A Highlight on Language Arts

language-arts

The week of May 8-12, the 8th grade students at North View Middle School have a special opportunity to work with authors on a Writing Apprenticeship Program.  This program was designed by the students in grade eight. A few months ago they selected three genres of writing that they wanted to learn more about—spoken word, comedy writing, and comics/zine writing.

Now, three local professional writers Levi Weinhagen (comedy),

Fiona Avocado (comics),

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and Tou Saiko Lee (spoken word poetry) 

will work with the eighth grade to learn more about their chosen genres, create new pieces within those genres, and share them with their classmates. Through this authentic writing experience with professional, student-selected writers, students will develop an understanding of concepts and tools used within a specific genre, see author/artist as a viable occupation, and experience writing as a joyful and positive activity. Interested students will share their writing at the One World Many Stories event on May 25. The professional writers will also each select three pieces from the week to be published in the annual COMPAS collection of student writing.

Literacy as a Gateway

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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.

March Madness!

Hello All,

At North View Middle School(NVMS) we believe that actively engaging with text on a daily basis is key to building strong readers. To reinforce the enjoyment of reading, and continue to build a community of NVMS readers we instituted a “March Madness” reading experience for our students. To highlight the list of our school’s most checked out books and have a little fun, our building’s Library Media Specialist and Literacy Coach narrowed it down to 16 different titles, and 4 different genres

Using QR codes posted in the Media Center students voted for their favorite books. Between Feb. 29 and Mar. 4 students vote on “Sweet 16”. During the week of March 7th students voted on the “Elite 8”. We narrowed it down to the “Final 4” the week of March 14th and the week of March 28th the books went head to head for the final championship.

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March Madness Sweet 16 Bracket

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World Read Aloud is Today!

 

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The purpose of World Read Aloud Day is to reinforce the enjoyment of reading, and continue to build a community of NVMS readers.  In honor of this day, each teacher will be given a portion of a 5 minute mystery.  They are asked to read the first minute or two of the story at the beginning of the hour. You’ll see with picture pictures below that the story is divided by hours 5, 6, 7, and 8. And there is a chunk of text specifically for each hour.  Students are to listen to see if, by the end of the day, they can pull the clues together to make a guess as to “who dunnit”.  Students will then be able to enter their guesses on Thursday in the media center. Students’ names will be drawn from correct guesses to win a book of their choice.

 

 

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A Furry Friend

At North View Middle School we believe that developing a passion for reading is crucial for student success.   To ensure this happens we utilize a multitude of approaches to engage students in the reading process. One of those ways is to encourage reading among our students is the inclusion of a therapy dog program. This program encourages our students to read by providing a non-judgmental listener and furry friend to read to that won’t laugh at them if they make a mistake or stumble over a word, but rather lie next to them and enjoy the story being read.

 

At North View Middle School we are fortunate to have our Media Specialist’s dog Sadie, who is a certified therapy dog, visit us in the Media Center to encourage our struggling readers to come to the Media Center, take time to pick out a book and then hang out with them while they read silently or read to her.

Our hope is that our students learn to associate reading with being with the dog, and begin to view reading in a positive way. Over time our student’s reading ability and confidence will improve as they are practicing reading skills, which will make them enjoy reading even more.

Feel free to stop up and meet Sadie anytime. She’s excited to be part of the North View Knight family!

 

Collaborative Professional Development

At North View Middle School we believe our best work is done collaboratively, including our professional development. As part of the Site Improvement Plan, each week the English/Language Arts, Humanities, Science, and Special Education teachers from each house engage in a collaborative inquiry cycle around literacy standards.  Teams work closely with the Literacy Coordinator and Differentiation Coach.  During this work, teams asses students to find out what they already know about a specific reading standard, share strategies for teaching the standard, plan how they will teach it ensuring that all students are appropriately supported and challenged, carry out the plan, asses students again, and reflect on student learning.

The 8th grade house has been focused on text features.  They began by pre-assessing students’ understanding of what text features are and how they are used.  Both teachers and students analyzed the data.  

Students answered inquiry questions about the pre-assessment data on large sheets of paper around the room.  This is called a Gallery Walk.

The team planned a lesson about how referring to text features helps readers better understand what they are reading. This lesson was taught by the Humanities teacher and reinforced in the other content areas. The lesson included elements of differentiation to provide both support and extension of learning.  For students to apply what they learned, they used an app on their iPads called Adobe Voice to create their own “think aloud” about text features found in their textbook.   The other teachers on the team then followed up with the lesson in their own classes by using the Think Aloud and Text Feature Walk strategies so students could see how text features are used in different content areas.  Students will be given a post-assessment during December to track their growth.

Take a look at the final products created by some of our very own North View middle schoolers.

ADOBE VOICE LINK https://voice.adobe.com/a/YNvze

Contents for this blog posting were provided by Sarah Schmidt, North View Middle School’s Differentiation Coach

Barnes & Noble Book Fair

Saturday is our “in store” book fair at Barnes and Noble in Maple Grove. Any purchase made Saturday – Thursday, will provide our school with 10% of the proceeds from the sales.

 

 

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