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Terms Used in Middle School

Cooperative Learning


refers to small group learning situations in which all students contribute to the group effort because students receive both group and individual grades.  Students who are successful more often deepen their understanding of material by explaining it to students who may need more support; those students  receive immediate tutoring from their peers and gain a sense of accomplishment by suggesting solutions to problems.


Cooperative learning has been shown to help students learn course material faster and retain it longer and develop critical reasoning power more rapidly than working alone.  Cooperative learning also requires students to get to know and work with classmates of different backgrounds, setting the stage for requirements of adult life and citizenship.


Common Planning Time


refers to the daily meeting held with all the team teachers present.  They use this   time to plan interdisciplinary units, evaluate student performances, create common assessments, and collaborate to improve student learning.




refers to a team of teachers representing the four core areas of instruction who share the responsibility for planning the instructional program for a group of students.  Each of Mt. Abe’s crews includes a social studies, math, language arts, and science teacher.


Crew Reps


refers to the meeting of elected representative students from each crew with the Middle School Principal on a regular basis.  The Crew Reps serve as a student governance group that communicates crew decisions about student activities to the principal.


Teacher Advisory (TA)


refers to the 15 minute program held at the beginning of each school day.  Every student needs to be well known by at least one adult in the school.  Young adolescents need someone whom they can count upon to be regularly available, to monitor their progress, support, and advocate as necessary for their learning.


Exploratory Period


refers to the period of the day when students are given the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects, or electives. Exploratory offerings may vary from year to year, but generally include: Band, Chorus, Introduction to Languages, Latin, French, Spanish, Intramurals, Art, Drama, Keyboarding, Computer Applications and Genesis.  Check out the new offerings each year!


Unified Arts


refers to the period in which the student cycles through technical education, visual art, and health.  Students spend one trimester of the academic year in each of these classes.  Included in this area is the physical education offering which meets on the opposite day as those classes mentioned previously.


Flexible Grouping


refers to the grouping and regrouping within crews and classes in order to accommodate particular student needs, interests, and learning goals at given points in time.

Heterogeneous grouping contributes to a learning environment that recognizes student diversity and encourages all students to see themselves as learners, achievers, and important members of a positive group.




refers to students making individual action plans based on their history, who they are, as well as their dreams, challenges and needs.


Effective Effort


refers to students knowing the most efficient strategies and techniques to use when working on assignments or problem solving. It also implies asking for assistance or suggestions when s/he is confused. When a student does not use effective effort, frustration builds, much time can be wasted, and/or the recorded grade may not be reflective of the student's learning.


Middle School Challenge


Eighth Grade students have the opportunity to explore an area of their own interests through the structure of independent study with guidance from a faculty advisor as well as a community mentor.


Honor Roll


Scholarship is recognized and encouraged through an academic honor roll.  The honor roll is compiled at the close of each quarter.  CRITERIA FOR HONOR ROLL CONSIDERATION INCLUDE:

            Students must carry a full academic program. (6 classes, not including labs)

          No D’s or F’s allowed

Students with an Incomplete grade for a course will jeopardize honor roll consideration.


                        Highest Honors = All A’s

                        High Honors – 3.67 (no C’s)

Honors – 3.00 with one C acceptable.  (No F’s, D’s or C-‘s)