symmetry).
- Finding bisectors, altitudes, and orthocenters of polygons.
- Investigating and predicting how shapes change when combined or subdivided.
- Building three-dimensional figures when given a template.
- Manipulating and drawing polygons using flips, slides, and turns.
- Drawing plane figures with identified attributes.
- Developing, using, and explaining algorithms (rules) for all plane figures
- Continuing exploration of the concepts of similarity, equivalence, and equality.
- Continuing the study of the relationship between lines and angles. Identifying the following angles:
- Identifying parts of a circle, calculating area of a circle
- Working with pi
Students will develop an understanding of patterns. In a 9-12 classroom, students will work towards:
- Recognizing, analyzing, creating, extending and describing a wide variety of numeric and geometric patterns
- Using tables, rules, variables, open sentences, and graphs to describe patterns and relationships
Students will develop a beginning understanding of statistics and probability. In a 9-12 classroom students will work towards:
- Systematically collecting, organizing, and describing data
- Constructing and describing displays of data
- Selecting and using data displays (e.g., tables, histograms, scale pictographs)
- Supporting conclusions drawn from interpretation of data
- Listing all possible outcomes for a probability experiment involving a single event
- Using probability to predict and explain the outcome of a simple experiment
- Using mean, median, mode
At MWS the ultimate goal is to "empower children to be knowledgeable and responsible contributors to the global community." One of the ways to work to achieve this is through our cultural curriculum. Maria Montessori believed that it is the job of the teacher to guide or direct children into an area of study by stimulating their imagination and interest, and then letting them go on their own as far as they wish using classroom materials and outside resources. If the teacher falls into the temptation of dispensing all of the information so that she is sure the students "get it", two things will happen: 1.) The students will fall into the passive mode of memorize and regurgitate, and 2.) their "studies"will be circumscribed by the limits imposed by the teacher's own research and knowledge of a field, in many instances depriving them of the opportunity to carry their study far beyond the teacher's own knowledge. Both results inhibit the excitement and satisfaction that are part of an authentic Montessori classroom.
As children explore questions in a learning environment where the focus is on an integrated curriculum, the following concepts work to frame their knowledge within academic disciplines such as biology, chemistry, geography and history. The concepts of interdependence, diversity, structure/function, systems and change bring their thinking together from many different perspectives. As children work to construct their knowledge around an essential question, they are challenged to think like an historian, sociologist, chemist, anthropologist, geographer, physicist, biologist, mathematician and artist. These concepts then allow children to take the many ideas from the various disciplines and make connections between them, which helps them make sense of the world around them.
Sound educational practice is a matter of creating a context that not only allows but encourages students to become actively involved in their own learning. We must have confidence in the innate ability of children to learn about the world in which they live. It is a matter of pointing the direction, turning it over to learners and getting out of the way. As a child completes the cultural program, he/she will be able to demonstrate the skills reflected in the MWS Human Potentials:
- Thinking Skills
- Life Management Skills
- Knowledge Base
- Creative and Artistic Abilities
- Service and Responsibility