Our middle school curriculum at Rohan Woods School focuses of an array of study skills to meet the needs of each individual student. To begin, students continue to learn and refine their use of more traditional study tools, such as note cards and notebooks. Students apply these familiar tools to a wide and new range of curricular strands in order to pull relevant information out of lessons. Once their comfort level is re-established with the raised level of academic content, we parlay that skill into a wider set of skills: summarizing, comparing and contrasting, generalizing, and more. This new skill set can be applied to meet the intentions and expectations in the classroom.
When our middle school students return from Winter Break, they are truly ready to individualize their personal process. Students in Social Studies class, for example, are free to use whichever of these tools, organizers, or processes works best for the goal of the assignment, as well as their own personal needs. Some choose the traditional pencil and notebook. Some choose to outline the lesson or summarize it. Still others choose to record their information on a Google Doc or in a Google Slides presentation.
It’s so important for the students to see that they control the process by which they choose to learn. Choices which allow them independence and ownership of the process as well as the outcome are the tools and skills they bring forward with them into their successful futures.