Connect with us:

Phone: (815) 877-1600

Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future


Middle School

Ages 10 - 14

  • Date created

    January 15, 2018

  • Last updated

    October 22, 2020


Adolescence is a time when social emotional learning and a focus on identity is critically important. At Spectrum, students are encouraged to become independent learners, taking on even more personalized projects. Such projects may include connecting with outside experts, developing mentor relationships, and creating evidence through digital media. Students learn the 21st century skills needed to be engaged in high school, the workforce, and beyond. What is most unique is this model gives students the opportunity to take creative risks without fear of failure.  Teachers work closely with each student to support and nurture their passions, while creating appropriate academic rigor meant for that child’s developmental needs. Teachers and parents collaborate through in person, email, and text conversations to attend to the whole child. Often you may find students on personalized field trips, including time at Rockford University. Finally, as part of our philosophy of progressive education, middle school students identify ways to make an impact on their community and are expected to show evidence of creating a positive impact in our school community and beyond.

What to Expect

Students are becoming independent thinkers and learners

They are striving to be responsible and self-directed

Curiosity is encouraged. Students have more choice in what is studied, as well as how projects will be created and assessed

Students are encouraged to ask questions in order to develop deeper understanding

Students are developing more sophisticated problem solving strategies

Common core standards are incorporated within the curriculum

Middle School students continue to work on developing as a whole child (resolving social conflicts, the arts, etc)

High school readiness with exposure to a wide range of content

21st century literacy skills

Daily technology integration including video editing, blogging, and Google Drive

Problem Solving and Problem Based Learning

Psychosocial education for students and parents

Personal, meaningful relationships with all students and parents

Inside the Classroom

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Nov. 16 – Nov. 20

Before it’s gets cold, we had to enjoy the weather with some physical activity!More funny Shakespeare: we finished Comedy of 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Nov. 9 – Nov. 13

New instrument on trial! Some silly voices from Bard's shortest play: A Comedy of Errors! Gummi 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Nov. 2 – Nov. 6

Photography! Monday, we tried something very different. I asked the students to do a set up from random things in 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Oct. 26 – Oct. 30

Math! Very proud of how this project turned out...great job girls! Episode 1: The MOST Unconventional News! 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Oct. 19 – Oct. 23

Tyranny! The girls are working on creating a poster series about the rise of Hitler. They have decided on a 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Oct. 12 – Oct. 16

Thanks to Brady's grandma for the lovely classroom sign! Teaching is full of surprises! An oldie but a goodie: 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Oct. 5 – Oct. 9

Making math study guides for our first exam this week!Fun terracotta sculptures...Salem's is from outer space!Lily's Personal Project! Lily has 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Sept. 28 – Oct. 2

Novella's terracotta warrior drawing before we sculpt! Enjoying our new spider swing!Working off those quarantine pounds! Outside shenanigans!The MOST 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Sept. 21 – Sept. 25

China An amazing session with the girls on early China and it's first emperor. Was he a tyrant or was 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Sept. 14 – Sept. 18

Who needs a comfy chair to read when you can use a tree branch?!Frankie posing in front of his awesome 

Gummi Bears’ Highlights! Sept. 8 – Sept. 10

Teachers and classrooms ready to rock and roll!Take What You Need Board! During the first week of school, the students 

Democratic Republic of Middle Scoolers! May 25 – May 29

8th Grade Graduation: 2020 Style! It was an amazing celebration for our graduates on Thursday. Thank you all who helped 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! May 18 – May 22

Congrats to our 2020 8th Grade Grads! While we cannot have the end of the year graduation that we planned, 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! May 11 – May 15

Letters from the GRADS: Annika and Diana!Different methods of communication! I’m so proud of all of the progress our students 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Apr. 27 – May 1

Science shock! On Monday, Ms. Shannon assigned the students a video and questions about just how small an atom is. 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Apr. 20 – Apr. 24

We may not be in your presence, but we’re always together. We miss you! Enjoy our latest podcast of ZNoodles 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Apr. 13 – Apr. 17

We are so proud of our Middle School students! They are really settling into a routine with their digital classes 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Apr. 6 – Apr. 9

Middle School interpretations of The Preamble to the Constitution! "As Citizens of the United States, we want a fair and 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Mar. 30 – Apr. 3

In Darkness novel study! Some pictures from our In Darkness novel study. Students represented the most significant moments in the 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Mar. 23 – Mar. 27

Thank you so much to Terry "Double T" Turen for the spotlight of our students! Rockford Middle School class starts 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Mar. 9 – Mar. 13

Dr. Steinbach Visit! Amazing visit from Dr. Steinbach today. He taught us about the surgery practices of the American Civil 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Mar. 2 – Mar. 6

Enjoy our latest ZNoodles Podcast with Pistol Pete! Dancing in Music class! Alloy! They worked on their Alloy posters 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Feb. 24 – Feb. 28

A huge THANK YOU to the drivers/chaperones who came on our field trip to the Symphony this past Thursday. These 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Feb. 18 – Feb. 20

Another wonderful delicious! Science with Sharon!STOP...Can't Touch This! (D.R.o.M.S version) As always, feel free to email us 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Feb. 10 – Feb. 14

The gang, ready to roll, at Future Problem Solving (FPS) over the weekend!Enjoy our latest Z-Noodles podcast episode! The Mixed 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Feb. 3 – Feb. 6

Some fun snowman building at recess!Art fun!Enjoy our latest Z-Noodles Podcast w/ Creig Day of Rockford ShareFest! Congratulations Yannik! Yannik 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Jan. 27 – Jan. 31

Please enjoy our latest podcast episode of Z-Noodles, featuring Skylar Davis of Culture Shock Clothing & Records! Our Middle School 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Jan. 21 – Jan. 24

Very excited to share our latest episode of Z-Noodles Podcast! Science! A very fun rock physical description guessing game in 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Jan. 13 – Jan. 17

Check out our latest Z-Noodles episode! Just another Monday working on spelling and making napkins!Isaac excited because he remembered what 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Jan. 6 – Jan. 10

One of our Board members came across an out-of-school online learning opportunity for 10-13 year olds that looks pretty interesting. 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Dec. 16 – Dec. 20

Next Podcast! Amazing podcast interview with Michael, Frankie's cheer coach. Anticipate another awesome episode! Stay tuned to our Facebook page! 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Dec. 9 – Dec. 13

Working on publishing our young authors!Working on element cards & measuring in graduated cyclinders in Science!YES, they withstood overnight! AND 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Dec. 2 – Dec. 6

Some good book club discussions this week!Fun with Sharon and Science!Supporting others! Lily supporting Early Elementary's classroom store, a fundraiser 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Nov. 18 – Nov. 22

Rockford University collaboration! Some really wonderful experiences at Rockford University in their Physics class getting to do some experiments on 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Nov. 12 – Nov. 15

Wednesday! Making holiday pop up cards after we did a test prep session. Good mix of crafts and focus! Starting 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers: Nov. 4 – Nov. 8

Working on cards for Operation Gratitude for Veterans Day!Escape Room! Some fun interest group pics from this week's Escape Room. 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Oct. 28 – Nov. 1

We had an amazing first community lunch. Thanks to Paige Sampson Rauh, Becky, Michelle, and Lindsay for making yummies. The pumpkin 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers: Oct. 21 – Oct. 25

Science Class! Another great lesson with Sharon on Tuesday. We learned what all the elements we investigated were officially. You 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers! Oct. 14 – Oct. 18

Yannik building a templar knight as a part of our middle ages unit!Can your say 2019 in Roman Numerals?!This video 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers: Oct. 7 – Oct. 11

Take a look at this TV news piece done on Spectrum's visit to 425 Manufacturing! Manufacturers show off high tech 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers: Sept. 30 – Oct. 3

425 Manufacturing! Our class took in a presentation from 425 Manufacturing in preparation for our field trip next week as 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers: Sept. 23 – Sept. 27

Doing Pointillism to the soundtrack of Beowolf while doing our study of Anglo-Saxons!German Learning how to conjugate basic verbs in 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers: Sept. 16 – Sept. 20

Fall Festival Art Project! Working on our Fall Festival Art Project that 1 lucky person will win! The kids choose 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers: Sept. 9 – Sept. 13

Tie-Dye fun with shirts to wear for our field trips!Working on cartoons for our weekly newspaper!Content binders, organizing, & "old 

Democratic Republic of Middle Schoolers: Sept. 3 – Sept. 6

WELCOME! Parents, you received an email, and here is the link as well to the sign up genius for in-take 

Middle School Memoirs: May 20 – May 24

Senior Weekend Trip! Some snap shots from our fun weekend trip in Chicago. Navy Pier, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and fun 

Middle School Memoirs: May 13 – May 17

Spot It! Recognition. Patterns. Math. Attention to detail. Spot It helps build and strengthen all of those important skills! Practice 

Middle School Memoirs: May 6 – May 10

Invertebrates Lab Seeing how exoskeletons on insects work and hold up when damaged with hard objects. So much fun and 

Middle School Memoirs: Apr.29 – May.3

REMINDER! This is a friendly reminder that your students should be at Spectrum, ready to go for Hairspray Jr, by 

Middle School Memoirs: Apr.22 – Apr.26

Earth Day! We conducted a trash pickup and used our bodies to spell "EARTH" for Earth Day! Chinese Calligraphy with 

Middle School Memoirs: Apr.15 – Apr.19

Mythical Beasts! Art Interest Group: projects, churches, and stained glass, oh my!Roosevelt HS Interest Group: balloons, spaghetti towers, graphic arts, 

Middle School Memoirs: Apr.8 – Apr.12

Wayfinding Day On Monday we had a Wayfinding Day. Students looked at constellations, created graphs of our Prairie, found spots 

Middle School Memoirs: Apr.1 – Apr.5

Peer Editing Back to work right away this morning. We are peer editing our novels in verse inspired by our 

Middle School Memoirs: Mar.18 – Mar.22

Three-Day Angelic Organics Overnight Field Trip! Upper Elementary and Middle School students got to go on a wonderful adventure for 

Middle School Memoirs: Mar.11 – Mar.15

A few friendly reminders for our Angelic Organics trip Mar. 18th - 20th: PLEASE be at Spectrum NO LATER THAN 

Middle School Memoirs: Mar.4 – Mar.8

Mardi Gras mask-making activities and a bead drop from Early Elementary!Angelic Organics Fun with Angelic Organics today. Making a show 

Middle School Memoirs: Feb.25 – Mar.1

National "Say Something" Week Here's Middle School and Upper Elementary participating in the National Say Something week. Learning about how 

Middle School Memoirs: Feb.19 – Feb.22

Career Day A look at some of the many guest speakers we had at Career Day this past Wednesday. We 

Middle School Memoirs: Feb.11 – Feb.15

Singing Telegrams Middle School delivered some singing telegrams to Early Elementary for Valentines' Day! Confirmation Bias Today 

Middle School Memoirs: Feb.4 – Feb.8

World War I Starting our study of World War I with some games on alliances and a STEM mini project 

Middle School Memoirs: Jan.21 – Jan.25

Hairspray Jr. Caught some Middle Schoolers doing some impromptu practice of their dance moves for Hairspray Jr. Got to love 

Middle School Memoirs: Jan.14 – Jan.18

Positively impacting the future, one day at a time...Kids at heart! They all hate the idea of being outside, but 

Middle School Memoirs: Jan.8 – Jan.11

2019: LET'S DO IT! Reminder: Wednesday, Jan. 30th, Upper Elementary & Middle School will be going on an all-day field 

Middle School Memoirs: Dec.17 – Dec.21

Farewell, 2018!Gingerbread Houses! Middle School students love making messes, let's just hope they can clean them up! Peace, Love, & 

Middle School Memoirs: Dec.10 – Dec.14

Art can be displayed in MANY ways! On Tuesday, December 18th, Middle School as well as Upper Elementary will be 

Middle School Memoirs: Dec.3 – Dec.7

Hello, December!Personal Projects success stories Here, we have 2 students sharing their personal project success stories. Annika will get to 

Middle School Memoirs: Nov.26 – Nov.30

Wrapping Up November!Sophia making a difference Sophia shared the board she made for a resident who passed away. She painted 

Middle School Memoirs: Nov.12 – Nov.16

Rigorous Work, Processfolio Night, & Holiday Concert prep! It was a four-day-week of school, but we sure did get a 

Middle School Memoirs: Nov.5 – Nov.9

Middle School Memoirs: Nov.5 - Nov.9 Our class is in need of colored dry erase markers. If you're in a 

Middle School Memoirs: Oct.29 – Nov.2

Environment, Culture, and Community An amazingly fun field trip, a productive community-based class, and a few personal accomplishments highlighted this 

Middle School Memoirs: Oct.22 – Oct.26

Middle School was all about making a difference, both out in the community as well as in-house, this week! Quick 

Middle School Memoirs: Oct.15 – Oct.19

…aaaaaaaaand we’re LIVE! The Middle School level will begin their very own podcast series entitled, “Do you like the world?” 

Supply List & Resources

Resources  This site explains our plan-do-review process, how children learn through active learning, and how adults support children in their experiences.  You will also find the KDI’s (Key Developmental Indicators) listed.  How we support students in fine motor development and pre-handwriting

Supply List

Please note that many students still have binders in the classroom left from last year. Also note that some students have systems developed for themselves that may supercede these suggestions. Some items are negotiable, others are not. Please know you do not need supplies for the first soft open week and so there is time to discuss. The cell phone policy will remain the same. If they are brought to school, they are checked in at the start of the day and remain off.

2 Masks each day

Laptop and charging cord

Hand Sanitizer (for self and desk)

4 pack of Clorox wipes

2 packs of kleenex

2 binders

5 normal notebooks

1 larger notebook

Pencil Case or something to keep things in at desk (CRITICAL THIS YEAR!)

Math books if not returned yet









Post It Notes

Water Bottles (multiple a day as water can’t be filled the same way)

Finally, as we are using a Bring Your Own Device model (BYOD) nooks, kindles, ipods, ipads, headphones, cameras, and yes even cell phones will be invited to be used appropriately. If any of these items becomes an issue students will be encouraged and supported in developing more authentic and real world ways of managing technology effectively. Such devices can be bought and used throughout the year as it is deemed appropriate by students and family. Please label these items if they are to come in.