Academics

Middle Grades Curriculum

This curriculum is traditional in resting upon a foundation of vertical cohesion (skills taught in one grade will be built upon in the following grades) and the mastery of crucial academic skills. It is progressive in its emphasis on depth of learning over breadth of exposure, its project- and problem-based orientation and its interdisciplinary nature.

Core Curriculum

In the Upper Division’s middle grades program, grades six through eight, students start to move from studio to studio (classroom to classroom). Students acquire greater depth and proficiency in all their academic and co-curricular subjects, as well as an increasing emphasis on critical thinking. Assignments individualize opportunities for students to pursue their particular interests in depth, but within a common curriculum and skills base. Curricular emphasis is on building the core skills already mastered in earlier years.

  1. Reading: focus on awareness of argument and understanding of the different genres of literature
  2. Writing: building a three-paragraph essay
  3. Math: including Algebra I
  4. Science: earth science and ecology, biology, physics
  5. World Course

In the middle grades, the World Course is likely to overlap with standard offerings in history and science.

  1. History: an interdisciplinary approach. Topics could include American history and ancient or medieval civilizations
  2. Language: Chinese or Spanish, continuing the language studied in earlier grades, resulting in increasing proficiency
  3. Music
  4. Art
  5. Physical education and health and wellness; team sports at the Avenues gymnasium and at Chelsea Piers
  6. The school in the city: understanding Chelsea and New York

Students of this age do well working on projects with other students, so work in small teams on independent projects will be emphasized.

Older middle grades students will begin to have some of their classes, particularly in art and music, integrated with offerings in Chelsea and the city around the school.

A chart of the middle grades program curriculum is available here.

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Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

Meow! Middle Grades Students See Cats on Broadway

by Sharan Gill
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January 17, 2017 - In October, students in the middle grades HIP writing program read about the secret life of Gus the theater cat in T.S. Eliot’s poem of the same name, then imagined their own versions of what kind of secret life their pet would have. The lesson set the scene for an optional field trip to see Cats on Broadway, and on Tuesday, November 1, more than 135 Avenues students, teachers and parents attended the evening show of the musical.  More...

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We were glad to be able to share this program with parents.

January 11, 2017 - HIP, or High Intensity Practice, is in its second year at Avenues, and our HIP Stories gathering marked the first time parents joined their children to celebrate the work they’ve been doing in HIP Writing.  More...

See all articles with these tags on our blog site, Open: 6th Grade , 7th Grade , 8th Grade , HIP Writing , Middle Grades Program , Upper Division

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