ACADEMICS - MIDDLE SCHOOL
Students that lack reading proficiency are taught with programs based on the Orton-Gillingham method including Scottish Rite Literacy Program and Wilson Reading Program.
Reading comprehension is taught explicitly, modeled and practiced daily. As our students advance, they continue a guided practice in a wide variety of reading material including the rich content of literature such as Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. Our curriculum includes specific strategies designed to strengthen reading comprehension.Visualizing, predicting, questioning, summarizing and drawing conclusions are routinely taught and practiced. Basic literary elements such as theme, plot, character development and setting are explored and discussed.
Since skill in vocabulary is intrinsically linked to reading, the teaching of vocabulary is included in each grade’s curriculum. This includes the study of vocabulary specific to the subject matter of math, social studies and science.
Written Expression is a vital part of Spring Valley’s program. Our students learn and practice building strong sentences and basic paragraphs with increasing complexity. The steps of the writing process are taught and rubrics for good writing are established for each grade.
Spring Valley uses the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Writing Practice Program which provides a direct measure of each student’s writing ability. This program allows each pupil the opportunity to work on areas of weakness by providing online tutorials.
Spring Valley’s computer lab is utilized to teach the importance of research as well as to develop the skill of keyboarding. Our students’ book reports and PowerPoint presentations are all researched and developed utilizing our computer lab.
The major goal of Middle School mathematics is to further develop the students’ understanding of basic mathematical concepts and procedures in preparation for upper level mathematics courses. Students are taught at a grade-appropriate level following the guidelines of the Alabama Course of Study as well as the Curriculum Focal Points of the National Teachers of Mathematics. The Big Ideas Curriculum is used in addition to the word problem strategies of the Singapore Math Program.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress only about 30% of eight graders scored at or above proficiency level in math. In order to increase the achievement level of our students, each is tested at the beginning of the school year. An individualized math lab program is developed in order to close any achievement gap. Students take Math Lab in addition to their regular Math class.
Our Middle School students are actively involved in an exploration of Earth and Space Science, Life Science or Physical Science. The courses are lab based providing an opportunity for hands-on experience. Students are taught to apply the scientific method and deductive reasoning.
Spring Valley emphasizes the importance of the Social Studies. Classes for Middle School students include: United States History, 1877 to Present, Citizenship, Geography, and World History to 1500.
Physical Education is vital to the overall health of each child. In addition to daily outdoor play, students take part in organized activities designed to develop athletic skills.
At Spring Valley, we believe that the art curriculum fosters self confidence and expression for each child. Our art classes allow students the freedom to express themselves while offering enough direct instruction to be successful. Throughout the school year, our students’ works are showcased.