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Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future

Middle School

Ages 10 - 14

  • Date created

    January 15, 2018

  • Last updated

    July 12, 2019


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

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

The most important item that your student will need for middle school is an electronic device capable of doing extensive typing that they can bring everyday. This means any chromebook, laptop, macbook, tablet with attached keyboard, or ipad with keyboard is acceptable​.

We have tried to reduce the supply list significantly to allow for this purchase. We also wanted to give families plenty of time to look for sales throughout the summer. Each student will also need a charging cord, we recommend buying one for home and one for school that can be left to make sure the device is always usable. Both the device and the charger must be labeled with your student’s name.

These items should be labeled with your student’s name and are for individual use:

● Reusable Water Bottle

● Daily or Weekly Planner (have fun pick one you like!)

● Expo​ Ultra Fine Tip Markers Any Variety of Multi Pack

● 2 Pack Expo​ Erasers

● 1 Bottle Expo​ Cleaning Spray

● 3 Large Sketch Pads (one per trimester)

● Pencils

● Pens or Thin Markers (something with which you you like write)

● 1 Notebook for Math

● 1 32G USB Stick Music

● 1 Pocket Folder with Center Fasteners

● Download app (This is a free music app.)


Sensory and Creative Extras Not Required

● Colored pencils, charcoals, oil pastels, chalk, markers, gel pens, coloring books, meditation journals, tea, fidgets, yoga mats, thinking putty, essential oils (please check first), mints (no gum) Art

● Spiral Sketch Pad 9′ X 12″ 50lb. (Michaels – I always use a 40% coupon)

● Avery Permanent​ Glue Stick ( Office supply store)


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.

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