MMS utilizing cross curriculum projects
At the lastﾠ Local School Improvement Council (LCIS)ﾠ meeting of the school year Monday, the board of education was informed about programs enforcingﾠ education at Marlinton Middle School.
Denise Sharp and Louisa Kiner described the cross curriculum projects and explained how well the students did with the new program.
Sharp, who started using the program several years ago, said it now includes science, math and language arts. As an example, she recalled a previous project on volcanoes and earthquakes. In her science class, the students learned about earthquakes and tectonic plates, while in Kinerﾒs math class, they used calculations to build exact scales of volcanoes. In Thomasﾒ class, they wrote a research paper about volcanoes.
This year, the project also included the history class, where the students made a timeline of the era in the project.
Sharp and Kiner said they are pleased with the program and students really enjoy having an all inclusive project. The only issue they have faced is finding time for the teachers to meet to plan and grade the projects.
Title I teacher Becky Spencer shared information on the reading program.
Spencer said that although the students are doing well on the reading section of WESTEST2, the majority of the students are reading a grade level below their actual grade. Statistics show that in fifth grade, 63 percent of the students are below; sixth grade, 75 percent are below; seventh grade, 67 percent are below; and eighth grade, 71 percent are below.
Spencer explained that the students are able to read, they can read very well, but they cannot comprehend what they read. For example, an eighth grade student can read an eighth grade level book, be able to pronounce all the words correctly, but will not understanding what the words mean.
To boost the students' vocabulary, each student has a vocabulary notebook and they add a new word to it each day. The entire student body has the same word each day and they use the word in at least four classes each day.
Spencer is hopeful the programs the school is utilizing will help the students improve their reading skills.
Board member Jan McNeel suggested having a home vocabulary book to include the parents more in the students learning.
Principal Joe Riley reported the following:
* The school has a new two-hour delay schedule, where the students report to only academic classes and miss electives in order for the students to have their core classes.
* The school has had several fire drills to prepare the students and is still waiting for a lockdown drill with the West Virginia State Police.
* The schedule has changed from block scheduling to partial block. Math has maintained the 90 minute block time for students to have a regular math class and a math lab. Science and social studies are also 90 minutes, all year, with students taking science for four-and a-half weeks, then switching to social studies for four and a half weeks, back and forth all year.
The MMS choir performed four Christmas songs for the board. Because of snow days, the choir was unable to have a concert.
The board and Riley recognized several students for academic achievements.
The board also recognized the staff of MMS for their continued dedication to the school and students.