Middle Level Education Syllabus
University of Maine at Farmington, Spring 2014 - EDU 262

The University of Maine Farmington Secondary/Middle Education Program prepares professionally certified educators by working collaboratively using the latest research to offer enriching learning experiences.

Professor: Dr. Grace J. Ward
Office: 218 Education Center
Office Phone: (207) 778-7508
Office Hours: Monday 1:30-3:00, Tuesday 2:00-3:30
Email: gward@maine.edu Class Wiki: http://edu262spring2013.wikispaces.com/

Course Times Dates and Locations

EDU 262 Middles Level Education, Education Center (12:00-1:50) Tuesday and Thursday ().

Require Texts

• Jackson, A. W. & Davis, G. A. (2000). Turning Points 2000, Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century. National Middle School Association: Columbus, OH.
• National Middle School Association (2010). This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents. NMSA: Westerville, OH.
• Wormeli, R. (2001). Meet Me in the Middle. Stenhouse: Portland, ME.

One of the following books will be assigned for a Book Talk Presentation: Student-Oriented Curriculum: A Remarkable Journey of Discovery by Wallace M. Alexander, Boys and Girls Learn Differently by Michael Gurian, A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink, Becoming a “Wiz” at Brain-Based Teaching 2nd edition by Marilee Sprenger.

Welcome to Middle Level Education course. This course examines the historic and philosophic contexts of middle level education. The current issues affecting middle schools include developmentally appropriate curriculum, instruction and assessment, the role of middle school teachers, and communication with parents and public. “Teaching is the process of building communities of learners who use their skills to educate themselves.” (Joyce, Well, 1996). Prerequisite(s): EDU 221 or concurrent enrollment, and must have passed all three PRAXIS I tests.

ESTABLISHED GOALS: Common Core Teaching Standards

The Learner and Learning
Standard #1: Learner Development. The teacher understands how students learn and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
Standard #2: Learning Differences. The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that allows each learner to reach his or her full potential.
Standard #3: Learning Environments. The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Standard #4: Content Knowledge.The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners.
Standard #5: Innovative Application of Content. The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Instructional Practice
Standard #6: Assessment. The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to document learner progress, and to guide the teacher's on-going planning and instruction.
Standard #7: Planning for Instruction. The teacher draws upon knowledge of content areas, cross-disciplinary skills, learners, the community and pedagogy to plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals.
Standard #8: Instructional Strategies. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to access and appropriately apply information.

Professional Responsibility
Standard #9: Reflection and Continuous Growth. The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, families, and other professionals in the learning community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
Standard #10: Collaboration. The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Standard #11: Technology Standards for Teachers – (NETS-T). Effective teachers model and apply the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community.

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK: University of Maine at Farmington

The University of Maine at Farmington prepares caring teachers, competent educators and confident professionals (C3TEP), grounded in the arts and sciences, who will become the educational leaders of the 21st century.

Caring Teachers (CT)
o Build respectful relationships
o Create communities of learners
o Support and encourage successful learning for all students
o Honor and respond to differences
o Utilize knowledge of human development

Competent Educators (CE)
o Design, plan, implement and evaluate instruction
o Use best practices for instruction and assessment
o Know content and strategies for integration
o Communicate clearly and effectively
o Solve problems creatively and constructively
o Use the tools of a changing world

Confident Professional (CP)
o Collaborate effectively with families, communities, and colleagues
o Practice reflective, self-directed, life-long learning
o Demonstrate a commitment to ethical and legal responsibilities
o Contribute to and lead in diverse societies


Students will understand

• Developing an appropriate educational environment, setting, and instructional program is essential for young adolescents aged 10-14. The components necessary for an effective Middle School should include the following: teaming, advisory, flexible scheduling, integrated curriculum, assessment practices, using technology as an instructional tool, and involving parents and community.
• Various theories and pedagogies apply to how students learn: 1) learning styles, 2) multiple intelligences, 3) brain learning 4) higher order thinking, processing and differentiation.
• Relationship between curriculum, instruction and assessment improves teaching and learning.

Essential Questions

• Why is it important to develop the appropriate educational setting for adolescents aged 10-14?
• How do you develop an integrated teaching unit and integrate technology in the learning process?
• Why differentiate classroom instruction using current theories and pedagogies?
• How do you know you have accomplished the desired results that every student can achieve at high standards?

Students will know

• What are effective middle schools and how does a teacher develop into an effective middle school educator.

Students will be able to

• Work as a member of a team in a collaborative manner.
• Develop an integrated teaching unit and utilize technology as a learning tool.
• Plan teaching and learning activities to meet the needs of every student.
• Design a performance task with scoring guide and a WebQuest.
• Create an actual student sample for the WebQuest.
• Determine how to involve students in conferences with parents.

Performance Task

• Design an integrated teaching unit as a member of a team using the twelve steps for designing an integrated teaching unit. Design a WebQuest as the final authentic assessment of the integrated unit with a student sample.

Self-Assessment and Reflection

• Belief and reflection statements of where you are in the process of developing your style of teaching and learning.


Teaching is a profession and this course is about teaching and learning. Participation is a critical component of learning and you are expected to arrive to class on time and attend all classes. If an emergency arises, please notify me by phone or e-mail prior to the class.

Communitcation - Email is our primary means of communication outside of class. Consider each communication to be a reflection of your professional persona. Assignments are required to be turned in on time, unless prior arrangements have been made in advance. You may have the opportunity to redo some assignments, if they are turned in on time and will be due one week after being returned to you. You must submit the original work, rubric, the revised work and a brief statement of the improvements you made to the assignment. All assigned work must be typed on a word processor using Times font, 12 points, unjustified and free of typographical, spelling and grammatical errors.

Back up Documents - Please keep a copy of all work submitted, until the final grade of the course has been determined. Teacher Education programs at the University of Maine at Farmington utilize the TK20 Data Storage system. It is your responsibility to ensure that you adequately back up all your academic work. One method is to use your storage capability inTK20. To do this, log into TK20 system and select the ARTIFACTS tab. Click on ARTIFACT WIZARD and then Continue. Select the artifact type of FILE and upload your document. This will ensure that a copy of your work is stored in TK20 for you to use in the future. You might alternatively select to back up your documents on an external drive or print hard copy for your files. Whatever methods you choose, please be aware of your responsibility in this area and the options available to you to keep your digital work secure and available to you.

Academic Integrity - Academic honesty and integrity are important to the teaching profession. The University of Maine Farmington (UMF) Code of Academic Integrity is enforced in this course and students are expected to educate themselves. Please take the time to review the code, which is included in the on-line catalogue at http://catalog.umf.maine.edu/show.php?type=subcategory&&id=37

Statement on Equal Opportunities - In Accordance with the Americans with Disability Act, students who have documented disabilities will be provided with appropriate accommodations. You must request accommodations in a timely manner through official university documentation. Contact Clair Nelson in the Learning Assistance Center (claire@maine.edu or 778-7295). Then we can discuss, confidentially, how I might best help you.


Below is the point value for each assessment and your grade will be based on the percent of points earned from the total points of 300.

Essential Belief Statement (20 points) Standard #9, CP

Please describe your personal beliefs about middle level education. 1) Why are you interested in working with young adolescents aged 10-14? 2) Your middle grades experiences as a student - What do you remember experiencing, feeling, believing, noticing, etc. 3) How do you think those experiences will affect how you will approach the teaching of young adolescents? 4) What are your goals, dreams, aspirations, hopes, fears, concerns and questions as a teacher of young adolescents?

Attendance and Participation (80 points) Standard #9,#10, CP

You must be present and actively engaged in all aspects of the course. You will need to be prepared and a contributing member in all the learning components of the course. Article reflections and course readings will be documented in your Blog. Teaching is an art and requires dedicated students who will collaborate with one another and are not afraid of taking risk in the process of developing their learning and teaching methods.

Book Talk (30 points) Standard #3, #10, CP, CT

As a member of a team you will read a book that is pertinent to this class. The team will present its learning's to the class (60-80 minutes), using several intelligences. The presentation should include but not limited to: key ideas, applications to the middle level educator, relationship to the seven recommendations in “Turning Points 2000”, your response to the information and some type of assessment which will give you feedback on the presentation and the knowledge they gain from it.

Book Talk Response (10 points) Standard #10, CP, CT

Individually you will create a brief personal response to the material read, the process of how the group worked together (refer to communication style of each member), the role and job each played, your contribution to the process and lessons you learned as a result of this project, as well as your thoughts on the feedback provided from students and information gained. What are questions that have now come to the surface for you as a result of this assignment?

Performance Task Integrated Unit and Lessons Plans (140 points)

Working as a member of a team, you will design an integrated unit and a WebQuest .

I. Integrated Teaching Unit Design (90 points)

Using the twelve steps for designing an Integrated Teaching Unit.

A. Steps 1-4 - (14 points) Standard #7, CE

• Decide on a unit Theme, which allows all team members to enter the integration process. (2 points)
• Identify a major Concept to serve as a suitable integrating or conceptual lens for the study. (2 points)
• Web the Topic for study, by subject or area around the concept and theme. (5 points)
• Write a Unit Overview to engage student interest and introduce the unit. (5 points)

B. Steps 5-6 (16 points) Standard #7, CE

• Identify some of the Enduring Understandings that you would expect students to derive from the unit of study. (8 points)
• Identify Guiding Questions to facilitate the student’s thinking towards the enduring understandings. (8 points)

C. Steps 7-9 (20 points) Standard #1, #6, #7, CE

• Identify the Knowledge and Skills that students must internalize. (8 points)
• Code the knowledge and skills with Assessment Codes to show the other evidence that is planned beyond the culminating performance task. (2 points)
• For each week in the unit, write an Instructional Plan using multiple intelligences, learning styles, higher order thinking, and technology media. (10 points)

D. Steps 10-12 (20 points) Standard #1, #6, #7, #8, CE

• Write the Culminating Performance Task to show the depth of learning. (10 points)
• Design the Scoring Guide to assess the performance task. (4 points)
• Write the Process and Identify Web Resources . (6 points)

E. WebQuest (20 points) Standard #1, #6, #7, #8, #11, CE

• Introduction - Provides background information and motivational scenarios like giving students roles to play. (2 points)
• Task - A formal description of what students will have accomplished by the end of the WebQuest. (6 points)
• Process - Descriptions of the steps students should go through in accomplishing the task, with links embedded in each step. (6 points)
• Resources - A list of the resources (bookmarked Web sites, print resources, etc.) that your students will need to complete the task. (2 points)
• Evaluation - Rubrics for evaluating students' work. (2 points)
• Conclusion - Summation of what the WebQuest accomplished in the learning process for students. (2 points)

II. Lesson Planner /Lesson Plans/Team Presentation - (50 points) Final Assessment

A. Lesson Plans Standard #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #11, CE, CT

• Completely design one 60 - minute lesson plans from each content area from the weekly lesson planner utilizing all of the information in steps 1-12. The class is heterogeneous and has students with special learning needs at both the low and high end of the spectrum. The lessons must include cooperative learning, Type II Technology and indicates the multiple intelligences used to meet the needs of the four learning styles. Indicate how you will use technology as a teacher and how will it be used by students. Refer to Lesson Plan Format and respond to all components and include the Teaching and Learning Sequence. (25 points)

B. Integrated Unit/WebQuest/Student Sample Presentation Standard #1, #3, #6, #7, #8, #9, #11, CE

• Present an overview of your Unit, an overview of a lesson from each content, the final WebQuest with student sample and Student Led conference Brochure. (25 points)

Reflection Statement (20 points) Standard #9, CP

Personal reflection is an essential component in the development of a professional educator. The purpose is to reflect on the information, learning's, readings, experiences of this class, performance task, book talk, their application to the profession, the seven recommendations in “Turning Points 2000”, the four essential questions, and how you see yourself integrating technology in your classroom. Some reflective questions to consider: 1) What new learning's did I discover? 2) What questions have now come to the surface for me? 3) What actions will I take as a result of these learning's? 4) What else do I now want to know? The product may take a form that is appropriate for you as a means of demonstrating your professional growth and understanding of middle level education. Options you may select: Podcast, Video, Poster. Glogster, Scrapbook, Web Page, and other ways you would like to use to demonstrate your learning's, which will require prior approval from your professor.

Grading Scale

A (93 -100), A- (90 - 92), B+ (87 - 89), B (83 - 86), B- (80 - 82), C+(77 - 79), C- (70 - 72), D+(67 - 69), D (63 - 66), D- (60 - 62), F (0 - 59).