Blogs

Welcome to Reading/Writing Workshop!

 ✹Reading/Writing Workshop✹
Ballenger Creek Middle School ✹ Mrs. Shaffer

Overview
The goal of this course is to provide short-term, intensive teaching to help students meet grade-level standards as quickly as possible. Students enrolled in this course access READ 180, which incorporates small group instruction, computer-adaptive instructional software, and independent reading with a focus on improving comprehension of complex texts. After careful consideration, your child has been selected to participate in the program in order to support his or her instructional needs. READ 180 is a research-based program with proven results in raising student reading achievement. READ 180 uses cutting-edge technology to deliver individualized reading instruction, provide valuable skills practice, and motivate students to become confident readers. In our Reading/Writing Workshop, we will work together to:

  • Build essential literacy skills for college and career readiness. Bring his or her reading proficiency up to grade level.
  • Develop multi-paragraph writing skills.
  • Apply reading and writing strategies to other subjects such as social studies, science, and math.
  • Show the student that he or she can attain reading success.

Units of Study
The Read 180 rskills book consists of nine units. The expectation is to cover three units each year. The units in the book become more challenging as they progress.

6th Grade Units 7th Grade Units 

Welcome to Comm Tech!

 ✹Communication Techniques/CSI✹
Ballenger Creek Middle School ✹ 7th Grade ✹ Mrs. Shaffer

Overview
Welcome to Communication Techniques/ Computer Science Investigation! 21st century communication skills are explored throughout the course. Exploration includes podcasting, digital photography, video game creation, computer animation, and electronic portfolios. This is a course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, and problem solving. Students have the opportunity to interact with the latest tools and computer applications used to transmit ideas and support academic concepts.

In this course, many of the skills focus on computational thinking, a problem-solving process that includes approaches such as:

  • Logically organizing and analyzing data
  • Breaking large problems into smaller subproblems which can be solved independently, leading to a solution to the larger, more-complicated problem
  • Automating solutions through a series of ordered steps
  • Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer or other tools to help solve them

Learning this way of thinking and approach to problem-solving is important for learners not only to help them with coding, but, more importantly, for future college and career success. Learning these skills can help students develop:

  • Confidence in dealing with complexity and ambiguity
  • Persistence in working with difficult problems
  • The ability to deal with open-ended problems
  • The ability to communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal or solution

Welcome to Comm Tech!

 ✹Communication Techniques/CSI✹
Ballenger Creek Middle School ✹ 7th Grade ✹ Mrs. Shaffer

Overview
Welcome to Communication Techniques/ Computer Science Investigation! 21st century communication skills are explored throughout the course. Exploration includes podcasting, digital photography, video game creation, computer animation, and electronic portfolios. This is a course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, and problem solving. Students have the opportunity to interact with the latest tools and computer applications used to transmit ideas and support academic concepts.

In this course, many of the skills focus on computational thinking, a problem-solving process that includes approaches such as:

  • Logically organizing and analyzing data
  • Breaking large problems into smaller subproblems which can be solved independently, leading to a solution to the larger, more-complicated problem
  • Automating solutions through a series of ordered steps
  • Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer or other tools to help solve them

Learning this way of thinking and approach to problem-solving is important for learners not only to help them with coding, but, more importantly, for future college and career success. Learning these skills can help students develop:

  • Confidence in dealing with complexity and ambiguity
  • Persistence in working with difficult problems
  • The ability to deal with open-ended problems
  • The ability to communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal or solution

Tamar Dworkin, Integrated Studies

Over my last eight years in Frederick County Public Schools, I have taught Language Arts, as well as Social Studies, Creative Arts and Foreign Language Exploration, grades 6-8.This year at Ballenger Creek I am having a great time with 6th grade Integrated Studies; a hands-on, collaborative class of group work, problem-solviong, project-making, and computers. The kids are active and involved, and the atmosphere is lively, learning, and engaged.

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