Polk Middle students explore interests in mini-courses

Published 7:02 pm Thursday, November 19, 2009

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30 p.m., Polk County Middle School students participate in mini-courses, a learning time when Polk Middle teachers and counselors offer students opportunities to explore and discover new interests.

During these unique hands-on learning classes, students see their teachers and peers in a positive, non-traditional educational setting.

Mini-courses can be activity oriented or a time for study and remediation. Some mini-courses are offered to students of one grade level, and some are offered across grade level.

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PCMS teachers and counselors develop the courses they offer based on their expertise. Students make a request of their top three picks, and mini-courses are assigned accordingly.

Offering mini-courses enhances the middle school concept, says Beverly Gregory, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the school. The purpose and goal of the middle school experience is to nurture and support students as they grow and transition from elementary to high school. Mini-courses provide a positive outlet to support the transition.

The wide variety in mini-course offerings focuses on the many interests of middle school students and teachers.

Course offerings include chess and checkers, peer helpers, service learning, News Team, Science Olympiad, model rockets, jazz band, cooking to learn, string art, sports for non-sporty people, environmental issues, classic movies, LEGO robotics, mini art projects, strategic games, knitting, dance, digital storytelling, nutrition and exercise as well as strategies for learning and study time.

Mini-courses are part of the daily Wolverine time at Polk County Middle School. Wolverine time also provides time for intramurals and other school related activities.