Teaching and Learning

Year 3

Return to Blended Learning/ Station Rotation

What are you going to do to help you be the most successful with stations this year?

I have used station rotation since arriving at Saint Catherine and love utilizing teacher lead station as a way to build strong relationships and get an insight at their strengths and shortcomings. While I use summative data to understand the student as a whole, I rely on formative data to drive my day to day instructor and to help create station rotation groups. This year, no matter the station they are in if it's with me, collaborative, technology or independent it will be strategically planned to focus on the standard(s) they need to master. To ensure mastery, students will not just practice isolated standards, but instead see them spiraled into their everyday learning.

What routines and procedures will you be introducing to your students to continue to ensure safety?

In order to ensure safety in my classroom while doing station rotation, I introduced routines and procedures early on to ensure students understood the classroom expectations during blended learning. Saint Catherine purchased new flexible seating which made social distancing and small groups easier. While students stayed in the same group, students maneuvered though Google Slides or Classroom screen to know whether the activity was collaborative, independent or teacher lead at any given time.

Holistic Assessments & Student Conferencing

At the beginning of each trimester I meet with students individually to review their most recent STAR tests and create Accelerated Reading (AR) goals. As a middle school teacher, it's important teach my students how to be accountable of their own data and future. I make it a point to present student's data in a constructive, encouraging way. Some of my students make this a personal game, striving to obtain a better score than their last bench mark. At the beginning of the second trimester we made class goals.

Collaborative Staff Culture

Whats great about our staff culture... Saint Catherine is a small but mighty school and I'm lucky enough to be in such a collaborative environment. It's great to work along side veteran teachers who are approachable and eager to share their knowledge and words of wisdom. We've built trust by going into different teachers classrooms, observing, and writing three take aways and three positive praises. The middle school teachers have made it an effort to build a strong unified team to help with consistency and routines for students. We also designated times to present student data and our findings to create the most successful paths for our students. Since I am the only middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at my school

What I would like to improve about our staff culture... I love to collaborate. Every afternoon one of the middle school teachers gets an extra 40 minutes with the middle school classes to do blended learning. I would find it valuable if the middle school teachers were given a set time to talk about ways to capitalize on blended learning even further. The purpose of blended learning is not only to bring technology into the classroom but to also expose students to cross curricular activities/ assignments. If given the time and opportunity, teachers would be able to create not only an engaging spiraled cross-curricular experience, but also differentiated for each group of student needs while simultaneously performing targeted intervention pulled from live data from previous lessons taught earlier in the day.

Blended Learning: Inquiry & Storytelling

Teachers are true entertainers, we use story telling as a tool to engage our students every single day! After the most recent workshop, I was excited integrate the some of the different technology tools I could utilize to jazz up my Social Studies lessons. During our unit study of Launching the New Republic, we learned about Andrew Jackson's controversial presidency.

  • Andrew Jackson political cartoons

  • Political cartoon vocabulary

  • Analysis of political cartoon/ art

  • Creating your own modern day political cartoon.

AJ cartoon activity
[Template] Handout 6A practice

Blended Learning: Literacy

I have attached an example of a literacy worksheet from my classroom. Students were working on precise word choice in narrative writing. We were reading Ramayana: Divine Loophole and studying the Hero's Journey.

Craft Question: Why is precise word choice in narrative writing important?





Global Citizenship

This year we read Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice and studied how people create social change. From there, I created the 8th grade exit project asking this simple question: How do people effect social change?

Students were then given the task to research a social issue in their own community or world at large. As they gained a deeper understanding of the challenges that people face, how can their Catholic Identity create or support social change? Just like Claudette Colvin.

I have attached a copy of the directions of their three month long 8th Grade Exit Project.

Copy of 2022 8th Grade Exit Project