ST 1.7

ST 1.7 - STEM educators collaborate as an interdisciplinary team to plan, implement, and improve integrated STEM learning experiences.

Common Planning Time
Common planning time is highly valued at Bluffton Middle School.  As shown in the master schedule, teachers at each grade level have two common planning periods per day.  This allows ample time for interdisciplinary discussions. In some cases, ESOL and special education teachers are also able to attend common planning sessions to ensure the needs of all learners are addressed.

Master Schedule
Click here to view our full master schedule. 

Professional Learning Communities
Teachers meet twice per month with their PLC groups, which are comprised of teachers who teach like content areas at the same grade level.  These small group discussions are generally self-directed and teachers plan lessons and reflect on instruction. Within these meetings, teachers discuss how they can incorporate real-world problems within the curriculum.  They also analyze standardized and classroom assessment data, use that information to set instructional goals, and then discuss the best strategies to reach them.

Beaufort County School District STEM Cohort
Teachers from Bluffton Middle School are participating in a STEM Cohort hosted by the district office. The teachers who participate in the STEM Cohort are chosen by their principal, and they represent different grade levels and subject areas. One of the main goals of the STEM Cohort is to take STEM from a word to an action. To begin the process, the teachers participated in a day long workshop that focused on; increasing understanding of what a STEM classroom looks like, increasing teacher’s confidence when using STEM activities, sharing STEM lessons, and modeling cross curricular lessons. The second phase of the STEM Cohort is to have the STEM District Coordinator conduct an observation of each of the teachers teaching a STEM lesson and providing feedback.

STEM Cohort

LDC Committee Meetings
LDC teachers meet monthly for committee meetings after school.  At these meetings, ELA, Science, and Social Studies teachers meet to work on creating modules of study that include text-based reading and research, collaboration among students, open-ended discussions, and authentic writing products. Regardless of the discipline, each module is required to have at least one ELA reading standard and one writing standard as a focus. Additionally, ELA teachers have created several modules that connect to science and social studies content by using topics such as child labor, endangered species, and natural disasters.  Four teachers representing various content-areas (social studies, science, ELA, and special education) meet for a full day each quarter to create modules and discuss the ways we can support LDC implementation throughout the school.

STEM Saturday Planning
During the 2017-18 school year, students participated in a school-wide STEM day.  This year, we were in the unique situation of making up two inclement weather days on Saturdays. On the first of the two days, 6th grade teachers created interdisciplinary STEM lessons that were highly engaging.  Teachers worked in advance to plan these lessons during grade-level meetings, brainstorming ideas, developing hands-on projects, and determining materials needed. After reflecting on the success of those lessons, the STEM Leadership team decided to take the approach school-wide for our second weather make-up day.  

STEM Saturday Planning