Middle School Language Arts
The Importance of Reading and Writing Workshop in Middle School
WiloStar3D Academy uses an integrated approach to learning across multiple areas. This includes Language Arts. In reading and writing workshop, students are exposed to a variety of genres as the teacher models fluency and expression. Using this model involves guiding students to choose their own books and writing topics as well as providing significant amounts of time for them to read independently. Allowing students to choose their own books, fosters a love of reading that will last a lifetime. It also involves students in authentic reading experiences that focus on the strengths and needs of each individual student through differentiated instruction. This is super important with today’s learners as students all come to our school with different reading abilities and strengths.
WiloStar uses a central theme for each integrated module with a novel that compliments this theme. Novels are carefully selected to help teach grade level identified benchmarks and goals. Sometimes the novel may or may not be at the current grade level. We think long and hard about reading levels for the novels used at Wilostar and find great benefits in using books that are not “hard reading” to teach skills. Most novels used are at or above grade level but there are instances where they are not.
There is not much good to say about “hard reading.” If you want kids to fail, give them “hard books” they can’t read with less than 95% comprehension. The end result of a steady diet of “can’t do” is unmotivated, hard to manage, oppositional students (Allington).
Differentiated Learning= success for all readers and writers
So what do we do to help advanced and gifted readers excel if they feel the module novel is too easy? We use Reading Workshop. That’s what! Allowing (and requiring) students to self-select novels in addition to the core module novel means they can read at their own pace and move ahead or re‐read as necessary.
In the workshop model, students are invited to become actively involved in their learning, and in the process learn more about how to read various kinds of texts (Atwell).
Writing Workshop is also an excellent way for students to respond to literature, do creative writing exercises and grow in their writing capabilities. Giving students technology tools such as creating a personal blog, or creating a 3D digital story world helps keep them engaged and progressing with their literature and writing skills. To view more information on the WiloStar3D learning progression framework for reading and writing you can download our PDF overview.
Middle School Language Arts Proficiencies and Expectations
Students in grades 6-8 partcipate in reading and writing workshop.Read more about the learning progression framework to get a better idea of what is mastered per grade level.
Reading and Writing Workshop
Students particpate in Avatar Storytellers program where they write their own short stories, tall tales, mysteries and other genres of writing.
WiloStar’s online virtual school program is designed to give students a healthy online learning environment where they can interact with their peers and teachers during the school day. Students have live class meetings and online study hall requirements.
WiloStar believes in treating each student as an individual and respecting their unique needs. We are one of the very few virtual schools that make learning accommodations for students! Incoming students are given appropriate placement screening and an ILP is created.
WiloStar staff and faculty believes there is no problem that can’t be solved. The key here is communication. If a parent sees something is not working for the student there at home, they let us know and we moblize to find ways to adapt the learning and find solutions that will help the student.
The WiloStar Student Support team is at the ready to help with extra tutoring, counseling and tech support. For struggling students, we offer several strategies to help get back on track. For techincal issues, we have a skilled and dedicated team ready to help solve your issues.