Friday, January 3, 2014

Let's Make Middle School Students College Ready!

A significant portion of the Common Core is College Readiness.  As middle school teachers, our contribution to College Readiness is so much more than just teaching our curriculum so students will be ready for high school and subsequently ready for college.  We have to infuse college discussion into our middle school classrooms.

To accomplish this task, my 6th Grade students watched College Road Trip (starring Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone) because Walk Two Moons (our class novel by Sharon Creech) revolves around a life-changing road trip. 
  • In Cooperative Learning Groups, my students visited College Ready Stations to complete a College Planning Sheet (below) to determine if Sal (our protagonist from Walk Two Moons) should attend Georgetown University or Northwestern University (Melanie's top choices from College Road Trip).  The students evaluated the crucial areas of Expenses, Majors, History, Diversity, and Location.  The stations were filled with a plethora of information regarding these crucial areas.
Over the Winter Vacation, my students had investigate their "dream" colleges and universities using a template.  For some students, I am planting the seed of "dream" college or university, and it's so rewarding!  I cannot wait until Monday to see what colleges and universities that they chose!

College Planning Sheet
Utilize this sheet to decide which university would be the perfect choice for Sal (Protagonist of Walk Two Moons): Georgetown University or Northwestern University.


Room and Board

Books and Supplies

Personal Expenses

Transportation Expenses

Cost of Attendance
Per Year


1. Sal decided to attend Georgetown University, how much money would she pay over the course of four years?

2.     Which university costs more per year?  How much more?  If a university costs more than another, does that mean the university is superior?  Why or why not?

Bonus: Create your own word problem related to the cost of Georgetown University or Northwestern University.


3.     How would you define college major?

4.     What would be a suitable major for Sal if she attended Georgetown?  What would be a suitable major for Sal if she attended Northwestern?  How did you arrive at this conclusion?

5.     Which university offers the best majors?  Georgetown or Northwestern?  Why do you believe this to be so?


6.     Most students searching for a college consider the history of the university.  Which university has more significant historical events that would impress Sal?  Why do you believe this to be so?

7.     Please arrange the following historical events in Chronological Order.  Place a “1” beside the first event and a “6” beside the last event.

Georgetown University

Northwestern University
Start of Library

Five students receive bachelor's degrees at Northwestern's first commencement.
George Washington Visit

The School of Law opens.
Georgetown Baseball

The University officially opens on November 5.
First Student

U.S. Senator Barack Obama gives the commencement address.
First Female Student

The first football game is played against Lake Forest College.
Abraham Lincoln Visit

The first Dance Marathon is held.


8.     Create two bar graphs that depict the percentage of each race/ethnicity and the percentage of women/men.

9.     Based on the female/male percentages or race/ethnicity percentages, would Sal choose to attend Georgetown or Northwestern?  How did you arrive at this conclusion?

Location/Distance from Home

10.   Which university would be closer to home for Sal?  How many miles closer?

11.   Do you believe that Sal would want to attend college close to home or would she want to travel to a new place?  Please explain your answer.


Sal should attend _________________University because____________________________________.