Middle School Matters Institute


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  • How Math Instruction and Math Interventions Can Improve Student Outcomes

    Research-based principles and practices in math intervention research can be applied in the middle grades to improve student outcomes. These research-based strategies will enable middle grade students to develop important mathematics knowledge and skills to become algebra-ready.  For more information and to download the document, visit the Middle...

  • Helping Teachers Use Data Effectively Toolkit

    Using data to drive decisions that improve student and school performance requires open and honest dialogue among teachers, administrators, parents, and other stakeholders. Principals should provide guidance, support, and tools to ensure teachers are knowledgeable and prepared to use data effectively to inform classroom decisions. For more information and to...

  • Increasing Positive Behavior Toolkit

    Through consistent modeling, teaching, and encouraging of appropriate behaviors, educators can significantly reduce students’ antisocial and maladaptive behaviors that reduce and inhibit effective classroom instruction and student learning. For more information and to download the document, visit the Middle School Matters Institute website.

  • Revising and Editing Toolkit

    Revising and editing are two essential pieces of the writing process. Revising refers to improving the content of the writing (ideas, order, clarify), and editing focuses on correcting basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation. When teachers give students strategies for revising and editing, students develop the capacity to self-regulate...

  • Peer and Self-Assessment Toolkit

    Peer and self-assessment strategies provide opportunities for students to obtain helpful feedback and establish learning goals. Using rubrics to guide peer and self-assessment clarifies expectations and gives structure to the writing process, leading to improved writing and deeper content. Frequent writing assessments provide teachers with guidance for adjusting...

  • How to Help Students Set Course Goals

    For more information and to download the document, visit the Middle School Matters Institute website.

  • How to Organize Student Goal Setting Conferences

    For more information and to download the document, visit the Middle School Matters Institute website.

  • Student Goal Setting: An Overview

    Why goal setting? Teaching students to use data to understand their own performance, set learning goals, and monitor progress toward those goals can motivate students to achieve more! To be effective, data must be reported in a user-friendly format and align with learning objectives and long-term goals that schools and...

  • Vocabulary Maps Observation Checklist

    This feedback form is not meant to aid in the evaluation of teachers. Instead, it is a tool to record research-based practices observed during classroom instruction (or students’ independent use or application of those practices), identify practices in need of refinement, guide productive conversations between instructional leaders and teachers,...

  • How to Write a Summary: Student Handout

    For more information and to download the document, visit the Middle School Matters Institute website.

  • Teaching Students to Summarize: Quick Reference Guide

    For more information and to download the document, visit the Middle School Matters Institute website.

  • Generating Leveled Questions: Quick Reference Guide

    This strategy prompts students to pause at regular intervals to generate and answer their own questions about the text they’ve read, citing information from the text. For more information and to download the document, visit the Middle School Matters Institute website.

  • Generating Leveled Questions Observation Checklist

    This feedback form is not meant to aid in the evaluation of teachers. Instead, it is a tool to record research-based practices observed during classroom instruction (or students’ independent use or application of those practices), identify practices in need of refinement, guide productive conversations between...

  • Screening for Reading Difficulties in the Middle Grades

    For more information and to download the document, visit the Middle School Matters Institute website.

  • Instructional Toolkits

    The research-based practices included in these instructional toolkits were derived from the Middle School Matters Field Guide and have been a focus at various professional development events hosted by the Middle School Matters Institute. Each toolkit includes a brief description of the practice, research citations, professional development...

  • Leadership Team Checklist

    Several key players are needed on the Middle School Matters Leadership Team to ensure successful scaling up of research-based practices across a campus. This tool provides descriptions of each key role, followed by checklists of recommended qualities or skills. School leaders may use these checklists to determine appropriate individuals...

  • 2015 Middle School Matters Institute Summer Conference Materials

    From June 15 to 17, 2015, district leadership teams and leaders from two schools in each district attended the third annual Middle School Matters Institute Summer Conference in Austin, Texas. Participants joined national researchers, staff members from the George W. Bush Institute and The Meadows Center for...

  • MSMI Instructional Feedback and Coaching Forms

    The Middle School Matters Coaching Forms were designed to assist school leaders and instructional coaches in observing specific research-based principles described in the Middle School Matters Field Guide. For more information and to download the forms, visit the Middle School Matters Institute.

  • Middle School Matters Institute Webinars

    Throughout each school year, the Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI) provides a series of webinars for schools to engage in continued professional development. These webinars focus specifically on one content dimension of the Middle School Matters Field Guide and feature an MSMI researcher. Webinars are recorded and...

  • Middle School Matters Practice Guides

    This series of practice guides is based on information in the Middle School Matters Research Platform and Field Guide.  Each guide, aimed at practitioners, presents key information in a question and answer format.  For more information and to download the practice guides, visit the Middle School Matters website.

  • MSMI Action Plan Templates

    Action Plan Templates The Action Plan Template helps school leaders set goals, develop specific action steps, and set deadlines. For more information and to download the templates, visit the Middle School Matters Institute website.

  • Middle School Matters Field Guide

    The second edition of the Middle School Matters Field Guide is a collection of research-based principles, practices, and strategies deemed essential for middle school success. All recommendations are based on rigorous research conducted in the middle grades over the past 15 years. For more information and to download the document,...