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McCartha Middle School. Home of the Mustangs. McCartha Middle School One Team, One Goal. Jenna Grissett, Elementary Education Jamara Hill, Elementary Education Brittany Johnson, Secondary Mathematics Stephanie Miller, Elementary Education Doug Norman, Secondary History

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McCartha Middle School

Home of the Mustangs

mccartha middle school one team one goal
McCartha Middle SchoolOne Team, One Goal
  • Jenna Grissett, Elementary Education
  • Jamara Hill, Elementary Education
  • Brittany Johnson, Secondary Mathematics
  • Stephanie Miller, Elementary Education
  • Doug Norman, Secondary History
  • Samuel Valentine, Elementary Education
  • Gabe West, P-12 Physical Education
mccartha middle school
McCartha Middle School

“The climate of a developmentally responsive middle level school is safe, inviting, and caring; it promotes a sense of community and encourages learning.”

The National Middle School AssociationThis We Believe, 1995

mccartha s mission
McCartha’s Mission

The mission of McCartha Middle School is to ensure that all students leave eighth grade with the knowledge and skills to be successful without remediation in a college-preparatory curriculum and with plans for what to study to complete high school and prepare for future education and careers.

  • Southern Regional Education Board
goals that support our mission
Goals That Support Our Mission
  • Increase the percentages of eighth graders who perform at the proficient levels in academic subjects.
  • Provide educational experiences that increase students’ knowledge and skills in reading, mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies.
  • Provide students with opportunities to apply their skills in the fine arts and to explore careers and new technology.
the ideal middle school

The Ideal Middle School

The National Middle School Association defines the “purpose and functions of the middle schools” as those which “center on the intellectual, social, emotional, moral, and physical developmental needs of young adolescents… . The best middle level schools provide appropriate programs, policies, and practices that foster the development of these tasks in positive ways.”

the model middle school
The Model Middle School

The NMSA identifies five key components

for the successful middle school curriculum: 

1. Interdisciplinary teaming

2. Advisory programs

3. Varied instruction

4. Exploratory programs

5. Transition programs

school calendar
School Calendar













testing dates
Testing Dates
  • Aug. 18-25, Dec. 11-15, Ap. 30-May 4
  • Feb. 22-Mar. 1
  • Ap. 9-13
  • Ap. 2-13
  • Ap. 16-20
  • 3 days
  • 1 day
  • 5 days
  • 3 days
  • 1 day


13 days

  • ADAW
  • ARMT
  • Science Assessment
August: School starts

Parents’ meeting

DIBELS assessment

Teachers’ weekly breakfasts

September: Labor Day holiday

First report card

Teachers’ weekly breakfasts

October: Second report card

Fall Break

Parent conferences

Teachers’ weekly breakfasts

November: Veteran’s Day holiday

Thanksgiving holidays

Teachers’ weekly breakfasts

December: Third report card

DIBELS assessment

Teachers’ weekly breakfasts

Christmas holidays

January: Second semester begins

King/Lee holiday Teachers’ weekly breakfasts

February: Black History Month

Fourth report card


Teachers’ weekly breakfasts

March: ADAW

DIBELS assessment

Spring Break

Parents’ conferences

Teachers’ weekly breakfasts


April: Good Friday holiday



Science Assessment


Fifth report card

Teachers’ weekly breakfasts


Sixth report card

End of school

pacing guides
Pacing Guides
  • Serve as guides for our instruction
  • Help us plan effective lessons
  • Keep us on topic
  • Help us prevent disruptions due to off-task behaviors
  • Ensure that we cover all important information
  • Help us prepare materials for students
mccartha s movie madness
McCartha’s Movie Madness

Rule 1: Be on time and prepared.

Rule 2: Stay seated at all times.

Rule 3: Be civil to others.




#1 Warning

#2 No Ticket

#3 Silent Lunch

#4 Note Home

sixth grade alabama course of study

Sixth Grade Alabama Course of Study

Reference website


Number and Operations

  • Demonstrate computational fluency with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of decimals and fractions.
  • Solve problems involving decimals, percents, fractions, and proportions.


  • Solve problems using numeric and geometric patterns.


  • Identify two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures based on attributes, properties, and component parts.
  • Plot coordinates on grids, graphs, and maps.


  • Classify angles as acute, obtuse, right, or straight.
  • Solve problems involving perimeter and area of parallelograms and rectangles.
  • Determine the distance between two points on a scale drawing or a map using proportional reasoning.
  • Convert units of length, weight, or capacity within the same system (customary or metric).

Data Analysis and Probability

  • Interpret information from bar graphs, line graphs, and circle graphs.
  • Find the probability of a simple event.
  • Identify global patterns of atmospheric movement, including El Niño, the Gulf Stream, the jet stream, the Coriolis effect, and global winds that influence local weather.
  • Describe factors that cause changes to Earth’s surface over time.
  • Describe water and carbon biogeochemical cycles and their effects on Earth.
  • Explain the plate tectonic theory.
  • Describe layers of the oceanic hydrosphere, including the pelagic zone, benthic zone, abyssal zone, and intertidal zone.
  • Describe regions of the oceanic lithosphere, including the continental shelf, continental slope, and abyssal plain.
  • Describe Earth’s biomes.
  • Describe how Earth’s rotation, Earth’s axial tilt, and distance from the equator cause variations in the heating and cooling of various locations on Earth.
  • Identify the moon’s phases.
  • Describe components of the universe and their relationships to each other, including stars, planets and their moons, solar systems, and galaxies.
  • Describe units used to measure distance in space, including astronomical units and light years.
english language arts
English Language Arts
  • Interpret and construct meaning by applying appropriate strategies to materials across the curriculum.
  • Read with ease textual, functional, and recreational materials encountered in daily life.
  • Exhibit the habit of reading for a substantial amount of time daily, including assigned and self-selected materials at their independent and instructional levels.
  • Demonstrate reading improvement gained through substantial amounts of daily reading.
english language arts30
English Language Arts
  • Recognize various forms of literature according to characteristics.
  • Determine the author’s purpose.
  • Recognize the characteristics and cultural influences of works of literature representative of various eras.
  • Be aware of writing and speaking styles that incorporate dialects, idioms, and intonation patterns.
  • Become aware of the etymology of language.
english language arts31
English Language Arts
  • Recognize linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Recognize the power of language as it evokes emotion; expands thinking; and influences problem solving, decision making, and action.
  • Develop general listening behaviors for different purposes and situations.
  • Select and indicate preference for sources of information.
  • Use study processes to manage information.
english language arts32
English Language Arts
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the research process.
  • Respond with understanding and empathy to information read, viewed, and heard.
  • Develop an extended vocabulary through reading, listening, viewing, writing, speaking, and presenting
  • Use available computer technology to enhance reading and writing skills.
  • Read aloud effectively from literature and personal compositions.
english language arts33
English Language Arts
  • Demonstrate effective listening and speaking behaviors for varied situations and purposes.
  • Use the writing process when composing various forms of written expression.
  • Know and apply principles of grammar and usage in writing, speaking, and presenting and apply mechanics in writing.
  • Compose using recognized literature as models.
  • Use self-monitoring and feedback from peers and teachers to evaluate reading, writing, listening, viewing, studying, and research skills.
social studies
Social Studies
  • Describe the Westward Expansion and its technological, economic, and social influence on the people of the United States prior to World War I.
  • Describe the impact of industrialization, free markets, urbanization, communication, and cultural changes in the United States prior to World War I.
  • Identify causes and consequences of the Spanish-American War.
  • Describe changing social conditions during the Progressive Period.
social studies35
Social Studies
  • Identify causes of World War I and reasons for entry into the war by the United States.
  • Identify cultural and economic developments in the society of the United States from 1877 through the 1930s.
  • Identify causes of the Great Depression.
  • List key figures, significant events, and reasons for the involvement of the United States in World War II.
  • Identify changes in the American home front during World War II.
social studies36
Social Studies
  • Identify major social and cultural changes in the United States from 1945 to 1960.
  • Identify critical events occurring in the United States and throughout the world from the Truman through the Johnson Administrations, including the Cold War, Berlin Airlift, Korean Conflict, space race, construction of Berlin Wall, Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam War.
  • Identify components of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.
social studies37
Social Studies
  • Describe the role of major civil rights leaders and significant events occurring during the modern Civil Rights Movement
  • Identify cultural and economic changes throughout the United States from 1960 to the present.
  • Explain major political events from the Nixon Administration to the present, including the Vietnam War; Watergate; the collapse of the Soviet Union; the Gulf War; the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and the War on Terrorism.
physical education
Physical Education

Goal: Motor Skill Development

1. Apply the critical elements of opposition, balance, weight transfer, and fluid movement patterns for all manipulative and nonlocomotor skills in game situations.

2. Engage in developmentally appropriate practices for fitness and motor skill development.

  • Describe similarities and differences between manipulative skills and nonlocomotor skills in a game or sport.
physical education39
Physical Education
  • Identify offensive and defensive strategies as components of game objectives.
  • Design small-group activities involving offensive and defensive strategies in a cooperative setting.
  • Demonstrate rhythms that combine traveling, balancing, and weight transfer into smooth sequences with intentional changes in direction, speed, and flow.
physical education40
Physical Education

Goal: Health-Enhancing Activity

7. Identify factors that affect physical activity and exercise preferences of participants.

8. Contrast the differences between warm-up, conditioning, and cool-down.

  • Describe the critical aspects of a healthy lifestyle including, but not limited to, nutrition, exercise, and rest
  • Assess the body’s response to exercise including, but not limited to, heart rate monitoring, fitness testing, respiration rate, and body composition.
  • Utilize a fitness plan.
physical education41
Physical Education

Goal: Interactive Behavior

  • Describe positive interactions of group members in numerous activity settings.
  • Identify safety concerns for physical activities.
  • Present a cooperative game or activity to a group with a set goal or task to be completed.
  • Promote awareness of fitness benefits while working cooperatively with others in the school community.
  • The content met local and national standards.
  • The language was appropriate for sixth grade students.
  • Content is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Questions and quizzes are provided at the end of each lesson to assess student learning.
  • The textbook can be used for many years.
  • The textbook provides a useful table of contents, glossary, and index.
  • Sufficient references, bibliographies, and resources are contained within the textbook.
  • Each chapter provides introductions and summaries that are comprehensive.
  • Each page is numbered so there is no confusion.
  • Each chapter is arranged logically for development of the subject.
physical aspects
Physical Aspects
  • The book’s font and style are age appropriate to the sixth grade.
  • The textbook will appeal to the students.
  • The textbook is tough and durable, which is needed for sixth grade students.
  • The use of tables, figures, graphs, charts, and illustrations is relevant to student learning.
  • The page layout is balanced and uncluttered.
teacher s edition
Teacher’s Edition
  • Textbook provides a separate teacher’s edition and resource package.
  • The teacher’s edition is helpful, comprehensive, organized, and easy to use.
  • The teacher’s edition includes a student edition.
  • Objectives are clearly stated.
  • Sufficient assessment ideas are provided within the teacher’s edition.
  • The teacher’s edition is reasonably sized.
  • Exercises, tests, and handouts are provided within the teacher’s edition.
what is an accommodation
What is an accommodation?
  • Accommodations are “such modifications to the course, program, or educational requirements as are necessary and appropriate so that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating on the basis of disability; academic requirements that are essential to the course or to the program of instruction being pursued by the student.”

So what is the big


Why are accommodations

so important?


Legal mandates require accommodations for special needs students

  • 4 of 10 students in public schools in the U.S. alone have special needs!

Once we understand how disabilities can interfere with a student’s learning, as teachers we can take steps to accommodate for the disability.

poor comprehension
Poor Comprehension
  • Give test directions both orally and in writing.
  • Double check student notes.
  • Avoid long talks before testing.
  • Allow students to tape-record responses to essay questions.
  • Provide answers for the correct responses.
  • Read test aloud for students with comprehension difficulties.
auditory difficulties
Auditory Difficulties
  • Use written rather than oral tests
  • Go slowly and make enunciate distinctly if oral tests are used
  • Seat students in quiet place for testing
  • Stress to the other students the importance of being quiet

Visual Difficulties

  • Give directions orally as well as in writing
  • Give exam orally or tape recorded on audiocassette
  • Allow students to take the test orally
  • Keep students away from visual distractions
  • Meet visitors in the hallway to talk
time constraint difficulties
Time Constraint Difficulties
  • Allow more than enough time to take the test
  • Provide breaks during lengthy tests
  • Give half the test one day and the other half another day
  • Avoid timed test
  • Give students with slow writing skills oral tape-recorded test
  • Avoid adding pressure (“Hurry and get finished”)
  • Do not use tests as a means of punishment
  • Give a practice test of practice items
  • Allow students to retest, if needed
  • Avoid having only a few major tests
  • Make modified tests to resemble regular test
  • Avoid calling attention to mainstreamed students
  • Monitor all students the same
  • Confer with students privately to work out accommodations
  • Do not single out mainstream students when returning tests
variability of behavior
Variability of Behavior
  • Allow retesting
  • Allow students to reschedule

for another test time

  • Monitor closely to determine if behavior is preventing best work

Our greatest debt is owed to our students and the special and general educators for making assessment accommodations for special needs students. It is important that educators be aware of the symptoms and characteristics of students at risk and be able to identify and refer these students for the appropriate treatment.

middle school issues

Middle School Issues

Create small communities for personalized learning (small schools or small programs within larger schools.

Create successful experiences for all students by eliminating tracking and promoting cooperative learning.

Give teachers and administrators decision-making power concerning curriculum and instruction.

Employ teachers who like, respect, and appreciate adolescents.

Employ teachers who are experts at teaching young adolescents.

Improve academic performance through fostering health and fitness of young adolescents.

Encourage family involvement in the education process.

Connect middle schools with their communities.

The five developmental areas described include intellectual development, moral development, physical development, emotional/psychological development, and social development.

middle schools should provide
Middle schools should provide:
  • Curriculum that is challenging, integrative, and exploratory
  • Varied teaching and learning approaches
  • Assessment and evaluation that promote learning
  • Flexible organizational structures
  • Programs and policies that foster health, wellness, and safety along with special needs students
  • Comprehensive guidance and support services
These six major areas of emphasis collectively provide a meaningful view of what it takes to be a middle school that is developmentally responsive.
lessons learned from this exercise

Lessons Learned from this Exercise

Elementary and secondary candidates can get along!

first days
First Days
  • The first days of class were nothing less than a rocky start.
  • The battle lines between the secondary and elementary education candidates were clearly drawn.
The elementary candidates were excited about everyone working together, because elementary teachers are used to working in collaborative teams.
  • The secondary candidates had a much different mindset.
  • Secondary teachers worry about one thing and one thing only: their subject area.
After many class meetings of bickering and arguing, a strange thing began to transpire…

We learned to work together as single educational entity.

The class soon journeyed out of the confines of the classroom and set up a new shop in the library’s instructional resources room.
  • After going through many different sets of textbooks, we determined that the Glencoe series would be the best choice for our school.
Once we were all on the same page, things ran smoothly.
  • We quickly agreed on our school name, mascot, class schedule, team leader, and each aspect of the curriculum we were assigned to.

The strength of a horse is in its rider.

With education as your rider, you’ll be well guided.

McCartha Middle School is committed to instilling confidence in our students and preparing them for a meaningful future.

Thank you for you support!