McClelland Middle School
Students are taught grade-level appropriate math instruction using national standards. We use Mountain Math to keep our math spiral tight and to ensure our students have grasped the concepts they need. In middle school students have the option to opt in to an accelerated math class. This class is intended to challenge students that can move through math concepts more quickly than those in a standard grade-level class.
Reading and writing are taught at McClelland in grades kindergarten through 8th using Lucy Calkin’s Units of Study. Reading and writing workshops are deliberately designed to offer a simple and predictable environment so that the teacher can focus on the complex work of observing students' progress and teaching into their needs. In middle school students are introduced to more challenging literature and develop their skills with both fiction and non-fiction writing.
At McClelland science is taught using Discovery Education. Our science teachers bring real-world, engaging educational content from partners like MythBusters, Cheddar, NBA, Shark Week, MLB and Street Science into the classroom with Discovery Education. This ever-growing collection offers a variety of resources that mirror the unique interests of students, helping them make relevant and lasting connections between science and their everyday lives. Middle school students are required to participate in our annual science fair and often candidates are sent on to represent McClelland at the district and state levels.
In middles school, McClelland uses TCI’s History Alive! curriculum to teach history. Based on proven teaching strategies and practices, TCI’s programs bring learning to life and achieve consistent, positive classroom results. TCI’s curriculum has been specially curated to meet state standards, create engagements in lessons and help students better understand the content through hands-on and experiential exercises. Annually students participate in a “wax museum” project that requires the student to select a historical figure of their choosing and do an in-depth study and presentation of their chosen individual.
At McClelland, we believe it is critical to a student’s success in high school and beyond to develop strong study skills and habits. All middle school students take an intentional study skills course that includes time management, use of a planner and active reading and note-taking skills.
The middle school years can often be challenging ones as student begin to move through adolescence. We work with our students to develop connections beyond the classroom and intentionally teach being a good member of our community. Our students participate in an annual retreat to kick off our school year. Through this 1-2-night adventure, middle school students have many opportunities to develop leadership skills, set personal and academic goals and learn to work in a team. Using our social-emotional learning curriculum, Sanford Harmony, our students continue learning skills such as sharing, communication, and empathy. Using age-appropriate materials, teachers facilitate lessons and activities that enhance students’ communication and relationship-building skills. The five themes of Sanford Harmony are Diversity and Inclusion, Empathy and Critical Thinking, Communication, Problem-Solving, and Peer Relationships. Each of the Harmony themes addresses an important need in schools to create positive and proactive environments that support student success.
At The McClelland School, all our students receive Spanish, music, art, and P.E. from specialists teachers that are experts in their field. In the middle school, Spanish is taken daily and is considered a core academic class. Our goal for McClelland graduates is that they can test into Spanish II as a freshman in high school. Music class includes many opportunities to perform both with music and drama. Middle school students can expect an annual play or musical production for 5th-7th grades, and our 8th graders culminate their years at McClelland with a special performance as they prepare for graduation.
BAND AND FINANCE
Seventh and Eighth graders have the opportunity to choose a band or finance elective. This allows our students to broaden their horizons into the world of finance and economics or learn to play an instrument and read music.
In finance, the curriculum is divided into 4 different topics including personal finance, life skills, business, and economics. The students learn a topic each semester giving them the opportunity for continued discussion and hands-on learning. The students get an in-depth look into each topic including resumes, estate planning, car maintenance, home maintenance, entrepreneurship, negotiation, macroeconomics, and microeconomics. The students are immersed in the topics including checking the oil in a car, finding what size tires the car needs, and working on mock investments and budgets. The topics are taught using hands-on projects to give the students a chance to learn by doing.
Our new band elective for 7th- and 8th-graders affords our students the opportunity to learn a lifelong skill: playing an instrument. Our beginning band offers flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion (i.e. snare drum and bell kits) at a rudimentary level. Students learn fingerings and slide positions specific to their instruments and play cooperatively in a small group ensemble. Using a hands-on approach to music allows the students to further their understanding of melody, harmony, rhythms, and music notation, allowing them to apply these skills to their craft. We look forward to our beginning band playing at our upcoming concerts to display their talents and growing knowledge.