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2014-2015 Middle School Curriculum Guide Grade 6-8

THE NORTHWEST SCHOOL 2014-15 MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM The Middle School is a special community within the larger community of The Northwest School. It takes into account the uniqueness of early adolescents making the dramatic transition from childhood to young adulthood by providing a safe and supportive environment and a challenging program. Teachers encourage students to take creative risks and help them develop a sure sense of who they are and what they can accomplish. The academic program is rich, well structured, and inter-disciplinary when appropriate. Students are always involved in two stimulating arts classes and have regular physical activity periods. The advisory program ensures that there is good, open communication between students and teachers, as well as between teachers and parents. Periodically, middle schoolers take trips into the larger community to enrich and balance classroom experiences and provide exposure to real community needs. Twice a year, in the fall and spring, students go on three-day expeditions to various places in the Northwest. After three years in the Middle School, our students are ready to take on the more demanding personal and academic challenges found in the Upper School. THE MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM CONSISTS OF: Humanities:


Humanities Humanities and Washington History Humanities



7 8

Math Algebra


6 7 8

General Science Life Science Earth Science

Erica Bergamini Chris Young Herb Bergamini


6 7 8

Spanish Spanish Spanish

David Montero Maria Hernandez Maria Hernandez, Michelle Kowals


Two classes at all times (New classes start at the beginning of Quints 1, 3, and 5)

Physical Education:

One class each quint, with a required variety of physical education activities during the year


Participation in the cleaning and maintenance of the school buildings and grounds, under the supervision of faculty and senior students


6 7

Heather Hall, Mackenzie Prentice Tamara Bunnell, Julie Kim Jeff Blair, Julie Kim Erica Bergamini, David Matlock, Sue Maul Sue Maul Thomas Elliott, David Matlock, Maria Moses, TBA


6TH GRADE CURRICULUM The sixth grade curriculum is designed to facilitate students’ integration into The Northwest School community and to engage them fully in the process of learning. Our goal is to provide a supportive environment that challenges students to grow both socially and academically. We focus on providing appropriate levels of support while encouraging students to become independent, self-aware learners and community members. A weekly study hall staffed by sixth grade advisors helps ease the transition from elementary school to middle school, offering sixth graders opportunities to seek assistance and check in with teachers while also managing their own workload. Students meet weekly in a class called “Connections”, which explores a variety of topics associated with our social and service learning goals. Student advisors meet twice weekly, focusing on issues such as individual student growth and development, interpersonal group dynamics, integration of curriculum, and facilitation of service learning.

HUMANITIES Humanities 6 – Heather Hall, Mackenzie Prentice This course provides an integrated exploration of literature, writing, history, and geography, focusing on aspects of human culture throughout history. Each quint, we take on a new topic of study, and students work both individually and cooperatively in small groups to explore and master new material. Students use technology throughout the year for word processing, research, and projects. We conclude each quint with a culminating project that incorporates students’ knowledge, creativity, and presentation skills. Specific skills and topics include: Map Skills Literary Analysis The Writing Process Writing Mechanics and Grammar Creative Writing Note-taking and Research Skills Group Work Presentation Skills

World Geography Elements of Civilization Ancient Civilizations The Hero Cycle Global Issues Personal Narrative Writing Biography/Autobiography

SCIENCE General Science – Erica Bergamini This course explores the way the world works through an introduction to the disciplines of physics and chemistry. Students practice the skills of “doing science” while studying a variety of thematic units that follow the five-quint schedule. These units vary depending on interdisciplinary opportunities available at school or in the community. The concepts of both environmental and economic sustainability are woven throughout the curriculum.


Basic Skills: • Asking a testable question • Experimental design • Safe laboratory practices • Accurate measurement • Research and reporting

Potential Units of Study: • Scientific History • Energy • Work/Power • Atoms & Molecules • Chemical & Physical Changes • Acids & Bases • Earth’s Natural Cycles • Engineering Design, Implementation, & Problem Solving

MATHEMATICS Math 6 – Erica Bergamini, David Matlock, Sue Maul Math during the sixth grade year at The Northwest School is the beginning of a Pre-Algebra, Pre-Geometry course. There are three aspects to the program. 1. UNITS OF STUDY during the first year include: • Data Organization/Graphing/Data Analysis • Measurement • Number Theory and Relationships • Algebraic Expressions and Equations • Ratios, Proportions, Percent, and Similarity • Probability • Geometry Topics 2. PROBLEM OF THE WEEK—Students practice: • Problem solving strategies • Communicating mathematical thinking • Presenting work in an organized way 3. INDIVIDUALIZED BASIC SKILLS REVIEW, PRACTICE, and ENRICHMENT Skills include: • Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and decimals • Place value and Powers of 10 • Concepts and application of fractions, decimals, and percent


MODERN LANGUAGES Spanish 6 – David Montero This program follows the principles of communicative language teaching and aims at developing the skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The goal is for students to gain a basic level of proficiency so that they can communicate ideas in the target language. The class is taught in Spanish. Students meet three times a week and learn grammar and vocabulary while also learning about the cultures of Spain and Latin America. In the sixth grade, students are taught how to learn a language, how to study, and how to be a student at the Northwest School. They also develop the skills to be able to share basic personal information in writing and orally about themselves, their family, their school, and their classes. The sixth grade curriculum covers topics such as greetings, introductions, likes and dislikes, school life, telling time. It also covers personal pronouns, gender, number agreements of nouns and adjectives, and present tense verb conjugations. Textbook used: Gente joven 1 nueva edición (Difusión: Barcelona, 2013).


7TH GRADE CURRICULUM HUMANITIES Humanities 7 and Washington State History – Tamara Bunnell, Julie Kim Seventh grade Humanities focuses on the continued development of reading and writing skills. Students work on both creative and technical writing, while receiving guidance and practice in grammar, vocabulary, and revision skills. Concurrently, students work on reading skills as we learn and examine different elements of literature. The Social Studies component of seventh grade Humanities focuses on the history, geography, culture and economic and political life of the Pacific Northwest. As much as possible, we integrate our studies, using literature and writing to explore our regional history more deeply. This includes a study of different cultures, explorations, and migrations in the Northwest. We examine what happens when various racial and ethnic groups begin inhabiting the same space, and we develop a better understanding of these relationships by exploring a variety of perspectives over the centuries. Research skills are also a significant part of the seventh grade Humanities curriculum. Students learn and practice a variety of research skills each quint, including reading for information, synthesizing information from a variety of sources, using databases, and properly citing sources.

MATHEMATICS Math 7 – Sue Maul Math during seventh grade at The Northwest School is the second year of the Pre-Algebra, Pre-Geometry course begun in sixth grade. The program has the same three aspects (see sixth grade description for full details). UNITS OF STUDY include: • Patterns and generalizing patterns using a variable • Spreadsheets • Signed numbers (positives and negatives) and simplifying algebraic expressions • Matrix addition, subtraction, and multiplication • Transformations of polygons (on the coordinate grid) • Solving equations and inequalities • Translating word problems into algebraic equations • Ratios, Proportions, Percents in relation to algebraic equations • More on angle measurement and geometric properties involving angles and polygons • Geometric properties of lines and other geometric figures

SCIENCE Life Science – Chris Young This course surveys biological sciences. Topics include microbiology, genetics, evolution, and the major systems of the human body. When applicable students explore related systems in plants and other organisms. Environmental and health-related topics are included as appropriate. Students are guided by the scientific method as they practice safe laboratory techniques and hone their research and reporting skills. Students will work on several group and individual inquiry projects throughout the year. 5

MODERN LANGUAGES Spanish 7 — Maria Hernandez This course is designed to follow the introduction to Spanish that students began in sixth grade. The seventh grade classes are taught in Spanish. Students meet five times a week and continue their study of basic grammatical, lexical, and cultural Spanish material. Each class period is comprised of listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. Throughout each quint, students engage in themed activities that allow students to be creative and use the language in meaningful ways. Units of study often culminate in individual or group projects. Some of the topics covered are descriptions of personalities and physical traits, family relationships, shopping at the mall, and free-time activities. Cultural themes, grammatical structures, and vocabulary development are intertwined in the lessons. Knowledge about a variety of Spanish speaking countries is attained through experiencing traditions and holidays.Textbook used: Gente joven 1 (Difusión: Barcelona, 2004).


8TH GRADE CURRICULUM HUMANITIES Humanities 8 — Jeff Blair, Julie Kim Eighth grade Humanities integrates World Geography and Literature. The course is designed so that the two subjects add depth and perspective to one another through the use of complementary material. In Quint 1, we introduce and explore themes, issues, and strategies that will be used throughout the year. In Quints 2, 3, and 4, we focus on the history, culture, literature, and geography of different regions of the world. Each quint incorporates writing, research, and current events. We encourage active learning through participation, discussion, self-directed projects, and group exercises. For a change of pace from the regional studies and map work, Quint 5 features a study of the influence of the mass media on American culture and society.

MATHEMATICS Algebra I/Algebra II – Alex Chen, Thomas Elliott, Maria Moses Algebra I: This course will begin the basic understanding and skills of functions, including linear and quadratic functions, with an emphasis on the rule of four: tables, equations, graphs, and words as representations of functions. Students will develop skills in working with solving multi-step equations and systems of equations, as well as the skills associated with polynomials, exponents, radicals, proportions, and rational expressions in algebraic terms. Algebra II: This course extends the work from previous courses in using mathematics to model and understand the world. Students explore linear functions through finding a line of best fit and learning to model and solve a situation with systems of equations. Students have the opportunity to become fluent in operations with polynomials, complex numbers, rational expressions, exponential expressions, and logarithms. Functions of all types are explored through tables, graphs, equations, and their connections to situations in the world. An introduction to probability is also part of the course.

SCIENCE Science 8 — Herb Bergamini The goal of this course is for the student to have a basic understanding of Planet Earth’s systems and characteristics as we understand them today. Topics covered include history of science, oceanography, the atmosphere, erosion and soil development, plate tectonics, and astronomy. The interaction between humans and these systems is regularly discussed. Emphasis is placed on hands-on activities, cooperating on group projects, development of lab skills, and using the scientific method. The text is Earth, What’s Inside, (published by Cengage Learning) with references from past and current periodicals and other texts.


MODERN LANGUAGES Spanish 8 – Michelle Kowals The eighth grade Spanish class is a continuation of the seventh grade Spanish curriculum. The classes are taught primarily in the target language. Students meet five times a week and continue to deepen their Spanish language proficiency. Each lesson targets the four basic skill areas, searching for a balance between speaking, listening, reading and writing. Throughout each quint, students engage in themed units of study, allowing them to use the language in creative and meaningful ways. By the end of the eighth grade year of study, students are able to express themselves on basic topics in the past, present, and future tenses. Students experience cultures from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries through use of authentic materials. Ultimately, the eighth graders will gain an understanding of the true practicality of learning a world language.


Library Skills Curriculum The goal of our school library program is to ensure that students and faculty are effective users of ideas and information. To that end, the Middle School Library Instructional Program is completely curriculum-based. The Librarians collaborate with Middle School teachers to develop and assess assignments. The Librarians and Ed Tech coordinator work closely to integrate information, digital literacy skills, and digital citizenship awareness into the curriculum. Beginning in sixth grade and continuing through eighth grade, students develop skills in identifying and interpreting information, organizing data, producing research projects, and evaluating their process and final products. Using a wide variety of print and electronic resources, students conduct research in all disciplines—humanities, sciences, languages, and the arts. The library also sponsors a Middle School book club for students, and a Young at Heart (YAH) book club for faculty to discuss young adult books. Computer Skills Curriculum The overall goals in computer instruction are to make the computer a tool that students know how to use with ease and confidence, and then for students to recognize when they can apply specific technology to enhance their learning. Computer skills are thus taught in the context of our content-based curriculum (with the exception of keyboarding). The Educational Technology Coordinator, librarians, and Middle School teachers coordinate lessons and projects for the students. New technologies are incorporated into the curriculum when appropriate. By the end of Middle School our students will: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

know computer operating procedures, terminology, and protocols. develop touch-typing skills. develop word-processing and editing skills. use electronic databases. create and use spreadsheets as a learning tool. do research using technology tools. apply graphics and presentation tools for projects. use a variety of multimedia tools in the production and presentation of projects. be able to use computers independently and cooperatively. understand the limitations and potential of computer technology. understand and follow intellectual property rights, procedures for validating information, and computer ethics and etiquette. 12. understand and use good safety practices to protect equipment and personal information.


ARTS CURRICULUM DANCE Jump into Dance – Ellie Sandstrom A creative and cultural approach to the world of dance, through a variety of styles. Improvisational games and choreography exercises will help you embody dance elements such as space, time, energy and force. You’ll learn steps that are basic to many kinds of dance, and learn to put them together in a variety of dances from around the world. Offered in the 6th grade art block. Hip-Hop/Contemporary Dance – Ellie Sandstrom A fun approach to hip-hop and contemporary dance, including warm-ups, skills practice, and dance choreography. Quints 1-2 serve more beginning dancers and Quints 3-4 are geared towards more advanced dancers who are interested in performing. Offered in the 7/8 art block during Quints 1-2 and 3-4. Dance for Musical Theater – Maya Soto The dance scenes in a play or movie can advance the plot, bring a time period to life, or reveal character. In this class you’ll learn dances from different musicals that serve each of these purposes. You’ll also do some choreography of your own. Excellent training for actors. No prerequisite. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block during Quints 1-2. Dance Performance – Maya Soto Become part of a dance ensemble that performs off campus. Learn choreography and be part of a show that includes costumes and props. Dance experience is helpful but not required. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block during Quints 3-4. Dance Improvisation / Composition – Ellie Sandstrom Choreograph your own dances! Within solo and group improvisations, while using the dance elements of space, time, energy and force, you will learn how to collaborate with others to create work. We will explore a wide variety of movement styles and collectively build a sitespecific dance piece. You will have the opportunity to meet local choreographers and find your own personal movement voice. Offered in the 7/8 art block during Quint 5. Breakdancing – Maya Soto A beginner’s approach to breakdancing. Discover your inner B-boy/B-girl while learning the history and elements of this athletic and acrobatic dance form. Class will include warm up, skills practice, free-styling and more. You will learn top rocks, footwork, power moves, and freezes. You will also have the opportunity to learn from guest artists, including local Seattle B-girls and B-boys. Be prepared to sweat! Offered in the 6/7/8 art block during Quint 5.


MUSIC Introduction to Strings Fundamentals (6th grade) – Gretchen Yanover In this class, students will learn the essential elements of music through hands-on experience playing stringed instruments. We will play simple songs pizzicato and, possibly, also with the bow. Students will learn note and rhythm reading, and will gain listening skills vital to playing in an ensemble. This is a two-quint course. Offered in the 6th grade art block. 6th Grade Choir – Dana Sewall The sixth grade choir is available to sixth grade students who already play an instrument. This choir will sing fun songs, in two parts, from a wide variety of styles, eras, and cultures, including a few that the class will choose themselves. Teamwork, participation and positive attitude are emphasized over vocal ability. Offered in the 6th grade art block. Introduction to Concert Band Fundamentals (6th grade) – Michael Van Bebber In this class, students will learn the essential elements of music through hands-on experience playing various wind instruments and rhythm section instruments. Students will learn note and rhythm reading, and will gain listening skills vital to playing in an ensemble. The instruments taught in this class are: trumpet, trombone, alto saxophone, and tenor saxophone. This is a two-quint course. Offered in the 6th grade art block. Middle School Concert Band – Michael Van Bebber (Full Year) This is a performing ensemble open to wind, brass, and percussion players, and a maximum of two keyboard players. (Keyboard players are encouraged to audition on a wind or percussion instrument as well. A few months of focused study should be enough to be admitted to the class.) Reading, ensemble, and technical skills will be developed. The concentration will be on both classical and jazz styles. The band will perform several times during the year. This is a year-long course. Chamber Ensemble – Gretchen Yanover Chamber Ensemble is open to violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists who are playing at an advanced level. Pianists and those playing non-transposing woodwind instruments (flute, oboe, and bassoon) are welcome to check in with the instructor about enrolling in this class. We will play a wide variety of music, from “classical” to contemporary, including popular songs. There will be at least two evening performances to share our music. Please note that students must schedule an audition appointment for appropriate class placement. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quint 3-4 and 5. String Ensemble – Gretchen Yanover This course is for students who are playing at an intermediate level on violin, viola, cello, and bass. We will continue to develop reading, ensemble, and technical skills while playing a variety of fun music. Pianists and those playing non-transposing woodwind instruments (flute, oboe, and bassoon) are also welcome to check in with the instructor about enrolling in this class. Students who start with sixth grade Intro to Strings at NWS may join this ensemble in Quint 3. Students new to NWS, or students who have not previously been in an ensemble, should please schedule an appointment to play a short selection for the instructor to determine appropriate class placement. There will be at least two evening performances to share our music. Offered in the 6/7/8 arts block all year. 11

Digital Music in Media – Dana Sewall This course will explore the use of music in all aspects of media, and the effect it has on mood, advertising, and visuals on the big and small screens. Students will use Garage Band (music composition program) to create their own music to match a variety of visual scenarios and finish the class with a CD of all of their creations. This class is offered, with different projects, in the 7/8 arts block during Quints 1-2, and Quint 5. Middle School Chorus – Dana Sewall The chorus is available to any student who loves to sing! Teamwork, participation, and positive attitude are emphasized over vocal ability. This choir will sing fun songs, in 2-4 parts from a wide variety of styles, eras, and cultures, including a few that the class will choose themselves. Prior music experience is helpful, but not required. Performances will be given in Quint 2, 4 and 5. Singers of all ability levels are welcome and encouraged to join us in chorus! Offered in the 6/7/8 arts block during Quints 1-2, and Quints 3-4. Middle School Show Choir – Dana Sewall The show choir is available to any student who loves to sing! Teamwork, participation and positive attitude are emphasized over vocal ability. This choir will sing fun show choir songs in 2-4 parts that the class will choose themselves. We may even do some choreography or movement while we sing. Prior music experience is helpful, but not required. Performances will be given at the end of Quint 5. Singers of all ability levels are welcome and encouraged to join us in show choir! This class is offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quint 5.

THEATRE ARTS 6th Grade Drama – Solomon Davis/ Amber Wolfe Wollam This class will explore foundations of the art of theatre through creative drama, improvisation, and other interdisciplinary arts activities. Students will learn to use their “theatre voice” to express ideas about their identity and their community. This is a nonperformance class. All 6th graders take this class during the year in their 6th grade art block. Comedy Theatre – Amber Wolfe Wollam We are going to figure out what is funny, why it is funny, and how we can be funny. This class explores silent and speaking scenes, slapstick moves, maybe even spit takes. Maybe. There will be a showing of our work at the end of each quint. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quints 1-2. Play Production – Ellen Graham In this class, students will rehearse and perform a One Act play, adapted for the group. There will be an evening performance for parents as well as one in the day to share with classmates. There will be interesting opportunities for both actors and students who are interested in tech such as working as light board operators, stage managers, sound designers, and costumers. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quints 1-2. The Storytellers – Solomon Davis This course will be an opportunity for students to learn the oldest form of theatre: oral storytelling. Funny moments, ghost stories, sad events, or a mix of it all will grace the page and the stage. Students will learn to create their own monologues, or “solo-shows”, leading up to 12

final performance where the students perform their original stories for their community. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quints 3-4. Play Production – Amber Wolfe Wollam Learn the ins and outs of acting in and producing a play. Be a part of the rehearsal and performance process. Guest speakers from the industry may include designers, directors, stage managers and actors. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quints 3-4. Advanced Theatre – Laura Ferri (Full Year) An intensive, full-year course designed to strengthen each student’s acting technique while building an ensemble that performs twice a year. Strong concentration and cooperation skills are essential for this class. Interview required and held during Quint 5 the prior year. Stage managers are also needed for this class.

VISUAL ARTS Story Art – Sandy Nelson Invent and imagine your own stories and interpret them in a handmade book, a painting, a sculpture, a print, and a fiber project. Your stories can be serious or whacky, biography or fantasy, or anything in between–you decide. We will work with colored pencils, acrylic, and water color paint, paper mache, wire, yarn, and cloth to create the story projects. For inspiration, we will look at published story-book illustrations from a variety cultures. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quints 1-2. Sketchbook – Curtis Erlinger Keeping a sketchbook is a rewarding activity – it is often used for exploration, investigation, and discovery, where mistakes as well as revelations can be made. Although drawing is a fundamental sketchbook activity, we will look at sketchbooks as spaces for “thinking out loud” (both visually and with text) through diagrams and doodling, collecting and collaging, reflection and recording. We will learn how to make several kinds of books while we look at traditional and contemporary sketchbooks of artists and scientists for inspiration. We will be working on projects different from last year. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quints 1-2. Windows, Doors, and Roofs – Sandy Nelson We will make a variety of types of art inspired by the architectural design of windows, doors, and roofs. Students in this class will learn techniques for working with acrylic paint, paper mache, printing ink, wire, and modeling clay. Projects we will work on include furniture sculpture, window design collage, paper mache shell-building roof sculpture, and door design low-relief cardboard sculpture. We will look at different kinds of buildings from a variety of time periods and places for inspiration. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quints 1-2. Beginning Ceramics – Randy Silver This exciting ceramics course introduces students to a variety of hand-building techniques and familiarizes them with the many stages of the ceramics process. Assignments are challenging, fun, and will encourage creativity and self-expression. Yes, you get to colorfully glaze your artwork and keep what you make! No prior experience necessary. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quints 1-2.


Digital Art Exploration – Wyn Pottinger-Levy Digital art is a fast-growing genre of artistic expression. From Photoshop to Illustrator, we’ll be learning how to create with pixels and vectors. You’ll learn how to navigate the programs, manipulate photos, create collages, draw illustrations, and more. Even if you struggle with pencils and paintbrushes, there’s a cool tool for all that! We’ll look at interesting artwork and make some of our own, using the elements of art and principles of design. Learn how to be more artistic and how to create digital artwork from scratch. Bet you’ll love the Liquify filter! Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quints 1-2. Beginning Drawing – Curtis Erlinger Within the basic units of still life, landscape, portraiture, figure drawing, and expressive design, students will sharpen their ability to construct more effective compositions, record proportion and scale, and replicate the effects of light on form. Assignments encourage students to develop a personal vision, to explore limitations, to solve problems, and to find creative solutions. In the process of speaking constructively about their own work, and the work of their peers, students will develop a personal voice, utilizing the language of drawing. We will be working on projects different from last year. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quints 1-2. Animation! – Curtis Erlinger We will explore ways to make drawings come to life and tell a story in this animation workshop. Traditional methods of storyboarding and character development will be introduced, and simple animation techniques—flip books, stop motion, Victorian toys (Thaumatropes, Phenakistoscopes, Zoetropes)—will be explored as ways to make the drawings “move.” We will look at several examples of animation, students will be encouraged to display their own individual work, and potentially collaborate on a group animation project. We will be working on projects different from last year. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quints 3-4. Circuitbending – Andy Peterson Students will explore electronics through circuitbending – the process of altering electronic toys to create unique, wacky musical instruments and noisemakers. Beginning with exploratory play, we will dismantle, alter, and combine toys to make interactive art pieces. From examining the internal circuitry, students will begin to decipher how the tiny bits and pieces work, making it possible to tinker and modify. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quints 3-4. People Art – Sandy Nelson This class will explore art that uses people as a theme. Projects will include a fabric, wire, and plaster sculpture of a person, lessons in drawing and painting faces, and an ancient Egyptianinspired human figure painting. We will learn techniques for using water color paint, acrylic paint, paper mache, graphite, metal tooling foil, and other art-making materials. We will also look at examples of different depictions of faces and human figures in both contemporary and traditional art in a variety of cultures. Offered in 6/7/8 art block in Quints 3-4. Constructed Painting – Curtis Erlinger Learn how to build a painting, from the beginning steps to placing the final stroke on the canvas. We will look at the materials of painting (acrylic water-based paints, brushes, canvas) 14

the techniques of creating grounds, layering and glazing, and we will explore ways to create effective compositions based on developed subject matter. Students will examine several contemporary paintings and traditional paintings from a global perspective, while they develop a personal voice utilizing the language of painting. We will be working on projects different from last year. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quints 3-4. Ceramics – Randy Silver This exciting and challenging ceramics course builds on the foundation of beginning ceramics. We will embark on completely new and different projects that will encourage students to have more involvement in the direction of their work. We will experiment with both “ceramic sculpture” and “functional (useful) pottery”! Additional creativity, innovation, and imagination are encouraged. We may integrate new materials into our artwork, including a bit of metal, wire, and melted glass. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quints 1-2, and in the 6/7/8 art block in Quints 3-4. Ceramic Sculpture/ Ceramics is for the BIRDS! – Randy Silver We already know the basics of working with clay—now, let’s put them to use and start a unique project that is both creative and functional (should a bird choose to nest inside our artwork). Our goal is to construct the most amazing birdhouses the world has ever seen! After looking at the architecture of various dwellings from around the world, we’ll use our knowledge, experience, and understanding of working with clay to adapt and build on those ideas. Will your birdhouse have Romanesque columns? Will it have a palm-frond thatch roof? What would an eco/green birdhouse look like? Do you have a unique vision for your ideal birdhouse? Let’s build it! There will be a second “mystery” project for those who finish their birdhouses early. Prerequisite: at least two quints of previous ceramics courses at The Northwest School, or permission of instructor. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quint 5. Animal Art – Sandy Nelson We will use animals as inspiration for making drawings, block prints, paintings, and sculptures. We will work with paints, paper mache, drawing materials, wire, and other art materials, and students will learn creative techniques for using these materials. ,Some of the projects we will work on are a paper mache animal sculpture, drawings of animals, and an animal print. Students may choose an animal on which focus their art work. We will be studying animal images in art from different parts of the world and from different time periods. Offered in Quints 3-4 in the 7/8 art block. Robots and Drawings – Andy Peterson Learn how to construct robots that can make and “read” drawings. Students will begin with basic components and build from the ground up, moving from motors and switches into microprocessors and programming. We will build pre-determined projects with time, space, and materials for modification and experimentation. This class builds an understanding of basic electronics and programming, and serves as an introduction to technology in visual art. Offered in Quints 3-4 in the 7/8 art block. Public Art – Curtis Erlinger Using the space around you as the site for discussion and projects, Public Art is about making art in the social sphere. Students experiment with several ways of displaying art, collaborating, and interacting with an audience. Installation and site-specific techniques are 15

introduced to students through the exploration of both traditional and non-traditional media. Specific skills are developed through ongoing exercises in observation, material studies, and manipulation of form and space. We will be working on projects different from last year. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quint 5. Thematic Drawing – Curtis Erlinger Exploring both traditional and unconventional drawing materials, you will work on drawing projects based on several unique topics that we will develop as a class. For the last project, you will develop a theme of your own choosing based on your interests. While we look to artists for inspiration, you will be encouraged to push boundaries and seek creative solutions in your work. Students will work in the studio and at home. Drawing will progress from idea to sketch, sketch to sustained drawing, and individual drawing to a series. Formal, material, and conceptual experimentation is encouraged and necessary. The goal is to develop a devoted practice in drawing. We will be working on projects different from last year. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quint 5. Calligraphy – Sandy Nelson This class will explore the art of writing and letter making. We will make sculptures, paintings, books, and collages. We will work with ink, paper, acrylic and water color paint, cardboard, and wire. Students will experiment with expressing their individual ideas though art relating to letters. We’ll look at pictures of historic calligraphy for inspiration. Offered in the 7/8 art block in Quint 5. Independent Paper Mache Projects – Sandy Nelson Students in this class will design their own paper mache projects. Some possibilities students can choose from are a sculpture of an animal, car, person, bowl, vase, or anything else the student is interested in. Sandy will guide students through the brainstorming, sketching, and designing process, and will teach students how to make what they want out of paper mache. Students will paint their projects when the paper mache process is complete. We will look at sculptures from different times and cultures for inspiration. Offered in the 6/7/8 art block in Quint 5.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM The PE program in the Middle School offers a wide variety of individual and team sports and activities. Some activities are offered multiple quints and some are seasonal, lasting one or two quints only. Interscholastic sports sometimes extend beyond the school day, and teams may play on any day of the week, including weekends. All classes emphasize participation, skill learning/development, self-confidence, and cooperation with classmates/teammates. Course offerings are planned as listed below, but are subject to change due to facility availability and staffing needs. STUDENT REQUIREMENTS •

Students will take physical education all five quints during sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. 16

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All sixth grade students will be enrolled in either cross country or soccer during the first quint, though students are allowed to just be “practice players” if they are not comfortable playing in games. Starting in Quint 2 of their sixth grade year, and continuing until the end of eighth grade, all students signed up for teams are expected to play in games.

INTERSCHOLASTIC TEAMS/SPORTS The Northwest School competes with other schools/teams in soccer, basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, cross-country, bowling, and sometimes track & field. Students have practices and/or games during their scheduled physical education class times. Depending on the sport, games may take place after school and/or on weekends. At the Middle School level, our philosophy is participatory as well as competitive, so all team members will play in each game if they are in good standing. MIDDLE SCHOOL P.E. COURSE OFFERINGS Some of the courses listed below are seasonal, others are offered most quints. Not all classes are offered to all three grade levels. The registration form indicates which quints each activity is offered. Students choose their classes. If not enough students are registered for a class, the class will be cancelled and those students will be placed in one of the other available classes. Basketball Teams Our teams will play games on weekday afternoons in the Crosstown Middle School League. Seventh and eighth grade teams will be divided by ability/commitment levels. Home games take place in the NWS Gymnasium. Teams will be divided into an A & B squad by skill level. Basketball shoes, shorts, and water bottle are needed. This is a two-quint class so you must sign up for both Quints 2-3. Cross Country Team There are four great reasons to run cross country: 1) Get in great shape; 2) Visit beautiful places (as we will run in multiple places around Seattle); 3) Participate in some exciting competitions (we will have one or two 1.5 mile races each week); and 4) Be part of a fun team with lots of camaraderie. Indoor Bouldering/Rock Climbing Class Students will have an opportunity to challenge themselves within the safe confines of the Seattle Bouldering Project. This class will focus on climbing efficiency and technique. Students will be able work on strength, flexibility, balance, and other aspects of physical fitness that will be essential in climbing. There may be an option to participate in a climbing competition. No previous experience required. Soccer Teams Teams will practice near school and will return by 3:30 p.m. Soccer shoes, shin guards, and shorts are needed. Home games take place during the week. Teams will be divided into an A & B squad by skill level.


Track and Field All students will participate in a track and field unit for the second half of Quint 5. Students will learn and practice both running (sprints, distance, hurdles, relays) and field (long jump, high jump, shot put, turbo javelin) events. All students will participate in a Northwest School Track and Field Festival at the end of the year. Ultimate Frisbee Teams Discover why this game has become a Northwest obsession and join a tradition of school excellence, both in quality of play and spirit of the game. No previous disc or ultimate experience is required—just a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Tons of running is involved, so be ready. Class times are used for skills practice and scrimmages. Games are played against other teams on weekdays and Saturdays. This is a two-quint class, so you must sign up for both Quints 4-5. Volleyball Teams Teams will practice near school and will return by 3:30 p.m. Games will be on weekdays. Variety Class This class is a variety of activities. The activities are dependent on facilities available and on student input. This class will return to school by 3:30 p.m. each day.


Mike McGill Head of School Alan Braun Assistant Head of School Tuney Kannapell Middle School Director Catherine Terry Registrar

The Northwest School 1415 Summit Avenue Seattle, WA 98122

The Northwest School offers a faculty who engage each student in sequential, crossdisciplinary study in the Humanities, Sciences, and the Arts. We are a diverse community of people who challenge each other to learn in a healthy, creative, and collaborative atmosphere of respect for ourselves, others, and the environment. We graduate students with historical, scientific, artistic, and global perspective, enabling them to think and act with integrity, believing they have a positive impact on the world.

Middle School Curriculum Guide 2014-15  
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