Middle school language arts content learning team
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Middle School Language Arts Content Learning Team. Reinvesting Students. Key Points. Winter Break provides an opportunity to reflect and regroup for the upcoming semester. Making sure that students & their families are invested in student achievement will propel your classroom forward.

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Middle School Language Arts Content Learning Team

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Middle school language arts content learning team

Middle School Language Arts Content Learning Team

Reinvesting Students


Key points

Key Points

  • Winter Break provides an opportunity to reflect and regroup for the upcoming semester.

  • Making sure that students & their families are invested in student achievement will propel your classroom forward.

  • It’s NEVER too late to try new things in your classroom, even if students show initial resistance.

  • As teachers, we get better by reflecting on what we can do better.

  • Ultimately, teachers are responsible for the student progress made in their classrooms.


I 1 develop students understanding that they can achieve by working hard

I-1: Develop students’ understanding that they can achieve by working hard

  • Develop students understanding that they can achieve by working hard

  • Effectively uses a variety of student-centered strategies (based on an understanding of students and depending on the situation) to reach a range of students to convey that students can achieve by working hard

  • Regularly conveys messages and employs a series of integrated classroom strategies.


I can strategies

“I Can “ Strategies

  • Lessons on Malleable Intelligence (available in TAL book and on tfanet.org—there’s an excellent one from my SD)


I can strategies1

“I Can” Strategies

  • Public Tracking Charts for Reading Growth and Content Mastery


I can strategies2

“I Can” Strategies

  • Consistent Use of Messaging that Hard Work Leads to Achievement


I can strategies3

“I Can” Strategies

  • Updating your student work walls


I can strategies4

“I Can” Strategies

  • Using mistakes as opportunities to learn—build persistence in your kids through wait time and not giving up on a kid who is struggling to get the right answer

  • Student-Teacher conferences to review progress

  • Using bar graphs to show class averages for assessments


I 2 develop students rational understanding that they will benefit from achievement i want

I-2: Develop students rational understanding that they will benefit from achievement (I Want)

  • Effectively uses a variety of student-centered strategies (based on an understanding of students and depending on the situation) to reach a range of students to convey that students benefit from academic achievement

  • Employs a series of integrated classroom strategies regularly


I want strategies

“I Want” Strategies

  • Telling and showing students that they will have more choices in life if they go to college


I want strategies1

“I Want” Strategies

  • Market High School Choice to Your Students


I want strategies2

“I Want” Strategies

  • Explicitly teach lessons on the achievement gap


I want strategies3

“I Want” Strategies

  • Use role models to reinforce persistence and academic success


I want strategies4

“I Want” Strategies

  • Explain how component lessons lead to the Big Goal


I want strategies5

“I Want” Strategies

  • Classroom Competitions


I want strategies6

“I Want” Strategies

  • Allow students to make up assignments

  • Provide student choice in demonstrating mastery toward the Big Goal


Middle school language arts content learning team

I-3: Employ appropriate role models so that students identify with people who work hard toward achievement (“I can”) and value academic achievement (“I want”)

  • Ensures that role model conveys message of persistence and academic success

  • Enables students to gain frequent exposure to the role model

  • Appropriate Role Models: Fictional characters (Clyde in “Trombones and Colleges”), celebrities (Andrew Johnson didn’t learn to read until he was 17), people from the community and, best of all, students themselves


Role model strategies

“Role Model” Strategies

  • These cards hold student responses to these questions:

  • What is a role model?

  • How are you a role model for your classmates?


Role model nomination

Role Model Nomination

  • Ask students to nominate a role model on the role model nomination form. Students list three reasons that this is a worthy role model and include a picture.


I 4 consistently reinforce efforts toward the big goal

I-4: Consistently reinforce efforts toward the big goal

  • Chooses a variety of appealing reinforcements to reach a range of students, based on an understanding of students and depending on the situation

  • Reinforcement system recognizes significant academic effort and mastery of a well-defined absolute bar

  • Provides reinforcements appropriately and flexibly so that they are delivered at purposeful intervals, and almost always conveys the meaning of the reinforcement as a celebrations toward progress toward the goal to maximize impact and lead to intrinsic motivation


Reinforce academic effort strategies

Reinforce Academic Effort Strategies

  • Publicly recognize achievement toward the goal


Consistently reinforce efforts strategies

Consistently Reinforce Efforts Strategies

  • Student achievement tracking charts—again!


Consistently reinforce efforts strategies1

Consistently Reinforce Efforts Strategies

  • Recognize student efforts on a regular basis

Students get stamps for doing the right thing, and get small prizes at the end of the week based on the number of stickers.


Consistently reinforce efforts strategies2

Consistently Reinforce Efforts Strategies

  • Host award ceremonies

  • Lavish the students with teacher praise

  • Encourage student praise

  • Make positive phone calls home

  • Recognize students on posters—mastery at an absolute level, student growth


Middle school language arts content learning team

I-6: Respectfully mobilize students’ influencers using techniques such as direct explanation, role models, modeling, constant reinforcement and marketing, etc., so that they actively invest students in working hard toward the big goal

  • Uses multiple methods and occasions to mobilize students’ chief influencers (e.g. parents, guardians, other relatives, coach, pastor, etc.)

  • Shares knowledge and skills on how the influencer and the teacher can accelerate the student’s progress

  • Shares positive news of student performance on a relative scale

  • Successfully involves students’ key influencers


Mobilizes students influencers strategies

Mobilizes Students’ Influencers Strategies

  • new year letter/expectations

  • check-in/”fresh start” phone call home

  • Friday folders (quizzes to be signed, etc)

  • homework calendars

  • phone calls with “just the facts” (grades, missing assignments)

  • phone calls home for positive recognition: student of the week, high test scores, improved test scores, etc.

  • newsletters

  • inviting parents to the classroom


Middle school language arts content learning team

C-6: After a cycle of data collection, reflection, and learning, adjust course (of big goals, investment strategies, planning, execution, and/or relentlessness) as necessary to maximize their effectiveness

  • Periodically chooses strategies that would solve the key problems and root causes in the classroom, and that builds upon the CM’s and the classroom’s strengths

  • Creates action plan that is feasible for this CM to implement independently

  • Implements the plan wholeheartedly


Cm self reflection time

CM Self-Reflection Time

  • 15 minutes for self-reflection

  • Identify one thing that you need to improve upon as a teacher. What is one thing that you could be doing better? Is it creating assessments, executing lessons, prioritizing planning, using data to inform instruction, classroom management? Think boldly about your own challenges, and what you will do to improve as a teacher.


Middle school language arts content learning team

I-5: Create a welcoming environment through rational persuasion, role models, and constant reinforcement and marketing to instill values (respect, tolerance, kindness, collaboration) so that students feel comfortable and supported enough to take the risks of striving for the big goals

  • Conveys messages applicable to student subgroups (e.g., respect and appreciation for diversity in the classroom)

  • Effectively implements a variety of strategies and policies to lead students to support the welcoming environment

  • Proactively teaches a variety of successful lessons on values that will support a welcoming environment for all students, and capitalizes on teachable moments


Creating a welcoming environment strategies

Creating a Welcoming Environment Strategies

  • Recognize students for their kindness


Creating a welcoming environment strategies1

Creating a Welcoming Environment Strategies

  • Give students the tools to be kind to each other

Students had post-it notes on which they wrote sweet things to their peers to post here.


Creating a welcoming environment strategies2

Creating a Welcoming Environment Strategies

  • Message how to be a good person


Creating a welcoming environment strategies3

Creating a Welcoming Environment Strategies

  • Explicitly teach character and diversity


Creating a welcoming environment strategies4

Creating a Welcoming Environment Strategies

  • Make the students want to be in your room

Welcoming space with decorations.

Birthday sticker.


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