Welcome to 6th grade!
Transition is the one word that best describes the move from Wildwood to Briarcliff. Not only are students faced with the physical move from one building to another, but the greater transition might be found in the child's growth in personal responsibility, self awareness, and growing independence during this period of adolescence.
Creating a comfortable transition is the core of middle school life. The 6th grade team of teachers, sensitive to the social, emotional and logistical stressors of incoming 6th graders helps students to acclimate by fostering the ongoing sense of belonging. Faced with changing classes, operating lockers, new grading procedures and the expectations for taking more responsibility for their school work, the collaborative effort among the teaching team helps to provide a nurturing environment to ease their way.
Parents can help greatly with this transition by providing some basic support. Consistency in your child's life is a very important factor. Establishing routines at home helps children to feel secure and know what is expected. It also provides the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to make responsible choices. Organization is also an important factor for your child for a successful transition.
Parents can help their child stay organized by:
- equipping their child with a binder/folder system.
- encouraging the use of a daily assignment pad.
- providing a regular quiet time and place for homework.
- establishing a daily reading routine.
Sixth grade is an exciting year and the team looks forward to working with your child.
Alves, Michael - Communications 7 /World Languages
Amin, Soneya - Special Education
Comora, Mary - Special Education
Doolittle, Christina - Special Education
Foster, Joseph - Social Studies
Gleeson, William - English Language Arts
Lombardi, Deirdre - Mathematics
Merian, Debbie - Special Services
Peifly, Jennifer - Reading
Walters, Mark - Science
Welcome to 7th Grade!
The 7th Grade Team works collaboratively to prepare students for the 21st century world in which we live. Our classrooms strive to create an environment where a personal responsibility for learning is reinforced through training in self-scheduling and time management. Students are helped to develop study and organizational skills that will serve them now and in their academic future. We encourage academic excellence and expect students to take pride in the work they do in the classroom and outside of it.
7th Graders continue to hone skills they learned with our colleagues on the 6th Grade Team. They are made aware of academic expectations through the use of rubrics, and continue their growth in the ability to work collaboratively. They are shown how to be active learners and their own advocates in a differentiated learning environment. The use of technology as a resource to support learning is part of our mission to prepare our students for 8th grade and beyond.
During the course of the year, the 7th graders are given opportunities to develop social skills and character traits set out in the Briarcliff Credo. The everyday life of the students in our classrooms, hallways, and playgrounds is seen as the crucible for their growth into responsible and successful citizens. Traditionally, 7th graders also enjoy an annual spring dance and a class trip to Dorney Park.
Welcome to 8th grade!
The eighth grade year is extremely important as a transitional year between the middle school and the high school. Emphasis is placed on academic excellence and respect for learning. An increased mastery of content within each subject area is stressed. Various learning strategies are used to develop student success, and technology is appropriately infused into all classes to enhance the learning experience.
During the eighth grade year students are encouraged to become independent thinkers capable of taking responsibility for their learning and to become increasingly self motivated. Teachers continue to play a key role in facilitating the learning process and developing the students into responsible citizens in the Mountain Lakes community.
Outside the classroom many activities are offered to develop the students athletically, socially, and culturally. These activities include interscholastic sports, dances, theater outings, and trips to New York. The culminating activity for the eighth grade is a three day trip to Boston.
Ultimately, the goal of the eighth grade team is to have students prepared academically, socially and emotionally to enter the high school setting and experience success in the next level of their schooling.
Alves, Michael - Communications 7 /World Languages
Amin, Soneya - Special Education
Boehm, Brianna - Special Education
Doolittle, Christina - Special Education
Lih, Erik - Social Studies
Major, Michelle - Mathematics
Mattoon, Doug - Science
Mendello, James - World Languages
Olear, Jacqulyn - Special Education 8
Pecarific, Melissa - ELA
ART - Grades Six, Seven, Eight
Art is constantly growing and changing. Here in Briarcliff Middle School’s Visual Art Program the students are challenged and given the opportunity to see what the world of art has to offer. With an application and instruction on the elements and principles of art, students will be able to create various works that are seen in different artistic cultures. Using art history, students will be able to grasp the meaning behind each piece that they create. The content of this course will primarily focus on showing art through history and art today in various areas around the world.
COMMUNICATIONS - Grade Seven
In today's world of excessive text messaging and electronic mail correspondence, interpersonal verbal communication skills continue to be a necessary need of instruction in our school. The 7th Communications Allied class will be taught the elements of communication and furthermore, learn how these elements satisfies one’s social and professional needs and overall decision-making. The students will be able to identify the six ingredients to becoming an effective communicator, which will be assessed in a variety of speeches. These speeches include: Persuasive, Impromptu, and a demonstration speech.
COMPUTERS - Grades Six, Seven, Eight
The Allied Computers 8 week cycle course consists of units of study which emerge from the current 2020 NJSLS Computer Science and Design Thinking standards, as well as the Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills' Personal Financial Literacy standards. Using the technology tools of the Google Workspace for Education, code.org and Everfi, students study and work through units in coding, financial literacy, design thinking and digital citizenship while integrating math, science, language arts and creative arts. Students work in both small groups and independently, and have opportunities to forge ahead and/or receive extra support so that each student's potential and needs are met.
HEALTH - Grade Six
This is the beginning health class for Briarcliff students. The six-grade health class focuses on eleven different body systems; students learn the purpose and function of each system. With this health knowledge, the students learn to respect and care for their bodies. They understand healthy eating habits and daily exercise can lead to whole body wellness.
HEALTH - Grade Seven
This course is the second part of a two-year program to give each student a greater understanding of the concept of optimum health and wellness. Seventh graders will start by reviewing the three components of health (mental, physical and emotional). Content includes resolving conflict, understanding positive and negative aspects of behavior and knowing what stress is and how it can be resolved. Students are introduced to mindfulness promoting activity, including yoga & mediation. Decision making, mental fitness, communication skills, and relationships will also be thoroughly reviewed and expanded upon. Diseases - communicable and noncommunicable, including HIV, will be included. The decision making process is emphasized, encouraging the student to make sound choices as he/she matures. Through the integration of mindfulness, the student will develop the skills necessary to help protect him/her from risk behaviors identified by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention and in turn continue their journey towards optimum health and wellness.
HEALTH - Grade Eight
The purpose of the eighth grade health course is to develop an awareness and understanding of the physical and emotional changes, which occur during adolescence. Emergency first aid and safety skills are also studied. The course is designed to foster the development of sound judgments and decision-making, especially in reference to personal fitness & diet choices and how it impacts their lives.
SIGN LANGUAGE – Grade Eight
The Sign Language allied rotation course is an introduction to basic expressive and receptive Sign Language and an overview of the history of the Deaf community and “Deaf Culture.” Students will learn the Manual Alphabet and will develop a sign language vocabulary base of 250 signs or more of common conversational words and phrases. The students will explore cultural and historic events of the Deaf community through selected readings, films, news articles and class discussions.
Health 6 is one of five allied classes offered throughout the school year. The focus of Health 6 is the systems of the body. The goal is to expose sixth grade students to ten different body systems:
- Male and Female Reproductive Systems
Students will learn the purpose, function and how to care for each system. 6th grade students will begin to understand the connection between the three categories of health:
Students will learn that the choices they make impact the three categories of health and can move them closer to optimal health.
Middle School is a time of transition. 7th Grade students grow emotionally, physically and socially at a rapid rate during this period of adolescence. Health 7 is the first part of a two-year program focusing on giving each student a greater understanding of the concept of “optimal health”. This course curriculum targets the mental/emotional component of health. Students will learn tools and strategies empowering them to strive for optimal health everyday for the rest of their lives. Mindfulness meditation is explained, practiced and interwoven into the daily health lessons.
Each class begins with a short mindfulness meditation practice. Seventh graders will start by reviewing the three areas of health (physical, mental/emotional) and family/social). The importance of daily exercise and healthy nutrition will be explored, including every day food choices and menu planning. Decision making, communication skills, and relationships will be thoroughly covered and expanded upon. Students will learn how decision-making styles and choices influence their behavior and emotional well being, as well as impacting their physical health. High-risk behaviors such as alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use are discussed along with peer pressure and sexual activity. Resistance and anger management skills are taught, enabling and preparing the students to make sound choices as they mature.
Students will be evaluated based on individual practice. Each student will complete an authentic Health Behavior Contract which the teacher will differentiate based on student readiness and interest level.
The Physical Education Program at Briarcliff School focuses upon the development of the entire student whether or not they are athletically inclined individuals. We meet FIVE (5) days per week for approximately 40 minutes of contact time. All students are required to wear a class uniform that promotes esprit de corps. The class motto is “Pay It Forward” which essentially means to do something selfless for someone else. The framework of the class is based on encouraging the development of: Character, Integrity, Honesty, and Sportsmanship through activities. All of these qualities are woven into the fabric of each unit.
After establishing this framework, the students embark upon a journey through a plethora of sport, dance and lifetime activities. The secondary goals of personal fitness, sport specific fitness, individual skills and team development are met through daily mini-fitness circuits (that encompass all areas of physical fitness); sport specific skill drills; and varying forms of game play.
Tertiary goals in the areas of leadership and fair play are also addressed. All students are required to take the role of “peer captain” of at least one team per year. Their leadership includes, but is not limited to: ranking and choosing players via secret draft during a skills combine; organizing teammates for game play; taking on added responsibility for their team’s actions during game play. Empowering each student as a knowledgeable game official enhances fair play. Student officials help enforce and regulate safe and nonpartisan contests during class as well.
Finally, all students are tested daily on performance, knowledge, and application of concepts learned in class. Students are also fitness tested twice yearly: pre-testing in September and post-testing in May to track their improvement over the course of the school year.
6th Grade Chorus
6th Grade Chorus meets on Fridays during 9th Period! 6th graders in chorus will begin by developing a solid foundation of basic vocal and breathing technique, beginning sight singing/ear training, and developing solid vocal independence. We study beginning rounds, cannons, 2-part, and basic 3-part repertoire of all genres and styles!
Students involved in guitar at Wildwood School as well as any new students are invited to participate in the guitar elective currently scheduled 9th period on Wednesdays. Students do not need to bring their guitar since they may use the school instruments. We learn a little bit of everything including chord playing, note reading, tablature and playing in an ensemble. Canvas is used to communicate and organize content. A fun time is guaranteed for all who join guitar!
Students who play a stringed instrument such as Violin, Viola, Cello or String Bass have the opportunity to perform in an all-strings ensemble! These students meet on Wednesdays for lessons on a rotating basis to learn string-specific techniques and are involved with studying various types of chamber orchestra repertoire.
The Lake Drive Middle School Program's focus is to help children develop their individual intellectual and creative potential. It is also a focus of middle school program to support children in their continued development of social skills, communication skills and interpersonal skills. The program allows children to gain an increased sense of responsibility, respect for others as well as for themselves. As the students build their academic knowledge and skills, they learn to work cooperatively and responsibly which helps them to increase and positively build their self worth and self-esteem. This will help prepare our students for the responsibilities, challenges and activities of a high school program.
The Lake Drive middle school program is housed within the Lake Drive building as well as the Briarcliff building. Programming within each building helps prepare the student for the opportunity to choose a high school placement based upon their individual academic, communicative, social and emotional progress and ability.
For more information please visit the Lake Drive Page here.