7th and 8th grade Middle School Information
The Montessori curriculum for middle school is largely project-based and hands-on. Adolescents prefer to learn through social interaction and practical application. Students have a strong desire to see for themselves how their studies relate to them and their lives. This is why you often hear, “When will I ever use this?” or “Why do I need to know this?” Montessori instruction in middle school environments empowers students by helping them find these connections.
Our program is developed to meld the student’s natural motivations and interests while ensuring that minimum state requirements are met or exceeded. Our adolescent Montessori program provides hands-on, interdisciplinary, project-based elements which addresses all the major subjects: Mathematics, English, History and Science.
Mathematics is facilitated through the integration of a variety of curricula including GoMath, Saxon Math and Montessori materials as well as online resources. To develop a deeper understanding of math, students use manipulates to explore how Algebra was developed and is applied. Math is studied as a unified system of analysis. Math textbooks are used to practice techniques learned and to solidify concepts. Students may take Algebra I and Geometry for high school credit if qualified.
English is studied as a means of communication. Through written expression, applied reading techniques and oral communication practice in all subject areas, students study the English language as vital tool of communication with others.
History is explored through a combination of direct instruction and student-developed projects. US and Texas history are studied in relation to the student and their place in history.
Science is addressed in terms of occupation and application. Our new, state-of-the-art science lab is designed for hands-on learning labs and will provide an enhanced classroom in which to work and extend information to a real world context. Our pond, outdoor gardens, chicken coop and composting provide additional learning spaces for students exploring how our work directly impacts the world.
Field trips and service projects are an important part of the Montessori adolescent curriculum. Our internship model is one of student service in the community. Students will travel in groups in December and May to agencies in the Houston area to volunteer and learn about career options.
Eighth grade students will complete a capstone project and present it as a culminating activity. Most of the 8th graders will have spent between eight and eleven years at Garden Oaks! We will celebrate their achievements and recognize their aspirations at the end of the year ceremony as their bridge to high school and beyond!
Additionally, students participate in elective courses including Physical Education/Health, UIL Academic Competitions, Computer and Technology Applications, Art, Mandarin language studies and our Magnet Elective with an emphasis on global connections. Students who did not pass STAAR reading and/or math the previous year or who are failing reading/math in the current year will participate in reading and/or math electives.