The English curriculum for grades 6-8 at Midlothian Middle School is dictated by the Virginia Standards of Learning, organized according to the Balanced Literacy Model, and implemented through engaging, technology-enhanced instruction in reading comprehension strategies and writing traits. It is through these three distinct lenses that our teachers view the English curriculum, and they plan their lessons, activities, assignments and assessments accordingly.
Mission: The Commonwealth of Virginia has established Standards of Learning that each student must master during each year of English. The skills fall into four categories: communication (speaking, listening, media literacy), reading, writing and research. The standards spiral on each other from grades 6 through 8 in order to prepare students for the Virginia College and Career Ready English Performance Expectations in high school.
Organization: As prescribed by the CCPS Secondary Language Arts Department, English classes at Midlothian Middle use the “Four Blocks” Balanced Literacy model to organize instruction. Time is divided among self-selected reading, guided reading, writing, and vocabulary. Students are evaluated for their performance in each of these areas.
Implementation: Daily instruction focuses on reading comprehension strategies and writing traits. Thirteen specific reading comprehension strategies are taught within the context of fiction and non-fiction, classic and current, teacher and student selected. The six traits of writing – ideas, organization, sentence fluency, voice, and conventions – are also systematically taught and evaluated. Students are provided ample opportunities to practice and share their work while writing about topics of interest.