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EDML 270: Middle Grades Organization and Pedagogy Credits: 3 Instructors: Jacqueline J.

Gale Meeting dates and times: June 25-June 28 8:00-5:30 Location: Castleton State College

Course Description: Middle schools have evolved from the traditional junior version of high school into institutions dedicated to providing developmentally responsive pedagogy for early adolescents. As such, these schools have specific structures that directly address the unique physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs of students ages 10-14. Participants in this course will explore the design of these structures, including interdisciplinary and partner team development, teacher advisory and teacher-based guidance, transitions, community service learning, grouping, scheduling, and family involvement. Goals: The goals for this course are based on middle level teachers achieving the following National Middle School Association Standards: Standard 2. Middle Level Philosophy and School Organization Middle level teachers understand the major concepts, principles, theories, and research underlying the philosophical foundations of developmentally responsive middle level programs and schools, and they work successfully within these organizational components. Standard 3. Middle Level Curriculum and Assessment Middle level teachers understand the major concepts, principles, theories, standards, and research related to middle level curriculum and assessment, and they use this knowledge in their practice.

Standard 6. Family and Community Involvement Middle level teachers understand the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to working collaboratively with family and community members, and they use that knowledge to maximize the learning of all young adolescents.

Learning Outcomes: As a result of successful participation in this course the successful teacher will demonstrate mastery of the following knowledge, skills and dispositions:

Knowledge of specialized professional techniques associated with the middle school concept, including interdisciplinary and partner team organization, teacher-based guidance and teacher advisory, grouping strategies, scheduling options, and community service learning. Growing skill in functioning effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary team and as an advocate for young adolescents. Knowledge of how to establish and maintain positive and productive relationships with families and the community. Understanding of the techniques required to create an environment that encourages each student to become aware of himself /herself, to develop ability to express, understand and control her/his feelings; develop sense of trust and independence.

Methods: Course methods include but are not limited to the following: * mini-lecture * inquiry-based small and large group discussion * partner and small group work * guest speakers * website research and simulated teaming scenarios * peer teaching * daily course readings and reflective writing assignments from peer-reviewed journal articles * action research project experience
General Course Information: Course Policies If you have a documented disability that warrants accommodation in this course, please make an appointment with the instructor at your earliest convenience.

Attendance Expectations Attendance is of the utmost importance for this class. Please let us know in advance if you have a medical absence, illness or an emergency that prevents you from being in class. Contributions in Class This course is designed to be a guided construction of new knowledge rather than a teacher-centered lecture course. Emphasis is on interactive and participatory student-led and teacher guided discussion. Your active participation is essential. This includes participating in class activities, asking probing questions to extend ideas, considering concepts from differing perspectives, listening with purpose, collaborating in small and large group processes, demonstrating collegiality and professionalism, exhibiting self-advocacy, responsible attendance, arriving on time, meeting assignment deadlines, and other respectful ways of being that enhance our collective learning environment. Academic Honesty and Professionalism Students will be held accountable to the UVM Code of Academic Integrity, which can be found at Required and/or Recommended Readings

General Institute Readings: Middle School is Not a Building MGI Theme Readings Other Required and Recommended Readings: Middle School Concept: Research and Policy Ozretich, R.A., & Bowman, S.R. (2001). Middle childhood and adolescent development. NMSA Research Summary. Young adolescents developmental characteristics. *Lipsitz and West. (2006). What makes a good school? Identifying excellent middle schools. Teaming *Kasak and Uskali. Organizational structures that support meaningful relationships and learning. Kokolis (2007). Teaming was a Catalyst for Better Climate and Improved Achievement. Clark & Clark (2006). Achieving Teamings Full Potential: A Leadership Challenge Teacher-Based Guidance *Burkhardt and Kane. (2001). An adult advocate for every student. *Cushman & Rogers (2008). Middle School Students Talk about Social Forces in the Classroom. Please read at least one of the following three: Balkus. (2006). An advocate for every student at Millard Central Middle School.

McCaffrey. (2008). Creating an advisory program using Hollywood film clips to promote character development. Shulkind & Foote. (2009). Creating a Culture of Connectedness through Middle School Advisory Programs. Community Service Learning *Kaye. (2009). Service Learning: The Time is Now. *Smith. (2002). Place-based education: Learning to be where we are. Please read one of the following two: Kielsmeier. (2009). Brining Learning to Life Through Service. Thompson, Andrews, Jackson, & Reagin. (2010). Who are my Students and Why Does is Matter? Using Service-Learning to Teach Children Impacted by Poverty. Transitions *Anfara and Schmid. (2007). School transition: Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune? Please read one of the following two: Koppang. (2004). A transition program based on identified student and parent concerns. Smith & Lin. (2007). Examining the Transition from Middle School to High School: Translating Research into Practice. Grouping *NMSA Research Summary. Heterogeneous grouping. *NMSA Research Summary. Multiage grouping. Anfara & Mertens. (2008). Do Single-Sex Classes and Schools Make a Difference? *Please read one of the following two: Fenter (2009). The Power of Looping Voyer (2009). Pioneering Middle Level Looping in a K-8 School Scheduling *Please read one of the following two NMSA Research Summary. Flexible Scheduling. Brown (2001). Flexible Scheduling and Young Adolescent Development Family Involvement *Epstein. (2005). School-Initiated Family and Community Partnerships Reilly. (2008). Parental involvement through better communication. Faulkner & Cook (2009). Student Led Conferences: Involving the Most Important Player
Electronic Submission/Internet Use This course requires heavily on the use of technology and internet use. Registered participants will need to have a laptop for this course. If you are unable to secure a laptop please notify the instructor in advance.

Student Evaluation/Assessment:

Assessment Assessment throughout this course will be on-going and provided daily through verbal and written feedback between instructor and student. Students will be given an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the course materials consistently through a variety of the teaching methods listed. This ensures that students feel confident they know what is expected at the start and end of each class and do not have to feel anxious about how they are doing in the course. Evaluation Criteria Performance Tasks and Evaluation Strand Readings Evidence of completion through; references during class discussions, inclusion in team simulation project, and integration into action research proposal. Participation Daily attendance, active involvement in team simulation project, and willing contributor to class discussions. Teaming Simulation Project During this course participants will work with a simulated team to create a Team Wiki, which will present the teams approach to the 6 core middle grades organizational areas presented throughout the week.

Action Research Proposal What is your vision for teaching and learning in the middle years? The Middle Level Action Research Project is a proposal and implementation of change in a participants middle level practice. This reflects current middle level practices that are developmentally responsive to the nature and needs of young adolescents. Online Discussion The online forum is a way for participants to continue strand conversations beyond the Institute week and help each other implement our Inquiry Projects. Regular posts and responses are recommended during the week of the Institute. Fall /Winter Presentation The fall/winter presentation showcases the ins and outs of participants Action Research Projects. It is a day of peer learning and a celebration of the work students have done to implement Action Research Projects.

Grading Assignments are due on the dates specified. Grading Scale A = 90-100%, Distinguished B = 80-89%, Proficient C = 70-79%, Emerging D = 60-69%, Poor/Unsatisfactory F = <59%, Unacceptable

Format for Expected Work All writing should conform to A.P.A. format, which is the format generally accepted for all educational writing and publishing. The A.P.A. Manual can be found at the Bailey Howe Library, the UVM bookstore and online.

Scoring Rubrics -Action Research Proposal Scoring Rubric-see attached -Teaming Simulation Rubric-see attached Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment: Assessment Breakdown Team Simulation Project: 30% Demonstration of Readings and Participation: 30% Action Research Proposal: 40% Instructional Sequence
Date Monday: 8:00-5:30 Topics/Focusing Questions Middle School Concept Who are we? What are our course objectives this week and through January? What are my personal goals for this strand? Who are our students? What is a middle school? Teaming How is teaming developmentally responsive to young adolescents? What makes an effective team? How do you use technology to facilitate collaboration? Agenda/Assignments Introductions Review of course materials and assignments Cognitive Styles Survey Establishment of interdisciplinary teams

Linking young adolescent development with middle grades organization Introduction to technology-(team choice or google sites) Development of shared belief statements and organizational model for team

Tuesday: 8:00-5:30

Teacher-Based Guidance

Development of Teacher-Based

What is teacher-based guidance? How do we advocate for all students? How do student-teacher relationships impact teaching and learning? How are student-teacher relationships central to teaching and learning? Wednesday: 8:00-5:30 Community Based Learning What are the distinctions between community service and service learning? How is service learning developmentally appropriate? What is a blueprint for developing service learning? Facilitating Change What is my semester long action research project?

Guidance Plan: Research and develop advisory model Integrate curriculum and team advisory Share schedule to support student learning

Discussion on different aspects of CBL Description of current practices and challenges at our schools Design and share team-wide What do community based projects look like?

Review of action research project expectations Select and work on action research project proposal Individual conferences with instructors on action research proposals Write action research proposals Continue work on team wiki Discuss transition points during middle school and during the school day

Thursday: 8:00-5:30

Action Research Project Planning What factors influence our efforts to change? What is my long-term vision and project? Family Involvement and Transitions How do effective middle schools engage communities and families? How does the schedule and grouping practices affect family participation? What are the different roles that families can play in a middle school? What student and family issues are central to transitions and transition planning? How can we plan for transitions into and out of middle school? Team Website Presentations What aspects of team website support young adolescents best? How has working with team members made you rethink your responsibilities as a teacher? What can we learn from each others team wikis? What did we learn from the process of working in a simulated team? Action Research Proposals How can I present my action research proposal in a coherent and concise way? How has my proposal changed from the feedback I received? Closure How can I support my colleagues as they implement their vision projects?

Re-examine schedule to allow more developmental transitions Develop a transition plan which includes family involvement Continue work on team websites

Present two aspects of your website to colleagues Continue work on action research proposal

Friday: 8:00-5:30

Complete work on action research proposal Prepare presentation of action research proposal

Debrief feedback on action research proposals Course evaluations

Friday contd

Fall Semester Action Research Project Implementation How is the implementation of my vision project going? January Action Research Conference How can others learn through my vision project? How can I learn through others vision projects?

Implementation of action research

Presentation of action research project Agenda TBD

EDML 270: Middle Grades Organization and Pedagogy Team Simulation Rubric Criteria Student Voice Meets Standard
Throughout each element on the Wiki, student opportunities for choice and voice are evident. Team identity is clearly established through inclusion of a team mission/vision statement that is steeped in middle grades literature and reflects the developmental needs of young adolescents. The team name is representative of the team vision statement. Team definition/understanding of teacher-based guidance is clearly articulated to parents. Clear framework for teacherbased guidance is represented and reflects the teams articulated beliefs about teacher-based guidance (involves other components beyond advisory). Advisory statement of purpose is clearly articulated and doable in scheduled time. All of the above components are based in middle grades research. Transition plan either into and out of team is represented that attends to the multiple needs of both students and families. Transition plan is steeped in relevant research. Family Involvement plan clearly encompasses 3 of Epsteins types of family involvement (one being communicating).

Approaches Standard
Student voice is absent from some areas of the Wiki.

Below Standard
No clear role of students in team represented.


Team identity is articulated through a team mission/vision statement; however little reference to middle grades literature or adolescent development is made. and/or Reason for team name is not clearly described. General approach to teacher-based guidance is indicated. Parent explanation leaves room for parents to question the validity of the practice and use of school-time. Advisory is the only practice described. and/or The purpose of advisory is not clearly articulated or its scope is too large for successful implementation.

Team identity is not clearly developed. Team vision statement is scattered and/or does not reflect middle grades research.

Teacher Based Guidance

Plan demonstrates that the team does not have a clear understanding of what is meant by teacher-based guidance and/or The plan is not based on middle grades research.

Transition Plan

Transition plan either into or out of team is represented, but it attends to only one audience or only addresses limited needs of the audiences. Family involvement plan is present, but only encompasses 2 of Epsteins types of family involvement, including

The transition plan presented is not based on middle grades research or adolescent development theories.

Family Involvement

Family involvement plan only encompasses 1 of Epsteins types of family involvement

communicating. The plan recognizes the multiple lifestyles/needs of families. and/or The plan fails to take the diverse needs of families into account. Service-Learning outline clearly addresses each of the following areas: preparation, action, reflection, and demonstration. A variety of equitable grouping practices clearly reflect research and reading. Sample schedule demonstrates creative use of block-time, teacher based guidance, and reflects the teams grouping practices. One can look at the schedule and see the teams vision statement reflected in it. Service-learning plans fails to specifically address each of the four areas.

and/or does not include a communication plan at all.

Service Learning

Service-learning plan is largely incomplete or unrealistic.



Grouping practices explicit, but are not fully grounded in research and reading. Sample schedule does not consider creative uses of time that help to articulate the teams vision statement.

There is little mention of the reasons behind team grouping practices. Sample schedule does not demonstrate an understanding of young adolescent development and research.