The Nido Middle School offers a comprehensive program that consists of core classes (Humanities, Math, Science, and Spanish), as well as courses in Physical Education and the Fine and Performing Arts. Our technology curriculum is integrated into our students’ coursework, and all Grade 6 students begin MS with an IT course to prepare them for more advanced computing skills. English as a Second Language instruction and the MS Learning Support Center both provide academic support for students in need.
Our Advisory Program promotes a sense of community. Relationships are at the core of a successful learning community. Our advisory program helps develop relationships by providing students with one teacher and a small group of peers for supporting social and emotional learning. Our advisory program uses a scope and sequence of Caring School Community and draws from the work of CASEL.
Advisory class is a place where students learn the social skills needed for developing proficiency in each of the five social and emotional competencies identified by CASEL.
We also offer a rich menu of after-school sports and clubs. These activities typically are sponsored by members of the Nido staff, and they provide opportunities for students to pursue their interests and to feel a deeper sense of connection.
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Spanish as a Second Language (SSL)
- Physical Education
- Advisory and House Programs
Language Arts strives to enhance the four areas of literacy (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) through a reading and writing workshop model. In the area of reading, through independent choice, book clubs, and whole-group text assignments, students become confident, critical, and strong lifelong readers of increasingly complex fiction and nonfiction works. Throughout the year, independent and personalized reading is highly encouraged and emphasized to help build reading stamina, vocabulary, and a love of literature. In reading novels, short stories, and poems, students learn to delve into literature and to connect what they read to their own life experiences.
The MS curriculum prioritizes the teaching and learning of clear, concise, enjoyable writing. Students work on a variety of writing projects such as personal narratives, personal argumentative essays, literary argumentative essays, research-based informative writing pieces, realistic fiction narratives, informative writing pieces, research-based argumentative essays, poetry, and investigative journalism pieces. Conventions and grammar are taught within the writing process, and much emphasis is placed on the process of collecting ideas and the skills, perseverance, and confidence needed to follow through with drafting, revising, editing, and conferring within the writing workshop approach.
Social Studies instruction at Nido inspires students to think critically, connects the past to the present, emphasizes the underlying causes of human behavior and events, and addresses broad universal concepts that extend across time periods, cultures, and geographic regions. The thematic curriculum guides students to understand how developments in one field have influenced and been influenced by human activities in other areas. To this end, history and geography are learned in the context of broader themes and concepts, and the units of study incorporate relationships to other disciplines, including the arts and sciences, and their past, current, and future implications. Instead of memorization and reiteration, students practice essential habits of mind that will best prepare them for new and future contexts. These include summarizing, comparing and contrasting, analyzing, and evaluating. Additionally, the essential skills of reading, writing, presentation, and research are integrated into each unit of study.
Students investigate concepts in a variety of mathematical areas at each grade level through integrated courses. Advanced Math classes are offered in Grades 7 and 8. Students develop an understanding of the properties of the real number system through emphases on computation, estimation, order, location, and equivalence. Proportional thinking is developed, and the language and tools of algebra are explored so that students can model, describe, and manipulate patterns and relationships between independent and dependent variables. In geometry, students learn to analyze, describe and measure the characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional shapes, as well as use the Cartesian plane to explore the concepts of symmetry and congruence through transformations. In statistics and probability students collect, organize, analyze, interpret and display data in tables and graphs as well as determine the probabilities of outcomes in simple experiments. Throughout investigations in each of these areas, students develop a variety of strategies for making sense of and solving problems, and they develop their abilities to clearly communicate and represent their mathematical thinking.
The MS science curriculum is designed to develop problem-solving, research, and collaboration skills using inquiry-based methods. Students are expected to create and conduct experiments that are communicated through formal lab reports, presentations, projects, and engineering design challenges. Reading and writing activities, with a focus on scientific literacy, are differentiated to meet individual student needs. Each year, through a variety of topics, students address the the following themes: Patterns & Relationships; Social & Ethical Implications of Science; Scale; Proportion & Quantity; Theories; Models & Explanations; Energy; Matter & Conservation; Structure; Function & Systems; and Change & Equilibrium.
National Spanish courses continue to develop the four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students read and discuss a variety of Chilean and Latin American texts with an emphasis on literary genres, especially narrative and poetry. Students are encouraged to engage in independent reading to promote a stronger ability to understand, analyze, and enjoy longer and more complex texts. Standards for these courses are taken from the Chilean Ministry of Education.
The MS SSL program provides world-readiness by preparing students to participate in a multilingual environment that values other cultures, with the goal of developing functional proficiency in the Spanish language. It also incorporates a proficiency-based curriculum that enables students to use the Spanish language in real life situations in an immersion setting. One of the main aims of the Spanish language program in the MS is to enable students to communicate effectively within and beyond the classroom setting. MS SSL teachers incorporate technology, engaging resources, and a variety of fun activities to meet the needs of their diverse second-language learners enrolled in the SSL program. The language skills of speaking, reading, listening, and writing in Spanish are introduced, reinforced, and mastered throughout the three levels of SSL courses offered. Cultural aspects of Chile and other Spanish-speaking countries are presented to enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of Hispanic and Latin American heritage.
In the Middle School, physical and health education is an engaging, sequential, standards-based program that provides students with the opportunity to construct the knowledge and skills necessary to perform with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities and to make informed decisions that promote healthy development of the whole person. The program contributes to individual students’ physical, social, intellectual, and emotional well-being through developmentally appropriate learning experiences that provide all students with opportunities to enjoy success and develop perseverance. Emphasis is placed on learning experiences that are authentic to our students’ contexts and consequential in outcome. Individual strengths and passions are nurtured through self-expression and choice. Students develop problem-solving, decision-making, and leadership skills, along with a sense of sportsmanship and fair play, while working cooperatively with others. The program empowers all students to take lifelong personal responsibility for engaging in health-related physical activity and to recognize the intrinsic rewards of being active in ways they enjoy.
Middle School is a time for students to explore different subjects and interests. Our Encore program offers students choices in the Performing Arts, the Visual Arts and Technology.
6th Grade - Wheel of Experience
In 6th grade, students experience one quarter of music, drama, art and technology.
Wheel of Experience - Music 6 - one quarter
This class is designed to provide students with a brief introduction to a band instrument of their choice (flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass guitar and percussion). The hope is that students will be inspired to join Nido’s band program. Through the study of technique and sight reading, students will learn to play simple music and present it in an end of quarter concert.
Wheel of Experience - Drama 6 - one quarter
This course is an introduction to the theater. Students will explore Pantomime, Oral Interpretation, Puppet theater, Beginners Scenes and Drama games. It is an interactive class with an emphasis placed on acting skills, performing and critiquing. Drama helps students improve in a wide range of areas, such as self-confidence, self-esteem, self-expression, communication, collaboration, interpersonal skills, aesthetic awareness and, last but not least, imagination.
Wheel of Experience - Art 6 - one quarter
Students will continue to learn about the elements of art. Students will apply skills, techniques, and art concepts making connections to artists artwork and art history. Students will work with paint, ink, clay, and recycle materials. Students will prepare a Digital Portfolio using photos of their projects, links to art history sources, videos, texts and more. Students' work will be displayed through their digital Sketchbook as well in the art classroom.
Wheel of Experience - Computer Science 6 - one quarter
Students are introduced to computer science by learning programming fundamentals. They will use P5.js, a text based language that makes coding accessible for beginners, artists and designers. Students will learn how to incorporate math concepts in their codes in order to make digital art and animations. Ultimately, the course gives students the experience of creating with technology instead of just consuming it. Students will be assessed on the coding challenges, as well as the reflections they record in their Coding Journal.
Encore - 7th and 8th Grade
To ensure a broad range of experience throughout the four semesters of 7th and 8th grade, students choose one subject from Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Technology and then an additional choice from any of these categories. (Students who participate in band take this as a year long course.)
All About Acting!
This class is an introduction to the elements of the theater with an emphasis on different acting techniques. Students learn pantomime skills, techniques for improvisations, reading of scenes and plays, vocal projection, tableaux, and stage movement. There is also an introduction to both Commedia dell’Arte and devising theater. Performances will be a combination of informal performances in class, along with larger performances such as Student Spotlight Assemblies, masters of ceremonies for different Nido events, and occasional impromptu performances. Many of our class projects are uploaded to the Nido Arts Platform. No previous experience is required for this class and it is a wonderful opportunity for students to build life skills and an appreciation for the arts. Be a star, this is your time to shine!
Band (year long course)
Band is available for students who have had previous experience with an instrument and also for students who are new to band - we welcome everybody who has a passion to play a band instrument! In this year long course students will learn a variety of pieces of music to perform in concert. Students will also work on solo pieces, which they will store in their own e Portfolios to document and celebrate their growth as a musician.
If you like to sing, you’re going to love this course! Group singing is proven to be hugely beneficial to one’s sense of wellbeing and you will be welcomed into a friendly and safe space where you’ll build your confidence and find your voice. Choosing the songs to sing and perform will be a collaboration, thus ensuring a broad range of music. Students will learn musical theory, sight singing and singing techniques such as harmonization. For those who are ready to take the risk, you will also be given the chance to sing as a soloist.
This is where theater began! Imagine being able to create an entire scene without memorizing a script! Have fun, challenge yourself, laugh at yourself, be spontaneous and enjoy creating characters. What are you waiting for? In this class you will create storylines and learn acting techniques that can be incorporated into impromptu scenes. Learning improvisation is a great way to grow your self-confidence, listening skills and teamwork skills. Most of all, you will have fun with the creativity of improvisation.
Art and Design
Art gives us the freedom to explore the many themes, resources and inspirations around us. Using different art mediums and design techniques, this course provides students opportunities to choose creative approaches that make sense to them and convey their artistic thinking. Learning different techniques of art and design opens new doors for aspiring artists to discover themselves as artists and also learn about artists who have impacted the art world. Examples of themes, resources and inspiration that have been explored by previous students include, war and peace, happiness and anger, turning trash into art and using materials found in nature to make art. Inspiration is all around us and in this class you will find your artistic inspiration.
Digital Art allows students to express their passions and communicate their ideas through animation and visual representation. Have you ever imagined creating a character using a few elements to express your idea? Imagine turning a character into an animation using a variety of digital programs. Your characters and stories will come alive together with your wild and creative imagination!
This class is for students who love to build models and explore their creativity by building unique three-dimensional figures. Students will use a variety of mediums to create sculptures that express their creativity and skill. Imagine turning a sheet of paper into a cube or a bird. Or molding clay with your fingertips and creating a torch, a bird, a butterfly or a ceramic piece! In this class students will choose their theme and medium to create unique 3D sculptures.
Students will use a text-based coding language to explore the fundamentals of programming. Topics include variables, functions, conditional statements, loops, objects and arrays. After the topics are introduced, students will have time to apply what they have learned in coding challenges. Students who want to take the next step after Scratch or other block-based coding environments, should consider this course.
The Design Technology class is a learning environment in which students use cad software to create solutions. Students take ideas from concept to completion, and in the process, they learn the Design Cycle process. The emphasis will be on 3D modeling in Rhino and final prototypes will be laser cut or 3D printed. The course content will include some class projects for acquiring fundamental knowledge and some individual projects to apply and expand each student’s fundamental knowledge.
Students will explore the software and hardware of the Arduino platform. Building circuits and programming the Arduino microcontroller will allow students to explore the inputs, algorithms and outputs that are involved in creating solutions. By the end of the course, the students will have gained practice and insights for using robotics as a tool to solve problems of the future.
The Advisory Program in the Middle School is designed with the goal of ensuring that at least one adult at Nido has the global perspective of each student. At Nido, we make sure that our Advisory Groups stay small (around 10-14 students per Advisor), and students go to this "home base" every morning for the entire school year. It is a place where they connect, feel they matter, significantly contribute, and have guidance with their social, emotional, and academic needs and goals. Nido Advisors are at the same time facilitators of team building, role models for character education, mentors for academic plans, and caretakers for the year.
The House Program is designed to meet the following goals:
- to offer students a more intimate community in which to grow
- to involve students in real-world problem-solving activities
- to afford students an opportunity for authentic leadership
- to facilitate meaningful service to the School and wider community
Through the House Program, MS students are divided by Advisory Groups into several multi-grade level teams that meet in large or small groups to work on problems, challenges, and/or service projects. In the course of this work, students form tighter bonds with other MS classmates, develop problem-solving and teamwork skills, and become more aware of their community. Ultimately, the program aims to produce a more harmonious school culture where students are more fully connected to one another and are more fully aware of the positive contributions they can make in the world.