In true Montessori fashion, the PCMS middle school communication team has worked hard to put together their own website. The site allows the middle school students to share more about their day to day activities, showcase what they have learned and announce special events and programs. Please visit their site to learn more about this amazing middle school students!
PCMS Middle School Program
The middle school class at PCMS is a unique blend of Montessori philosophy and traditional academia. It is intended to be a two-year bridge between the Montessori elementary years and formal high school education.
The middle school year is divided into four thematic cycles. These cycles are each approximately six weeks long, and they integrate the given theme into all of the disciplines of study. Since it is a two-year program, seventh and eighth graders work both cooperatively and collaboratively during Natural World (the Sciences) and Social World (the Humanities). Grammar and vocabulary studies are separated into two courses (one for each grade level), while mathematics is grouped based upon individual readiness and mastery. Types of activities target all of the learning modalities, and they are balanced among individual, small group, and class projects, lessons, and/or activities. Additionally, there is a great emphasis on individual student accountability, organization, and responsibility for work while also fostering the development of a community within the classroom and the need to mutually respect, support, and honor one another.
Each day begins with a Community Meeting. This is followed by a literature discussion with the whole class. The independent work cycle in the afternoon is two hours long. Students must plan their work and be accountable to both a planning partner and the class for the work that will be accomplished that day. During the afternoon work cycle, math lessons are given. Lunch at the middle school level lasts one hour; this allows for the socialization process to take place with minimal infringement upon academic work. After lunch, thirty minutes are devoted to Personal Reflection through journal writing focusing on social, emotional, and physical growth and issues important to adolescence. The morning work cycle is also almost two hours long with a special emphasis on small group work, class lessons, and class activities that need uninterrupted time to be accomplished.
After each learning cycle there in an “in-between week” called Immersion Week. Studies show that this allows the adolescent mind “to rest and recover,” as well as the chance “to start over” at the beginning of a new learning cycle. During these weeks throughout the school year, students have the opportunity to literally become immersed in extended activities such as community service projects, service learning or internships, musical performances, and participation in an end of year Adventure Trip. Often it is in these moments that some of the best memories are made and the most learning occurs. The world is opened up to the adolescents as they are given a chance to see outside of themselves, to experience new challenges, and to offer a helping hand to neighbors.