Building successful students using lab classes


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How Taft Middle School designed and implemented Lab classes to enhance student learning in project based language arts and math lab classes

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Building successful students using lab classes

  1. 1. Building Successful Students Using Lab Classes Robert A. Taft Middle School Principal: Mr. Michael C. Hazen Crown Point Community School Corporation Crown Point, Indiana
  2. 2. Presenters: <ul><li>Ashley Cotton – 8 th grade Math Lab teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Sarah Smenyak – Guidance Counselor </li></ul>
  3. 3. Robert A. Taft Middle School A “School to Watch” <ul><li>Schools to Watch® is an initiative launched by the  National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform  in  1999. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognizes schools nationally who meet the criteria of high performing middle grades school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They are  academically excellent —these schools challenge all students to use their minds well. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are  developmentally responsive —these schools are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are  socially equitable —these schools are democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources, and supports. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Schools are recognized annually at a ceremony in Washington DC and are given the opportunity to meet with their congressman on Capital Hill. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Schools To Watch Process <ul><li>Application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>School Wide Staff Perception Survey on STW criteria (academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, structures and organizational arrangements). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrative on the 5 criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation of AYP, achievement testing, demographics, discipline, programs and processes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site Visit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>STW finalists have a site visit w/ the STW leadership from Indiana. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Panels of teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Community leaders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classroom observations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student work samples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Banner Presentation w/ Dr. Bennett in the Spring </li></ul><ul><li>STW conference and Awards Dinner in Washing DC in June </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation at State Middle Level Conference in the fall </li></ul>
  5. 5. Recipients of the “Schools to Watch” Award
  6. 6. Building Successful Students Using Lab Classes <ul><li>This presentation focuses on how Robert A. Taft Middle School, recipient of the National Schools to Watch Award, devised and implemented new classes designed around core curriculum and project based learning to improve academic achievement.  We will discuss how student learning is enriched and the importance of collaboration for successful implementation of lab classes. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Lab Classes at Taft Middle School <ul><li>Lab classes began during the 2008 – 2009 school year with Math Lab and English Lab classes in the 7 th grade. </li></ul><ul><li>Lab classes expanded in the 2009 – 2010 school year with Math Lab and English Lab in the 8 th grade, along with a Science Lab added to the 7 th grade. </li></ul><ul><li>Math Lab and English Lab continue in both 7 th and 8 th grades, along with Science Lab in 7 th grade, for the current 2010 – 2011 school year. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Purpose of Having Lab Classes <ul><li>Enhance core curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate project based, hands-on learning </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate higher order thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Group students based on need and ability </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for flexibility with projects and students’ understanding of key concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for additional standardized testing remediation </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating technology </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is needed for a successful lab classroom? <ul><li>Flexible, out-of-the-box teachers and support staff </li></ul><ul><li>Strong communication between teachers, counselors, support staff, students, and parents </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging lessons (not necessarily from a textbook) </li></ul><ul><li>Open-minded students and parents </li></ul><ul><li>Support from administration to allow for scheduling flexibility </li></ul>
  10. 10. Scheduling Logistics – Example 1 <ul><li>15 day rotation - students will complete three 15 day rotations for two different subject areas. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unit 1 – 15 days group A, 15 days group B </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unit 2 – 15 days group A, 15 days group B </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unit 3 – 15 days group A, 15 days group B </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unit 4 – 15 days group A, 15 days group B </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unit 5 – 15 days group A, 15 days group B </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unit 6 – 15 days group A, 15 days group B </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Scheduling Logistics – Example 2 <ul><li>Marking period rotation – students will rotate lab classes each marking period. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marking period 1 – Group A </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marking period 2 – Group B </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marking period 3 – Group A </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marking period 4 – Group B </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Sample Math Lab Curriculum for 8 th grade <ul><ul><li>Web Quests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Researching data, statistics, and graphing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary units (economics, history, art, writing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study skills and high school readiness skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standardized testing preparation </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Sample “Beginning of the Year” parent letter for a Math Lab class <ul><li>Hello to all my 8th grade math lab students and parents - </li></ul><ul><li>Welcome back to school! My name is Mrs. Ashley Cotton and I am the 8th grade math lab teacher at Taft Middle School. This is my third year at Taft Middle School, and my twelfth year teaching. I previously taught 5th grade in Beecher and Alsip, Illinois and taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grades in Matteson, Illinois. I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree from Governors State University in Elementary Education and Educational Administration and Supervision. I hold middle school endorsements in math, science, and language arts. I am very excited to teach the 8th grade math lab here at Taft and look forward to another exciting school year. Below is an explanation of what will be expected of your child throughout this year. </li></ul><ul><li>What Happens in Math Class Every Day? </li></ul><ul><li>Math Lab is a supplemental math class that will enhance and reinforce concepts taught in the 8th grade core math classes. Most Math Lab work will be independently completed. I will be working with students on both the Eagles team and Stars team on a rotating basis. The students will be in Math Lab for approximately 15 days and then will rotate to English Lab and then back to Math Lab. This rotation will continue throughout the school year and the students will be reminded where they should be. </li></ul><ul><li>The Rules That Must Be Followed... </li></ul><ul><li>Respect must be shown at all times. </li></ul><ul><li>Be on-time to class every day. </li></ul><ul><li>No gum or candy in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>One friendly warning will be given before a formal warning is issued. Further consequences are as follows – parent contact, lunch detention, and then an after-school detention. Any student involved in a serious offense (defined in the student handbook), will be immediately removed from class. </li></ul><ul><li>Math Lab Supplies must be brought to class everyday.  The supplies needed are... </li></ul><ul><li>Highlighters </li></ul><ul><li>Composition notebook </li></ul><ul><li>Folder </li></ul><ul><li>One box of 12 colored pencils </li></ul><ul><li>2 boxes of 12 wood pencils </li></ul><ul><li>Kleenex (only for 2nd period teacher) </li></ul><ul><li>HOMEWORK – Homework will be assigned on occasion and should be written in the student’s agenda book. Students should show all their work for all assignments in their composition notebook only. Composition notebooks will be collected and graded periodically. Late work is not accepted and any work/notes written in pen will be counted as only a partial grade. All work should be done in pencil. All classwork/homework will be recorded on the Homework Hotline…my extension is 642. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Parent Letter Cont’d <ul><li>GRADES – Grades will be given for random homework assignments, notebooks, quizzes, and projects. Late work is not accepted and will receive a “zero”. To view your child’s math grade, go to “Parent Access” and type in your code. Grades will be updated (at least) every Monday. The grading scale is as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>A (100 – 90) </li></ul><ul><li>B (89 – 80) </li></ul><ul><li>C (79 – 70) </li></ul><ul><li>D (69 – 60) </li></ul><ul><li>F (59 – 0) </li></ul><ul><li>If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by phone or email. My voice mail extension is 612 and my email address is [email_address] . </li></ul><ul><li>Sincerely, </li></ul><ul><li>Mrs. Ashley Cotton </li></ul><ul><li>8th grade math teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Taft Middle School </li></ul>
  15. 15. Benefits of Lab Classes <ul><li>We have seen an increase in standardized test scores. </li></ul><ul><li>Students gain a deeper understanding of technology and how it impacts their daily lives and future. </li></ul><ul><li>Students make more connections between classroom learning and its relevance to the real world. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Information <ul><li>Contacts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ashley Cotton: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sarah Smenyak: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Websites: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Schools to Watch: http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8 th Grade Math Lab: </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. More Math Websites <ul><li>Units completed in 8th grade Math Lab - Integers, Data Analysis, Percents/Decimals/Fractions, ISTEP Prep and Review, Geometry, and Slope. </li></ul><ul><li>ISTEP Online Practice </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Bingo Generator </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Intereactive Lessons </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Percents </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>~Personal Budget Webquest -   http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Famous Mathematicians Research Project </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Currency Conversion Scavenger Hunt </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  18. 18. Math Websites – Cont. <ul><li>Integers Practice </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>~Integers Webquest - </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Geometry Games/Resources </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Graphing and Data Analysis </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Online Notes/Practice for Pre-Algebra and Algebra </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>EXTRAS </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>