Curriculum
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6th Grade

Rodeph Sholom Middle School offers a unique middle school environment where learning is prized, teachers are specialists in both their subject disciplines and the developmental needs of adolescents, and Reform Jewish values form the foundation of learning in and outside of the classroom. The division is comprised of 5th through 8th Grade.

The stimulating curriculum recognizes that middle school is a transformative time of intellectual, emotional and spiritual development. The Jewish ethos of our community provides a firm grounding in the ethics and values which are essential traits of active and responsible citizens. Over the course of their Middle School years, students encounter a myriad of authentic leadership opportunities. At its core, the Middle School is designed to provide students with the tools necessary to learn how to evaluate themselves and the world around them.

The heart of the Middle School experience is the advisory program. Beginning in the 6th Grade, advisors move up with their advisees through graduation. An important feature of the program is the active participation of students in their own academic and social emotional development. Over the course of three years and daily meetings, a deep and enduring relationship forms between advisor and advisee. This relationship transcends the usual teacher student relationship and often forms a bond that continues past a student’s graduation. In the 6th Grade the academic demands increase and students are given more autonomy. Some highlights of the 6th Grade year include the Rube Goldberg Invention Project and the culminating Washington DC trip.
  • 6th Grade Advisory

    At the heart of the middle school is our advisory program whose primary goals include nurturing students’ social-emotional development, as well as facilitating academic and intellectual growth. Advisors provide guidance and encouragement to students throughout their middle school experience and serve as the child’s advocate, in addition to serving as the main point of contact for parents. Each student is assigned an advisor. Advisory groups are led by a middle school teacher and generally consist of 6-9 students. The advisor meets with the family during parent conferences, and is the person the family communicates with directly for any matters concerning their child’s experience at school.

    Advisory is a time to focus on social and emotional development. Advisors may use this time to navigate social issues, to discuss relevant grade level or current event topics, or simply engage in a fun game or activity that will help the group bond and develop deeper relationships with one another. Advisory periods are also occasionally used for other grade wide programming including Wellness & Sexuality classes and our responsible digital citizenship curriculum. Students also meet individually with their advisor for guidance and support.

    Each child is assigned an advisor when they begin 5th Grade and they have that advisor for one year. In 6th Grade, students are assigned a new advisor who they generally stay with from 6th through 8th Grade. An important feature of the advisory program is the active participation of students in their own academic and social emotional development. Over the course of the three years and daily meetings, a deep and enduring relationship forms between advisor and advisee. This relationship transcends the usual teacher student relationship and often forms a bond that continues past a student’s graduation.
  • 6th Grade Art

    In 6th Grade studio art classes, students begin the trimester with an in-depth study of the contemporary painter Roy Lichtenstein. They explore Lichtenstein’s use of thick, horizontal stripes, and Benday Dots to reinvent the comic book style. Benday Dots were initially used for printing colored pictures in books and newspapers. Students create self-portraits inspired by his work. Working from a small  8”x 8” photograph of themselves on a 1” grid, each student copies and enlarges their photograph onto a 2” grid. Students also spend time producing a portfolio of multiple linoleum reduction prints. A reduction print is created when the artist prints with multiple colors from the same block. Each color is printed on top of the previous one. Students create an image, then copy it onto the linoleum before carving. They carve their first layer to print and repeat it three times before they finish the entire series.
     
  • 6th Grade Digital Art

    The focus of the 6th Grade digital arts curriculum is to create a foundation for design thinking while fostering learning and innovative skills. Learning the fundamentals of 3D Design is the main focus of the course, and students work on a number of projects which teach them new skills they are able to apply in a variety of contexts. Students begin the trimester working with cardboard to design a tool that can be used to hold a phone, a book, or a Kindle in an upright position. Once they developed two successful prototypes, each student chooses one to recreate in Tinkercad. The second project gives students the opportunity to combine newly learned skills to design a 3D shade for an LED light. In 6th Grade Digital Arts, few limitations are provided to students in an effort to  focus on creativity and encourage experimentation of new ideas.
  • 6th Grade Drama

    In 6th Grade Drama, the trimester begins by approaching the stage and establishing a relationship with the audience using a dynamic presence that is honest and personal. In The Commercial assignment, students are asked to create and "sell" a product as a means of offering positive self-attributes to the audience. During the improvisation unit, students learn the fundamentals of theatre using techniques that concentrate on human behavior, emotion, and theatrical presentation. Through the Live Music Video assignment, students construct a fully realized (lip-synced) performance of a song using appropriate staging and theatrics as a means of understanding source material and interpreting it to connect to an audience. Through the final project students focus on scene study where students are paired up to rehearse a pre-written scene. The basics of acting are explored including: identifying the character's circumstances, playing their objective and conflicts, and affecting/responding to the other in the scene accordingly.
  • 6th Grade English

    In the English department at RSS we create a safe and supportive environment for students to explore and practice reading and writing strategies within novel-based units of study. Novels are chosen for their text complexity and themes present, while allowing for a diversity of voices and stories. Varied opportunities are provided for students to grasp a strong comprehension of the class texts, followed by diverse written and spoken forums where students can express their theories and ideas about what they are reading. Both reading and writing are explored as a process. As students make their way through the steps of learning a specific reading or writing skill, teachers structure lessons around the gradual release of responsibility; first introducing a skill with teacher-led support, then moving students towards trying that same skill with the support of a peer, and finally encouraging students as they work to master the skill independently. Grammar is taught within the editing stage of the writing process and its instruction is based on the individualized needs of each group of students. Finally, a space is created within each unit for project based learning, offering differentiated opportunities for all types of learners to interact with the curriculum in creative and complex ways.

    The theme of 6th Grade English, Examining Communities and their Power Structures, can be traced throughout the class texts which include The Giver, Julius Caesar, Harbor Me, and Animal Farm. The rigor of texts, analysis, and inquiry is elevated in 6th Grade. While still grounded in literacy skills, students are asked to find their unique voice as a writer, interpret author’s purpose, and stretch themselves as readers. Students use class literature to examine the themes of identity, community, and power. An emphasis on conflict, sacrifice, and maturity underscore the study of each text. Additionally, students learn about traditional archetypes, like the hero's journey, and track their appearance and transformation in class texts and independent reading.

    Students hone their writing skills through a wide variety of assignments. Written work becomes increasingly complex while maintaining a focus on clarity of expression. Students expand their practice beyond a formal paragraph and into essay writing; they practice crafting strong introductions and conclusions, developing a convincing thesis, and supporting their argument with relevant textual evidence. Students also complete creative writing assignments and independent book projects. In-class discussions and questions on their reading, summaries, and personal responses remain part of their regular tasks.

    Mini-lessons and regular evaluation of writing continue to spotlight the application of correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage rules. Additionally, grammar lessons are integrated as a response to student needs as well as within the context of the recursive writing process. Vocabulary and spelling practice continue to be drawn from the class reading. 

    Students are expected to arrive to class with a proficient comprehension of whole class texts. That baseline understanding is then used as a springboard to launch analytical conversations and engage in interactive activities. Students work independently, in partners, in small groups, and as a whole class. Each unit and daily lesson is designed with the needs of all learners in mind. 

    Major topics:
    • Writing: Essay writing, literature responses, personal responses, introductions and conclusions, developing an argument, selecting and interpreting textual evidence
    • Literary terms: symbol, tone, metaphor, foreshadowing, logical fallacies
    • Reading: Whole class texts and independent reading, thorough and meaningful annotations, story elements: conflict, turning point, theme, characterization, point of view
    • Grammar: sentence structure, complex comma usage, complex verb tense agreement
  • 6th Grade French

    Romance Language classes at RSS give middle school students the opportunity to develop new ways of expressing themselves and understanding their world through a multicultural lens. French and Spanish classes are taught with an immersive approach, allowing students to read, write, listen, speak, and think in another language. Teachers model authentic and comprehensible language with the aid of props, storytelling, images, songs, games and other tools. Instruction is designed around communicative tasks about topics students can relate to and are excited about. These goal-oriented activities require students to interact with each other in the target language. Through meaningful exchanges with their peers and strategic and engaging repetition by their instructors, students naturally and more easily acquire language structures, accurate pronunciation, vocabulary terms, and common expressions. Daily lessons incorporate opportunities for both guided and independent practice. Students also demonstrate progress through creative and fun projects.

    In 6th Grade French, students learn vocabulary and expressions for immediate communication and begin to converse about themselves and their daily lives. The course incorporates four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing—with an overall emphasis on oral proficiency.

    Class activities include vocabulary practice, directed listening and video activities, role-playing, and grammar explanations and exercises. Frequent creative projects that include art, drama and music allow students to use the language in new ways. Students work individually and cooperatively in class.

    By the end of 6th Grade, students are able to form simple sentences in the target language. They introduce themselves, express their likes and dislikes, describe their friends and family, and talk about their classes, city, and home.

    Major topics:
    • Presenting personal information
    • Introducing friends and family members
    • Describing people and things
    • Speaking about school, work, and home
    • Discussing leisure activities
    • Asking questions
    • Regular and irregular verbs in the present tense
  • 6th Grade Hebrew

    Our Middle School Hebrew program uses a whole language approach emphasizing all four components of developing language skills- listening, speaking, reading and writing. While the pace and volume of the curriculum can vary from class to class, we use a variety of methods including dialogue, games, reading, writing, conversation, and an online program called “Ulpan Or.” The program is designed to increase students’ appreciation for the Hebrew language and their heritage. We provide students with the ability to communicate in Hebrew in a variety of situations and expose students to the life experiences of Hebrew speaking students in Israel. Students are exposed to Hebrew slang and gain a deeper understanding of Israeli culture. Throughout the program we reinforce and review grammatical sentence structures and conjugation of verbs in the present and past tenses.

    The Hebrew curriculum for 6th Grade teaches the following skills: reading, writing, comprehension, and conversation. These language proficiencies are taught through dialogues, games, stories, visual aids and videos. Supplemental material from various sources is used as part of a whole language approach. At the beginning of the year, our studies focus on summer vacation, the High Holy Days and Sukkot. We review holiday blessings, sing festive songs and learn new vocabulary words related to the holidays. We discuss the theme “New Beginning” - offering wishes and prayers for the New Year. As Hanukkah approaches we review the blessings and sing Hanukkah songs. Students explore the miracle of the oil by making ancient oil jugs in the Creation Lab. The students continue to expand upon their vocabulary, learn Hebrew phrases, slang and more groups of verb conjugation in the present tense. Students also learn a new conjugation of verbs in the present tense (Binyan Hifil). They continue to develop the skills of identifying the structure of keywords and word families through the use of word roots, suffixes, and prefixes. In connection with the Jewish Studies curriculum, the students learn Birchot Ha’Torah and the Haftarah blessings. 6th graders continue to use the online program - “Ulpan Or: Hebrew at the Speed of Light.” This program is innovative, interactive and research-based, developed using 21st-century technology from Israel. It includes short video clips, audio clips, built-in structured exercises, virtual flashcards, Israeli songs and much more. The ultimate goal of each unit is for the students to be able to act out in Hebrew a dialogue given to them in English.

    Major Topics:
    • “In school”
    • “At work”
    • “In the family”
    • Trope: Torah Cantillation
    • Blessings: Birchot Ha’Torah, Haftorah, Aleinu, Lecha Dodi
  • 6th Grade History

    In middle school, history students access a range of historical time periods, ideas, and themes. Each unit closely focuses on a particular era or geographic part of the world. Units are spiraled from one to the next and students frequently make content connections to prior units of study, both within a particular year and from grade to grade. RSS honors the different voices that shape history. History classes include the narratives of those who have often been marginalized in the past. Students learn to differentiate primary and secondary sources and learn to corroborate and read into the bias, nuance, and subtext, of primary sources. Students learn to engage with a variety of primary sources – including speeches, letters, poetry, artwork and images, architecture, and legal codes. Each grade level looks at the relationship between cause and effect to glean historical significance as well as change over time. Writing is an essential part of the history curriculum and is spiraled across the four grades.. Students begin middle school by learning to write with supporting historical evidence, and by the time they graduate they are able to articulate arguments about the past that are supported by numerous sources. By the time students graduate, they are not only expected to be able to incorporate pieces of historical evidence and quotes from primary source documents, but are also expected to show the importance of that evidence as it connects back to their argument. Geography is woven into each unit of study across all grade levels as students learn the importance of physical and geographic features as well as its relationship to historical events. Furthermore, lessons and assessments utilize different modalities of learning, allowing for a range of learners to access the material.

    In 6th Grade History, students examine the major religions of the world and explore some facets of the history that surrounded the creation of these faiths. They begin the year in the east with a look at the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism in India and beyond. They then learn about the rise of Rome and how its belief of pagan gods contrasted with Israel and led to the destruction of the Jewish Temple. Students then study the growth of Christianity as well as the Dark Ages of Medieval Europe. With the rise of the Islamic empires, students learn how the basic tenets of Islam spread as its empire grew to include Persia and Spain and the prominent role Jews played in the Islamic-Spanish courts. 

    Students continue to complete a combination of textual and hands-on assignments on the various aspects of historical study. Assignments include geography posters, debates, and speeches. Students continue their explicit study of comprehension strategies as the history texts become increasingly more challenging. They learn to differentiate between primary and secondary sources and begin to engage in primary source analysis. Students write well-supported paragraphs and work on various research skills and assignments. As 6th Grade students solidify their study skills, there is increased emphasis on content mastery.

    Major Topics:
    • World Geography
    • Hinduism and Buddhism
    • Ancient Rome
    • Early Christianity
    • The Middle Ages
    • Islam
  • 6th Grade Jewish Studies

    In Middle School Jewish Studies, students are asked to read, think, and write critically about Jewish texts, particularly the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). Whether through the study of Jewish holidays, theology, or the historical experience of the Jewish people, students sharpen and employ general academic skills - close reading, primary source analysis, and public speaking among others - as they navigate a structured, spiraled curriculum that challenges them intellectually, spiritually, and ethically. In addition, students learn skills specific to Jewish Studies, whether Tanakh and Siddur navigation, the rabbinic style of commentary, or, guided by the core Reform Jewish value of “informed choice,” how we might derive contemporary meaning from ancient texts, customs and ideas.

    The Jewish Studies program in 6th Grade is based on the theme of Zehut (identity). Through the study of Jewish history, texts, holidays, traditions, ethics, and values, students gain a better understanding of what being Jewish means to them and what it has meant to others. Another primary goal of the 6th Grade Jewish Studies program is learning Torah. The year starts by taking a close look at the biblical origins of Jewish holidays and their practices. Students learn how to study Torah and how to share this knowledge in an organized, written, and oral fashion. This longstanding Jewish tradition is known as a D’var Torah. Students ask meaningful questions, analyze texts, compare and contrast differences, and use their creativity to complete a variety of assignments throughout the year, including the 6th Grade D’var Torah project. In the second half of the year, students discover the depths of Jewish history from the times of Ancient Israelites up to the Middle Ages. In addition to partnered text study, students learn through class discussion and collaborative hands-on projects, with an additional focus on public speaking.

    Major Topics:
    • Jewish Holidays in the Torah
    • D’var Torah Project
    • Ancient Jewish History: Hellenism, Sectarianism and Assimilation
    • The Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism
  • 6th Grade Math

    The RSS Middle School Math program is designed to help students develop as mathematicians and emerge from 8th Grade ready to take on High School level Geometry, Algebra 2, and higher level courses. Throughout the curriculum, lessons are designed for students to further develop their vital mathematical processes including problem solving, reasoning and proving, communication, making connections and representation. In 6th-8th Grade, there is one honors sections of math, allowing students to be appropriately challenged as necessary. While students continue to study an overview of mathematics including number sense, geometry, statistics, and probability, there is a particular emphasis on preparing students for Algebra in 8th Grade. Beginning in 5th Grade, students explore ratios, proportional relationships and algebraic expressions through contextual problems and stories. The Math department constantly evaluates the best curriculum resources to use, pulling from researched based curricular including Prentice Hall, Connected Math, Structure and Method, and Blitzer textbooks. Using a combination of curricula allows students to make relevant connections to their everyday life and model the math around them. Teachers emphasize the use of multiple strategies to solve problems and guide students to find the most efficient solution. Throughout the middle school years, there are certain components of the curriculum that “spiral,” purposefully repeating, allowing students to explore concepts and topics with increasing complexity, and to reinforce previously learned information. In addition, students are supported at their individual level while improving their note taking, organization, and collaboration skills. As appropriate, lessons and sometimes class sections are further differentiated to allow for advanced or extended study of mathematical concepts. All students have the opportunity to participate in more challenging independent study through “Problems of the Week” or “Anchoring Activities.” In addition, students may join the Mathletes club to compete in Math Olympiad contests.

    6th Grade mathematics extends students arithmetic skills and moves to proportional thinking and reasoning. Students review the properties of numbers and examine their applications to fractions, decimals, percents, and integers.  Students continue to select the best methods to solve a problem, employ estimation, and evaluate their answers. When studying ratios and proportional reasoning, students complete “The Scale Model Project” by enlarging or reducing a household item and creating a model using their own materials and calculated measurements. In 6th Grade math, algebraic reasoning begins to be taught explicitly, with an easily identifiable letter or symbol in place of an unknown quantity in an expression or equation. Students move from representing familiar problems arithmetically to doing so through algebra. During the study of Probability, students test hypothesis in activities like “Coin Flipping” or “Cup Tossing” to find the experimental probability and extend to theoretical probability. Students continue to explore geometrical concepts and begin to use coordinate geometry. They study the defining properties of two-and three-dimensional objects. They use formulas to find circumference, perimeter, and area of two-dimensional figures. Throughout the course, students analyze and compare methods for solving problems and representing data, and select the method that best serves their needs.
     
    Major topics:

    •Integers
    •Fractions, decimals, percents
    •Ratio and proportion
    •Geometry and measurement
    •Statistics, data analysis and probability
    •Simple algebraic equations
    •Problem-solving
  • 6th Grade Physical Education

    The RSS Physical Education Department seeks to empower all students to sustain regular, lifelong physical activity as a foundation for a healthy, productive, and fulfilling life.

    The PE curriculum is based on physical activities and an introduction to a variety of sports in an active, caring, and supportive atmosphere in which every student is challenged and successful. RSS provides all students with a variety of activities and challenges that contribute to the development of their physical, cognitive, and emotional well being.

    RSS PE program focuses on the following:
     
    • Outdoor education 
    • Skill development 
    • Competitive play 
    • Collaborative skills and fair play
    • Cultural movement activities 
    • Fitness
    • Electives 
    • Parks & off campus locations

    In the RSS Middle School, students engage in a year long course of study that utilizes local parks and other off-campus locations as its classroom. The middle school Physical Education curriculum is designed to meet the physical, social, and emotional needs and interests of the individual student. Students participate in individual and team sports in each grade, where the faculty emphasize skill development, fair play, and healthy competition. To encourage lifelong fitness skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle, different fitness components of cardiovascular exercises and muscle strengthening are embedded into each PE unit.

    As part of a diversified curriculum, 5th-7th graders participate in one of three cultural projects, with each unit culminating with a performance for the full middle school student body. 8th Grade students choose electives that are unconventional team sports and fitness offerings. This allows for the students to learn in small groups and an opportunity for students to explore their interests. Some past offerings included indoor and outdoor rock-climbing, yoga, rugby and long-distance running. 

    In the warmer months, RSS utilizes Riverside Park for Physical Education classes. In an effort to maximize ‘active minutes,’ students safely walk to the park as a group before using the fields, trails, and courts for class. Beyond the normal team sports (soccer, football, frisbee, etc.), students participate in different types of outdoor activities such as bouldering, trail-runs, and trust walks. 

    During the winter months, RSS is fortunate to have access to the JCC and Police Athletic League Duncan Center as indoor sites. Our curriculum concentrates on indoor sports, such as basketball, floor hockey, team handball, and volleyball.
  • 6th Grade Recess

    As physical activity and play is an essential part of child development, we make every effort to give students an opportunity to participate in physical activity regularly.. Additionally, the Skydeck is open for recess three times a week during morning break. There is a choice recess period twice a week during advisory where students can choose between study hall, recess, gardening, arts, or other activities.
  • 6th Grade Science

    The RSS Middle School Science Program expands students knowledge of the world around them by understanding the principles of science. Students explore phenomena through testing, exploration, and observations. This is completed through in-class demonstrations, individual and group work, projects, and lab work. Students are encouraged to try out new ideas, make mistakes, and then learn from those mistakes. One of the core principles in exploring science is to be a resilient and reflective thinker, and that is the main goal of the RSS science program. As students enter middle school, the focus is on process and standards of scientific inquiry, slowly building from concrete to more abstract concepts. We move from simply showing how things work, to applying knowledge to new and different contexts. Each year students have a final project that they present at the annual STEM Expo. The projects are student driven and allow students to explore their individual interests. At the completion of 8th Grade, students leave Rodeph Sholom with a solid foundation for further study in science and yearning to learn more.

    In 6th Grade science, students immerse themselves in the study of physics with a focus on engineering. This course lays the groundwork for further studies in physics, earth science, astronomy, and chemistry. The course is split into two parts, Electricity & Magnetism and  Forces & Motion.

    During their coursework, students conduct various tests independently to confirm scientific principles and formulae. Students begin with some initial instruction on a topic and then explore with materials to come to confirm their hypotheses.

    The year begins with a study of the scientific process and the analysis of what comprises “good science” and “fair tests.” Students work through how to collect and graph their results, and discuss the difference between independent, dependent, and controlled variables.
     
    The following unit  examines the two fields of electricity, electrostatics, and electrodynamics. Much of the exploration of these topics includes observing phenomena and relating it back to the scientific principles and laws learned in class. Students are given their own programmable circuit kit where they learn the basics of making circuits. They start by making circuits using resistors, LEDs, and switches. By using Ohm’s law they are able to  calculate the current in their circuits and choose appropriate resistors.

    Once the basics of circuitry are mastered, students use an Arduino circuit board to make programmable circuits using block programming. Here they can control the circuits directly using “if/then” and “if/else” statements, and components  like diodes, motors, ultrasonic sensors, thermistors, light sensitive resistors, and transistors can also be added. Students explore, build their own designs, are able to discuss electromagnetism, and design simple homopolar motors. Through these experiences, students have a solid foundation in circuits and programming.
     
    In 6th Grade students also learn how gravity, friction, momentum, and forces affect the motion of an object. This is related with vectors and force diagrams on objects while  students observe the motion of objects and relate it to scientific laws governing motion. All of these concepts lead to the STEM Expo project, where students design and build truss bridges using the science and engineering principles  learned in class. The strength of each bridge’s structural engineering is tested before the entire Middle School at the annual STEM Expo. Students write a paper to examine the process of building the bridge, what they learned, and what they would do to improve their bridge.
     
    Lastly, 6th Grade students examine mechanical waves and sound. In this portion students learn to turn a wave into a graph, and interpret the data found in graphs. Simple machines, like pulleys, and mechanical advantage are also studied in this final unit. As a final project, students work on a collaborative week-long problem-based-learning project in which students design a working Rube Goldberg machine using many of the principles used throughout the year.

    Major Topics and Projects:
    • Circuit and Arduino unit with block programming
    • Force Labs
    • STEM Expo Bridge Engineering Project
    • Rube Goldberg Project
  • 6th Grade Spanish

    Romance Language classes at RSS give middle school students the opportunity to develop new ways of expressing themselves and understanding their world through a multicultural lens. French and Spanish classes are taught with an immersive approach, allowing students to read, write, listen, speak, and think in another language. Teachers model authentic and comprehensible language with the aid of props, storytelling, images, songs, games and other tools. Instruction is designed around communicative tasks about topics students can relate to and are excited about. These goal-oriented activities require students to interact with each other in the target language. Through meaningful exchanges with their peers and strategic and engaging repetition by their instructors, students naturally and more easily acquire language structures, accurate pronunciation, vocabulary terms, and common expressions. Daily lessons incorporate opportunities for both guided and independent practice. Students also demonstrate progress through creative and fun projects.

    6th Grade Spanish makes up the first half of an introductory language course. Students learn vocabulary and expressions for immediate communication and begin to converse about themselves and their daily lives. The course incorporates four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing-with an overall emphasis on oral proficiency.

    Class activities include vocabulary practice, directed listening and video activities, role-playing and grammar explanations and exercises. Frequent creative projects that include art, drama, and music allow students to use the language in new ways. Students work individually and cooperatively in class.

    By the end of 6th Grade, students form simple sentences in the target language. They introduce themselves and discuss personal information. Students practice describing their likes and dislikes, classes and daily activities.

    Major topics:
    • Discussing personal information
    • Introducing family members
    • Portraying leisure activities
    • Describing people and things
    • Asking questions
    • Forming affirmative and negative questions
    • Regular and irregular verbs in the present tense
    • Direct Object Pronouns
  • 6th Grade Study Hall

    Students are assigned to study hall periodically throughout the week. This is a time for students to work independently, with the support of a teacher if needed. During study hall, students can arrange to meet with a teacher, work with other students in the Action Center, study, or get ahead on assignments.
  • Action Center

    The Action Center is located in the Middle School Library, is a drop in space for academic support, with a focus on curriculum and organization. Students go to the Action Center for help with their assignments, need help getting started or to better understand a concept learned in class. The AC is staffed by Middle School faculty who are able to guide students in any subject. Students choose to go to the AC during their study hall periods, if they prefer to receive extra help instead of working independently. The Action Center encourages students to take responsibility for their learning, and independently advocate for their academic needs.
  • Learning Center

    In middle school, some students attend the Learning Center (LC) instead of a Study Hall, typically once a week. The LC functions as a guided study hall where students receive curricular support on assignments and are encouraged to work on aspects of learning that are more challenging for them. With the guidance of the learning specialists, study skills and effective strategies are embedded into the academic work, and students use this time to sharpen their understanding of personal strengths and areas for improvement. Every period in the Learning Center looks different: students might work one on one or in small groups with a learning specialist; they may work on the same assignment as their peers or focus on different school subjects. The role of the learning specialists is to gently and consistently support students’ curricular challenges. Through our work in the Learning Center, we aim for students to internalize the strategies that they are learning and practicing, and to apply them independently in their work both at home and at school. We believe that teaching children how to be students is just as important as what they are studying, and so we help to build these important lifelong student skills. Learning specialists regularly communicate with subject matter teachers, advisors and department heads to understand the curricular expectations and the students as they grow. This collaboration is key in supporting students and helping them to meet the curricular standards, enhance their confidence, and build their independence.
  • Wellness

    The Rodeph Sholom Middle School Wellness program for 5th through 8th graders delivers accurate, age-appropriate information and emphasizes healthy relationship skills and development of self control. Using a social emotional learning approach, our curriculum incorporates many activities including role plays and discussions. We incorporate opportunities for students to learn and practice communication and relationship skills so that they can make responsible decisions and maintain healthy connections with others. Our goal is to give students accurate information, help them to develop healthy communication skills, and promote family communication.