Standards Alignments to the MSMI Field Guide

This document highlights instructional practices from the Middle School Matters Field Guide that relate to the Common Core State Standards and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. These recommendations are provided for English language arts, reading, and mathematics in grades 6, 7, and 8.

The Middle School Matters Field Guide and the Research Platform on which it is based include content dimensions with specific instructional practices that research has shown to improve student outcomes. These practices explain how to provide instruction, not necessarily what content to present. Therefore, teachers can use the instructional practices with any content standards and for any lesson. Also, the research-based instructional practices are not grade specific, but rather apply to instruction for all students in grades 6, 7, and 8.


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 available below for viewing.

March 2015 Webinar
Math Instruction and Intervention
Presented by: Sarah Powell, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, The University of Texas at Austin

During this webinar, Dr. Sarah Powell shares applicable research-based tools and strategies that schools can incorporate in their classrooms immediately. More specifically, Dr. Powell discusses strategies for problem solving, fraction computation, concept of slope, and assessment considerations.

View March 2015 Webinar
February 2014 Webinar
CSR-Collaborative Strategic Reading
Presented by: Sharon Vaughn and Michael Solis, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk

View February 2014 Webinar
Additional materials:

Presentation handout
November 2013 Webinar
Early Warning Systems—What Research and Practice Say About Indicators and Interventions
Presented by: Robert Balfanz, Johns Hopkins University

Early warning indicators and data systems can identify students at risk of dropping out and in need of support to improve academic performance. These systems can help schools organize to reduce the risk of disengagement from and/or dropping out of school, as well as improve academic performance. During this webinar, Balfanz presents a brief overview of early warning indicators, describes the importance of collecting these data, provides guidance on the examination and interpretation of data, and demonstrates various ways to respond to the data through interventions.

View November 2013 Webinar
Additional materials:

Presentation handout
Using Data to Keep All Students on Track to Graduation: Team Playbook
Additional materials:

Presentation handout
Video: Engaging Reluctant Parents
Video: Russell Middle School
Video: Wright Middle School data meeting
Podcast: Selecting an Evidence-Based Practice or Program
Video: A principal’s feedback from an observation
Video: Math and science professional development
Video: Response to intervention and English language learners

MSMI Implementation and Action Plan Templates

Implementation Plan Templates

The Middle School Matters Institute Implementation Plan Template walks users through the processes of self-reflection, needs determination, and goal setting to develop an overall plan for improving implementation of the principles and practices described in the Middle School Matters Research Platform and Field Guide. Users are provided with a set of instructions at the beginning of each template, and there is one template for each of the 9 content dimensions.

Reading and Reading Interventions
Writing and Writing Interventions
Mathematics and Mathematics Interventions
Cognitive Science and Advanced Reasoning
Dropout Prevention
School Climate, Culture, and Partnerships
Student Behavior and Motivation
Extended Learning Time
Performance Management

Strategic Action Plan Template

The MSMI Strategic Action Plan Template is provided to assist users in developing the specific action steps and deadlines needed to achieve each implementation goal.

Strategic Action Plan Template (blank)
Completed Example

If you have questions while using the templates, contact us at