To: Michael Z. Green, Superintendent
From: Cari Thomson, PhD
RE: October Summary of Teaching and Learning
During the month of October WMS staff spent time on Monday mornings focusing on our building goal which is, “students will be able to access text and communicate about text.” Staff is exploring the different text that students encounter and strategies they use to access text to make meaning. Staff took a practice Smarter Balanced Assessment on paper as well as on the computer.
Science and math teachers also attended the National Science Teachers’ Association conference in Portland. This conference focused on the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards (NGSS). There is a big shift in the science standards as concepts are clearly outlined by grade level and engineering literacy is incorporated as well. I currently have a math and science teacher working on a common goal of interpreting and analyzing data as a result of attendance at this conference.
The coaches are a welcome addition to Woodland Middle School. I do learning walks with Barb and Heidi once a week attending to text and strategies students use to access text. The coaches have been providing staff with instructional feedback, modeling lessons, lesson development, and assisting me with professional development. This resource is outstanding!
Conference week occurred October 15-25. Students, staff, and parents participated in student-led conferences. Talking points included their initial academic goals and plans for attainment, work samples, and the transition into middle school. Staff has done a great job of facilitating these and we will be repeating these conferences in the spring. The conferences in the spring will revisit the student’s goal progress as well as address the planning for the 2014-2015 school year.
Students at WMS participated in Red Ribbon Week in October. This is a nation-wide designated prevention week. Khristina Williams had several lunchtime activities and contests and all were promoted by the WMS Prevention Club.
Mix it Up Day was a success in October. ASB leadership students put together a day when students all sat at different tables then they are used to at lunch and meet new people. There are conversation starters on the tables and students win prizes for finding out information about their peers. This fits nicely into our anti-bullying curriculum and our school improvement goal of a safe and caring community. Way to go to Robin Uhlenkott and her students for organizing this.