Through investigation Middle School students develop and utilize a scientific vocabulary and build on skills learned in the Lower School as they classify, compare and contrast, construct models and express ideas creatively. They make observations, examine and interpret data, keep systematic records, measure in the metric system, manipulate information mathematically and use scientific tools. In the process, students become well-grounded in independent research, collaborative problem solving and critical thinking.
A hands-on approach to understanding science concepts •Topics: measuring in metrics, vermicomposting, consumer product testing, forensic science, chemistry, botany, engineering
•Process: using the scientific method, laboratory investigations, stereo microscope training, dissection, note taking, drawing from nature, making conclusions after examining data, assembling written work into portfolios
•International Primary Curriculum unit connections: Brainstorm (how we learn), Moving People (migration), Building a Village (settlements), What a Wonderful World (The Natural World) and Investigators (Scientific Enquiry) - see below
The goal of this unit is to get our students to learn how to investigate, test, observe and record. Science should be about doing, not just reading or knowing about things that they found on the Internet or in a textbook. The students are going to be given the skills to investigate and discover the world around them with a hands-on approach. Learning includes:
finding out several different ways to investigate in science
designing investigations so they are reliable
learning about ways to collect, record, interpret and present our recordings
A hands-on approach to understanding the nature of living things • Topics: scientific method, metric system, cell anatomy and physiology, genetics, evolution, microbiology, basic animal comparative anatomy and physiology, human anatomy and physiology • Process: research projects and presentations, laboratory investigations, microscope training, dissection, videos, internet, estuary field work, AIMS (Activities Integrating Math and Science), performance assessment, outside reading
Mrs. Lisa Baxter Grade 3 B.A. Brandeis University M.Ed. Columbia University
A teacher for over 25 years, Lisa Baxter began her career teaching third and first grade at the Birch Wathen School, an independent school in New York City, and joined Derby as a first grade teacher in 1992. In 2003, she moved to the third grade. Mrs. Baxter enjoys the challenges and rewards that come with helping her students to grow both academically and socially, and she truly looks forward to getting to know her new students each year. She has been a Derby parent as well (her daughter, Jessica, is in the class of 2002). Outside of school, Mrs. Baxter enjoys reading, crafts of all kinds, bird watching, singing and playing handbells.
As a teacher for over twenty years, Mrs. Browning has worked with grades 4 through 8. She began her teaching career in West Palm Beach, Florida. In 1981 she moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she worked with adults as a personal trainer for 14 years. Upon her return to the U.S., she began teaching English to grades 5 through 8 in Quincy, MA. She has been employed at Derby Academy since 2005.
Mr. Nathan Chase Assistant to Head of Middle and Upper Schools, Middle School Math & Science, Head of Boys Sports, Athletics
B.S. Salve Regina University
Mr. Chase attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Spring, NY and Salve Regina University in Newport, RI where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. He began his teaching career at the Pennfield School in Portsmouth, RI teaching Mathematics at the middle school level and coaching soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. Nathan joined the Derby community in 2004 teaching Middle and Upper School Mathematics and Life Science. He continues to coach soccer, hockey, lacrosse and baseball. In addition he acts as the Head of Boys' Sports and coordinates the Upper School Ski Trip.
Mrs. Henderson began her teaching career as a student teacher at Milton Academy while attending Bard College in New York. After transferring to Dalhousie University, she graduated two years later and taught third grade at The Halifax Grammar School for one year. She then returned to Milton Academy where she taught reading and language arts to third, fourth and fifth graders for three years. Mrs. Henderson also taught fourth grade at the Advent School in Boston. She also taught various graduate courses and mentored student teachers before taking time off to raise her son and daughter. Unable to stay away from teaching, she tutored for the Cohasset school system until joining Derby's faculty in 1994. The unbounded enthusiasm and curiosity of fourth graders allows her to begin every year and every day with a sense of adventure and gratitude for the profession she still loves. In her spare time, Mrs Henderson enjoys reading, hiking, traveling and spending time with her four grandchildren.
Aileen Nalen is a graduate of Boston College School of Education. She minored in Spanish and English. She has taught in both public and private settings in grades one, two and four. Aileen has run summer workshops on teaching students to write creatively and is working towards her graduate degree. Mrs. Nalen has lived on both coasts and several states in between. She loves traveling with her husband, outdoor sports, reading, writing, and volunteering with local organizations.
Ms. Annie Peterman Grade 4 Teacher, Field Hockey and Lacrosse Coach, Collected Works Advisor
B.A., Trinity College M.Ed., Lesley University
Mrs. Peterman grew up as a faculty child north of Boston at both the Brookwood School in Manchester and The Governor's Academy in Byfield, and she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. After obtaining her M.Ed. from Lesley University, she worked in the Shady Hill School Admission Office before arriving at Derby in 2013. Ms. Peterman enjoys the outdoors and has worked as a backpacking and canoeing guide in Northern Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming.
The best educational choice on the South Shore for Pre-K through Grade 8 education.