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Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future

Middle School

Ages 12 - 14

  • Date created

    January 15, 2018

  • Last updated

    October 15, 2018


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
Supply List & Resources

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.

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

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