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Mineola Middle School 7th Grade 2011-2012

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PROGRAM OBJECTIVE:
Focus on the learner as an individual in order to develop self motivated, successful, independent citizens through Constructivist, process oriented, and targeted learning objectives.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:
Students come into school with all different learning potentials,and learning styles. A learning environment such as this will be able to motivate and encourage students to reach their potential, as it will enable each student to focus on the process of learning specific to their unique learning styles and needs. Through process oriented, goal based learning objectives, students will take charge of their learning and reflect on the learning process. Through the use of individual I-pads (that they will be responsible for throughout the entire year, both at school and at home), and other technologies such as in class Promethean Boards, students will become proficient in the technologies that will allow them to become successful in the 21st Century.

This is a two person team that will be the only team in the 7th grade using this model. This will also be the only team this year in 7th grade having access to IPads. This class will use the latest research in education to create a student-centered classroom where the teachers role will be to facilitate learning.

Students will be able to progress at their own pace in two academic blocks


PROFILE OF A CANDIDATE


Candidates for this 7th grade class have been individually selected and recommended through a team approach based on their academic potential and learning styles. These students are believed to be ones who have the ability to make excellent progress within this unique environment.



SPECIFIC STUDENT GOALS and OBJECTIVES

In connection with the 7th Grade NYS Learning Standards for Math, ELA, Social Studies and Science, the students will:
  • Aquire and apply the skills necessary to successfully contribute and participate in the social and academic environment, both within the school setting and beyond.
  • Recognize personal learning strengths and obstacles in order to develop and apply learned strategies in a risk tolerant environment.
  • Set independent learning targets
  • Think critically and problem solve by following trails of interests, making connections, and reformulating ideas
  • Draw individual conclusions while focusing on the process of learning. Specifically:
    • Students will research, learn, apply and evaluate self monitoring strategies such as
      • reflecting on work
      • changing his/her mind and making mid-course corrections while thinking, reading, and writing
      • asking for help
      • seeking more information when necessary
      • meaningfully including past knowledge in discussions
      • engaging in group activities
      • evaluating ideas
    • Students will learn, apply and evaluate various ways to brainstorm, plan, organize, and manage personal and structured time and space such as
      • long term assignments
      • collaborative projects
      • independent activities (homework, classwork)
      • personal and collaborative work spaces
      • multi-tasking in the real world

FOUR LEVELS OF PROCESS and PRODUCT
I .THE BASICS
Students will:
I. Understand the Learning Process
a. How does the brain learn?
b. How does this knowledge of how the brain learns help me?
II. Understanding my personal learning
a. How do I learn?
b. What are my personal strengths?
c. What are my personal weaknesses?
d. How can I use these strengths to develop and strengthen my weaknesses?
III. How do I know when I have actually learned?
a. What is a learning target?
b. How do I create a learning target?
c. What will I be able to say/do when I have reached that target?
IV. Growth Mindset
a. What is the difference between a Growth and a Fixed Mindset?
i. Ability vs. Effort
b. What is my current mindset?
i. What do I do when I face a challenge?
ii. What do I do when I hit a setback?
iii. What do I do when I hear criticism?
c. Understanding Choice
i. How can I use my knowledge of the Growth Mindset to
1. look forward to challenge
2. persevere in the face of setbacks
3. use constructive criticism
4. perceive mistakes as necessary pathways for learning
5. take risks

II. THE PROCESS:
Once I understand the Basics, I will learn:
o How to create a learning target
o What it looks like when I have reached that target
  • How am I going to reach that target?
  • How do I break this up into managable steps?
  • How much time might I need to complete each step?
  • What will I do when I hit a setback?
  • What will I do if I get off task?
  • What do I do if I get a different idea?
  • What will I do when I take more time than I thought I would?
  • What skills will I need to use?
  • If I do not have these necessary skills yet, how do I go about developing them?
  • What materials do I need to access? How do I access them?

III. THE PRODUCT
Students will exhibit that they have reached their learning goals through a variety of products:
  • Traditional Summative Assessments:
    • State and Standardized Tests
    • Grade level Assessments
    • Classroom Assessments
  • Project based products
    • Development of individual and collaborative Wikispaces
    • I Pad Applications and Programs
    • On-line Portfolios

IV. INDEPENDENT AND GROUP REFLECTION
Students will reflect daily on their progress toward learning goals
  • Weekly collaborative meetings (Using the Consultancy Protocol)
  • Individual e-journals or blogs
  • Student/Teacher Conferences
  • Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

POSSIBLE I PAD APPLICATIONS

RESEARCH AND RESOURCES:
GROWTH MINDSET THEORY: Dr. Carol Dweck
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers
Math Common Core Standards
---Skype in the classroom
---National School Reform Faculty:

BRAINSTORM FOR PHYSICAL WORKSPACE:
STUDENT WORKSPACES with chairs (multifunctional):
Stand up desks (give students the opportunity to stand and move around while reducing distraction to others)
two person individual learning desks option #1 (can serve as lab tables as well)
two person individual learning desks option #2
  • these will be moved around the classroom as needed, ie. large group conferencing, individual/paired/small groups, science/lab tables, etc.
Panels to create small learning environments as necessary

Independent Organization/Storage Area (60 shelve unit)

Comfortable learning environment for collaboration
(couches,comfortable chairs,low "coffee" tables)
pdf examples
seating examples

Small group direct instruction
-paint/Idea Paint
(Works like a Dry Erase Whiteboard on flat surfaces)

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