Grade Level Programming

Grade 9: Intellectual Curiosity

The learning theme of the 9th Grade F.I.R.S.T. Program is Self-Discovery, with the essential question being Who Am I?
The three elements of the F.I.R.S.T. Program include:
  • An Integrated Academic Program
  • A Residential Program
  • A Year-long 9th Grade Seminar (team taught)
Curriculum is designed to engage students to think critically, solve real-world problems and effectively communicate their solutions.  Through project-based learning, students collaborate in asking questions, debating ideas, and collecting data.  This engaging and rigorous academic program is designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity, promote active learning, and instill long-lasting study skills that serve as an academic foundation upon which students builds throughout their Tilton Experience.  

Midway through the ninth grade year, students put these skills to test by participating in Integrated Week.  This week of research-based, alternative programming exploring real-world issues culminates with the production of a short movie.

Exploration of the College Counseling Program begins in the F.I.R.S.T. Program’s 9th Grade Seminar.

Sample Program of Study

Ninth graders at Tilton School will follow a common core program of five and one half academic classes, plus the 9th Grade Seminar during our seven period rotating schedule.  Our half-credit Introduction to the Arts class and the Seminar will each meet two days per week, while the other academic classes meet four times per week.
  • Integrated Mathematics Sequence or Advanced Math
  • Biology
  • 9th Grade English
  • World History (Foundations in or Explorations in)
  • Spanish or French (at the appropriate level)
  • Introduction to the Arts (1/2 credit)
  • 9th Grade Seminar
  • Study Hall or CAA support

Major Academic Themes

List of 4 items.

  • First Quarter (Opening Day- Early November)

    • Building repertoire of skills through seminar class and 3 Ps in the classroom.
    • Learning how to “see.”
    • Building of skills to learn ways “to look.”
    • How and why we assign value and importance to things we see and examine.
    • Introduce the ideas of Critical Thinking, Creativity and Communication as Academic Assessment Tools.
  • Second Quarter (Early November-Winter Break)

    • Consciously using repertoire of skills effectively by stressing 3 Ps in classroom.
    • Continued emphasis on “seeing and looking” effectively.
    • Constructing effective arguments about the value and importance of what we see and examine.
    • Build upon Critical Thinking, Creativity and Communication.
  • Third Quarter (January- March Break)

    • Developing repertoire of skills to become “second nature” by expecting 3 Ps from students on all levels.
    • Continued emphasis of “seeing and looking” effectively.
    • Development of more sophisticated argument about the value and importance of what we see and examine.
    • Building the skills necessary to analyze and synthesize concepts to see where we might be led (implications and consequences).
    • Each Assessment should actively seek to assess Critical Thinking, Creativity and Communication.
  • Fourth Quarter (March Break – Year End)

    Culminating Ninth Grade Project, in which students will be assessed across the curriculum in:
    • Mastery of skills in the 3 Ps
    • Analysis of what they “see.”
    • Justification of how they “looked” and examined.
    • Development of sophisticated argument of value and importance.
    • Development of sophisticated argument of implications and consequences.
    • This Assessment will actively assess Critical Thinking, Creativity and Communication.