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Belmont Ridge Middle School English/Language Arts Department
Heidi Branch, Language Arts Subject Area Lead Teacher (SALT)


Goals for English/Language Arts Department

  • Promote the love of independent reading and build reading stamina both in class and schoolwide
  • Improve comprehension of nonfiction via TeenBizPro, an Achieve 3000 program
  • Create a passion for writing during Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month)
  • Help students learn to revise and edit through our after-school Writing Center
  • Incorporate reading and writing workshops

  • Vertically align all three grade levels within the school with both fifth grade and ninth grade
  • Support our teachers in professional development opportunities like the NCTE conference and NVWP Language & Learning Conference

Digital Content and Resources

  • Achieve 3000
  • Google Classroom
  • Membean
  • NY Times
  • Online subscription databases 


Differentiated Instruction

  • Teach students to think at higher levels using Socratic seminars, writing prompts, class discussions, etc.
  • Offer challenging novels and vocabulary
  • Provide enrichment activities such as writing contests and the school spelling bee
  • Emphasize authentic writing for an authentic audience -- not writing for the teacher!

8th grade teachers
Margaret Stokes
Jonathan Pitts
Heidi Branch
Lori Vosburgh
Rebecca Newkirk
7th grade teachers
Nicole DiMario -- LA and Accelerating Literacy
Maggie Hodges
Maggie Mason
Barb Hughes
Rebecca Newkirk
Margaret Stokes -- Communications
6th grade teachers
Melanie Muller
Kathleen Cannon
Sara Page
Katie Chiet
Kori Weaver
Rebecca Brookover
ELL teacher -- Christine Wyatt
Reading specialist -- Desiree Hall
Literacy Team
Desiree Hall
Melanie Muller
Heidi Branch


Last Modified on December 19, 2016