Preparing to Navigate Our Changing World


Angie Danforth

Exploring Our World

At Mountain Discovery, we take an interdisciplinary approach to Language Arts and Social Studies in our middle school program. While grammar and writing mechanics are certainly taught and emphasized, our Social Studies curriculum is fully integrated into the Language Arts curriculum and provides meaningful opportunities for reading and writing. The combined Language Arts/Social Studies curriculum is designed to meet state and Common Core standards through active engagement, collaboration and hands on learning. Students are encourages to make meaningful connections between content and their personal knowledge and experiences.

One of the most valuable things parents can do to support their middle school students is to encourage and facilitate daily reading. While students will have some assigned reading, students should always have a book to read. We have a diverse and growing classroom library, and the Fontana Regional Library system has a large collection of traditional and ebooks available. Students are encouraged to explore different genres, authors, and subjects in order to discover and develop their personal reading preferences. Numerous studies have found that students who read daily tend to perform well on standardized tests. Additionally, students who read daily are exposed to new vocabulary and begin to develop a better sense of grammatical structure. Daily reading provides valuable exposure to new ideas, cultures, and more. While students are not required to maintain reading logs in middle school, they will be required to have a book to read with them each day, and will be strongly encourages to read for at least 10-20 minutes outside of class each day.

In keeping with Mountain Discovery’s emphasis on Expeditionary Learning, and research supporting active engagement and student collaboration, the MDCS middle school LA/SS curriculum is intended to facilitate student learning by offering opportunities for student choice, addressing all learning preferences, and encouraging collaboration within heterogeneous learning groups.

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