We are fortunate to have so many great voices in our school! Our varied experiences is what makes our school such a special place. To capture that, we are going to have teachers provide some contributions about their thoughts about what is going on here at West Rowan Middle! Be prepared to get creative and share some tips or insight! First out the gate is Mrs Rabon! Thanks for leading the way!
[Guest Post by Mrs Rabon]
At the end of an exhausting school day, do you find yourself wondering what you’ve really accomplished? An informal survey of students reveals the impact of some of your efforts.
Question to students: “What is WRMS doing right for you as a student? Here are their responses:
- “They make me feel safe here.”
- “Teachers make learning fun.”
- “They teach me things to prepare me for the future.”
- “My teachers miss me when I am not here; I know my coach misses me!”
- “They give me freedom to eat lunch outside and be outside with my friends. They know that I need a little stress-free time every day.”
- “They let us work in random places around the room and give us lots of seating options so we can be comfortable.”
- “Teachers take care of bad behavior right away, so it doesn’t ruin it for the rest of the class.”
- “They let me answer the phone and greet visitors that come to our room.”
- “Teachers push us to be our best and they give us choices in how we learn.”
- “They let me participate in sports.”
- “They do important stuff every day. I don’t want to be out because I don’t want to miss it.”
- “My teachers are nice; and I look forward to their smiles just like I look forward to my friends’ smiles every day.”
- “They gave us Genius Bars and a Genius Lounge and Collaborative Rooms where we can work together.”
- “They are interested in what I have to say.”
- “The teachers!!!”
The responses were as varied as the students themselves. Many students expressed feeling lucky because their friends at other schools didn’t have some of the things that they have here at West. There is a direct correlation between this sampling of responses and your efforts in implementing strategies related to: Responsive Classroom, Learning Targets, Setting a Positive Tone, Blended Learning, and Creating a Student Centered Environment.
But the best thing about the kids’ answers . . .EVERY answer had a person behind it! You Done Good!
One of our goals has to be protecting every instructional minute we can. Teaching bell to bell is an imperative. As such, we are changing up our dismissal procedures beginning Monday 11.7.
- All students are to get their belongings for dismissal before they come to 4th block. This will eliminate hallway traffic at around 2:15-2:20
- We won’t be making announcements at 2:25 for band instruments and snacks for athletes. They are not being cut out, we are just going to build that expectation that teachers and students will automatically be released for those needs at that time
- Car rider and bus passes will be called when we get them NOT at the end of the day;
- Ms Sifford will begin announcements as close to 2:30 as possible. The last thing she will say at announcements is for car riders to be dismissed. Soon after, the bell will ring for bus riders.
November 8th is upon us! We are anticipating crowds that day so we need to share plans for that day:
- All WRMS staff should park behind the cafeteria or in parking spots [grass if needed] in the 6th grade parking lot. The front lot will be reserved for voters ONLY!
- Students will be dropped off and picked up by parents from the 6th grade parking lot, not the front. Bus riders will be dropped off from behind the cafeteria;
- For this day, we will need teachers in their rooms ready to receive kids when they are dropped off – this means all teachers in their room by 7:00 am ready to go. We won’t have kids sitting in the hallway. Be prepared to have them in your room with activities ready to go. [This is not the time to make copies and leave kids unattended];
- Voting will be in the gym. This will be a self contained area – we won’t be seeing voters walking the halls;
- Side note – there will be added security that day!
Released Forms/EOG and EOC Tests
DPI has just released the newest copies of the Math 1 test and made it online. These released tests are always good to use as references for appropriate materials level. This is a link to the site.
Choice – A Key to Learning
When we have a choice, we are more likely to plunge deeper into whatever is in front of us. When something is of genuine interest, we give it more attention, care about the outcomes a little more and are likely to be more proud of the outcome.
As part of our journey to a more student centered learning environment, we are going to take several steps very soon. First, we are changing how we do Tuesday PDs. [See below] This personalized approach will help us all develop areas we need to shore up.
We will also be changing up enrichment for students in January. During the enrichment cycle, we will poll students to get their choices for what they want to study in an effort to build more passion based learning. This will shift our role to less leading and planning to more facilitation – pushing the group of students who have selected a topic to focus on better products at the end.
Here is another GREAT example of the power of CHOICE! Mrs Brawley’s classes are diving into Radical Research [they don’t like the term ‘genius hour’ since 6th graders are all about that]. I had to tell this student to STOP working at 2:27 to pack it up and go home. She was completely lost in the research topic she chose! What a day it is when WE have to tell kids to turn it off!
Choice is important. We are going to build up our skills in facilitation and leadership to tap into kid’s interest to make them better learners.
Go To Girls
National Junior Honor society is collecting money for people affected by hurricane Matthew as well as school supplies for Haiti. Students will be turning in supplies and money to their homeroom teachers. NJHS members will be coming daily to collect any money and supplies. This service project will continue through the month of November. The top two homerooms with the most points at the end of the collection period will receive breakfast the first week in December. Please remind your students to support this worthy cause!
SAT continues to meet during team planning time on the first and third Friday of each month. Please see or email Mrs. Horton if you have a student you would like to discuss at these meetings.
Rowan County Early College teacher recommendation forms are due by December 1st.
We want to give a shout-out to our 8th grade students for being engaged and enthusiastic at the career fair which was held at West End Plaza on Thursday, November 3. A special thanks to our awesome 8th grade teachers for helping pull off a successful morning!
Teachers, please continue to be aware when students are absent and please make a call home if they are out for more than three days in a row. We want to emphasize the importance of school attendance and want parents to know we miss their precious darlings when they aren’t here😊. As always, if you have concerns or are unable to reach a parent, please let Mrs. Muire know so she can help!
An email was sent but this is a reminder to please give Mrs. Muire names of any students who you think would benefit from Christmas at the Cove. I need names ASAP because a form has to be sent home with the student for the parent to complete and return. Thank you!
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
― Mother Teresa
We are implementing a paradigm shift for professional development at West Rowan Middle. The first and third Tuesdays will remain a whole group PD meeting in the Literacy Lounge. Personalization is one component of the district initiative-CCRP. If we are to personalize instruction for our students, what about us? The first Professional Development menu is created and ready for your selections. Please check out the Emaze for a description of each opportunity.
Use the link below to select your PD opportunities.
One more link:) The first iteration of personalized PD was created for you, going forward we need to hear from you. Please complete the Google Form to assist administration, tech, media, and instruction/literacy in creating the next individualized PD cycle.
Literacy, Tech, and Presentation Resources
Emaze – at first glance you may think Emaze is just another internet Keynote option…but wait there’s more! Once your account is created you can (and students) create a presentation, mini-site, an ecard, game, and/or a visual story. Templates are available…or you could go rogue and create from scratch. Do you have a PowerPoint that you love…emazify it!
Monday, Nov 7
- Basketball vs NRMS Away
- Wrestling vs NRMS Home
Tuesday, Nov 8
- Report Cards Go Home
- Election Day – See above for special instructions
Wednesday, Nov 9
- Parent Community Tours
Thursday, Nov 10
- Wrestling vs Erwin Middle at Home
- 8th Basketball vs Erwin Away
Friday, Nov 11
- Veterans Day Holiday – No School
S P I R I T W E E K!!!!!
Monday, Nov 14
- Spirit Day – Pajama Day
- Basketball vs CLMS Home
- Wrestling vs CLMS Away
Tuesday, Nov 15
- Spirit Day – Lights Out Day
Wednesday, Nov 16
Thursday, Nov 17
- Spirit Day – Character Day
- Basketball vs Mooresville Home
- Wrestling vs Mooresville Away
Friday, Nov 18
- Spirit Day – Athlete Day
- Pep Rally
- How One School Changed Its Math Culture, Starting With Teachers
- 5 Ways to Teach Students to Think for Themselves
- None of My Teachers Knew I Was Homeless. They Should Have.
- 8 ways teachers can talk less and get kids talking more
- Middle School Maker Journey: Review, Rethink, and Retool