Literacy as a Gateway

Literacy (2)

 

At North View Middle School we recognize the fundamental importance of literacy to expanding life opportunities for our students. As a result of this understanding we work hard to ensure that literacy is alive in our building and in our student’s lives inside and outside of school.

In our building it is the expectation that all core teachers collaborate as a group of learners to ensure that each student achieves their greatest potential as readers and writers of the North View Middle School community. 

The English/Language Arts, Humanities, Science, and Full Service Special Ed teachers meet twice a week with our Literacy Coach and our Differentiation Coach for this work. Work is focused on Common Core literacy standards that are taught across content areas and how teachers can differentiate for the range of needs in their classroom. 

6th Grade – The 6th grade team spent trimester 2 focused on reading standard #6, point of view and author’s purpose.  During this cycle, students engaged in work around the standard by studying the authors and seeing how that shapes their writing in English class, reading about the different perspectives of current events in English class, how to look at the government and Minnesota history through different points of view in Humanities class, analyzing multiple articles for what the author’s purpose was in science class, and looking at how point of view and empathy are related in SEL class.  The post-assessment showed that many students could infer the author’s purpose and provide evidence to support their answers.  It also showed that students need to continue to practice being specific with their answers.  The team also spent time looking at individual students who are struggling and identified ways the team could support them.

6th/7th Grade – The 6/7 team also spent trimester 2 focused on standard #6, point of view and author’s purpose.  During this cycle, students engaged in work around author’s point of view and purpose through mini-debates about genetics in science class, literature circles in English class, and learning about the Civil Rights Movement by reading the book March and identifying how the different characters view the movement.  The 6/7 team will complete the post-assessment for standard 6 next week.  The team also spent time looking at individual students who are struggling and identified ways the team could support them.

7th Grade – The 7th grade team also spent trimester 2 focused on reading standard #6, author’s point of view and purpose.  During this cycle, students engaged in work around author’s point of view and purpose through mini-debates about genetics in science class, A Christmas Carol in ELA, and an enactment of a “dinner party” for World War II leaders during social studies.  The post-assessment showed that 80% of students were proficient on the standard.  The 7th grade team is beginning to work on argument writing by reading a portion of Kelly Gallagher’s book In the Best Interest of Students:  Staying True to What Works in the ELA Classroom.  The team is excited to provide students an opportunity to explore topics for true arguments of interest to them.

8th Grade –The team finished up the cycle on text features and the post assessment showed 64% of students were proficient.  Upon reflection of the post-assessment, the teachers didn’t feel it was written in a way that truly informed the teachers of the students’ understanding.  Based on how they see students interacting with text-features in class, they believe the proficient rate actually is higher.  The team spent time looking at individual students who are struggling with school and identified ways the team could support them.  They also spent time creating common expectations for student use of technology.  The team is now working on identifying arguments and evaluating the evidence and reasoning used to supporting the argument.  They will use the strategies from Non-Fiction Reading: Note & Notice Stances, Signposts, and Strategies by Kylene Beers to create common reading strategies across the content classes.

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