High Performing Professional Learning Community
This team of teachers has cohesively approached our school’s vision with dedication and determination through their work as a goal team. Together they have facilitated an increase in high yield strategies and practices to improve reading and writing across all content areas. They have embraced the challenge of improving school-wide literacy by working together to create a school-wide annotation guide and a school-wide writing rubric. Through the initial use of a screening tool, teachers were able to quickly establish general Lexile levels for their students in order to initiate, direct and monitor daily independent reading time. School-wide independent reading is implemented daily, along with vocabulary emphasis regularly utilizing suffixes, prefixes and root words. Lunch-time book clubs and the emergence of literature circles have re-energized a love for reading across all content areas.
Writing has become another priority for our school’s reading goal team. Language Arts teachers have paired with their grade level teammates to incorporate regular and consistent writing opportunities that encompass content and proper writing techniques using the writing process. Students regularly receive writing prompts and all teachers share in the grading process to approach both content and writing.
This group of teachers has supported one another, shared best practices with each other, and identified trends within and across the grade levels. Common assessments and learning activities are reviewed and strategies to address academic weaknesses are evaluated and addressed weekly. The alignment of this analysis has assisted in creating groups for remediation, enrichment and has facilitated alignment in progress monitoring.
These teachers participate in weekly PLCs to review student data. Student work is regularly examined, reasons for common errors are discussed and instructional adjustments made as necessary to meet student needs. Additionally, data relating to student absences, discipline and socio-emotional needs are reviewed every other week through protocols and referencing to individual student learning profiles.
The working relationship between and among these teachers embodies the goals of an effective Professional Learning Community and is reflective in student receptiveness to new methods of learning and the steady progress that they are making as they continue to review, evaluate and revise instruction to meet the needs of every student and ultimately to improve academic outcomes.
Congratulations to our Reading Goal Team:
Global Education Badge
Tucker Creek Middle School continues to embed global learning through integration in the arts as well as through core content areas. Global themes are regularly incorporated into the social studies curriculum in order to connect student learning with a broader global perspective. Collaboration between core teachers and exploratory unveil common global threads that are woven into the core and exploratory curriculum.
This year exploratory teachers have been paired with core content area teams in order to integrate a global learning project for the second semester. Our school has additionally partnered with World View in order to offer additional professional learning opportunities for our staff that will enable them to acquire credits toward their global badges as part of the North Carolina Global Digital Badge designation. PenPal Schools is also utilized by many of our teachers in order to offer unique learning opportunities that connect content areas with global learning projects.
This group of teachers has worked together to creatively integrate global learning opportunities within their curriculum that complement the standards being taught within their content area grade levels. Students continue to explore global finance, immigration, human rights and global cultures. Two of these teachers have partnered with a school in Canada through a common book, The Bridge Home, that they were reading as part of the Global Read Aloud project. From this reading project emerged a partnership whereby students regularly meet through Google Hangouts to share information about their culture, their school, government, customs, etc. This collaboration continues and offers students the opportunity to learn about a country outside their own and explore the similarities as well as differences in everything from education, government, and the challenges of middle school.
These teachers have been working on a number of projects that have emphasized global themes within multiple content areas . They seize the opportunity to celebrate and integrate the diversity within our own school to exemplify global content. As a result, collaboration has evolved to include art, Spanish, music, language arts and social studies to further support global learning. This effort has contributed to a diverse and multi-disciplinary approach to instruction that not only engages students, but has captured the interest of parents and the community as well.
Teacher who is working to engage the community/world in their instruction
Ms. Ann Frazier is a consummate professional who always puts her students first. Her love for her students is evident in the positive culture she builds in her classroom. Ms. Frazier consistently initiates creative ways of integrating career readiness into meaningful learning activities in the classroom. She has many connections with the community and often draws upon community members to enrich the relevant activities that connect her students with the curriculum. This includes guest speakers discussing real world job skills, local business owners engaging students in how to record inventory, sales, and profits. Our students most recently worked with representatives from the Career Center at Cherry Point to explore real world careers and identify associated salary schedules as well as expenses related to common monthly expenditures. Students in Ms. Frazier’s class routinely work with community members to simulate real world learning opportunities to include interviews, budgeting, investment decisions, etc.
This year, Ms. Frazier organized a middle school level Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club to continue her work with students interested in learning more about business/career opportunities and community outreach. Service to the community is a hallmark of the work she has initiated with this club as well as within her own classroom. Students visited the Journey of Hope Cancer Center to assist with decorating the facility for the holidays. Students participated with their parents and were able to spread holiday cheer to patients and staff alike. Immediately following this, students began assembling over 100 hygiene kits which they delivered to the residents of Pruitt Health Nursing home. Each resident received a kit with soap, lotion, tissues and lip balm. Again, students experienced involvement in serving others, which instills a sense of compassion and understanding, a fundamental of socio-emotional learning. It furthermore provides students with the opportunity to improve and leave their mark on the local community as well as explore their interests, ignite their passions and develop leadership skills which include networking, career development and social skills. Future plans include collaboration with our school’s student council to include additional service opportunities, visits to local businesses to explore potential career possibilities as well as continued work with partners within our community. Learning is always engaging, relevant and fun in Ms. Frazier's class.
Congratulations, Ms. Ann Frazier!