Middle Years Programming at Don Ross

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  • Middle Years Programming at Don Ross

    1. 1. School District #48 (Sea to Sky) Middle Years Programming: Meeting the Needs of Our Students
    2. 2. OUR FOCUS  Work together with students, parents and the community to provide a safe, respectful and inclusive environment.  Meet the unique needs of early adolescents.  Provide a flexible, student-centered program that reflects diversity and autonomy in learning styles.  Promote student leadership and value excellence.
    3. 3. OVERVIEW: 1) Characteristics of the Early Adolescent 2) Don Ross Secondary Middle Years Program 3) What would Grade 7 look like at DRSS?
    4. 4. 1) Characteristics of the Early Adolescent “TIME OF TRANSITION”
    5. 5. PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT: • • • • • Irregular growth spurts May be disturbed by body changes Varying rates of maturity Restlessness and listlessness Big appetites
    6. 6. INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT: • • • • • • Highly curious Begin questioning values and beliefs Egocentric Prefer active over passive learning Relate to real life experiences Transition from concrete to abstract thinking
    7. 7. PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT: • Erratic and inconsistent behaviour • Highly sensitive to criticism • Exaggerate simple occurrences and believe : that personal problems are unique to themselves • Moody, restless and self-conscious • Hormonal imbalances trigger emotions
    8. 8. PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT: • Optimistic and hopeful • Searching for identity and acceptance from peers • Vulnerable to naïve opinions • Psychologically “at risk”
    9. 9. SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: • May be rebellious toward authority figures • Confused and frightened by new social settings • Fiercely loyal to peer group values • May be aggressive and argumentative • Needs frequent affirmation and the knowledge that they are cared for.
    10. 10. MORAL and ETHICAL DEVELOPMENT: • • • • Idealistic Strong sense of fairness Reflective about thoughts and feelings “At risk” in moral and ethical choices and behaviours • May ask large, ambiguous questions about the meaning of life
    11. 11. 2) Don Ross Secondary Middle Years Program • Focus on the unique needs of early adolescents; • Do not rush students into the high school setting; • Provide social activities that are more compatible with the maturity levels of the students;
    12. 12. • Create “smallness within bigness” through team configurations to help students feel connected; • Afford younger students with the opportunity to experience specialty areas such as woodwork, metalwork, cooking, sewing, drama, art, computers, music and band.
    13. 13. Key Components of DRSS Program: Pods (Grade 8) Advisory Program Exploratory Flexible Schedule Linear Time Table
    14. 14. Pods (Grade 8) • Connection/sense of belonging for students • Teachers have more time devoted to fewer students. • Common planning time for teachers • Sharing of resources/ideas • Consistency in expectations • Coordination of projects and assignments
    15. 15. Advisory Program • The fourth “R”: Relationships • Interpersonal skills • Service to the school and community • Connection • To the Advisor • To the Advisory group • Guidance • Appropriate choices—social responsibility • Self esteem; virtues • Skill Development • Conflict resolution; communication skills, problem-solving etc.
    16. 16. Exploratory • • • • • Technical Education Home Economics Computers Project Based Learning (Grade 8) Outdoor Education (Grade 9)
    17. 17. Flexible Block • Extended periods; e.g. Double Block (Grade 8) • Team may coordinate schedules to allow for guest speakers, field trips, special projects etc.
    18. 18. Linear vs Semester • Students’ intellectual capabilities grow and change rapidly during this developmental period • Ability to reason, problem solve, and think in the abstract increases measurably during a single year. • Linear timetable helps to buffer the effects of this rapid change and also maximizes the benefits across all curricular subjects
    19. 19. The research… • Several large scale and comprehensive studies demonstrate that young adolescents who attend middle schools that use essential programs and practices like interdisciplinary teaming have higher achievement scores.
    20. 20. • Research findings also indicate that students in highly implemented schools experienced fewer behaviour problems (e.g. aggression) and reported higher levels of self esteem as well as less fear and worry (Felner, Jackson, Kasak, Mulhall, Brand & Flowers, 1998).
    21. 21. What would Grade 7 look like at DRSS? • Vision provided by a committee consisting of Grade 7 teachers from our local elementary schools and Grade 8/9 teachers from Don Ross Secondary.
    22. 22. Pods: • There would be a progression with respect to more choices, more freedom, and less podding of students as the students moved from Grade 7 through to Grade 9.
    23. 23. • Grade 7 students would be podded for all of their core curriculum subjects (Math/Science and English/Socials). • Grade 7 students would either have one teacher for all four subjects or one teacher for Math/Science and another teacher for English/Socials.
    24. 24. • Grade 7 pods would mixed as much as possible for their remaining subjects. • Grade 8 students would be podded for either Math/Science or English/Socials • Grade 9 students would not be podded.
    25. 25. Exploratory Courses: • Grade 7 students should experience the “exploratory courses” which include metal work, wood work, cooking, textiles, computer studies and outdoor education.
    26. 26. • Grade 8 students will also continue to take exploratory courses. • Grade 9 students would have the choice of electing one exploratory course to take for the whole year (or two for half the year each).
    27. 27. Teacher Advisory Groups: • This is considered to be a major feature of our Middle Years Program. • All students will belong to a T.A.G • T.A.G. will focus on providing students support with organizational skills, interpersonal skills, and self discipline
    28. 28. • Goal is for every student to have at least two staff in the school who they feel they can go to for help or assistance with any matter.
    29. 29. Blending of Curriculum: • Enquiry Based Learning opportunities can be enhanced through the blending of curriculum. • This is considered a major philosophical approach to education of our students and is reflected in our Pathways to Learning Education Plan
    30. 30. “Surviving adolescence is no small matter; neither is surviving adolescents. It’s a hard age to be and to teach. The worst things that ever happen to anybody happen every day. But some of the best things happen too, and they’re more likely to happen when teachers understand the nature of kids and teach in ways that help students grow.” (Atwell, 1987)
    31. 31. REFERENCES National Middle School Association, Westerville, Ohio (2010). This We Believe: Keys to Educating Adolescents National Middle School Association, Westerville, Ohio (2010). Research & Resources In Support of This We Believe Felner, R.D., Jackson, A.W., Kasak, D., Mulhall, P., Brand, S. & Flowers, N. (1997). The impact of school reform for the middle years: Longitudinal study of a network engaged in Turning Points-based comprehensive school transformation. Phi Delta Kappan, 78(7), 528-532, 541-550.
    32. 32. Hough, David (1997). A bona fide middle school: Programs, policy, practice, and grade span configurations. Chapter 25 in Judith Irvin’s What current research says to the middle level practitioner (pp. 285-294). National Middle School Association, Columbus, OH. McEwin, C.K, Dickinson, T.S. & Jacobson, M.G. (2004). Programs and practices in K-8 schools: Do they meet the educational needs of young adolescents? Westerville. OH: National Middle School Association. Paglin, Catherine & Fager, Jennifer (1997). Grade configuration: Who goes where? Northwest Regional Education Lab, Portland, OR.

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