MIDDLE SCHOOL

 
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Middle School (The Kiwis & Melons)

Trilok School offers a hands-on, self-directed, inquiry-based curriculum for our maturing students. In this transitional time of our young people’s lives, we support them in integrating their growth potential with the roots of early-life learning. Through mindful self-inquiry and world-study, our students gain insight into themselves as actors in an interdependent world. Through travel, both local and global, the world becomes their classroom.

As world citizens, students take seriously the repercussions of their decisions. They tackle observable problems, as solution makers. Through inquiry, collaboration, experimentation, and creativity, they embrace their role in history, cultivating their potential to contribute. With the universe as their inspiration, and as role models for their younger peers, they develop responsible citizenship, informed curiosity and leadership skills.

DETAILED MIDDLE SCHOOL OVERVIEW

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Middle School Overview

 
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TRILOK MIDDLE SCHOOL OVERVIEW: Kiwis & Melons

The Trilok Middle School offers its youth intellectual, physical, social and emotional support. At a time when they’re rife with the power of puberty, self-awareness is enhanced by exercises in metacognition to support students in the observation of their own rapidly changing identities and competencies. In these changing years, our middle school students practice new dimensions of self-care and community care. They manifest their powerful energies through practical application of their knowledge and inventive exploration of their potential. Trilok adolescents are supported in gaining the safe and appropriate independence they yearn for. The curriculum supports their independence within the group’s collaborative interdependence.

Classroom instruction takes into consideration the development and preparation of each child in this phase of life. Trilok cultivates the unique individuality of each child in harmony with the collective and collaborative skills essential for their growing citizenship as members in a collective democracy. The class creates a participatory democracy, taking on the issues of self-governance.

Middle School students at Trilok employ new skills in critical thinking and research to expand and deepen their comprehension of diverse subjects. They follow passions into independent inquiry. Depth of learning is emphasized. Inquiry compels the curiosity of each child uniquely, and research helps cultivate new questions every step of the way. Learners cross-reference their diverse inquiries to construct a growing picture of the world, through the jigsaw classroom model, educating one another, scaffolded by adult guidance.

In Middle School, field trips are foundational to the learning all along the way. Local, national and international travel in these fertile years supports the development of an intrinsically global perspective. Bilingual Spanish studies earn opportunities for full immersion. American history compels travel to sites of national import. A vision of the whole world is fostered through local travel to the United Nations, as well as international travel abroad. Along the way, youth learn to comprehend the costs of their travels, as well as benefitting from the value of them. In doing so they collaborate with their community in the fundraising campaigns that support these adventures. Wonder-driven travel of local, national and international proportion exposes youth to the diversity of cultural expression on earth.

MIND/BODY STUDIES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS

Students benefit, at this formative age, from studying their own thinking processes. Students learn about their Brain in order to support its wildly changing developments at this stage of life. They study the brain neurologically, as well as psychologically, in order to understand their thought processes and gain governance over them. They study nutrition’s impact on their self-development, as they guide themselves in their developing ambitions.

Meanwhile, they master the complex and changing anatomical, personal, and social dimensions of their lives. Straightforward and free of normative assumptions, this learning exposes youth to the myriad ways humans world wide cultivate connection, create friendship, honor commitment, and invent family. Our youth learn skills to support them in creating a safe and respectful vision of privacy, intimacy, and responsibility. They learn to create and communicate boundaries for protection, as well as to honor the boundaries drawn by others. Self-defense and self-assertion are practiced in support of these boundaries. Curriculum about the whole life of human development offers a sexuality education program, at once frank and supportive, that teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice.

KIWIS

The Kiwis are a mixed age middle school group, covering early middle school learning levels. Young people may enter the Kiwis group as incoming fifth or sixth grade-level learners.

As Trilok children mature to this vibrant age, the world truly becomes the extended classroom. We access the world through literacy, the arts, the imagination, technology, and indeed through travel, itself. Field trips abound to augment curriculum in the great international classroom of New York City. The curriculum supports the child’s independence within the group’s collaborative interdependence. Students employ new skills in critical thinking and research to expand and deepen their comprehension of diverse subjects. Depth of learning is emphasized, inquiry compels curiosity, and research helps cultivate new questions. Children cross-reference their diverse inquiries to construct a growing picture of the world.

Classroom instruction takes into consideration the development and preparation of each child in this phase of life. Trilok cultivates the unique individuality of each child in harmony with the collective emphasizing collaborative skills essential for their growing citizenship as members in a democracy.

THE SCIENCES (Mathematics and Mind/Body Science)

MATHEMATICS

Math offers the tools to evaluate and express, in its universal language, the solutions to new problems. Students study the great minds that have forged new territories in human understanding of mathematics over history. By doing so, they find ancestral company in asking eternal questions. As students grapple with variables and mathematical abstractions, their concrete expertise is expanded toward new developmental milestones of conceptual thinking and logical reasoning.

Young mathematicians are guided by independent work in Singapore-style workbooks that keep their skills and comprehension strengthening steadily. Upon these building blocks, students explore application for their learning in real life constructs. They begin to decode the math of both the modern city and the ancient city, discovering its application to the architecture and engineering of transportation, dwellings, and industry.

MIND/BODY SCIENCE

Consistent with previous Trilok science studies, Singapore-style Science workbooks guide each student in a practical and progressing syllabus, to explore the scientific principals and processes of earth science, biology, physics, and chemistry. Students gain mastery over science’s processes, learning to hypothesize, and to apply inquiry toward experimentation. Physics fascinates young scientists in entering the seemingly mysterious topics of force, motion, and energy. Biology offers insight into microscopic living organisms, as friend and foe to our own bodies, as well as to the larger ecology of the earth. They study the genealogy of life, decoding identity in living organisms, and exploring the ways humans enhance, help and even at times harm life, through technology and industry. Skills of drawing and writing accurately about scientific observation are honed. Examples of historically important scientific artistry are studied as guidance in this process: from the writings of Barbara McClintock, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Marie Curie, Carl Sagan, Rachel Carson, Wangari Maathai, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein, to the drawings of John Audubon, Leonardo Da Vinci and Henry Carter.

THE HUMANITIES (Literacy, Social Studies, Foreign Language)

LITERACY

Kiwis balance daily skill building practices with large overarching projects. Kiwis employ new tools of literacy as they find greater ease in reading and writing. Developing research methods and experimenting with writing forms allows them to master their authorship to new levels of creativity and new complexities of comprehension. Honing in on grammar skills brings sophistication and growing power to self-expression. They study complex and compound sentences, as they gain ever more sophisticated understandings of the anatomy of prose: written reports, stories, and essays.

Students dive into reading a pantheon of culturally enriching texts, which support their coming-of-age processes. They begin to sift out the moral quandaries presented in literature, as they hone their own moral compass. They explore the relationship between text and performance, by reading stories and comparing and contrasting that experience with live performance and movie interpretations of those texts. Meanwhile, as young playwrights, they begin to stage their own writings.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Humane Humans: Students at this age engage their moral conscience and develop their deep humanity, allowing them to take a lens of awareness to the culture they live in. Guided by values of human integrity, justice and humanity, our children’s growing global awareness guides the path toward their global citizenship. Current events are explored by perspective taking from diverse views and informed by historical contexts.

History: History is studied through diverse texts, including Howard Zinn’s Young People’s History of the United States. An understanding of social justice guides a view into the past, present and future. The future’s potential is caringly guided by the glories and harms of the past. Children’s minds are supported by the wisdoms of their ancestors, while freed toward the future’s beckoning.

Social Service, Conflict Resolution, Mediation Skills: Students at this age are mastering perspective-taking in order to take leadership in their school community, and participate helpfully in their global community. They learn skills to mediate conflicts, as they develop their empathic vision and leadership within their school com- munity. Youth engage in service projects that expand their awareness of the needs in their community and in their world, while helping meet those needs through deeds of kindness.

Philosophy and Ethics: Students dive deep into an understanding of how beliefs and values affect everything they do and wonder. They discover their common ethical root, in order to nurture it with intention. As they ground themselves in shared human values, they take on BIG questions that govern the human quest. The curriculum dives deep into the diverse ways humans have historically explained their world across the globe and throughout time, guided by Steve Zeitlin’s “Four Corners of the Sky.” They discover the folklore and religious stories that grapple with these questions. Students are invited to engage in an inquiry of their own cosmology, their own understanding of the universe.

BILINGUAL STUDIES

Students embark upon studies in Spanish language, in order to achieve bilingual fluency. They work in small dialogue groups to gain conversational skills they can take into the world. They learn to listen attentively and actively. Eventually they develop the literacy skills to write what they say and hear. Travels support this study, both locally and globally. Diversified research teams explore the varied lands in which Spanish is spoken, and the varied accents therein. In the “jig-saw classroom,” the students teach one another from their research, putting together the pieces of a living language, in its manifestations and immigrations worldwide. Along the way, they embark upon the studies of great cultures and important individuals from this vast diaspora.

THE ARTS (Movement & Mindfulness, Visual Arts, Performing Arts)

MOVEMENT AND MINDFULNESS

Body and Mind are supported toward deep integration through various practices, including yoga, meditation, gym, dance and theater. Breath awareness links them all, bridging the wellbeing of body and mind for the maturing learner over a lifetime. Meditation skills are honed on the one hand, while movement competencies are expanded on the other. While gross motor skills develop and fine motor skills are honed, concentration and self-awareness are strengthened. Through group activities, youth gain skills in cooperation, group awareness, and team leadership. Through the wide range of physical practices offered at Trilok, children explore embodied expression on many levels, from play to art to sport. Mindful Motion leads every student’s body toward brighter learning vistas within, supporting their challenges of self-acceptance, body-awareness, and health.

VISUAL ART

Tackling the Visual Arts with adventure and maturity, youth engage in a practice of Art from the Heart, where art is both a gift to the self, and a gift to the world. While they do art activities that have enormous personal satisfaction, they also engage in the questions of how their art contributes to community. This exploration of community arts leads to increased awareness of how the arts can create change and contribute to community growth.

Trilok youth engage in large-scale collaborative projects that engage them in contributing creatively toward their community. While they explore arts materials with increasing skills, they take on the questions their art is communicating. They study the work of great artists worldwide, through a range of styles, visions and artistic concerns, to contemplate the nature of their own creative voice. They collaborate to support one an- other in the freedom of expression and the exercise of constructive critique.

PERFORMING ARTS (music, theater, dance, circus)

Within each season, Trilok youth engage in artistic processes with professional artists through Trilok School’s collaboration with Trilok Fusion Arts. They study the performance processes of improvisation, as well as composition. In dance, they gain choreographic skills while in theater they bring script to life. Improvisational scoring and playful experiments with character move seamlessly from the classroom to the playground. While gaining skills of motion, presence, and participation, youth collaborate with their ensemble to create performance works. At this maturing stage, they engage in personal and collaborative creations for the stage. They create Ensemble Theater and dance works each season to show to their communities. They take hold of their inspirational potential and learn to project their visions into the world. They collaborate across genres to create multimedia works, seeking the potential to express their authenticity and inspire humanity. Performance works explore the boundaries between live and media based performance, exploring the overlaps between performance and technology motion, presence, and participation, they collaborate with their ensemble to create performance works. At this maturing stage, they engage in personal and collaborative creations for the stage. They create Ensemble Theater and dance works each season to show to their communities. They take hold of their inspirational potential and learn to project their visions into the world. They collaborate across genres to create multimedia works, seeking the potential to express their authenticity and inspire humanity.

MOVEMENT AND MINDFULNESS

Kiwis ground their growth in ongoing Mindfulness practices. They learn deepening skills of meditation for the increased challenges of their budding hormonal growth. Breath awareness is key to bridging the wellbeing of body and mind for the maturing learner over a lifetime. Meditation skills are honed and movement competencies developed. Concentration and self-awareness are strengthened. Through group activities, youth gain skills in cooperation, group awareness, and team leadership.

MELONS

The Melons are a mixed age middle school group, with the maturing middle school students, preparing for high school. Portfolio development is emphasized. Students are guided to create a portfolio in which they shine. Wise and mature middle-school learners, working at seventh and eighth grade learning levels become Melons.

As Trilok youth mature to this vibrant age, the world truly is the extended classroom. We access the world through literacy, the arts, the imagination, technology and indeed through travel, itself. Field trips abound to augment curriculum, in the great international classroom of New York City. The curriculum supports young people’s independence within the group’s collaborative interdependence. The class creates a participatory democracy, taking on the issues of self-governance.

The students employ skills in critical thinking and scientific research to expand and deepen their comprehension of diverse subjects. Following passions into independent inquiry is supported. Depth of learning is emphasized here, where inquiry compels the curiosity of each learner uniquely, and research helps cultivate new questions every step of the way. Learners cross-reference their diverse inquiries to construct a growing picture of the world, educating one another, with supportive adult guidance.

Classroom instruction takes into consideration the development and preparation of each person in this phase of life. Trilok cultivates the unique individuality of each learner in harmony with the collective and collaborative skills essential for their growing citizenship, as members in a collective democracy. Self-awareness is enhanced by exercises in metacognition to support students in the observation of their own rapidly changing identities and competencies.

THE SCIENCES (Universe Science, and Mathematics)

UNIVERSE SCIENCE

Singapore-style science workbooks clear the path for moving into more complex science at an easeful and holistic pace. As youth mature and employ new tools of investigation, scientific knowledge of the past seeds the inquiries of the future. Here, Trilok students employ self-seeking curiosity to devise experiments and engineer inventions. The Solar System invites stargazing field trips, while the universe beckons the imaginations boundary to fathom reality beyond all knowing.

CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS

Inspired by the Trilok House Hero Marie Curie, who earned Nobel Peace Prizes in both Physics and Chemistry, students embark thoughtfully upon these domains of study. Here they engage in the family of elements, known as the Periodic Table. They befriend this new domain through the literature of Primo Levi and Oliver Sacks. They learn about practical applications of Chemistry and Physics from cooking, to medicine to perfume. Students master the logical processing that carries them from the formation of a research question, to a hypothesis, to the constructing of an experiment. They hone skills to express scientific concepts and to carefully document direct observation. Meanwhile, skills of science lead students thoughtfully forth, presenting some of the human quandaries that beg science for help. Students visit various scientists, from doctors to researchers, at work to understand the professional applications of this domain of study.

MATHEMATICS

Geometry.... Astronomy

Just as science expands inquiry into the universe at this age, so it opens up the questions of space in math. The multi-dimensional mind grows here, and math offers the tools to evaluate and express, in its universal language, the experience of space and time. Math offers mature students the geometric tools for measuring, mapping, and engineering the real world, the stars, and the world as far as the mind can reach.

An understanding of dimensionality grows, as does the capacity of young students’ minds. Math and science meet to reach into the universe.

Singapore-style math workbooks guide learners independently forth, each step of the Trilok way.

THE HUMANITIES (Literacy, Social Studies, Foreign Language)

LITERACY

Maturing writers become authors while studying authors. Their writing repertoire grows, as does its intentionality. New tools of literacy facilitate students to create their own magazines and newspapers, incorporating their diversified styles of writing. Journalism emerges as an exploratory process of investigation and production. Meanwhile, students begin a process of reading journalism as well, comparing and contrasting how diverse perspectives are offered. They learn sophisticated interview skills, at this stage, reaching into the world to understand how to bring out the voice of others, and how to represent it fairly and respectfully.

Studying research methods and mastering writing forms allows students at this mature stage to develop their authorship to new levels of creativity and new complexities of comprehension. Each student learns to create their own blog and maintain it at this stage, letting technology skills enhance literacy skills and visual skills. Interacting with each other’s blogs, and referencing material on the World Wide Web, their frame of reference expands exponentially.

As creative writers, Melon students begin to explore the domain between fiction and fantasy. They analyze each; sifting out legend from history, pretend from real. They begin to read profound science fiction, in order to develop their own philosophically probing visions toward this mind-stretching genre. They write their own chapter stories, developing layers of narrative, depth of character, and transformation through plot. They are aided in this by a framework of the Heroes Journey from Joseph Campbell that links their stories to the great mythologies of the world.

SOCIAL STUDIES

A Humane World, Past to Future: Studies at this age engage the conscience of youth and develop their deep humanity, allowing them to take a lens of awareness to the culture they live in. Guided by values of human integrity, justice, and humanity, our youth’s global awareness guides the path toward global citizenship. Current events are explored by perspective taking and informed by historical contexts as well as the futures potential. Young minds are supported by the wisdoms of their ancestors, while freed toward the future’s beckoning.

Dialogic Governance: Students study the formations of community, historically and globally, in order to better determine the community they are creating. They study the skills of group procedure, representation, values-maintenance, and governing structures, as they create their own governance, distributing responsibilities and collaborating on community issues. As a studious community, these maturing students learn to represent the differing needs in the community, weigh them, and help their needs be met. Methods including tribal governance and compassionate organizing structures are studied to develop a vision of restorative and participatory democracy. Historical studies of justice and injustice inform students every step of the way.

Social Service, Conflict Resolution: Students at this age, with practice in perspective taking, take leadership in their school community and participate helpfully in their global community. They apply skills to mediate peer conflicts, as they sensitize the development of their empathic vision and manifest effective leadership within their school community. Youth engage in service projects that address the needs they observe in their world through deeds of kindness.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Developing a palate of languages available to a young citizen’s mind, Trilok offers continued development in various tongues. Worldwide cultures become areas of mind-travel, and NYC reflects so much of it instantly. Students travel the globe linguistically in order to learn the essential basics in any language imaginable. Meanwhile, they work in small dialogue groups to gain conversational and writing skills in one.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Developing a palate of languages available to a young citizen’s mind, Trilok offers continued development in various tongues. Worldwide cultures become areas of mind-travel, and NYC reflects so much of it instantly. Students travel the globe linguistically in order to learn the essential basics in any language imaginable. Meanwhile, they work in small dialogue groups to gain conversational and writing skills in one.

THE ARTS (Movement & Mindfulness, Visual Arts, Performing Arts)

VISUAL ART

Trilok youth engage in large-scale collaborative projects that engage them in contributing creatively toward their community. While they explore arts materials with increasing skills, they take on the questions of symbolism and intention in an appreciation of art as communication. They study the work of great artists worldwide through a range of styles, visions, and artistic concerns to contemplate the nature of their own creative production. They collaborate to support one another in the freedom of expression and the exercise of constructive critique.

Youth engage in a practice of Art from the Heart, where art is both a gift to the self, and a gift to the world. While they do art activities that have enormous personal satisfaction, they also engage in the questions of how their art contributes to community. This exploration of community arts leads to increased awareness of how the arts can create change and contribute to community growth.

PERFORMING ARTS (music, theater, dance, circus)

Within each season, Trilok youth study a wide range of performing arts. They participate in artistic processes with professional artists through Trilok School’s collaboration with Trilok Fusion Arts. While gaining skills of motion, presence, and participation, they collaborate with their ensemble to create performance works. At this maturing stage, they engage in personal and collaborative creations for the stage. They cre- ate ensemble theater and dance works each season to show to their communities. They take hold of their inspirational potential and learn to project their visions into the world. They collaborate across genres to create multi-media works, seeking the potential to express their authenticity and inspire humanity.

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