At North View Middle School we believe that teaching and learning approaches should accommodate the diverse skills, abilities, and prior knowledge of young adolescents, cultivate multiple intelligences, draw upon students’ individual learning styles, and utilize digital tools. When learning experiences capitalize on students’ cultural, experiential, and personal backgrounds, new concepts are built on knowledge students already possess.To ensure this happens, we use the nature of young adolescents to guide our instructional decision making. Because of this belief, our teachers spend a considerable creating engaging learning opportunities.
An example of this, is our 8th graders Alien Invasion Project. During this summative assessment, students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge of the features of the different planets and moons of the solar system, including their sizes, locations, and compositions. Based on this knowledge, they are asked to apply what they know about essential life functions and show that not all planets can support life as we know it.
In this project-based summative assessment, students will either assume the role of a NASA researcher who has discovered a new creature on a different planet, or will act as the creature itself. In their role, students will describe, in either a personal narrative or an informational paper, the creature’s habitat, the characteristics of the creature and how it adapts and survives on its planet, and develop creative solutions to the possible problems that creature would encounter if it were to inhabit a different planet.
If you have any questions about this or anything else related to North View Middle School please connect with me here or follow me at @NVMSPrincipal.