Middle School Studio
Extraordinary people. Each focusing on a passion, learning at their own pace. Working hard. Playing hard. Mastering Core Skills while learning 21st century skills through real world projects. Welcome to our “Explorer” studio!
Our Middle School students take control of their learning
As self-directed learners, Explorers customize their reading, writing and math goals based on their skills and interests. They gather in teams to hold Socratic discussions about civilizations and ethical dilemmas. Our badge system allows students to collect, communicate and celebrate their hard work, growth and achievement.
Explorers hone their leadership skills by guiding elementary book clubs, coaching younger students on goal-setting, meditating peer disputes, managing studio maintenance teams, and facilitating Socratic discussions. As part of our ongoing school improvement process, they lead committees, determine policies and continually improve daily life at Greenfields.
Explorers utilize their Core Skills in practical ways through a series of projects. Through these project-based learning experiences, students explore science, social studies, business, and arts. Our projects are designed so students not only dive deep into the subject matter, but practice using the cognitive processes that underlie learning and will allow them to tackle any challenge that comes their way. Public exhibitions at the end of each quest provide an opportunity to showcase learning.
Friday Discovery Day workshops give students time to explore their curiosities and be exposed to new ideas and experiences. Students can choose to work on an independent project, participate in club meetings, travel on a field trip, or attend their choice of workshops led by Guides, students, or visiting heroes. Explorers dig further into self-discovery by securing multiple apprenticeships to learn more about potential careers.
21st Century Learning
- The latest in educational technology for self-paced mastery of reading, writing and math skills.
- Deep Socratic discussions about heroes, history and self-governance to hone critical thinking skills and the ability to powerfully think, write and speak.
- Hands-on projects to master the tools and skills needed to solve problems in the real world.
- Written promises and covenants that form a tightly bound community of individuals learning to form authentic friendships and honestly resolve interpersonal problems.
Each year, our Middle School students obtain an apprenticeship. They experiment with entrepreneurs, scientists and community leaders, honing their most precious gifts and talents until they find a “calling” in life.
Every year, we build small businesses from the ground-up.
- Frequent field trips and guest presenters to extend learning beyond the classroom.
- Outdoor space with playground and grassy playing fields.
- No assigned homework or high-stakes tests.
- Fun and enriching family activities to foster a strong school community.
A Learner-Driver Community
- Students create and sign a Student Contract describing how each individual will act and the consequences for violating community norms.
- Mentor teams encourage younger and older students to listen, affirm, set goals and hold each other accountable.
- “Learn to Be” badges celebrate character and completing leadership challenges.
Young heroes celebrate the mastery of tools, skills and character by earning badges, assembling portfolios and taking part in public exhibitions.
- Parents use badges to track academic progress in Core Skills like reading, writing, math and spelling and character development in “Learn to Be” Badges.
- Electronic and hard copy Portfolios capture rough drafts, photos, video and other creative work.
- Public exhibitions at the end of most projects allow young heroes to present work to experts, customers or the public for a real world test.