Understanding that students learn more effectively when immersed in a topic, our special areas curricula are designed to not only stand on their own, but to integrate with core subject areas whenever appropriate.
In the art room, the emphasis is placed on process rather than product. Students learn that the creative process is not necessarily an instantaneous one by working on projects over several lessons. The purpose of our visual arts program at Mizzentop Day School is to foster creativity, imagination and creative thinking skills. A spiraling curriculum allows for increasingly complex experiences with a variety of media and a growing understanding of art concepts. The art program allows students to discover many solutions to the same problem. Offering open-ended projects encourages students to develop their decision making and problem solving skills as well as their own personal artistic nature, which helps build their identity of self.
Two dimensional media is explored each year including work with pencil, marker, cray-pas, watercolor and acrylic painting, collage and printmaking. Three dimensional works involve papier mache, wood, fibers, clay and mixed media sculpture.
Students' artwork is displayed throughout the building during the school year, as well as in October at the F.R.O.G.S./Great Swamp environmental exhibit and in May at the school's annual art show.
The drama curriculum is designed to build a variety of theatre skills including stage presence, expression, improvisation, playwriting, and set design, while coordinating with grade level curricular goals. These skills are taught through a variety of theatre games, projects and "mini-performances" that are themed to relate to current classroom studies. Our goal is to give the students a wide variety of performance opportunities so that their dramatic experience will not be limited to a single large-scale performance with one lead actor.
The objectives of all music experiences at Mizzentop are to create an environment rich in positive values where students feel appreciated and confident in taking risks with self expression. Experiencing success and showing support of classmates, students become active music makers at every grade level. Through singing, movement, playing instruments, and guided listening lessons students gain an array of musical skills. They learn to read musical notation, to improvise and compose original music, and to perform in a variety of ensembles.
As students grow in their musical understanding, they begin to analyze the purpose for music in cultures around the world. We strive to help our young people appreciate all musical styles and genres.
Lower school classes are primarily software-driven and support classroom curriculum in both language arts and mathematics. Students in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade learn the basic parts and proper use and care of a computer. In 3rd Grade, students are introduced to formal keyboarding instruction. The technology teacher collaborates with the classroom teachers to customize a program for individual students. In 4th Grade, in addition to touch typing, students are introduced to basic internet research, word processing and PowerPoint.
Students in 5th through 7th Grade explore the history of computers and how they work. They also become skilled at Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Additionally, students gain knowledge of safe, ethical and efficient methods for internet research. By the end of 8th Grade, students have explored advanced units including: basic and programming, claymation and digital photography, audio and video podcast creation. Skills are developed through project-oriented lessons which are integrated with core academic subjects.
Each of our middle school students receive a Google Apps for Education account. Students are taught how to use Google Mail, Docs, Spreadsheets and Presentation. Being able to access their created and uploaded documents from any web browser anywhere in the world makes it easier for students to prepare and share work with their teachers. Assignments can be submitted electronically for both independent and collaborative work. It also encourages students to communicate with teachers electronically. Our technology program benefits from thousands of educational apps and programs offered to our students through Google’s services.
Every year middle school students revisit important topics such as internet safety and plagiarism. Internet safety includes digital citizenship, predators, cyber bullying, identity protection, and how to identify fraudulent/unsafe sites. The latter explores how to take notes and properly site sources to avoid plagiarism.
The goal of the Mizzentop Day School Library is to create an atmosphere in which our students will regard the library as an inviting, friendly and fun place to visit where they feel confident in choosing literature and conducting research. To achieve this goal, our school library currently has over 12,000 books for our students and teachers to enjoy, all available through Follett’s ‘Destiny’ online cataloging system which is accessible on every computer throughout the school.
Each Pre-Kindergarten through 4 class visits the library once a week for library and book skills instruction at a grade appropriate level, taught in a comprehensive and sequential program. In addition, grades Kindergarten to 4 have the opportunity to check-out books for their reading pleasure. Students spend class time learning the basics of library online catalog use, knowledge of award winning books, authors/illustrators, book genres, as well as the Dewey Decimal System. Students in grades 5 through 8 use our library independently to do research and check out materials.
Students are exposed to a variety of team sports and physical fitness activities. Exposure to different activities helps students discover their likes and talents. All classes begin the year participating in cooperative games which allows them to feel comfortable within the group and work successfully together throughout the year. The program emphasizes good sportsmanship and three core values – respect, responsibility and safety. A main objective of this program is the development of sound skills and overall athletic ability. We do stress, however, that ability alone does not create a well-rounded athlete. The physical education program helps students develop a strong sense of self-awareness and confidence.
Activities offered during the school year may include badminton, basketball, climbing wall, cooperative/group games, floor hockey, lacrosse, soccer, track and field, tumbling and volleyball.
Health (Kindergarten through 4th Grade)
The objective of our program is to address the three characteristics of overall health - physical, mental and social. Each class learns information through a variety of formats which may include role-playing, skits, storybooks, projects and community resources.
The health curriculum covers a broad spectrum of information. Classes learn age-appropriate material about drugs/alcohol, body care and awareness, community and environmental health, family health, mental and emotional health, nutrition, personal and consumer health, physical activity, home and personal safety, and tobacco
Spanish (Kindergarten through 4th Grade)
The ability to communicate in a language other than one’s own enables students to grow academically and personally. Competence in communicating in languages other than English enriches learning and creates a new foundation for intellectual growth.
In Pre-Kindergarten through Fourth Grade, our students study Spanish. Beginning in the Fifth Grade, students have a choice of Spanish or French.