Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Guiding students to become effective learners.

Carroll's Middle School provides a high school preparatory curriculum with tailored academic support. The program is ideal for smart students who struggle with one or various aspects of language skills - be it reading, fluency, comprehension, writing, etc. Our educators recognize that every student has a unique learning profile, and design their curricula to nourish the skills needed to become an effective learner.

Carroll School Curriculum


The driving emphasis in the Carroll School curriculum is delivering what each child most needs. This means that the classroom experiences are tailored specifically to meet the needs of each child. Given our small classes and tutorials, achieving this lofty goal is actually possible. Unlike traditional schools where a prescribed curriculum defines what happens in the classroom, Carroll’s curriculum emphasizes the skill development and learning strategies that each child needs to acquire and pays close attention to the grade-level content delivered in public and other independent schools. Learn about our Curriculum Guiding Principles


Curricula Areas

Click on the specific curricula areas below to discover how this guiding philosophy works in Middle School classrooms:

Language Arts & Tutoring

Our goal is to teach your child to read effectively and efficiently. To do that, there is a general developmental sequence that students go through as they become increasingly skilled learners. Our teachers and tutors constantly assess your child to determine the right reading instruction that best meets his or her needs. This may be 1:1 tutoring or small group instruction.

Middle School students meet twice a day in a double language class, covering all aspects of reading and writing. Using students' learning profiles, teachers and tutors set class goals, curricula, and the pace to ensure the specific needs of each student are met.

Reading Approach - Strategies and skills are taught related to decoding, (Orton-Gillingham), fluency, morphology, vocabulary, comprehension, recognition of plot structure, fiction and nonfiction text analysis, and literary devices.

Writing Approach - Focus is on the process of writing using the acronym POWER (plan, organize, write, evaluate, and revise). By approaching writing as a process, teachers encourage students to postpone closure on a piece of writing until they have explored all of its possibilities for improvement. Writing goals are differentiated by class and by student.

Other Language-Based Skills - Note-taking, group collaboration, presenting and speaking in front of peers, active class participation, and self-advocacy

Math

Our math curriculum is designed to teach students how to think. Traditional math, where facts and computations are memorized, does not harness the strengths of students with dyslexia. We take a different approach.

Carroll math teachers nourish students’ logic and problem-solving skills to empower them to grow their mathematical intuitions. We accomplish this by assessing each student and setting class goals that are targeted to the class’ unique set of strengths and challenges.

Our mathematics content is guided by the Common Core Curriculum Frameworks for each grade, and includes: Foundations, Fundamentals, Introduction to Pre-Algebra, Pre-Algebra, Introduction to Algebra, Algebra, Algebra I.

History and Geography

We aim to help students understand and connect to the people and the world around them, in a present and historical context. Using history and social studies as a backdrop, our teachers lead projects and activities that allow students to practice language, comprehension, vocabulary, written expression, and mapping & organizational skills.

Students demonstrate their understanding of geography and history studies by engaging in and completing written, oral, multi-sensory, and multimedia projects and reports. History lessons also encourage students to develop a sense of social and civic responsibility including critical thinking and perspective taking.

Grade 6: World Geography & Early Civilizations
Grade 7: Ancient Greece & Rome, Colonial America, Development of US government
Grade 8: US History (from Westward expansion to Cold War)

Science

Children with dyslexia often see the world differently. That's why our science classes are designed to engage students in hands-on, multi-sensory activities that build upon their strengths to think critically and creatively.

To help these skills, science teachers design projects and experiments that foster the following skills: observation, recognition of similarities and differences, categorization, sequencing, recognition of patterns, recognition of part to whole relationships, determination of cause and effect relationships, recognition and control of variables, making predictions, and drawing conclusions.

Topics follow the MA Curriculum Frameworks: Earth as a System (6th), Physical Science (7th), and Life Science (8th).

Speech and Language Support

Speech and Language pathologists employ a collaborative, classroom-based intervention model. Through collaboration with family members and Carroll staff, the speech-language pathology department works to foster the receptive and expressive language skills necessary for students to have positive experiences while effectively engaging with peers, teachers, and curriculum.

Flex Block and Focus Areas

At Carroll, we hand craft each student’s schedule to give that child what he or she most needs.

Flex Block provides additional time for students to receive well-designed, thoughtful curriculum from trained faculty within carefully crafted groups. Throughout the year, students participate in the following three strands: skills development, targeted cognitive intervention (TCI), and health and wellness.

For Focus Areas, students are placed in a learning environment that custom targets an academic area needing more focus - be it Orton-Gillingham, oral reading fluency, comprehension & vocabulary, written expression, creative writing, math thinking and problem solving, etc. Students are constantly assessed to track progress in their assigned focus area and are adjusted accordingly.

Cognitive

We’ve discovered that helping students with key cognitive skills directly impacts their ability to read, comprehend, write, and problem solve.

In the Targeted Cognitive Intervention (TCI) program, cognitive profiles reveal where learning weaknesses exist. Using games and activities, TCI directly targets those underlying deficits in areas such as reaction time, processing speed, visual working memory, verbal working memory, and many forms of executive function to help strengthen the underlying learning skills of each student.

Art, Music, PE & Bounders

Children with dyslexia often have prolific talents. We celebrate the dyslexic advantage by giving students opportunities to embrace their strengths through art, music, movement, and outdoor education.

(a) The Studio Arts program is designed to foster self-expression, self-confidence, and lifelong curiosity by building skills, tool technique, and concepts through a wide variety of artistic media.

(b) The Performing Arts program develops students' skills, knowledge, and confidence to share their unique thoughts and ideas with their community and the world. Through a variety of creative mediums (drama, music, improv, etc.), students explore and experiment with concepts that support self-expression and ensemble building.

(c) The Physical Education program promotes students’ gross motor skills, aerobic fitness, body strength, flexibility and eye hand/foot coordination, and social interaction skills.

(d) The Bounders outdoor education program challenges students in an energetic, non-competitive setting to take healthy risks; develop self-reliance, problem-solving, and risk assessment skills; work within a group, taking on a leadership role, and communicating with others; and connect to the natural world.

Library & Technology

We believe that technology, when used appropriately, can bolster learning. At Carroll, children learn how computers, tablets, apps, and the internet can positively support their education.

In the Middle School, all students are assigned an individual Chromebook to use during the school day. Our Educational Technology team hand selects grade-appropriate resources and tools that best meets the needs of each student, teacher, classroom, and project. Likewise, teachers are encouraged and trained to use technology that supports, not replaces, learning.

Technology is always used under close supervision from a teacher and is intended to be another engaging tool through which children can learn and begin to build 21st century skills.


Whole Child

We believe that a commitment to a child’s healthy social and emotional well-being goes hand-in-hand with academic success.

At the Middle School, students start each day within small advisory groups. Using Developmental Design techniques, students work on preparing for the day, setting personal goals, and enhancing social support and relationships. We also help students make inclusive and positive connections through recess, community service, athletics, clubs, talent showcases, spirit days, our annual Fall Festival, and so much more.

Student Life at the Middle School

Scroll through the slideshow below to get a glimpse of a day in grades 5-8. Learn more about Student Life at Carroll


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