The humanities program at MTS gives students an opportunity to discover the cultural richness of our world while promoting values of personal and social responsibility. By celebrating differences and recognizing similarities, students learn to look beyond themselves and value the contributions and perspectives of others.
In the younger grades we focus on the individual, family, and local community, and then gradually expand to a study of California, America, and world history and geography. As students mature, the curriculum encourages a broader view of global culture and more nuanced historical perspective. Critical thinking and study skills are emphasized, to better understand the past, present, and future.
Across the grade levels we use a variety of methods to introduce, explore, enhance, and reinforce content. These include discussion, role-play, reading source material and related literature, debate, lecture, art and music activities, and field trips. Through individual and small-group work, students are encouraged to take initiative and responsibility for their own learning. Opportunities are also provided to pursue topics of personal interest.
Many projects have become valued school traditions. These include the trolley car adventure in San Francisco’s neighborhoods in the third grade, an overnight on one of California’s historic ships in the fourth grade, a science and nature trip to the Marin Headlands in the fifth grade, the "Big Dig" archeology project and "Greek Festival" in the sixth grade, the “Race to Mecca” in the seventh grade, and the great “Geography Bee” contest, for all sixth through eighth grade students.
Reading, writing, critical thinking…these are fundamental skills we teach beginning in Kindergarten and continue throughout a student’s tenure at the MTS.
English Language Arts K-5
In the lower school, we focus on a blended literacy program, balancing phonics with whole language instruction. We rely on Fundations, as well as the Lucy Calkins Writers and Readers Workshop, which centers on independent student work in combination with one-on-one instruction, and small-group guidance. Language arts in the lower school emphasizes reading fluency, reading comprehension, grammar, sentence and paragraph building, and general organization and study techniques.
English Literature 6-8
In the middle school we transition to a literature-based program, where students read novels, short stories, and poetry, while building writing skills with creative and expository writing. Through this process, they develop vocabulary, learn how to build a persuasive argument, and how to express themselves effectively. With a phenomenal student-to-teacher ratio, our instructors guide our students through in-depth feedback and direction.