Welcome to Wayside Middle School New Parent Orientation Ms. May, Mr. Pitman, & Ms. Argabright
About our school • Grades: 6-8 • Number of students ≈ 900 • Our Mission: The mission of Wayside Middle School is to provide each student a holistic education in a safe, supportive environment that promotes self-discipline, motivation, and excellence in learning. The Wayside team joins the parents and community to assist the students in developing skills to become independent and self-sufficient learners who will succeed and contribute responsibly in the community.
Center Rotation & Groups • Group 1 (with Malcolm first): Professor Barrett, Megan, Erin, Brandi • Group 2 (with Leanna first): Devyn, Cassie, Andrew • Group 3 (with Julia first): Richard, Taylor, Rachel
Curriculum • At Wayside Middle School, we aim to make the curriculum relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory for your students….but what does this all mean?
Relevant: closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand • The teachers truly aim to get to know the students; therefore, learning can apply to their lives. • Curriculum is designed to be authentic, or true to what necessary to learn. • Our catch phrase is: Do it like Dewey, or ”learning by doing”. Our students learn through inquiry and discovery. The truth is discovered in the classroom. • Are tests, worksheets, and essays enough? Are the students learning?
Challenging: testing one's abilities; demanding • Teachers often give responsibility to the students in the classroom for their learning in the form choosing assignments • Apply learning to real world, but instead of just telling the students, through discovering we believe that our students will realize themselves the application. • In order to have a successful learning environment, all teachers build on prior knowledge, or scaffold learning to make it more meaningful.
Integrative: serving or intending to unify separate things • Like previously mentioned, the teachers and staff aim to apply learning to real world. By making it applicable, the students can’t help but see the importance of the education. It goes far beyond the textbook. • Help students to make sense of the world around them • Our classrooms are also cross-curricular with ties from all areas of subjects interwoven into each other.
Exploratory: relating to or involving exploration or investigation • Discovery! Choice! Accountability! • With all of these, our students will be able to “do it like Dewey” • Answers will not always be given to students, but through prompted discussion, centers, and time for investigation within the classroom, the students will discover the academic truth.
More curriculum details • Our curriculum follows common core state standards. • Curriculum is student-centric—based around the needs of the students. • Although there is traditional scheduling for the core subjects, all actions are to benefit the students. • Subjects are interwoven, cross-curricular, so themes are designed upon knowing the students and their needs, as well as the happenings of the world, society, etc. service learning.
Instructional Practices • Goal: to differentiate instruction so that each student learns in a way that is comfortable to him or her • There will be: lectures with accompanying PowerPoints, cooperative learning activities, centers, and hands-on activities. All will have a balance • These centers, like the ones you are traveling in today, allow for whole group instruction, small group instruction, and individual work; all are essential
Student-centric teaching • Teachers will be master of content, but flexible with process and product of the classroom. • By giving students choice, there will be more interest and motivation. • We aim to help students become responsible for their own learning; this will include collaborating with peers—working together, discussing, problem solving, etc. These actions will also show growth in the student’s maturity • Because it is student-centered, student mastery decides when to move on or cover more in depth.
Modeling • Modeling is important— “I do, We do, Y’all do, You do” • I do- Teacher shows student process and or steps in order to become successful • We do- As a class, with the guidance of the teacher, the students complete a problem, or go through the steps. • Y’all do- The students work in small groups to complete the problem given or go through the steps, without the teacher. • You do- At this point, the student should be able to complete a problem individually. • All steps lead to independent work, creating a sense of responsibility in the students.
Team Teaching • In order to maximize success within the school, all teachers will be members of teams. These teams will consist of the teachers in each of the grades to confidently interweave disciplines between each class to make learning more meaningful for students. In each grade there are: • 2 language arts teachers • 2 math teachers • 2 social studies teacher • 2 science teachers
Environment • Goal: to create a community conducive to learning in a safe and positive manner • To create this community, the teachers all make valiant effort to connect with students inside and outside the classroom—wayside teaching • Each student is a member of the community, and must act like it. We do not want to treat our students like they are children, instead they are responsible for their own behaviors, learning, and consequences. • We aim to support all students emotionally, socially, physically, and academically. The students are not just students, we want to embrace our students holistically.
Environment Cont’d • Physical: space for a reading corner, desks organized in clusters for small group work, congestion free, anchor charts, library for student choice books, smart board, posted schedules • Building: each grade has a floor to help build cross-curricular work, as well as improve teaching teams ability to collaborate
Reminder of upcoming events: August 23 – Open House September 16 – Improv night September 27 – Author night Thank you for attending