Middle School Language Arts

State standards

Current Materials 

  • Literature (Textbook, McDougal Littell)
  • Reader’s Workshop Units (Teacher Created)
  • Scholastic  Classroom Magazines
  • Classroom Novels

Adoption process and timeline

  • Writing Workshop Pilot Field Test (2014-15)
  • Language Arts Curriculum Parent Input Survey
  • Middle School teacher adoption committee formed spring 2015
  • Teacher adoption committee meeting dates: Each meeting date includes its planned main agenda item(s), then links to the specific meeting summary when available
    • April 29, 2015:  share goals and timeline/schedule, establish norms and consensus process, review research and parent survey results, share district vision and parameters for potential curriculum, review criteria for materials evaluation, begin materials review
    • May 6, 2015:  review district vision, materials review
    • June 2, 2015: 6th grade only,  materials review
    • June 3, 2015: 7th grade only, materials review
    • June 5, 2015: 8th grade only, materials review
    • September 30, 2015: Review goals and timeline/schedule, norms and consensus process, research and parent survey results, District Language Arts vision, and parameters for potential Reading curriculum. Determine components to review for specific text materials.
    • November 29, 2015: Materials review for Advanced Language Arts Reading curriculum
    • December 9, 2015: Materials review for Reading curriculum
    • January 29, 2016: Writing Field Test debrief, make recommendation, prepare for IMC
    • March 17, 2016: Reading materials review, make recommendation and prepare for IMC if review is completed, prepare for field test is necessary.
  • Field Testing:
    • Writing: September 2015-January 2016
  • IMC review and decision: Spring 2016 (writing), Spring 2016-Winter 2017 (reading)
  • Community review and input: Spring 2016 (writing), Spring 2016-Winter 2017 (reading)
  • ISD Board Review: Spring 2016 (writing), Spring 2016-Winter 2017 (reading)

June 9, 2016
The adoption committee celebrated the work recommending a new reading and writing workshop-based curriculum, and approved the new Scope and Sequence for Middle School Language Arts Grades 6-8 and Advanced Language Arts Grades 6-8.

March 17, 2016
Representatives reached consensus on recommendations for the units, books, resources, and general timeline for Language Arts at each grade level, and provided input for professional development in the reading and writing workshop model.   

March 10, 2016
Advanced LA representatives revisited their choices for reading curriculum and reached consensus on the units, books, resources, and general timeline for Advanced Language Arts.  

January 29, 2016
The committee reviewed the data from the writing field test, then engaged in the consensus process by advocating and inquiring related to both curricula being considered. The committee reached consensus to recommend "Writing Fundamentals" for selection as the District adopted curriculum. The committee also revisited the book choices for Reader’s Workshop units, reaching consensus on 3 Reader’s Workshop lists in addition to the previously identified class novels and magazines. Three Reader’s Workshop book lists will continue to be reviewed.  

December 9, 2015
The middle school Language Arts adoption committee met to select reading units and materials for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, based on the district vision. Each grade level determined the structures for the reading curriculum, including classroom news magazines (6th, 7th, 8th grade), class novels (6th and 8th grade), poetry units (8th grade), Reader’s Workshop units (6th, 7th, 8th grade), and anthology work (7th and 8th grade). The current anthology will be retained at all three grade levels as a resource. Poetry and vocabulary will be purposefully integrated into Reader’s Workshop units. The grade level teams are identifying books for each Reader’s Workshop unit, as well as specific skills that will be taught in each unit. Independent reading is supported as a critical component of a balanced literacy program. 

November 24, 2015
Advanced Language Arts teacher representatives met to recommend reading units and materials for Advanced Language Arts, based on the vision established by the adoption committee. Each grade level determined the structures for the advanced reading curriculum, including classroom news magazines (6th, 7th, 8th grade), class novels (7th 8thgrade), poetry (6th, 7th, 8th grade), Reader’s Workshop units (6th, 7th, 8th grade), and Great Books (6th grade). The Advanced Language Arts classes will use the writing curriculum recommended by the LA adoption committee (still under consideration).

September 30, 2015
The committee reviewed the charter, vision, and guiding principles for the Language Arts curriculum adoption as they prepared to explore resources for Reading. Guiding principles include an instructional model that provides explicit skill instruction, time for students to read, reading response, and ongoing opportunities for student choice. After considering the goals, benefits, and drawbacks of different potential components of a reading curriculum, the committee reached consensus to review specific text materials for a variety of components including those based on shared reading experiences, limited choice, and independent reading.

June 3, 2015
Two additional curricula were evaluated by the committee:  Smart Writing and Writing Fundamentals. After discussion, the committee eliminated Smart Writing and Holt McDougal Literature by consensus. The committee also reached consensus to retain class sets of the current Literature anthology as a classroom resource. After further discussion and the opportunity to hear about the elementary process, the committee reached consensus to field test two curricula in the fall:  Writing Fundamentals and Units of Study in Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing. All committee members will take part in the field studies. Committee members worked in grade level groups to identify one unit from each curriculum to field test.

May 6, 2015
A draft vision and evaluation tool for the Language Arts adoption were presented, revised and approved by the committee. Committee members worked in grade level groups to evaluate 4 different writing programs using the tool: Units of Study in Argument, Information and Narrative Writing; Lessons That Change Writers; Read Write Teach, and Holt McDougal Literature. A decision was made to provide Read Write Teach to teachers as a professional resource. After a discussion, the consensus process was used in deciding to eliminate Lessons That Change Writers before electing to meet again as a whole group for further decision making.

April 29, 2015
The committee was introduced to the timeline and scope of the adoption work. Members learned about the consensus process that will be used for decision making and established group norms. The role of the committee in recommending curriculum was clarified. Members engaged in activities to review the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, research on best practices, perspectives of literacy experts, and data from the parent survey. The committee captured ideas and insights from each. Time for reading and writing, and student choice emerged as common priorities. Facilitators were charged with drafting the vision, which will be synthesized from district parameters and the ideas captured from the committee’s learning activities, and presented at the next meeting. Members agreed to communicate a common message back to their buildings.