Somerville Middle School2016-17 WIGFebruary 2017 Update
We continue to incorporate our 2016-2017 SMS WIG, “Somerville Middle School students will gain Global Awareness through reading, writing, virtual experiences & interdisciplinary activities”. This goal gives our students the opportunity to recognize how their attributes and efforts impact the community. It also provides our students with the opportunity to recognize how society impacts their thinking and development. As a result, as they apply their classroom lessons to experiences that contribute to the betterment of their community, they are also developing a greater appreciation to the relevance of their learning.
This year’s WIG also supports our students in their personal social/emotional journey. The learning experiences that they participate in provide a platform that helps them better understand themselves by recognizing their individual talents. While we expand our students’ knowledge and perspectives of the world, we support them in strengthening their personal social/ emotional growth.
As of the second quarter, through the Purpose Driven Walkthrough, it has been observed that 68% of the class lessons incorporate “Global Awareness” in their classroom activities. Through this WIG, the academic progress made by students today will support them in developing academic and interpersonal skills that will allow our students to evolve into strong and positive global citizens.
November 2016 UpdateThis year the WIG for Somerville Middle School will be: “Somerville Middle School students will gain Global Awareness through reading, writing, virtual experiences & interdisciplinary activities.”. We have also developed a SMART Goal for internal measurement of our progress with the WIG. Our SMART Goal is “By May 2017, the SMS learning community will increase students’ opportunity to gain Global Awareness from 30% to 75%. Reading, writing, virtual experiences and interdisciplinary activities will be implemented to achieve the goal.” The following structures have been developed and will be implemented to meet this year’s WIG goal.
1. A section on the teacher lesson plan form includes an area where teachers can input planned WIG activities. This section of the lesson plans is for the purpose of monitoring the frequency of implementing Global Awareness, focus and utilization during the class period.
2. A weekly form entitled- SMS Weekly WIG Classroom Reflection, will be completed by all teachers on Friday. The form consists of a minimum of four required yes/no questions. This form will be strictly used as data collection.
3. WIG implementation will also be noted on administrators’ purpose driven walk-throughs. Once again, this data will be compiled and used when reporting implementation frequency.
Additionally, since we realized the benefits from collaborative writing assignments, and since this experience can be used as a vehicle for Global Awareness learning opportunities, we will continue this interdisciplinary writing activity. Grade level teams will meet and discuss which Language Arts teacher will collaborate with the Social Studies teachers and which Language Arts teacher will collaborate with the Science teachers. A form attached will indicate the writing teams at each grade level.
Through collaborative discussions that began last April, the Somerville Middle School professional community reflected on the one goal that would transcend content specific efforts and support student individual growth academically, socially and emotionally. Our objective was to develop a goal that would benefit our students, not only during their middle school years, but would have a lasting impact in their development well into adulthood.
As such, the Somerville Middle School community has determined that our 2016-2017 SMS WIG is “Somerville Middle School student s will gain Global Awareness through reading, writing, virtual experiences & interdisciplinary activities”. Expanding students’ knowledge and perspectives of the world strengthens the social/ emotional development of each child. When highlighting the real world application associated with the learning done in the classroom the student’s ability to make connections between the academic content areas is enhanced. Through this WIG, the academic progress made by students today will support them in developing the skills that will allow our students to evolve into strong and positive global citizens.
The administrative team of the middle school will gather data to support the development of this goal through purpose driven walkthroughs that are conducted on a monthly basis. During these walkthroughs, data will be gathered that will reflect observable evidence of the WIG implementation.
We are excited about the opportunity to embark on our WIG as we see our students embrace new perspectives about learning and the world through the building of connections.Somerville Middle School2015-16 WIGJune Update
Throughout the 2015-2016 school year, the SMS learning community focused on vocabulary development. Research indicates that expanding one’s academic vocabulary strengthens student’s ability to make academic connections, understand academic content and process academic concepts at a higher level of thought. To that end, each grade level team identified 100 content words that were prevalent in their curriculum. The “100 Word Challenge” was the vehicle used to measure the students’ ability to engage with words. Monitoring student academic vocabulary acquisition was also documented through monthly administrative Purpose Driven Walkthroughs, student writing samples and classroom word walls.
When reflecting on the data generated by the various measurement tools, the growth in student vocabulary acquisition schoolwide grew at a steady rate during the school year. Each grade level individually demonstrated steady growth in student academic vocabulary understanding and usage as well.
When the professional community reflected on the manner in which students communicated both verbally and through the written format, they observed the use of higher level vocabulary throughout the school day. They also observed the students’ ability to analyze a word and to develop meaning independently.
As we recognize the importance of attending to academic vocabulary development, we continue to be committed to the skills and strategies that will enhance our students’ academic progress. We are anticipating ongoing progress in this area which will result in our students having a greater ability to express themselves in all areas of academia.February UpdateWhen reflecting on the data gathered through the “100 Word Challenge” assessments and the administrators’ monthly classroom Purpose Driven Walk Through visits it is evident that the entire school community has embraced this year’s WIG of vocabulary development. Word Walls have been developed in all of the classrooms. They are expanding on a regular basis as the students discover and embrace new vocabulary in their specific content areas. Upon visiting the classrooms, the administration has observed the exploration and discussion of new words infused in the daily learning activities. These teachable moments of discovering new vocabulary spark the interest of students and encourage further exploration of the content, themes or ideas that are connected with these words.Progress with the “100 Word Challenge” that the school embarked on in September was assessed in January. Each grade level provided their students with the opportunity to demonstrate their vocabulary growth through this activity. Schoolwide, the students have shown an increase in vocabulary acquisition as a result of this assessment.The professional community has reflected on the manner in which students are communicating both verbally and through the written format. They have observed their students using higher level vocabulary throughout the school day. They have also observed the students’ ability to analyze a word and to develop meaning independently.Our students continue to demonstrate their growth in vocabulary acquisition. We are anticipating ongoing progress in this area which will result in our students having a greater ability to express themselves in all areas of academia.
NOVEMBERThrough collaborative discussions that began last April, the Somerville Middle School professional community reflected on the one goal that would transcend content specific efforts and support student individual growth academically, socially and emotionally. Our objective was to develop a goal that would benefit our students, not only during their middle school years, but would have a lasting impact on their development well into adulthood.
As such, the Somerville Middle School community has determined that our 2015-2016 Wildly Important Goal at Somerville Middle School will focus on Vocabulary Development. Having a rich vocabulary is necessary for an individual to excel in today’s global society. We recognize that communication, whether it is in the written form or verbal is paramount in supporting an individual when realizing his/her potential.
The administrative team of the middle school will gather data to support the development of this goal through purpose driven walkthroughs that are conducted on a monthly basis. During these walkthroughs, data will be gathered that will reflect the introduction or use of new vocabulary during a class lesson. Additionally, each classroom will display a “Word Wall” that will continue to develop as new words are introduced. Data on student growth with respect to their reading levels will also be reviewed. Vocabulary development will contribute to students’ growth in reading level.
A “100 Word Challenge” has been launched at each grade level. The students will be given 100 words that represent each content area (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and Exploratory) that they will master by the end of the academic year. We will monitor their progress in the “100 Word Challenge” at the beginning, middle and end of the school year.
We are excited about the opportunity to celebrate new words as we expand our students’ vocabulary!
Somerville Middle School 2014-2015 WIGFinal UpdateConsistent integration of writing is reflected in the SMS WIG data during the third reporting period for the 2014-2015 school year. Across the curriculum and in every content area, thoughtful , relevant and content based writing assignments have been incorporated into the class lessons. These assignments facilitated an interdisciplinary focus and effort. As such, the students experienced relevant, authentic examples of writing as a purposeful communication tool necessary beyond the ELA classroom door. Upon the analysis of the data (based on administrative walkthroughs, lesson plan analysis, and collaborative writing assignments) the students of the middle school have demonstrated continuous growth in their ability to communicate through the written form. The teachers have recognized that the students have improved on citing evidence and that their writing scores are consistent with their reading levels. They noted that, although the students have demonstrated growth in explaining and elaborating evidence, as well as, using evidence to support a claim, additional teaching and writing opportunities focusing on these areas are necessary. Additional positive outcomes that resulted from this WIG focus include:
February WIG Update:The data from the second reporting period for the SMS WIG reflects an increase in writing during the school day. The multi-pronged approach of our WIG embraced by the middle school community continues to serve as a positive measure for both student academic and teacher professional growth. The Purpose Driven Walkthroughs and the analysis of lesson plans submission illustrate that writing is embedded throughout the school day and across the content areas. The data also shows an increase in the frequency of writing opportunities utilizing multiple sources of related texts (fiction and informational) as well as visual references (graphs, tables, video clips, etc.).
- Students making connections across content disciplines and discussing those connections with their teachers.
- Students recognizing that writing is not a “language arts” activity but a means of communication across content disciplines
- Writing assignments that provide a grading opportunity in more than one content area utilize time on task efficiently
- Collaborative, professional discourse between content area teachers have increased- finding commonality and planning for collaborative activities.
- Discussion on next year’s WIG within the school community basing goals on the outcomes and data generated from the previous two school-wide WIG initiatives.
The professional development component of the WIG, collaboration and discussion, continues to expand and provide the teaching staff with the opportunity to reflect and work in partnership to support academic progress. During individual grade level meetings held with administration, the teacher teams (quarter two-Science and Language Arts) referenced the results of the quarter two writing task and cited student strengths as well as the challenges encountered in the development of their writing skills. The minutes of these meetings were recorded in a Shared Google Document format and disseminated. The entire professional school community now has the opportunity to engage in an on-going online discussion regarding the minutes- finding trends, analyzing the data and identifying needs to support student academic gains. This discussion leads to professional research, as well as the identification, development and coordination of teaching efforts.November WIG Update:The 2014-2015 Wildly Important Goal of Somerville Middle School is focused on engaging students in the process of writing throughout the school day. Writing takes many forms and serves a variety of purposes. When an individual engages in purposeful writing that communicates information their skills in communication deepen and their ability to apply higher order thinking strategies strengthen. The administrative team of the middle school gather data on this goal through purpose driven walkthroughs that are conducted on a monthly basis. During these walkthroughs, data is gathered identifying the types of writing that is being done in the many middle school classrooms. A review of the teachers’ weekly lesson plans provide the administrative team with the insight on the writing goals each teacher has established for their classrooms. The third component consists of quarterly writing samples that provide the social studies and science teachers with the opportunity to collaborate with their language arts colleagues in developing, administering and evaluating student writing samples. The collaborative teaching teams then meet with the school administration to discuss the data from these writing samples. Collaborative academic goals are established as a result of the data. This three-pronged approach to the Somerville Middle School WIG provides for a comprehensive analysis of the efforts in strengthening each student’s writing potential while providing data for our future academic course of action.