California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Videos Index

View a rich collection of video vignettes of school practices that illustrate one or more aspects of the California Department of Education's (CDE) 12 Recommendations for Middle Grades Success.

TCSII uses video streaming to deliver video clips on-demand to our users. The quality and performance of videos delivered by our server may be affected by a number of variables on the end user's computer, including, but not limited to: connection type and speed (DSL, cable, T-1, WiFi, and the respective baud rate); computer speed and memory; browser type and settings. To respond to these potential challenges, we currently provide videos in both Quicktime (MOV) and Windows Media (WMV) formats.

Windows Media Video (WMV) links on this page require the free Windows Media Player software (Outside Source). Quicktime (MOV) links on this page require the free Quicktime Player software (Outside Source).

WMV videos include closed captioning. Go to the instructions on displaying closed captions on CDE's Web site.

Please read the TCSII video disclaimer prior to viewing the videos.

Search Instructions: To search for video titles, abstracts and descriptions enter keywords into the search box.

  



Get Into the Act! Professional Learning Series Video Presentations

Video: Kinsella 1—Engaging Middle Grades Learners with Dr. Kate Kinsella (WMV; 33:36) | MOV

Description: Dr. Kate Kinsella, an expert on the instruction of adolescent English learners, provides practical, research-based strategies and recommendations for promoting student engagement in understanding lesson content. Dr. Kinsella shares exemplary teaching models from California’s middle grades classrooms and provides tools and directions to help educators implement the practices in their own classrooms.

Professional Learning Activity:Kinsella 1—Engaging Middle Grades Learners with Dr. Kate Kinsella



Video: Kinsella 2—Teaching Vocabulary in the Middle Grades (WMV; 36:59) | MOV

Description: In this Professional Learning Activity, Dr. Kinsella presents an instructional approach that bolsters students’ expressive vocabulary knowledge, outlines key steps for teaching a word, and explains the pivotal role of vocabulary in literacy and learning.

Professional Learning Activities:Kinsella 2—Teaching Vocabulary in the Middle Grades



Video: Kinsella 3—Building Language and Literacy Skills Through Structured Tasks (WMV; 20:23) | MOV

Description: In this Professional Learning Activity, Dr. Kinsella demonstrates strategies that enable students to engage in discussion tasks.

Professional Learning Activities:Kinsella 3—Building Language and Literacy Skills Through Structured Tasks



Video: Kinsella 4—Enhancing Students' Academic Discussion Skills, Part 1 (WMV; 27:14) | MOV

Description: In this Professional Learning Activity, Dr. Kinsella explores steps in effectively setting up discussion tasks for students.

Professional Learning Activities:Kinsella 4—Enhancing Students' Academic Discussion Skills, Part 1



Video: Kinsella 4—Enhancing Students’ Academic Discussion Skills, Part 2 (WMV: 24:25) | MOV

Description: In this Professional Learning Activity, Dr. Kinsella explores steps in effectively setting up discussion tasks for students.

Professional Learning Activities:Kinsella 4—Enhancing Students’ Academic Discussion Skills, Part 2



Video: Reeves 1—Rigor in the Classroom with Dr. Douglas Reeves (WMV; 22:59) | Flash

Description: In Dr. Douglas Reeves' first video presentation, this noted expert on educational issues talks about Rigor in the Classroom. He leads viewers through four significant topics: student socioeconomic status and achievement, power standards, feedback and grading, and the importance of establishing a culture of student achievement.

Professional Learning Activity: Reeves 1—Rigor in the Classroom



Video: Reeves 2—Making Assessment Work in the Real World (WMV; 18:35) | Flash

Description: In Dr. Reeves' second presentation, Making Assessment Work in the Real World, he shares tips on how to make common formative and summative assessments work, discusses the difference between objective and subjective assessment, explores the leadership and learning matrix, and advocates the power of nonfiction writing.

Professional Learning Activity: Reeves 2—Making Assessment Work in the Real World



Video: Reeves 3—Accountability in a Learning Organization (WMV; 15:49) | Flash

Description: In his third presentation, Accountability in a Learning Organization, Dr. Reeves explores the pros and cons of current school accountability practices and introduces a new concept — holistic accountability.

Professional Learning Activity: Reeves 3—Accountability in a Learning Organization



Video: Reeves 4—Teacher Leadership: Making a Difference (WMV; 25:41) | Flash

Description: In his fourth presentation titled Teacher Leadership: Making a Difference, Dr. Reeves discusses the importance of teacher leadership and why it makes such a difference, the teacher leadership imperative, and the power of teacher networks. He also shares four teacher leadership strategies and considers the question, "What's in it for me?"

Professional Learning Activity: Reeves 4—Teacher Leadership: Making a Difference



Video: Zadina 1—Brain Matters: Research on Learning with Dr. Janet Zadina (WMV; 18:48) | MOV

Description: In her first presentation, “Brain Matters: Research on Learning,” Dr. Janet Zadina correlates brain research with how to improve instruction in the classroom for young adolescents. She first explains the difference between thinking and learning, and then she leads viewers through the three principles by which the brain learns: “Learning involves making connections,” “Use it or lose it,” “It’s not enough to fire it, you have to wire it!”

Professional Learning Activity: Zadina 1—Brain Matters: Research on Learning with Dr. Janet Zadina



Video: Zadina 2—Adolescent Characteristics (Part I): The Survival Instinct and the Development of the Brain (WMV; 23:26) | MOV

Description: Learn how to apply new research on adolescent brain development from Dr. Janet Zadina, an experienced high school and community college instructor and reading specialist now engaged in neuroscience research. In this professional learning presentation, you and your school team members will find that middle grades is an ideal time to develop critical thinking because of rapid brain growth that is occurring in young adolescents. This assists the development of the frontal lobe which is essential to student success. Dr. Zadina's suggestions for improving instruction for young adolescents connect to CDE’s 12 Recommendations for middle grades success.

Professional Learning Activity:Zadina 2—Adolescent Characteristics (Part I)



Video: Zadina 3—Adolescent Characteristics (Part II): The Social Nature of the Brain and the Role of Emotion (WMV; 24:19) | MOV

Description: Learn how to apply new research on adolescent brain development from Dr. Janet Zadina, an experienced high school and community college instructor and reading specialist now engaged in neuroscience research. In this video and accompanying professional learning activity, you and your school team members will consider how to apply new findings on how the brain functions as young adolescents think and learn. As you discuss Dr. Zadina's suggestions on improving instruction for young adolescents, you will also find connections to the CDE’s 12 Recommendations for helping young adolescents succeed.

Professional Learning Activity:Zadina 3—Adolescent Characteristics (Part II)



Video: Zadina 4—Multiple Methods for Learning and Assessment (WMV; 20:36) | MOV

Description: Learn how to apply new research on adolescent brain development from Dr. Janet Zadina, an experienced high school and community college instructor and reading specialist now engaged in neuroscience research. In this video and accompanying professional learning activity, you and your school team members will consider how to apply new findings on how the brain functions as young adolescents think and learn. As you discuss Dr. Zadina's suggestions on improving instruction for young adolescents, you will also find connections to the CDE’s 12 recommendations for helping young adolescents succeed.

Professional Learning Activity:Zadina 4—Multiple Methods for Learning and Assessment



Recommendation 1—Rigor

Video: Leading the Way to Academic Excellence (WMV; 6:50) | MOV

Abstract: Educators at Toby Johnson Middle School and Rio Norte Junior High School design and deliver rigorous curricula, assess how well students are meeting California’s content standards, and collaboratively adjust teaching to improve student learning. Keywords: standards-based instruction, curriculum, frameworks, blueprints, benchmarks, science lessons, syllabus, backwards mapping, formative, summative assessments, pacing guides, progress monitoring, adolescents, video



Recommendation 2—Instruction, Assessment and Intervention

Video: Kinesthetic Learning, Part I (WMV; 5:36) | MOV

Abstract: A science teacher at Rio Norte Junior High School in Santa Clarita differentiates instruction using a creative and fun approach to teach the properties of the three states of matter. Keywords: kinesthetic learning, differentiated, content standards, lessons, engaging students, classroom management, standards-based, adolescents, video



Video: Kinesthetic Learning, Part II (WMV; 5:04) | MOV

Abstract: A science teacher at Rio Norte Junior High School in Santa Clarita differentiates instruction using a creative and fun approach to teach the properties of the three states of matter. Keywords: kinesthetic learning, differentiated, content standards, lessons, engaging students, classroom management, standards-based, adolescents, video



Video: Positive Intervention Team (POINTE) (WMV; 5:02) | MOV

Abstract: School staff (administrators, teachers, and counselor) at Silverado Middle School in Roseville gather for a POINTE (Positive Intervention Team) meeting to discuss issues faced by a struggling student and identify ways to help him succeed academically and socially. Keywords: strategies, behavior, content standards, conferences, struggling students, progress reports, cume file, informal, collaborative, evaluation, assessments, adolescents, video



Video: Strategies for Success (WMV; 10:11) | MOV

Abstract: With an unshakable belief that all children can learn, a middle grades math teacher uses AVID strategies to help struggling math and science students. Over time, students move from Below Basic and Far Below Basic to Basic, Proficient, or Advanced on state tests.



Recommendation 3—Time

Video: Scheduling for Success (WMV; 6:05) | MOV

Abstract: At Toby Johnson Middle School in Elk Grove, an innovative four-by-four block schedule gives students extra time for reading and math and nearly two dozen elective choices, while affording teachers time to collaborate, plan, and meet the daily needs of students. Keywords: master schedules, block schedules, interdisciplinary teams, horizontal, vertical articulation, project-based learning, exploratory classes, rigorous academics, content standards, common planning time, common prep, standards-based instruction, adolescents, video



Recommendation 4—Relevance

Video: Career Technical Education: Agriculture Class (WMV; 6:19) | MOV

Abstract: Students in the agriculture class at Reyburn Intermediate School in Clovis, experience real-world connections through participation in a mock swine auction, guided practice with ear notching, and a trip to the school’s swine barn for authentic follow-up to classroom learning. Keywords: relevance, relevant, interest-based, career technical education, CTE, electives, field trips, adolescents, video



Video: Enhancing Science Instruction with Technology (WMV; 5:01) | MOV

Abstract: By tapping into the wireless and w.i.r.e.d world of young adolescents, educators at Holmes International Middle School in Northridge, California, engage students by infusing state-of-the-art technology into science classes. As a result, students view science in a positive light, have the confidence to tackle the rigors of advanced courses, and gain a glimpse of science as a potential career goal. Keywords: relevance, relevant, hands-on, real-world learning, probeware, labs, lessons, instruction, technology, adolescents, video



Video: Portfolio Day (WMV; 9:46) | MOV

Abstract: Eighth graders at Castaic Middle School in the Santa Clarita Valley make a positive impression on community members by presenting standards-based portfolios of their best school work and discussing their career aspirations, interests, talents, and hobbies. Keywords: relevance, relevant, real-world experiences, engage, engaging students, interdisciplinary, careers, interviews, benchmarks, rubrics, partners, partnerships, job skills, adolescents, video



Recommendation 5—Relationships

Video: Making Connections, Part I (WMV; 5:19) | MOV

Abstract: In Santa Clarita, teachers form close relationships with each other and with students as part of Rio Norte Junior High School’s organizational structure and interdisciplinary teaming approach. Each team is a close-knit community that fosters the social, emotional, and academic success of young adolescents. Keywords: connections, communication, support, collaborate, collaboration, young adolescents, socio-emotional, behavior, strategies, professional learning communities, community, adolescents, video



Video: Making Connections, Part II (WMV; 4:21) | MOV

Abstract: In Santa Clarita, teachers form close relationships with each other and with students as part of Rio Norte Junior High School’s organizational structure and interdisciplinary teaming approach. Each team is a close-knit community that fosters the social, emotional, and academic success of young adolescents. Keywords: connections, communication, support, collaborate, collaboration, young adolescents, socio-emotional, behavior, strategies, professional learning communities, community, adolescents, video



Recommendation 6—Transitions

Video: A Jump Start into Middle School (WMV; 8:18) | MOV

Abstract: Teachers and administrators at Toby Johnson Middle School in Elk Grove help ease the transition from elementary school for incoming seventh graders through JumpStart. The three-day, summer program offers students academic “tune up” time, the chance to meet teachers and other students (including the eighth grade members of the leadership team), and an opportunity to become comfortable with middle school expectations. Keywords: young adolescents, fun, at-risk students, peers, socio-emotional, transition program, video



Recommendation 7—Access

Video: Making It Happen For Every Student! Part I (WMV; 6:00) | MOV

Abstract: During and after-school activities allow students to demonstrate their personal bests, artistically express themselves, and exhibit leadership potential. R.H. Dana Middle School’s AVID class uses motivational and teambuilding activities to improve academic achievement. Dana’s Arts Alive program gives students fun time to socialize while beautifying the campus and promoting school events. In Rio Norte Junior High School’s Yes-I-Can program, student mentors are paired with disabled students resulting in unexpected friendships and appreciation of students’ unique qualities. Keywords: access, peers, tutors, AVID, after school, special needs, disabled, disability, tutorial, team building, enrichment courses, exploratory classes, multicultural, self-esteem, service-learning, adolescents, video



Video: Making It Happen For Every Student! Part II (WMV; 6:04) | MOV

Abstract: During and after-school activities allow students to demonstrate their personal bests, artistically express themselves, and exhibit leadership potential. R.H. Dana Middle School’s AVID class uses motivational and teambuilding activities to improve academic achievement. Dana’s Arts Alive program gives students fun time to socialize while beautifying the campus and promoting school events. In Rio Norte Junior High School’s Yes-I-Can program, student mentors are paired with disabled students resulting in unexpected friendships and appreciation of students’ unique qualities. Keywords: access, peers, tutors, AVID, after school, special needs, disabled, disability, tutorial, team building, enrichment courses, exploratory classes, multicultural, self-esteem, service-learning, adolescents, video



Recommendation 8—Safety, Resilience, and Health

Video: Connecting With Kids, Part I (WMV; 5:06) | MOV

Abstract: In Felton, educators and staff at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School identify, seek out, and actively support “No Dot Kids,” isolated and struggling students with no solid connections to any adults at school. The program’s success is illustrated in profiles of two students who, with the support of caring adults, are fulfilling their potential. Keywords: resilience, resilient, relationships, at-risk, struggling students, expectations, after school, tutorials, socio-emotional, adolescents, video



Video: Connecting With Kids, Part II (WMV; 6:30) | MOV

Abstract: In Felton, educators and staff at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School identify, seek out, and actively support “No Dot Kids,” isolated and struggling students with no solid connections to any adults at school. The program’s success is illustrated in profiles of two students who, with the support of caring adults, are fulfilling their potential. Keywords: resilience, resilient, relationships, at-risk, struggling students, expectations, after school, tutorials, socio-emotional, adolescents, video



Recommendation 9—Leadership

Video: Focusing on Leadership (WMV; 6:37) | MOV

Abstract: Educators offer their perspectives on the importance of leadership in achieving middle grades excellence. Featured are the role of a county office of education in supporting school districts as well as a district superintendent’s commitment to recruit “star” district and school site leaders. One principal describes the qualities he seeks when hiring middle grades teachers while another details how she provides feedback that supports teaching and learning. Keywords: professional development, recruitment, leadership, best practices, classroom observation, teacher leadership, distributed leadership, video



Recommendation 10—Professional Learning

Video: Professional Development: Catalyst for Improved Teaching and Learning (WMV; 4:22) | MOV

Abstract: The Dehesa School District superintendent discusses the importance of providing teachers with high quality professional development opportunities that lead to improved teaching and learning. Administrators at William S. Hart Union School District seek out teacher leaders at school sites who proactively provide training to their colleagues. At Reyburn Intermediate School, teachers attend a professional development session on integrating technology into the classroom. Keywords: pedagogy, curriculum, content standards, lesson planning, academic achievement, mentoring, teacher leadership, distributed leadership, video



Recommendation 11—Accountability

Video: It's About Accountability (WMV; 6:42) | MOV

Abstract: The superintendent of a small district in El Cajon expresses the importance that all stakeholders—students, parents, teachers, principals—understand and accept their roles in an accountability system. A GATE science teacher at Sutter Middle School in Sacramento uses rubrics to clarify expectations about assignments and communicate how student work will be evaluated. Keywords: accountable, content standards, results, outcomes, methods, science lessons, instruction, assessments, descriptors, progress, evaluation, adolescents, video



Recommendation 12—Partnerships

Video: Partnering for Student Success (WMV; 5:34) | MOV

Abstract: Two engineers from Raytheon, a high tech company in Southern California, spend a few hours each week tutoring students in math and algebra as part of R. H. Dana Middle School’s Math Mentor U program. Two students explain how the program has helped them complete homework and improve their understanding of mathematical concepts. Keywords: partnerships, partnering, business, community, mentors, volunteers, employees, career exploration, adolescents, video