Accelerated classes for middle schools students are proving to be an enjoyable challenge for a group of sixth graders.

student-centered activitiesAshley Archer took her class of Mariner Middle School sixth graders outside on a warm fall day to work on their reading projects. As they worked, students quietly chatted in small groups writing ideas on paper or looking up words on iPads.

“The hope is that students work more as a collaborative group,” Archer said. “We try to do a lot more student-centered activities.”

Archer teaches 25 students at Mariner for 2 hours a day, as part of Cape Henloppen’s accelerated program. Every afternoon she teaches accelerated English and math, and does the same thing at Beacon Middle School in the morning.

The Cape Henlopen School District just started offering the accelerated class option to sixth graders this year. Students are chosen by test scores and teacher and parent recommendations. Approximately ten percent of students are accepted into the program.

Within the two hour block, Archer has flexibility to extend lessons if the students need additional time.  She says that sometimes students insist she leave math problems on the board until they solve it themselves.

“They really like to take ownership,” Archer said. “They will work at it until they get it.”

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