The last group to observe is middle school. As in K-5 and 9-12, grades 6-8 are being academically challenged as never before. The theme of "preparing students for the work force or university" is the goal, and teachers will be using a laser-like focus in equipping students with those vital skills so that when students do go out into the world, they might be productive citizens in this information-driven society.
In this video, you will first see math classes. Notice the collaboration among small groups to arrive at solutions to problems AND how they justify their solutions to their peers. This entails using academic language in context to make their point. Further in this setting, students are demonstrating/explaining to their peers how they arrived at their solutions. Since there are often several ways to come to an answer, students have opportunity after opportunity to see how others reached their answer/solutions. In the real world, this skill will be a must in any position in the business world. Team work and the ability to clearly articulate one's opinion are key requisites if one is to succeed in any career.
In the second half of the video, you will see a middle school working with poetry and non-fiction material. Why the two? Per the new Common Core ELA Standards, 50% of all reading must be in non-fiction/informational text with the remaining 50% being in literature. This shift will prepare them for high school where fiction drops to only 30% and persuasive writing predominates. In middle school, the process of persuasive writing is developed. Personal narratives are not done in college/university/business world so they will not be the writing objective here.
COMMON CORE FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
I plan on putting together a short list of websites on COMMON CORE ELA MATH STANDARDS with newsletters you might like to subscribe to. The more information you have, the smoother the transition will be:)
ELL TEACHER PROS