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Week of:
 October 5
Bell Schedule

  ringing
Monday - Bell I
Tuesday - Bell I
Wednesday - Bell I
Thursday - Bell III
Viking Time
Friday - Bell III
Hispanic Heritage Assembly 

 
Message from
Nurse Pringle
 
In an effort to maintain a healthy school environment, let us all remember to continue proper hand washing techniques with soap and water especially before eating.  If you are coughing or sneezing use a disposable tissue or the inside of your sleeve.  Parents, if your child is sick with a fever please keep them home until they are fever free for 24 hours without taking medication to reduce the fever. 
 
Upcoming High School
Open House Dates
 
McKinley Technology HS
Saturday, October 17at 10:00 am
Saturday, November 21 at 10:00 am
 
Duke Ellington School of the Arts
Friday, October 9 at 1:30 pm
Friday, November 20 at 1:30 pm
Friday, December 11 at 1:30 pm
 
Benjamin Banneker HS
Saturday, November 7 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon
 
Cardozo HS
Thursday, October 8 at 6:00 pm
 
Wilson HS
Friday, October 16
Friday, November 20
Friday, December 4
Friday, December 18
Friday, January 8
Friday, Janaury 29
Friday, February 5
Friday, February 19
Friday, March 5
Friday, April 9
 
Wilson's Open Houses will be held from 9:00 am - 11:00 am in the Wilson Library.
 
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mr. Santiago. 
 
Upcoming Dates
calendar
October 5
Vision Screening (6th grade)
 
October 6 
Vision Screening (8th grade)
 
October 8
Viking Time (Bell III) 
IB MYP Parent Information Night; 6:30 pm (cafeteria) 
 
October 9
Everybody Reads; 8:00 am (cafeteria)
Hispanic Heritage Assembly (Bell III)
 
October 12
Columbus Day Holiday (no school)

October 13
Team Nairobi to Hemlock
 Parent Education Workshop: Making a Successful Transition to Middle School; 7-8:30 pm (cafeteria)


October 14
Team Rome's trip to the National Archives
Department Chairperson Meeting, 3:30 pm (conference room) 

October 15
National Conflict Resolution Day
Team Athens' trip to the National Archives
Faculty meeting; 3:20 - 4:30 pm
Deal information night @ Lafayette ES; 7 pm


October 16
Everybody Reads; 8:00 am (cafeteria)
Team Nairobi's trip to the National Archives
8th grade trip to Jamestown; 6:30 am - 7:30 pm

October 19
Team Addis Ababa to Hemlock


October 20
Team San Francisco to Hemlock

October 21
Team Beijing to Hemlock

October 22
 Viking Time (Bell III)
IB Authorization Visit
 
October 23
IB Authorization Visit
October 26
Team Rome to Hemlock

October 27
Team Athens to Hemlock

October 28
Halloween Party, 3:30 - 6 pm

October 29
End of 1st Advisory, students dismissed at 12:15 pm
.
October 30
Professional Development Day - No school for students
 
November 3 and 4
DC-BAS
November 4
Department Chairperson Meeting, 3:30 pm(conference room)
 
November 5
New to Deal Meeting, 3:30 pm

November 10
Career Day
Deal information night @ Bancroft ES; 6:30 pm

November 11
Veteran's Day Holiday (no school)

November 12
Viking Time
Family Math Night; 6:30 - 8pm

November 13
Report Cards Issued

November 17
Deal Open House #1; 9 - 3 pm
November 18
Department Chairperson Meeting, 3:30 pm (conference room)

November 19
National Junior Honor Society Assembly

Faculty meeting; 3:20pm

November 20

International Night; 7 - 9 pm

November 25
Thanksgiving Assembly

November 26 & 27
Thanksgiving Holiday, No School
DCPS
Wilson SHS
Quick Links
Alice Deal MS
Join Our Mailing List
Stay Informed!
 
 
International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program @ Deal

IB MYP Parent Information Night

This Thursday, the IB MYP at Deal will host an IB Parent Information Night. Please come and learn about the program, hearing about what is going on at Deal with the IB, or getting a flavor of the program for yourself, be sure to attend. We will start promptly at 6:30 pm in the cafeteria. Hope to see you there!

The IB MYP Site Visit

On October 22 and 23, three visitors representing the International Baccalaureate will explore how we are implementing the IB MYP at Deal. This visit means we are nearing the end of the IB authorization process. For two and a half years, Deal has diligently been training teachers, practicing with the curriculum, and learning more about how the program is supposed to work. After our application was approved in June
2009, the IB scheduled this visit. The visitors will meet with teachers, administrators, the community and, of course, students to hear about the program and to learn about Deal. We have a lot to tell - so we are looking forward to the visit. A brief report will be giving to the school at the conclusion of the trip, and then a recommendation either for or against authorization will be made by the visitors. In early 2010, the IB will make a decision about Deal. Keep your fingers crossed!


 
Human Growth and Development Workshops
 
Ms. Irene Addlestone, MA will be supplementing the PE teachers and providing classes in growth and development for both the 6th and 8th graders this year. Students will bring home permission slips next week.
 
 Workshop Dates

6th grade
October 26 and 28
November 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10

8th grade
November 12, 13, 16, 18, 19, 21, and 25


 
Zeroes Aren't Permitted

ZAP! runs all week during all 3 lunch periods. Teachers and parents should feel free to suggest that students visit ZAP! to catch up on late homework.

ZAP! provides students a chance to get one-on-one help, approach a problem from a new angle, or work with peers on group work. Remember to remind students that they should come directly to ZAP! with their books at the beginning of their lunch period. Students will be given a pass to get a fast lunch and then  return to ZAP! refreshed and ready to work!

The Weekly Bulletin

"Think Globally.  Listen Compassionately. Act Inclusively."
Our mission:
Alice Deal Middle School inspires excellence, curiosity, and compassion through intellectual and social engagement.
Thought for the Week
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France.  When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.
- Pablo Picasso
Message from Principal Kim

As you know, due to District budget cuts, Alice Deal had to lose a social studies teacher (Ms. Woodward) and a science teacher (Mr. Aguilera). The staff cuts had to be in the areas of science and social studies in order to maintain the team structure.  It is never an easy thing to lose a teacher in the middle of the school year.  It is emotional for both staff and students.  There are times when I have to make hard and unpopular decisions for the school system and for the school.  I am thankful to all of the families who sent encouraging emails to me during the weekend. 
 
This week at Deal, we begin Viking Time Activities.  Viking Time occurs every other week and has been designed to create a space where students and teachers can engage in activities and get to know each other without the pressure of grades and tests.  Students selected three Viking Time choices and we will do our best to schedule them based on those choices.  But students are encouraged to be open to all possibilites!

Finally, on Thursday at 6:30 pm, Deal hosts IB Information Night for families.  Please come and learn from our IB coordinator, Mr. Albright. 
 
Principal Kim
This week at Deal. . .
 

Annual Health Screenings
It is time for the Annual Health Screenings for the fall semester.  On October 5 and 6, vision screenings will be done in the gallery for 6th and 8th graders.  Students who wear glasses must bring them on the day of their vision screening.  Nurse Pringle will give teachers a schedule of when they should bring down their classes.  Thank you for your cooperation. 
 
Music for the Halloween Party
Homeroom teachers are asked to select students' top five song choices for the upcoming Halloween Party.  Student Council representatives will report song selections during the meeting this Wednesday.
 
Hemlock
Sixth and seventh graders are reminded to return your permission slips for our Hemlock Educational Experience. Team Nairobi must turn in your Hemlock permission slips by Wednesday, October 7.  Your Hemlock Adventure Day is NOW Tuesday, October 13. 
 
The permission slip includes 3 forms (DCPS Permission Slip, Hemlock Participation Form, and Hemlock Medical Form) and $20 check or money order made payable to Alice Deal Middle School.  If you are in need of a partial scholarship, please send an e-mail to Dr. Kim at [email protected]  
 
Trip to the Archives
7th graders please remember to return your permission slip for the field trip to the Archives.  You should return your DCPS permission slip to your Humanities teacher.
 
Team Addis Ababa Study Hall
Team Addis Ababa study hall will meet today in room N103.  If you have any questions, please email .

Volleyball
Our first home game is Monday at 4:30 pm against Jefferson.  Come out and support our Lady Vikings as we begin our road to the championship!  There will be practice Wednesday and Thursday from 3:30-5:00 pm.
 
Robotics Club
The new Deal Robotics Club will meet Monday and Wednesday this week from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in room E301. Students will have the opportunity to construct and program their own robot to compete in a robotics competition in early November. Parents who are interested in assisting, please e-mail Mr. Mbayu at [email protected] or Mr. Roose at [email protected] 
 
Hometown Huddle
It's time to show off our hard work!  Tuesday at 5:00 pm at THEARC (1901 Mississippi Ave., SE 20020) we will perform our Hometown Huddle dance!  Please come out and support.  We will be competing against a number of other middle schools.  The final practice is today from 3:30-5:00 pm.
 
Boys' and Girls' Soccer 
The girls' soccer team will practice on today and Wednesday from 3:00-5:00 pm.
 
The boys' soccer team will practice on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 to 5:00 pm.
 
The Boys and Girls Soccer teams have an away game against Chavez-Parkside on Friday. The girls play at 4:00 pm and the boys play at 5:00 pm.  Only players who attend all practice sessions will be allowed to participate in league games. 
 
The Ultimate Frisbee Club
The Ultimate Frisbee Club will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. Learn about one of the fastest growing sports in the US! For further information see Ms. Kouri in room C205.
  
Cross Country Meet 
The Deal Cross Country teams will travel to Colmar Manor in Bladensburg, MD on Tuesday for the Lafayette ES Cross Country Invitational.  Students will be leaving before the end of school.  Teachers, please dismiss athletes upon announcement.  All athletes are responsible for seeing their teachers before the meet for missed assignments.  Thank you for your understanding.  If you have any questions see Mr. Geremia or Mr. Jenkins.

Afternoon Studio Club
Afternoon Studio Club will meet Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30 pm in room C224. Come to explore different materials and possibilities in art making! All levels of artistic skills and grade levels are welcomed! Email Mrs. Bustos for further information at .
 
Yellow Brick Road to Peace
In their homerooms on Wednesday, all Deal students will be given construction paper bricks to decorate with words and pictures depicting peace and nonviolent conflict resolution. Teachers may want to brainstorm possible ways to depict peace and nonviolence with their students in preparation for decorating the bricks with colored pencils and allow time for students who wish to participate to do this in homeroom.  (The bricks will be distributed to homeroom teachers on Tuesday.)  Students should return bricks to their homeroom teachers by Tuesday, October 13.  Teachers should leave them in the Guidance Office or in Ms. McFarland's mailbox.   Peer mediators will use the decorated bricks to create a yellow brick road in the hallway outside the Welcome Center.   
 
International Cooking Club
The A Group of the International Cooking Club will meet after school from 3:30-4:30 on Wednesday, in the faculty lounge (2nd floor).
 
Golf Club
Fore! Calling all golfers, potential golfers, putt-putt champions! The first meeting for Alice Deal's golf club will be after school this Wednesday in room W304. Please stop by to learn more about the golfing opportunities that we will have this year. We'll be focusing on working on the fundamentals of the swing and putting this a fall with an eye on
getting out to the driving range and golf course this spring.  See Mr. Reich for further information.
 
Viking Time Begins
The first Viking Time Activity Day is Thursday.  We will be on a Bell III schedule and students will report to their assigned activity at the end of the 7th period.  Homeroom teachers will receive students' Viking time assignments on Wednesday morning.  Students who have not selected a Viking Time Activity should see Ms. Neal in the cafeteria during their lunch period.  Thank you to the wonderful Deal staff for offering so many interesting activities for our students.
 
GIRL POWER! 
Ms. Wisniewski and Ms. Mazzone will be holding an interest meeting for the "Girl Power Program" on Thursday in the cafeteria. In this club, students will learn fun ways to exercise (such as, hip hop dancing, lifting weights, walking, hiking and more). Students will learn how to cook healthy snacks. Girls will also learn about skin care, hair, and fashion. This club is open to any girls in grades 6th-8th.  Snacks will be provided at the interest meeting! We hope to see you there!

Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly
The Hispanic Heritage Month assembly will take place on Friday.  We will be on a Bell III and 7th period teachers will escort students to the gym.  Students who are participating in the assembly will rehearse on Thursday during 7th and during Viking Time.  A list of the participants will be placed in teachers' mailboxes.
 
Photography Club
The Photography Club will meet on Thursday in room W204 from 3:30-4:30 pm.  Don't forget to bring your camera. Weather permitting, students will go outside and photograph the Deal campus.  If you have been unable to come to a meeting and are still interested in joining, please stop by C215 for a permission slip. 
 

Getting Help with your National History Day Project
Worried about your topic for NHD?  Need some help identifying sources or just getting started with your research?  In a dilemma about which project category to tackle?  Do not despair!  Help is here for you in several different ways.
 
NHD tutorial assistance is offered every Monday afternoon from 3:30-4:30 pm in room C308 with Ms. Mostoller.  No appointment is necessary.  Just make sure your parents know you're staying after school.
Saturday NHD workshops at the National Archives are available with Missy McNatt, the DC coordinator for NHD.  Contact her at [email protected] for a schedule and to make an appointment.
 
The Department of Humanities will offer a special one-hour introductory workshop here at Deal on Wednesday, October 21 from 7:00-8:00 pm in the gym.  See some examples of projects from last year.  Meet with students and parents who have completed successful projects and seek their wise counsel.  They've been through it, so they know what they're talking about.
 
Success will be yours if you start early and take full advantage of all the support mechanisms in place.
Student information...
 
Cheerleading Try-outs
There will be cheerleading try-outs next Thursday and Friday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Please stop by Ms. Baxter's office after school for a permission slip if you are interested in being on the 2009-2010 Cheerleading Team. Only students with a signed permission slip will be able to try out.  
 
After-school Conflict Resolution Groups
Ms. Hernandez and Ms. McFarland will meet with students after school on Thursdays beginning October 14 from 3:15-4:30 pm to work on conflict resolution skills and processes.  Students who are interested in ways to manage conflicts peacefully or who are having conflicts with peers can sign up to participate in the guidance offices.  Teachers and parents may also refer students who they think would benefit from participation.
 
Conflict Resolution Week
Each morning next week, students from Deal's Peer Mediation Program will read announcements about peer mediation and conflic resolution.  We will recognize National Conflict Resolution Day on Thursday, October 15.   
 
Spring Trip to France Autopay
The last day for students to enroll in the monthly payment plan is October 19!  Otherwise, students will need to be paid in full by November 31!
 
Please go to Eftours.com and register on tour number 699371-G1 (French Promenade)
Feel free to email questions to .
 
Attention 8th Grade Students
8th graders, please donate copies of Gilgamesh to 7th graders.  Please drop books off to Ms. Spann-Goode, Mr. Hughes, or Mr. McDowell.  We and the 7th graders will appreciate your generosity
 
Eighth Graders Tour Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg on October 16 
Students and chaperones will report to Deal at 6:00 am on Friday, October 16 for the annual on-site field study of early colonial life at Jamestown Settlement and Colonial Williamsburg.
 
Students should bring clipboard and pens, snacks and beverages for the bus ride,  a healthy bag lunch,  pocket money for souvenir shopping,  PG 13 DVDs for the bus ride,  cameras,  umbrellas,  jackets and a good attitude. Students should not bring electronic games, MP3 players and Ipods, and bad attitudes. 
 
We expect to return by 7:30 pm.  Parents should be here at school waiting for our arrival.  We ask, however, that parents be mindful of parking in front of the school building.  Double-parking on Fort Drive blocks the buses from accessing the school.  Unloading students safely is essential, so please park across the street or on Nebraska Avenue if the school parking lot is full. 
 
Department of Music Listserv
The Music Department uses a listserv in order to communicate information to its students and parents. All students involved with the Department of Music should sign up to be a member of this listserv. To become a member send an email to [email protected] 
 
Calling All Parents
The Art Department is in need of a few items to aid in instruction:
 
*Blenders/food processors for the 8th grade paper art unit
*Old wooden picture frames 8 1/2 x 11 or smaller
*Screening material that is used for screen doors or windows
 
If you are able to donate any of these items, please contact Ms. Kouri or Mrs. Bustos at [email protected]
Staff information...
 
DC One Cards are Arriving!! 
DC One Cards are arriving daily.  The cards will be placed in Homeroom teachers mailbox for distribution.  Homeroom teachers please give out the DC One Cards as they arrive. 
 
Library/ Media Center Orientation
On October 9, during 1st period, Team Cairo will attend a library orientation with Mrs. Brown. Team Singapore will have it's orientation on October 14.
Teams that have not scheduled a library/media center orientation should contact Mr. Humes. 
 
Mrs. Brown would like to commend all Deal students for their conduct while in the library. The morning, lunch, and afternoon sessions are working well.

Educator Appreciation Week at Borders 
Borders is having a wonderful sale for Educator Appreciation Week between September 29 and October 7 for all of our DC area educators. Simply bring a form of ID showing that you are a teacher, librarian or professor and they will be happy to offer you 30% savings on nearly everything in Borders, Walden Books, and Borders Express stores during that time period. Additionally, you will receive 25% off all educational tools the rest of the year. 
 
You may use your Borders Rewards card to add to your savings earning Borders Bucks while you save on each purchase. This will give you an additional $5 reward coupon for every $150 that you spend.
 
Notes for Student Absences
Teachers this is just a reminder that all notes for student absences and early dismissals should be brought to the main office. Students cannot be excused for tardies or absences without a note. If you have any notes from students from earlier in the year, please bring to the Welcome Center.
 
Safety and Security
Teachers who remain at school after hours must use the center doors when leaving.  All other exits are for emergency use only.  Thanks for keeping our school secure!
 
Before & after school activities this week...
 
Monday AM
Concert Choir practice, 7:45 am - RM CG17
Beginning Band, 7:45 am - RM CG01
Spanish tutoring, 8:10 am - RM C310
 
 
Monday PM
Girls' Soccer practice, 3:30-5 pm
Cross Country practice, 3:30-5 pm
Scrabble Club, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, cafeteria
Team Addis Ababa Study Hall, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM N103
Volleyball practice, 3:30-5 pm - gymnasium
GeoPlunge, 3:25 - 4:30 pm - RM W205 
Debate Team, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM E304
Run for Fun Club, 3:30 - 4:30 - RM W101
National History Day Help, 3:30-4:30 pm - RM C308
Team Nairobi  Tutoring, 3:30-4:30 pm - RM W207
Ms. Hampton's Science Help, 3:30-4:30 pm - W301
Dance Competition practice, 3:30 - 4:45 pm - gallery  
Cafe con Leche Club, 3:30 - 4:30 - RM CG06

Tuesday AM
6th Grade Chorus, 7:45 am - RM CG17
Jazz/Concert Band, 7:45 am - RM CG01
 
Tuesday PM
Drumline practice, 3:30-4:30 pm - RM CG01
Cross Country Meet, Lafayette ES Cross Country Invitational
Science tutoring, 3:20-4:15 pm - RM C315
Boys' Soccer practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
Afternoon Studio Club, 3:30-4:30 pm - RM C224
Rugby, 3:30-5 pm - RM C104
Deal Dance Team, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM W201
Team Nairobi Tutoring, 3:30 - 4:30 - RM E201
Team Athens Tutoring/Homework Help, 3:30-4:30 pm - Team Athens Hallway
Gardening, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM C309
Video-Audio Visual Club, 3:30 pm - gallery
 The Ultimate Frisbee Club, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM C205
 Team Beijing Tutoring, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, RM E105
Hometown Huddle Compettion, 5:00 pm - THEARC (
 
Wednesday AM
Concert Choir practice, 7:45 am - RM CG17 
Jazz Combo 7:45 am
Spanish tutoring, 8:10 am - RM C310 
 
Wednesday PM 
Student Council, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM E205
Ms. Washington's Homework Help, 3:30-4:30 pm - RM C212
Team San Francisco After-School Academic Assistance, 3:30-4:30pm - RM W101
Team Athens Tutoring, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - Team Athens hallway
Team Beijing Tutoring, 3:30 - 4:30 - RM E105 
Volleyball practice, 3:30- 5 pm- gymnasium
Girls' Soccer practice, 3:30-5 pm
Show Choir practice, 3:30-4:30 pm - RM CG17
Cross Country practice, 3:30-5 pm
International Cooking Club (Group B), 3:30-4:30 pm - Teacher's Lounge (2nd floor)
Fencing Club, 3:20-5 pm- RM C217
Science Tutoring, 3:30-4:30 pm - RM C315
Improv Club, 3:30-5 pm - RM E307
Alice Deal Science Olympiad Team, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM E101
Golf Club, 3:30 - 4:30 - RM W304
 
Thursday AM
6th Grade Chorus, 7:45 am -  RM CG17
Jazz/Concert Band, 7:45 am - RM CG01 
 
Thursday PM
Team Beijing Tutoring, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM E103
 Fencing Club, 3:20-5 pm - RM C217
Volleyball practice, 3:30- 5 pm - gymnasium
Boys' Soccer practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
Cross Country practice, 3:30 - 5 pm
Rugby, 3:30-5 pm - RM C104
Deal Dispatch, 3:30 - 4:30 pm - RM E204
Girl Power, 3:30 - 4:30 - cafeteria 
 Team Beijing Tutoring, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, RM E103

Friday AM
Everybody Reads; 8:00 am - cafeteria 
Peer Mediation, 8:00 am, - RM C104
Team Cairo tutoring with Ms. Mazzone, 8:10 am - library media center
 
Friday PM
Girls' Soccer game vs. Chavez-Parkside, 4 pm
Boys' Soccer game vs. Chavez-Parkside , 5 pm
Community information...
(items on this list are not endorsed by Deal) 
 
Girls ages 9-14 are invited to attend the First Ever National Tween Girl Summit on October 10, 2009.
 
Where: Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington DC

Price: FREE. Includes the Summit meetings, lunch, dinner, ice cream social, concert and goody bags! No products will be sold at the Summit.

What's the catch? No catch. Nothing will be sold at the Summit. Lunch, Dinner, Ice Cream party and concert are free. It's truly a mission to make the world a better place for our girls. We promise your daughters can attend without a cent in their pocket and they'll have a day they'll never forget. In fact, they'll walk away with Goody Bags with over $250.00 worth of goodies - no junk food, no junk toys... but gifts that tween girls (and parents) want.

Tell Me More: It's a day for girls to have a platform to speak up and be heard by adults... for girls to feel the power that adults are listening to them... and want to help make their world a better place. If your daughter(s) would like to attend, please send an email to [email protected] It's going to be an amazing day... girls speak up and are heard by adults who can change their world (including policy makers)... then a concert featuring Comic Book Heroes, Brooke White (from American Idol) and more... and an amazing goody bag. The Summit sponsors/supporters include Girl Scouts, Girls Inc and Women's Sports Foundation.
 

Important: Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis. Please register ASAP.

For All Summit information including Tween Girl Agenda, Parent Agenda and more, please visit www.tweensummit.com

Food for thought...
Reading this article may give you ideas about how to structure you class for students.  Many classrooms at Deal now have two teachers in the classroom.  Experiment and find ways that may help a "Billy" in your class thrive!
 
Restructuring a Middle-School Inclusion Math Class
            In this Middle School Journal article, South Carolina educators Joshua Patterson, Mindy Connolly, and Shirley Ritter describe how a sixth grader named Billy started the year in his inclusion class in a high-poverty middle school with very low math skills, little motivation to improve, and a negative attitude. He cried almost every day and often daydreamed and fell asleep in class. He had failing grades and his teachers were starting to believe that Billy was a hopeless case.
            Billy's two teachers were using time-honored methods: one would present new problems, demonstrate them on the board, guide students through the first few problems together, and then give them an assignment to do independently. The second teacher would move from student to student keeping them on task and helping out.
After a couple of months, the teachers concluded that what they were doing wasn't working. "Even with two of us, it doesn't seem to be meeting the needs of our students," one said. The teachers decided to try a radically different approach. They divided the class into groups of four or five students, mixed by gender, ethnicity, personality, and academic achievement. Within each group, students were assigned roles:
-         Leader (usually an underachieving student) - Keeping group members on task, answering general questions, setting the tone, and providing an example for others.
-         Messenger - A liaison between each group and the teachers, conveying questions and concerns and taking the teachers' messages back to the group.
-         Distributor - Providing all needed materials for the group.
-         Collector - Gathering all materials and returning them to their proper location.
-         Encourager - Serving as the cheerleader, reminding members of upcoming assignments and encouraging members to do their best.
Each of the four groups was assigned a color, and the groups rotated through two activities during each 90-minute math block and through an alternating A/B schedule every other day. Instruction followed a four-part model, with two segments each day:
  1. Teach new material
  2. Review/remediate basic skills
  3. Review new instruction
  4. Computer-based review of new topics and exposure to upcoming material using Odyssey software (Compass Learning).

For example, on the A day, after 10 minutes of whole-class agenda-setting and logistics by the teachers, the red group spent 40 minutes with the math teacher learning a new topic (for example, divisibility rules), using hands-on learning as much as possible. In the next 40 minutes, the group moved to another area of the classroom and worked together to sharpen math skills on which they were weak, using games, songs, and other strategies tuned to students' learning styles. During this segment, students might also work on collaborative projects or labs on the current unit of study. Teachers monitored students, answered questions, and corrected errors.
            On the B day, the red group spent 40 minutes with the inclusion teacher reviewing concepts learned the previous day, reviewing any homework, and clarifying misunderstandings, then, time permitting, getting additional enrichment on the previous day's instruction, journaling, tutoring each other, or reviewing basic skills. For the remaining 40 minutes of the block, the red group moved to the computer station to use the Odyssey software. Odyssey starts each student with a pre-test and moves into an individualized set of instructional items decided by the teachers. If a student is successful with a certain percent of questions, he or she moves on to the next set, if unsuccessful, there's more explanation and practice.
            What was the impact of this reorganization scheme? Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests showed that the class progressed from 33 percent performing at grade level at the beginning of the year to 47 percent meeting standards in February to 67 percent meeting standards at the end of the year. A survey of students showed that 87 percent preferred the new format, 92 percent said they had received more individualized instruction, 87 percent said they were learning more, and 95 percent felt more comfortable in class.
Billy blossomed. "He began socializing with other students, paying attention in class, and participating in activities," report Patterson, Connolly, and Ritter. "He was volunteering in class and excited about giving answers every day. Beginning and completing a task was no longer a grueling process for Billy, and he appeared to truly enjoy being in class as his grades progressed from failing to Bs and Cs. Billy exhibited confidence in himself, not only in math, but also in all of his classes. Perhaps feeling successful was the medicine Billy needed."
 
"Restructuring the Inclusion Classroom to Facilitate Differentiated Instruction" by Joshua Patterson, Mindy Connolly, and Shirley Ritter in Middle School Journal, September 2009 (Vol. 41, #1, p. 46-52), no e-link available; Patterson can be reached at [email protected]



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Alice Deal Middle School | 3815 Fort Drive, NW | Washington | DC | 20016