- C.S. Porter Middle School
- Teacher Information
Brooke, Joy (Title I)
December came and went!
Posted by Joy Brooke on 12/18/2019
How did it get to be December already? So much learning and teaching happening, that's how! Students and teachers have been working so hard. Let's get caught up on all the happenings. Once again, book clubs, coaching cycles, learning walks, new teacher meetings, and vertical alignment meetings! It has been a busy time of beginnings and endings, but continual growth.
We ended our book club on November 21st with our in person meeting. Great discussion occurred and wonderful sharing happened. We are now applying all that learning to our work with students. What did we learn in the book club Mindset by Carol Dweck? See below!
That it's always possible to improve student's mindset, and that I have a responsibility to do so every day.
My greatest takeaway was perception. Not only perception, but my students and my colleagues. How growth and fixed mindset affects and impacts all of us and how we each individually precise each other's.
My biggest take away was how this would change my approach to students and student work in the classroom, in an almost drastic way.
That you can always make something out of nothing! A growth mindset takes time to cultivate, and doesn't necessarily apply to all facets of life.
My greatest learning piece was that because we have practices in place, they still need to be continually reviewed and revised in order to roll with our students. That is a Growth Mindset that I had previously been struggling with.
I am going to be more diligent about celebrating mistakes and observing mistakes to show students how we grow from our mistakes.
I loved knowing that this is a lifetime process that needs to be evaluated every day. We can always be better!
It was inspiring to hear from so many growth mindset oriented colleagues at Porter!
Hearing everyone's thoughts in person during discussion at Trough - also reading through some of what people wrote in Google Classroom
I enjoyed sharing ideas with other educators who teach the same thing.
Be mindful of words and specific praise- directly teach the ups and downs of learning- expect all students to learn by pushing each to go beyond what they already know or can do
The staff at Porter care so much about teaching our students!
My greatest learning was taking a close look at my own mindset. In this book club I was able to take a microscope to my own mindset, asking question like why I have this mindset and where it came from.
So inspiring! And when we as professionals learn and grow, so do our students! Our next book club is called, Fewer Things Better by Angela Watson and will run January 13- Feb. 17th.
Another area of learning happening at Porter was in our past coaching cycles. I was fortunate enough to wrap up a student centered coaching cycle with the whole 7th grade ELA team on the learning goal to ciite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. The data from the cycle was pretty incredible. Overall, the three classrooms went from 26 proficient to 53 students! That's double the students to proficiency in meeting this goal in just 6 weeks. Their continual team work, collaboration, and reflection on practice helped their students achieve success. For me it was great learning when coaching with a whole team. The pick four strategy we used was really helpful as the last few weeks when we worked on the literary essay and students had to definitely cite evidence using "quote sandwiches". We also had a lot of fun integrating service learning into the Long Walk to Water unit and will continue this work all year long trying to raise money to build a well with clean water for a village in South Sudan.
I also got to wrap up a coaching cycle with sixth grade teacher Ms. Canter. She had two goals for her students in her student centered coaching cycle. Her first goal was that her students could identify theme based on two different texts. Her students went from 17% proficient to 80% proficient. Her second goal was citing text based evidence to support analysis between texts and her students went from 55% to 76% and her students who had not met at all went from 32% to 8%. Amazing student growth.
Ms. Jarvis and Mr. Payne are currenlty in a coaching cycle where they are working on the goal and standard to cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports and analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. This 8th grade ELA team is collaborating around the novel To Kill a Mockingbird and doing some great work with formative assessments to show growth for their students.
Ms. Carroll in 8th grade social studies is also in a coaching cycle where she is rethinking a whole social studies unit arount the U.S Consitution. She wants her students to be engaged and to demonstrate understanding of their own government and another culture/tribe’s government. We have been doing some great planning and have some exciting visitor's coming in January including the Mayor John Engan, Lawyer Bea Kaleva, and a Native American tribal leader.
One other coaching cycle under way is in 6th grade math with Ms. McLeod. She has chosen three goals for her coaching cycle which include:
-Students will… be able to fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.
-Students will be able to find the volume of a rectangular prism.
-Students will… be able to find the volume of a 3 dimensional figure in a real world context.
Using the newly adopted Carneglie Learning math curriculum which focuses on rich student discourse and practice on Mathia, we plan to help her students meet these goals together.
Along with coaching cycles we had a great learning walk on December 2nd, where two of our 7th grade math teachers Ms. Briner and Ms. Eisenzimer got to observe math three math classes over at Washington Middle School. Mr. Strothman got to observe science class with Mr. Love, Mrs. Whiteman observed band with Mr. Englund, and Ms. Keyes observed Ms. Hammitt/Ms. Lombardi's co-teach ELA class. One teacher commented, "I really enjoyed watching other teachers from other buildings, and how they implemented the same material we have, but in a way that works best for their group of kids." Special thanks to all those educators who welcomed us into your classrooms. Our next learning walk is Friday, January 31st.
Our new teachers at Porter celebrated together on December 16th their successes these first months. MCPS New Teacher/Mentor coach Brittnie Keilman joined us in celebrating at the Trough. We will continue to meet monthly to support one another.
And last but not least, we had a successful vertical alignment meeting where different content areas were able to meet with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers. Successes were shared, areas of growth discussed, and agreements made to increase consistency and learning across all grade levels. Teachers shared different ideas/strategies with one another and great learning was had by all!
Like I mentioned... December came and went and here we are! Lots of growth happening everywhere you look at Porter. Here's to a new year full of even more teaching, learning, and growth for us all in this fabulous learning community at C.S. Porter Middle School.