THINK Together’s daily comprehensive middle school programs consist of 5 spotlights that include ELA, Math, STEM, Youth Development, and Arts & Enrichment. The program is available for 6th through 8th grade students from the time the school day ends to 6 pm. Students receive a healthy snack before participating in a rotation of structured activities. THINK Together’s standards-based curriculum intentionally aligns, engages and reinforces learning concepts taught during the core day instruction which in turn, positively impacts student achievement. Furthermore, we believe our programs can have an even broader impact beyond academic achievement in that we help to prepare students to be successful in college or careers after they graduate high school.
Middle School Expanded Learning Curriculum Academics
- Homework Assistanceis provided to students individually or in small groups to help them better understand and fulfill daily assignments. THINK Together staff and trained volunteers focus on inquiry to foster the child’s ability to work independently and think critically to guide them to the correct answer.
- ELA (English Language Arts) is focused on Close Reading and Socratic Conversation to help students find evidence in a text, to answer text-based questions, and read material more than once for appreciation. Also moving them to find evidence across multiple texts to answer a key question, find the main idea, etc. Socratic conversations help students build listening and speaking skills. In each unit, students will apply the Close Reading strategy to thematic texts.
- Mathematicsis focused on Concepts and Procedures with a focus on the priority cluster for each grade level. Concepts are varied by grade with common trends identified into Units of Study that support to reinforce skill building, fluency and application to real-world problems. This also supports to not only help students answer the problem but also be able to explain their thinking.
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Educationcenters on developing content understanding and exploration through the Engineering Design Process and Scientific Method models. We support the application of the Scientific Method in which youth explore questions of interest, predict what they think will result from an experiment, conduct the experiment and determining what was learned in the process through inquiry. The Engineering Design Process allows students to explore steps that lead to the development of a new product or system through innovation. Both models foster natural curiosity and provide students exposure to careers involved in STEM.
- Youth Development is focused on providing student leadership opportunities throughout program by giving them voice and choice. Students are able to explore various roles and leadership opportunities and strengthen their social-emotional skills by developing healthy life-long habits in conflict and character education, physical activity, and nutrition. Students also engage in AVID-inspired practices that support students to see themselves as scholars as they navigate the academic environment. Some of these practices include academic behaviors, academic mindsets, and learning strategies.
- Arts & Enrichment provide students an opportunity to expand their horizons with learning that is meaningful by exercising skills in visual and performing arts. THINK Together is committed to supporting students’ mastery through various enrichment opportunities like music, dance, drama, and art. The resulting program has a “club” feeling that is engaging to young adolescents while still boosting academic achievement.