Reading and Writing Workshop:
It is the belief of Arts in Action Middle School that students must become critical thinkers when they read and write. It is the goal of the Reading and Writing Workshop to turn students into life-long, confident readers and writers. Students are given the opportunity to “learn by doing” as they build their own individual identities as readers by reading books at their “just right” level. Students are encouraged to choose books that are of highest interest to them. This builds student engagement and allows them to take leadership in their own learning. Students are then able to build their fluency through guided reading, one on one conferencing with teachers, and small group instruction. Similarly, students are motivated to build their own identities as writers through daily writing opportunities. Students are encouraged as they take ownership of their learning with guided support from teachers through the revision and editing process.
In order to supplement workshop strategies and instruction, the Ready ELA curriculum and student workbooks are used. Ready ELA provides supplementary resources for teachers and students that is integrated with English Language Development strategies and resources.
Ready ELA is based on the workshop premise that discussion and small group collaboration are integral to student achievement. Students are given the opportunity to build their individual confidence with scaffolded lessons targeting each student’s individual strengths and needs further supporting the student’s development of critical thinking and analytical skills. Ready ELA uses a variety of real-world source texts, from poetry to blogs to literature and current news articles. Students are then able to practice their reading and critical thinking skills with the corresponding computer-based program, i-Ready. The i-Ready computer based program assesses students through benchmark testing and adaptive lessons and develops an individualized learning path for each student that both builds upon the students areas of strengths and helps support student’s areas of need to close any achievement gaps. Students are able and encouraged to use the online program from school, home, or anywhere they have an internet connected device.
Ready Mathematics Curriculum provides rigorous instruction and practice for students while supporting the classroom environment; strengthening mathematical reasoning, disoruse, and a range of mathematical practices. Students develop conceptual understanding of the mathematical concepts through reasoning, modeling, and classroom discussion. This further develops each student’s procedural fluency. Students are able to use real-world problem solving skills and engage in cooperative dialogue with their teachers and their peers; further developing their high-order thinking and complex reasoning skills. Ready Mathematics allows students to learn, practice, and hone their mathematical skills with the use of the partnering computer-based program, i-Ready. The corresponding computer-based program, i-Ready, allows students to choose between teacher assigned practice assignments and an individualized lesson track developed for each student's individual level allowing them to work towards closing achievement gaps or learn concepts past their current grade level.
The PE curriculum at Arts in Action aims to empower students through the exploration of human movement. We know by exposing students to different types of physical activities they can develop a strong interest in physical health both in and out of school. We want every student to embrace and discover movement as an everyday enjoyable experience with lifelong benefits.
Lessons in PE include the learning and development of psychomotor skills, such as fine and gross motor skills, balance and coordination, reaction time, flexibility, strength and physical stamina. Class discussions take on a scientific approach as students learn basic anatomical and physiological functions and structures, along with learning about the body systems and biomechanics involved during physical activity. Additionally, physical activities involve the knowledge and participation of sports activities by valuing teamwork, communication, and leadership skills.
Another goal of the physical education program is to support the identities of students. By adopting a ‘student athlete’ mentality, students understand the importance of balancing personal, academic, and athletic responsibilities. More significantly, students learn how everyday physical activity plays an important role not only in health but in concentration and academic performance. Through this curriculum we help our students access the knowledge, skills, and confidence to engage in meaningful physical activity that adds value to their lives and future pursuits.