6th and 7th Grade students

The Explorer

The 6th and 7th grades represent the transition from childhood to adolescence. This is a dynamic and flexible age in which students might sit down and color one minute, and turn around and engage in an intellectual debate the next. Students’ critical thinking skills are maturing as they move from a mindset dominated by concrete thinking to a new, more powerful, abstract mode of understanding. Members of this age group begin to see connections between various concepts that they hadn’t before, and develop a sense of self awareness that empowers the creation of personal beliefs and opinions. These advancing skills are enabled by profound neurological changes occurring in young adolescent brains. These changes also move students into a more social age. The elementary school days when students could sit together at a table, each engrossed in his or her own work are fading, and a growing focus on peers and social interactions begin to fill young adolescent awareness.

As a result of these changes, we see students of this age group as our Explorers- ready to jump in and discover new lessons about the world. They want to get their hands dirty with tangible experience, while still inhabiting an inner world of dragons and magic. We give them opportunities to explore story and mythology, to create artistic products, to build and understand how things work, and to master the tools of a technological age. These experiences tap into the Explorer’s natural energy and desire, while keeping learning fun, engaging, and meaningful.