|Middle School Curriculum||| Print ||
The Middle School strives to enhance the four areas of literacy through a variety of methods. In reading, students begin by focusing on the elements of story and literary terms and techniques. They analyze a variety of genres and styles. Writing is incorporated on a daily basis in the form of reading logs/responses, essays, research papers, and creative pieces. Much emphasis is placed on the writing process, the six traits of writing, and students practice both peer and self-editing. The speaking aspect of literacy is addressed through oral presentations in various forms. Finally, students’ listening skills are enhanced by read alouds and discussion groups during specific studies of novels.
Science in the Middle School is a lab-oriented curriculum that focuses on understanding methods of inquiry. At all levels, students perform experiments and engage in laboratory work. Students practice and refine methods in formulating hypotheses, collecting and organizing data, interpreting results, and drawing conclusions. The curriculum is designed to highlight interrelationships of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science. As a whole, the science curriculum seeks to instill and support within the students a sense of wonder and appreciation of the natural worlds; a confidence and inclination to ask questions and explore new ideas; and an ability to employ scientific methods in seeking answers to how our world works.
The Middle School studies of Europe, Russia, Asia and Latin America are designed to allow students to examine societies dissimilar to their own in such a way as to broaden their understanding of people and places in an increasingly interdependent world. Students build on the concepts and generalizations developed in earlier grades. They examine the social, economic, and political institutions in societies on the continents, as well as their interactions over time. Recognizing that an effective social studies program must be appropriate to the social-emotional needs, as well as the intellectual characteristics of adolescents, the middle level social studies program enables students to investigate and respond thoughtfully to questions about their world today. It reflects their emerging curiosity about the world, its peoples, and life in general and encourages the continued transition from concrete to abstract thinking.
Mathematics in the Middle School continues to emphasize reasoning and analytical skills. Students work on a variety of units which incorporate technology, cooperative learning, and application of this material to the real world. Mathematical fluency—efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility—continue to develop throughout the middle years. The curriculum is designed to ensure that students know basic mathematical facts, think logically and critically in order to solve problems, obtain a solid mathematical foundation for higher level courses, and develop confidence, self-esteem and independence in problem solving.
DAIS believes that visual arts education develops critical, creative and reflective thinking and problem solving. The visual arts provide a source of pleasure and enjoyment, and allow students to gain a deeper awareness of themselves, their place in history, culture and the world. In visual arts, the purpose of education is to enable the learner to become visually literate and expressive at a level consistent with their intellectual, emotional and physical development. To reach their potential for visual expression, students apply reading, writing and verbal skills, use mathematics as a tool for understanding time, space and quantity, integrate learning from other subject areas, and explore a discrete body of knowledge about the art discipline that entails facts, concepts, and skills.
Music education enables all learners to explore, create, perceive, and communicate thoughts, images, and feeling through music. Shared experiences in music also significantly contribute to the development of a healthier society through activities that respect and reflect the diversity of human experiences. Throughout the music curriculum, objectives progress from one grade level to the next, with growing sophistication. Students are provided the opportunity to develop literacy in music, including familiarity with the conventions of written music; explore, create and interpret self and global awareness through the study of music and the music traditions of various cultures; and develop discipline and confidence through experiences that require focused and sustained practice.
The mission of the computer education program is to integrate technology into the education process by creating an environment that allows all students to have optimum personal and educational growth through the infusion of appropriate technology into their daily school experiences. All students have opportunities to develop technology skills that support learning, personal productivity, and decision-making. Students are presented with a range of learning activities that allows for individual and group work. There will also be extended project work that allows students to locate, collect, and evaluate information from a variety of sources. In becoming technologically proficient, students develop skills over time, through all content areas, through integrated activities.
Host Country Language
The host country language studies program emphasizes an understanding and appreciation of the Mandarin language and Chinese culture. This is achieved by taking advantage of the school’s local environment and China’s geographical and cultural history. Through the program, listening, speaking, reading and writing is stressed. Students have a variety of opportunities to actively experience the Mandarin language. The vocabulary and phrasing chosen for instruction is planned to helps students’ entry into the local culture and everyday life. The curriculum is structured into nine themes: Introductions, Family, School, Shopping, Food, Community, Travel and Getting Around, Leisure, and Chinese Holidays.
The physical education program aims to foster wellness, lifelong fitness, social skills, fair play and fun. In an activity-based, sequential program, students work to maximize their physical fitness while individually developing person and social competence. Good nutrition, self-esteem, decision-making, problem-solving and proper attitudes and practices all play an integral part in the physical education program. Students work to master these skills individually and in groups where sportsmanship and cooperative play are stressed.
Character development is an ongoing process throughout the academic program, and social and community life of the school. One of the primary intentions of the program is to infuse students with a concrete ethical foundation, an interactive understanding of community, a self-motivated sense of discipline, respect and responsibility. The school’s Honor Code is a set of core ethical values by which students are to abide. The code is ever present, and students learn to uphold the values set forth in it within their daily interactions with each other, teachers, parents, and the entire school community.
© 2006-2011 Honor Roll (Dalian) Co. Ltd.; Dalian American International School · All Rights Reserved Unless Otherwise Stated
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