Becoming a Middle Level Teacher: The Student Focused Teaching of Early Adolescents / Edition 1

Becoming a Middle Level Teacher: The Student Focused Teaching of Early Adolescents / Edition 1

by Cathy Vatterott

ISBN-10: 0072361727

ISBN-13: 9780072361728

Pub. Date: 08/28/2006

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The

Becoming A Middle Level Teacher outlines an approach to student focused instruction that can provide greater academic success for the most students, and at the same time, assist early adolescents in navigating the difficult transition of puberty. The text revolves around four recurring themes: -A critical link exists between developmental needs and learning.


Becoming A Middle Level Teacher outlines an approach to student focused instruction that can provide greater academic success for the most students, and at the same time, assist early adolescents in navigating the difficult transition of puberty. The text revolves around four recurring themes: -A critical link exists between developmental needs and learning. -Relationships are key to motivation, which is key to learning. -Middle school students are entitled to be involved in decisions that affect their learning. -Implementing student focused instruction is both challenging and rewarding for teachers. With over 50 successful learning activities in language arts, social studies, science, math, art, music, and physical education from 20 practicing middle school teachers, the text is rich with examples of actual programs and practices from several outstanding middle schools.

Product Details

McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.73(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     iii
The School and the Learner     1
Understanding the Need for Student-Focused Instruction     3
Introduction     3
Essential Questions     4
The Middle School Learner     4
Middle Schools and Junior High Schools     5
Turning points     7
Middle School Philosophy     8
The Philosophy of Student-Focused Instruction     11
Beliefs about Learners     11
Beliefs about Power     12
Promoting Academic Success: Have Schools Institutionalized Failure?     15
Student Focused Instruction-More Success for More Students     19
Traditional Instruction versus Student-Focused Instruction     20
Implementing Student-Focused Instruction     23
Summary     24
Key Terms     24
Application Activities     24
Understanding Middle Level Learners-Physical and Intellectual Development     27
Introduction     27
Essential Questions     28
Patterns of Physical Development during Puberty     28
What Are the Characteristics of Physical Development during Puberty?     31
What Are the Implications of Physical Development for Instruction?     37
Patterns of Intellectual Development during Puberty     39
What Are the Characteristics of Intellectual Development in Early Adolescents     40
What Are the Implications of Intellectual Development for Instruction?     44
Patterns of Diversity in Learning Preference     46
Differences in Learning Style     46
Students with Special Needs     47
The Question of Attention Deficit Disorder among Middle School Students     49
What Are the Implications of Individual Learning Styles for Instruction?     51
Summary     51
Key Terms     52
Application Activities     52
Understanding Middle Level Learners-Emotional and Social Development     55
Introduction     55
Essential Questions     56
Patterns of Emotional and Social Development during Puberty     56
Two Important Developmental Tasks     56
Emotional Characteristics of Early Adolescents     58
Social Characteristics of Early Adolescents     59
The Development of Sexuality     63
What Are the Implications of Emotional and Social Development for Instruction?     65
Impact of Culture on the Process of Early Adolescent Development     67
Social Forces That Make Adolescence More Challenging Today Than in Previous Generations     68
Special Risks for Today's Early Adolescents     73
Summary     74
Key Terms     74
Application Activities     74
An Environment that Supports Academic Achievement     77
Introduction     77
Essential Questions     78
A Needs Based Environment     78
Addressing Survival Needs-Creating a Safe Place to Learn     78
Addressing Physical Needs-Respecting Brain Chemistry     80
Addressing Needs for Power and Competence-Putting Students in Charge     82
Love and Belonging-Developing Positive Relationships     83
Membership-Bringing Diverse Groups Together     89
Awareness and Sensitivity First     90
Classroom as Community     94
The Role of Community in Discipline and Moral Development     100
Needs-Based Discipline in a Caring Classroom Community     103
Summary     108
Key Terms     108
Application Activities     109
The Strategies     111
The Middle School Curriculum     113
Introduction     113
Essential Questions     114
Forces Impacting Middle School Curriculum     114
Curriculum Alignment with Standards     115
Overemphasis on Standardized Test Scores     115
Caring     116
The Anti-Middle School Movement     116
The Academic Rigor Debate     117
Aims and Goals of a Student-Focused Curriculum at the Middle Level     119
To Develop and Refine Intellectual Skills     119
To Assist Students in Developing Identity     121
To Assist Students in Defining Their Role in the Adult World     123
The Nature of Middle Level Content     126
The Five Curricula of the Middle School     127
The Academic Curriculum     127
The Expressive Curriculum     130
The Wellness Curriculum     133
The Co-Curriculum     138
The Affective Curriculum     142
Organizational Structures That Facilitate Curriculum Goals     148
Interdisciplinary Teams     148
Scheduling Options     153
Summary     157
Key Terms     158
Application Activities     158
Making Decisions about Curriculum     161
Introduction     161
Essential Questions      162
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment     162
Then and Now: The Evolution of Traditional Planning     163
Limitations of Traditional Planning     164
Results-Driven Planning     164
The Role of Standards and Standardized Tests in Curriculum Planning     166
Examples of General State Standards     167
Examples of Content Standards     167
Aligning Curriculum with Standards     170
Tests That Attempt to Measure Standards     171
Steps in Curriculum Planning     175
Determining Long-Range Goals     176
Organizing Curriculum Content around Big Ideas     182
Organizing Big Ideas into Enduring Understandings     186
Determining Essential Questions     189
Designing Student Activities     192
Summary     194
Key Terms     195
Application Activities     195
Planning for Student-Focused Instruction     199
Introduction     200
Essential Questions     200
Planning Units around Essential Questions     201
Writing Objectives for Units and Lessons     203
Levels of Cognitive Objectives     204
Types of Content That Objectives Address      205
How Will We Know If Students Are Reaching Our Objectives?     207
How Do Teachers Design Learning Activities That Also Assess Learning?     207
What Learning Principles Are Important When Planning Student-Focused Learning Activities?     212
Learning is Constructivist     212
Students Need a Personal Relationship with the Content     215
Learners Are Unique     219
How Do Teachers Design Student-Focused Learning Activities?     222
They Redirect the Time and Energy of Planning and Assessment     222
They Think Creativity about Their Content     223
They Involve Students in Planning     226
Steps in Creating Student-Focused Learning Activities     227
Structuring the Activity     227
Determining a Method for Evaluation     228
Assembling Resources or Reference Materials Necessary for the Student to Complete the Activity     228
Setting Up Learning Stations     228
Teaching the Skills Necessary to Complete the Task     228
Monitoring the Students as They Work on the Task     228
What Do Good Learning Activities Look Like?     229
Ideal Characteristics of Learning Activities     230
Project Templates     233
Using Learning Activities to Differentiate Instruction     236
Why Do Teachers Differentiate?     236
How Do Teachers Differentiate Instruction?     238
When Should Teachers Differentiate?     238
Interdisciplinary Learning Activities     239
Choosing Themes for Interdisciplinary Units     239
Methods for Developing Interdisciplinary Themes     240
Components of an Interdisciplinary Unit     242
Sample Interdisciplinary Units     242
Summary     246
Key Terms     247
Application Activities     247
Selecting Teacher-Focused Strategies     251
Introduction     251
Essential Questions     252
Organizing Principles for Selecting Instructional Strategies     252
The Choice of Instructional Strategy Should Be Based on Learner Outcome     253
Learner Outcomes Must Be Prioritized and Those Priorities Affect the Teacher's Choice of Instructional Strategy     253
Selection of Strategies Must Be Balanced to Create a Variety of Learning Experiences     253
Learning Experiences Should Be Engaging     254
Direct Instruction     254
Special Considerations When Using This Method The 12-Minute Rule     255
Structure of a Teacher-Focused Direct Instruction Lesson     257
Structure of a Student-Focused Direct Instruction Lesson     257
The Issue of Student Voice     260
Class Discussion Techniques     267
Special Considerations     268
Structure of a Discussion Lesson     269
What Is the Role of the Teacher in a Discussion?     269
Student and Teacher Questioning to Advance Lessons     270
Types of Questions     270
Creating a Positive Climate for Questioning     271
The Importance of Wait Time     272
Strategies for Improving Questioning     273
Other Uses of Questions     275
Bookwork/Paperwork     275
Hints for Creating Visually Appealing Worksheets or Written Exercises     277
Using Textbooks Wisely     277
Using Writing as a Learning Strategy     285
Journals     286
Learning Logs     287
Summary     288
Key Terms     288
Application Activities     288
Selecting Student-Focused Instructional Strategies     291
Introduction     291
Essential Questions     292
Review of Organizing Principles for Selecting Instructional Strategies     292
Using Technology as a Student-Focused Strategy     293
The Power of Technology     293
Technology Tools     294
Special Considerations for Using Technology     298
Conceptual Techniques     298
Concept Mapping     298
Card Sort Activities     299
Comparing and Contrasting Activities     300
Cause and Effect Charts     300
Interpretive Activities     300
Structure of the Conceptual Lesson     300
Special Considerations for the Conceptual Lesson     302
Independent Work     302
Special Considerations for Independent Work     303
Learning Stations     303
Special Considerations for Learning Stations     305
Cooperative and Small Group Learning     305
Organizing Students for Small Group Work     310
Social Skills for Group Work     310
Roles of Group Members     311
Hints for Effective Group Work     314
Evaluating Group Work     314
Special Considerations for Cooperative Learning     314
Inquiry Learning     315
Structure of an Inquiry Lesson     317
Special Considerations for Inquiry Learning     318
Problem-Based Learning     318
Special Considerations for Problem-Based Learning     319
Games     322
Special Considerations for Games     322
Role-Plays     322
Special Considerations for Role-Play     325
Summary     325
Key Terms     326
Application Activities     326
Student-Friendly Grading and Assessment     329
Introduction     330
Essential Questions     330
How Teaching Practices Have Influenced Assessment Practices     331
Sorting and Ranking versus Teaching and Learning Practices     331
Assumptions Inherent in Traditional Approaches to Assessment     333
All Students Learn in the Same Way and at the Same Speed     333
Grades Are Essential to Learning     333
Grades Motivate Learners     334
Grades Are Necessary for Control     335
Good Teachers Give Bad Grades     336
Moving Toward a Teaching and Learning Focus     337
Reexamining Traditional Practices     339
Letter Grades     339
Competitive Grading and Grading on the Curve     339
Moment in Time Grading     339
Averaging     340
Rethinking the Practice of Homework     341
Historical Attitudes about Homework     342
The Big Picture of Homework Research     343
Does Homework Teach Responsibility?     344
The Conflict of Homework and Developmental Needs of Early Adolescents     345
Does Homework Unfairly Punish Some Students?     346
Grading of Homework     346
What to Grade, How to Grade     347
Weighting of Grades     349
Organizing for Student Success     349
A Fairer Test     351
Formative Feedback     353
The Mastery Option     354
Designing Performance-Based Assessments     355
Designing Rubrics for Performance Assessments     355
Making Students Accountable for Grades     363
Portfolios     366
Weekly Averaging/Frequent Grade Checks     368
Communicating with Parents about Grades     370
Summary     370
Key Terms     371
Application Activities     372
Becoming a Student-Focused Teacher     375
Introduction     375
Essential Questions      376
The Role of Beliefs and Attitudes in Successful Student-Focused Teaching     376
Why Reflect on Our Beliefs?     377
Reflecting on Our School Experiences     378
Clarifying Our Beliefs about Teaching and Learning     381
Reflecting on Our Beliefs about Learners and Learning     381
Reflecting on Our Beliefs about Teaching     382
How Our Beliefs Influence Our Students     385
Breaking the Vicious Circles of Negative Beliefs     390
Challenging Our Fears about Student-Focused Instruction     391
Fear of Change, of Trying Something New     393
Upsetting the Status Quo     393
Peer Pressure from Controlling Teachers     393
Accountability for Standardized Test Scores     394
The Time Crunch: I Don't Have Time to Teach This Way     395
Out-of-Control Students     395
Implementing Student-Focused Instruction     396
Letting Go of Traditional Roles     396
What It Takes-Practical Hints     398
What It Takes Emotionally     398
Summary     399
Key Terms     399
Application Activities     400
Glossary     401
References     404
Photo Credits     418
Index     419

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