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Creative Thinking 8 Grade Course Description 2013-2014


Kaiserslautern Middle School's Mission Statement Educate, engage and empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world. Kaiserslautern Middle School's Vision Statement Kaiserslautern Middle School provides a student-focused learning environment that is standards-based and differentiated to empower students to reach their maximum potential. KMS promotes a safe climate for students to grow as healthy, caring, and ethical citizens of a diverse world. Continuous School Improvement Goals Goal 1: Students will improve their problem-solving skills with an emphasis on math foundational skills. Goal 2: Students will increase performance on critical reading skills. Goal 3: KMS will diminish bullying or the perception of bullying. Description This course is designed for 8th graders to enhance learning via improved problem solving, critical reading, organizational, and study skills. It is intended to build upon concepts taught in 6th grade Study Skills and 7th grade Pathways to Careers. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), 21st Century Schools Four Cs (collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity), and Second Steps: Student Success Through Prevention will be emphasized. Students will: 1) explore elements of character to improve communication and collaboration 2) conduct self-evaluation to focus on learning styles, interests, and strengths 3) apply critical reading techniques when conducting research 4) utilize collaborative and problemsolving skills to create and present a STEM-based project, and 5) make use of technology to maintain an electronic portfolio, conduct online research and activities, and create and present a STEM-based project. DoDEA STEM Initiative The DoDEA STEM initiative is an educational program designed to provide students with opportunities to be successful in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Our purpose is to ignite the passion of students to pursue education and careers in STEM disciplines. The three goals of the DoDEA STEM initiative are to: Create K-12 student interest, participation, and achievement in higher levels of math, science, and technology through the engineering design process Attract and retain students to STEM fields with a focus on underrepresented and female populations Support the national security focus on the shortage of STEM professionals

The initiative takes a multi-pronged approach to achieve the goals. One prong includes new courses that have been developed to introduce students to contemporary disciplines in STEM fields and to encourage them to find relevance and need for higher-level mathematics and science coursework as they pursue their future goals.

21st Century Teaching and Learning Twenty-first Century Teaching and Learning (21st CTLL) is a student-centered approach to learning that builds on responsive and inclusive teaching to engage students through technology and the environment so that students create richer meaning from their learning. Although 21st CTLL is not new, using technology and the environment for student construction of meaning is. It is a response to learner needs and a studentcentered approach incorporating innovative instructional strategies that acknowledge student differences for learning. The four Cs of 21st century teaching and learning include: 1) Creativity and Innovation, 2) Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, 3) Communication, and 4) Collaboration. Second Steps: Student Success Through Prevention The Second Steps: Student Success Through Prevention program teaches empathy and communication, emotionmanagement and coping skills, and decision-making. These skills help students stay engaged in school, make good choices, set goals, and avoid peer pressure, substance abuse, bullying, and cyber bullying. Eighth-graders wrap up

their middle school years and prepare for high school with lessons about handling grievances and avoiding labels, stereotypes and prejudice, and bullying in dating relationships.. Group work, class discussion, and classroom videos help students learn about goal setting and keeping commitmentskey factors in substance abuse prevention and academic success. Tentative Syllabus 1st Quarter Week 1: Week 2: Week 3: Week 4: Week 5: Week 6: Week 7: Week 8: Week 9: Course overview, collaborative activities Organization, electronic portfolios Character education Character education continued Self-assessment, stress management Learning styles, strengths, weaknesses Group dynamics, collaboration STEM project research and critical reading STEM project research and critical reading 2nd Quarter Week 10: Week 11: Week 12: Week 13: Week 14: Week 15: Week 16: Week 17: Week 18: Goal setting Six-year plans and guidance counseling Project research and preparation Project research and preparation Project research and preparation Field trip and guidance counseling Presentations Presentations Portfolio and self-evaluation

Evaluation A students performance will be evaluated by means of formative assessments and summative portfolios and projects: Two graded formative assessment assignments per week- 10 points each Electronic portfolio- 100 points STEM project- 100 points Presentation- 25 points

STEM Project Overview Students will select or be assigned one of the following project formats to be completed collaboratively with a group of 2-4 peers: Power Point Prezi Web Quest Web Page You Tube Instructional Video eCybermission project Presentation content will be developed through research of science, technology, engineering, or math related topics. A project outline, which includes expectations, assignments, due dates, and grading rubrics will be provided. Students will present their projects during the last two weeks of the semester. Grading Scale 90-100% 80-89% 70-79% 60-69% 0-59% Late Policy An assignment submitted after its due date is subject to earning reduced credit not to exceed 10% per day. If a student is absent from school, he/ she will have one day for every day missed to make up assignments without penalty. Parent/ Teacher/ Student Communication Parent/ teacher/ student communication is daily and on going via: Recording daily assignments and comments in agenda Gradespeed Email Ms. Downeys email address is Ms. Anconas email address is Phone Kaiserslautern Middle Schools phone number is 0631-59871 or DSN 489-7430/7453 KMS Open House on August 26, 2013 Parent/ Teacher/ Student Conferences dates to be announced Additional conference times are available upon request If you have questions/ concerns, please contact your childs teacher first before contacting the KMS administration or the District Superintendents Office (DSO). A B C D F Excellent mastery of content/ skills Above average mastery of content/ skills Satisfactory mastery of content/ skills Below average mastery of content/ skills Improvement needed, mastery not shown of content/ skills

Integration of Technology Various forms of technology will be employed by the teacher and students to meet the objectives of this course including but not limited to: stand-alone and laptop computers printers Smartboard video camera Video Tele Conferencing (VTC) Second Steps: Student Success Through Prevention videos Software applications including the Microsoft Office suite, web page creation applications, editing software, Gradespeed Web resources including Prezi, Web Quest, eCybermission , AVID, You Tube, My Job Chart, Literacy TA, and College Board Collaboration and Community Involvement Vertical and horizontal teaming between KMS teachers will be used for course development, lesson planning, and evaluation purposes. The KMS educational technology specialist may be asked to assist students with computer related projects. The KMS media specialist may be asked to assist students with project-related research. School liaison officers (SLOs) will coordinate STEM guest speakers and possible field trips. The KMS guidance counselor and ASAC counselor will conduct lessons on character development and six-year plans. KHS STEM classes may be visited and/or high school students may be asked to be guest speakers. The Kaiserslautern military community will (hopefully) reinstate Take Your Child to Work Day. KMS parents/ guardians will provide supervision and support for their childrens academic performance.