Middle School Academics (Grades 5-8)
The quest for excellence requires the taking of risks, and the Middle School faculty fosters an atmosphere in which students feel comfortable in seeking different intellectual avenues. The continued balance between academic vigor and a nurturing learning environment gives students the skills necessary to meet new experiences. Core academic subjects include English, mathematics, history, and science. Latin is required in Grades Five and Six, while a choice of Spanish or Latin is offered in Grades Seven and Eight. Skills acquisition remains a goal at all grade levels, but organizational and problem-solving strategies are special emphases of Middle School.
- Experiential Learning is a unique feature of the Gulf Stream School experience. Every other year, Seventh and Eighth Grade students have the opportunity to spend a week in Montreal and Quebec City. In the weeks leading up to the trip, they learn about the culture and history of Canada. During their visit, they combine historically and culturally educational activities with fun activities such as dog sledding, snow shoeing, and cross-country skiing. In the year between the Canada trips, Seventh and Eighth Graders may elect to participate in a trip to Crystal River, Florida, where students swim with manatees in their natural habitat.
- Technology: Students are issued a Google G Suite for Education account. By Grade 6, they are required to bring a computing device to class. Students are given numerous opportunities to incorporate technological elements into core academic subjects. Unique challenges such as the publication of our School literary magazine, Nautilus by the Seventh Grade and the School yearbook, Mariner by the Eighth Grade, as well as the research and writing of traditional term papers and the delivery of Eighth Grade speeches to the Middle School community, help students apply skills they have learned in the classroom during their Gulf Stream careers.
Middle School Language Arts
Middle School Reading
The reading program in Middle School is literature-based and designed to familiarize students with enlightening, current, and age-appropriate literature that fosters an appreciation of books. Gulf Stream School invites a wide variety of authors to speak to the Middle School students about the craft of writing. Recent speakers have included Kwame Alexander, Carl Hiaasen, and Jack Gantos.
Middle School Writing
Students in the Middle School have many opportunities to develop and practice their expository and creative writing skills. In creative writing, students compose stories, poetry, comic books, letters, articles, raps, and scripts for original film adaptations of texts they read in class. In expository writing, learning to outline and take notes helps children understand how to support a topic sentence with details. Students are introduced to essay writing in Grade Five and practice the form throughout the remainder of their Gulf Stream years. A graduation requirement for Eighth Graders is a research paper, properly formatted and footnoted, on a topic of their choice.
Middle School Grammar
Middle School Vocabulary & Public Speaking
All Middle School English classes use Vocabulary from Classical Roots in a formal vocabulary development program. Emphasis is placed on Latin roots, Spanish cognates, word history and etymology. This approach fosters not only knowledge of vocabulary but also the ability to break down and decipher unfamiliar words, a key skill for standardized test-taking.
Middle School Public Speaking
Middle School Mathematics
Middle School Mathematics Achievement Levels
Class placement in mathematics is based on the previous year’s level and performance as well as teacher recommendations. For students new to Gulf Stream School, standardized test scores may also be considered. It is our goal to place students in classes where they will be challenged but able to achieve success.
Grade Five: Math 5, Math 6
Grade Six: Math 6, Math 6 Advanced, Math 7
Grade Seven: Pre-Algebra, Honors Pre-Algebra, Algebra I
Grade Eight: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Honors Algebra I or Honors Geometry
Middle School Social Studies
Middle School Current Events & Geography
Middle School Science
Middle School Scientific Ocean Studies and Field Trips
Middle School Science Guest Speakers
Fifth Grade Science
Sixth Grade Science
Seventh Grade Science
Eighth Grade Science
Middle School Language
Fifth Grade Latin
The Fifth Grade course focuses on the workings of language in general, using Latin to help students better understand English grammar. Exercises in Latin vocabulary and grammar are supplemented by a study of the mythology and history of Ancient Rome. Students are introduced to the concept of Latin derivatives and are encouraged to spot them in the course of their everyday lives.
Sixth Grade Latin
The Sixth Grade course focuses on more traditional Latin vocabulary and grammar and introduces them through the reading and translation of a story set in Pompeii.
Latin I and Spanish I