The Cardinal Way

Sharing and Learning at Southport Middle School

Student Success is a Team Effort!

IN THE MIDDLE OF IT - Thoughts from a Middle School Principal

During Fall Break this school year, I read One Word That Will Change Your Life. This book challenges you to simplify your life by focusing on ONE WORD for the entire year. I have written in the past about how much I dislike resolutions. Last year, I wrote a post: New’s Year’s Goals, Not Resolutions, explaining my dislike for resolutions and my desire to set sustainable goals for the year. I then spent the next few months delving into my three word focus of Mindset, Mission, and Modesty. I appreciated the concept of clarity, and focus, that refining this to just one word could provide. One Word tells us, “Clutter and complexity lead to procrastination and paralysis, while simplicity and focus lead to success and clarity.” One of my co-workers often says the power of a book is in how much it makes you think after you have finished reading it. And, oh boy did this book make me think! I liked the concept of “one word” so much that I challenged each member of my schools instructional leadership team to also choose one word for 2015.

So here we go; my one word focus for 2015 is...

Read the rest of this post on my Principal's Blog

Keep learning, keep growing, keep sharing!


  • Southport Middle School is now on Pinterest. Thank you to Stephanie Quinlan for creating and supporting this page.


Week 2 Grateful Friday Challenge

Let one of our support staff members know how much you appreciate what they do to support the students and staff at Southport Middle. No emails, go find them and tell them face-to face!


  • Great article for student teachers to veteran teachers, these are all good reminders. The Importance of Classroom Structure from @AMLE written by Dru Tomlin (who is a great follow in Twitter)

  • Interesting Video: The Secret of Bullying: 5 Signs We Can't Afford to Miss - Thank you to Matt Bush for sharing this with me and making me think.

The Secret of Bullying: 5 Signs We Can't Afford to Miss


Each day we share a story of learning taking place at Southport Middle on our 180 Days of Learning Blog. Below are this week's stories of learning.

Amy Gaisser

On a day shortened by a two-hour delay, Ms. Gaisser’s EL students are taking advantage of the reduced class period to review reading strategies. Students went over different reading strategies they have learned throughout the year and then put them into action. Students read a short passage individually using the reading strategies and worked with a partner to discuss information gleaned from the text.

Angie Chisham

Mrs. Chisham's classes are really rockin'! These 7th grade students completed a mineral lab today where they got to scratch, tap and observe different minerals to identify their physical properties and report their findings on their guided notes.

Natasha Bynum & Ashley Aders

Ms. Aders is a student teacher from IUPUI working in Ms. Bynum's 8th grade Language Arts Room. To help build relationships with her new students, the students wrote a short anecdote about themselves and posted them around the classroom. The students then did a gallery walk and read each anecdote. Using their prior knowledge of their classmates, they then made a prediction of who they think each anecdote was about. Not only has Ms. Aders learned about her new students, but the students also got to learn a little more about their peers while working on their concise writing skills.

Matt Bush and Andrew Ashcraft

Each month the staff at SMS gets together for a large group meeting. These meetings activities vary from learning new technologies for instruction to team building time for the staff. Today, Mr. Bush and Mr. Ashcraft, SMS Student Advisors, ran a meeting looking at our motto: Student Success is a Team Effort! Teachers had time to discuss success and how they measure it for our students. Each teacher left by listing one success they had in their classroom that cannot be measured by a test.

Angie Johnson

Students in Mrs. Johnson's 7th grade Language Arts class read an article on about the Colts. Then, the students connected the article to their content, by writing statements showing cause and effect. Each students' cause and effect statement was shared with the entire class. This was a great way to support our Colts and teach the standards! Go Colts! #BelieveInBlue


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