K-8 Special Area Curriculum

The Art Curriculum is an important part of a balanced education. This sequential program provides opportunities to all students for a variety of art experiences which promote creative, imaginative thinking and behavior. Art is taught from two perspectives: first, at an aesthetic level, and second, at a technical level where students are exposed to an array of media and techniques. Art allows children to be individuals, bringing to each project personal qualities and interpretations. Our program is designed to promote aesthetic awareness, critical thinking, creative and imaginative problem solving and the ability to communicate through the use of visual media. These skills are applicable to all areas of the child’s educational experience.
The World Language Curriculum was developed by teachers and is carefully reviewed and modified in order to accommodate the growth of the students’ abilities.  The curriculum is framed by the “5 C’s” of world languages: communication, culture, connections, comparisons and community.  Teacher-made materials are the primary resource for the exploratory curriculum at the middle school level. The ¡Ven Conmigo! textbook can be used to support the units of study. Spanish content is integrated with our regular classroom content.  This helps students make connections with the materials and also keeps them interested and enthused for this program.

A Spanish I, Level 2 course, that aligns with Shawnee’s Spanish I, Level 2 course, is offered to eligible 7th and 8th graders over a two year span. This class is held every other day during the Enrichment period. The Shawnee Progress Assessments are taken periodically through the course. High School credit is given for this course.  However, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, this grade will not be calculated into a student’s high school grade-point average or class rank.
The Music Curriculum is divided into three components: a music program for all students in regular, weekly classroom lessons; the middle school’s elective course in Chorus, and the instrumental music program available to interested students in grades six through eight. MacMillan McGraw Hill textbook, Spotlight on Music, is our principal resource at the K-5 level which exposes children to elements of music, song and movement. Elements of music such as pitch (melody and harmony), structure (form & texture), tempo and style are studied on the sixth through eighth grade levels. Musical critique is utilized for evaluating one’s own work and the work of others.
Music contributes to a person’s aesthetic, emotional and cultural development, as well as improving academic skills in the classroom. Instrumental music is offered as a co-curricular experience. The performance of music in the band setting provides our students with a very powerful tool with which to explore music. The format for music exploration requires that students are not only prepared to display the performance skills necessary to produce the music, but that they are also prepared to make musically literate judgments about what they and others perform. Instrumental band is offered in grades 5-8th.
The benchmarks in the Physical Education Curriculum are designed to promote each student's optimum physical, mental, and social development.  This curriculum represents a student-centered approach to physical education, consisting of appropriate grade level learning activities that support and encourage physical fitness (basic movement skills; team, dual, and individual sports; physical fitness; rhythm and dance) as well as lifelong physical activity. Medford's Physical Education and Health Education Programs complement each other by striving to promote each child's overall wellness.
Both programs are guided by research, teacher expertise, and the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. Together these two programs hope to instill a mindset for students that promote lifelong fitness and wellness.The Health Curriculum at the middle school level was designed to prepare students with the knowledge they will need in order to achieve wellness. Wellness demands a continual balancing of human needs: social, physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. This curriculum strives to emphasize the importance of self-responsibility and students will be challenged to be actively involved in the learning process by constantly assessing how the information presented affects life-style from a personal perspective.
The MTPS STEM program is taught by our STEM teachers in the Fab Labs found in each elementary school. 
Our STEM instruction provides students with hands-on experience in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Students solve real-world problems through exploration, collaboration and innovation.  The curriculum is split into three bands covering the engineering design process, design thinking skills, and computer science.  These curriculum bands present opportunities for students to develop a growth mindset, strengthen process skills such as brainstorming and planning, explore coding and robotics, and much more!
In Medford Township Public School, we have IMPACT, Instructional Model for Programming Applied Critical Thinking, in grades kindergarten through fifth grade that serves as our Gifted and Talented program. The program provides students with challenging and engaging instruction, materials, and collaboration to meet specific needs in varied academic curricula. In addition, the program provides students with unique opportunities to expand individual talents; to strengthen existing skills and to acquire new skills; and to broaden creative thinking, critical thinking, and problem-solving strategies. Emphasis on these goals enables students to become more independent, self-directed learners, leaders, and contributors to local and global society.

The program in these grades focuses within general intellectual and specific academic (reading) domains. Identified students meet in guided reading groups facilitated by their classroom teacher. The emphasis is on reading increasingly challenging books over time.

Within the guided reading group, students develop, enhance, and engage:

  • As individual readers with other readers who are similar in their reading development and level of text, while participating in a socially supported activity.
  • In reading strategies so that they can read increasingly difficult texts accurately, fluently, and independently.
  • In the process of using different sources of information, self-monitoring, and cross-checking.
  • In discussion about the books.
  • In activities that involve extending and responding to texts.
Identified students meet with the IMPACT (Instructional Model for Programming Applied Critical Thinking) teacher outside the regular classroom. Students are engaged in material that develops and expands high-order thinking skills. Through interdisciplinary studies, students expand their creative thinking, critical thinking, and problem-solving strategies.
Identified students in both 4th and 5th grades meet together as one group. Students meet with the IMPACT teacher outside of the regular classroom. Since these grades are combined there are four units of study that are rotated from one year to the next. By the end of fifth grade, students will have had all extensive, interdisciplinary units of study. These units enable students to delve into the topics with in-depth reading, higher-level thinking skills, and hands-on applications.
Through a rigorous selection process that draws in multiple criteria over multiple points of the year, Gifted & Talented in our Middle School is comprised of students who participate in Level 1 Math classes, along with Algebra & Geometry. Additionally, at our Middle School, we have a selection criteria for a Gifted & Talented Spanish program. More information regarding these courses and selection criteria can be found in our 6-8 Gifted & Talented Online Handbook.