Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

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Numbers & Operations for Advanced Students

In Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Numbers & Operations, Jerry Burkhart offers advanced students challenging activities with increasing levels of difficulty. Math teacher Maia Fastabend finds it well suited to high level readers in grades 7-9.

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Keep Parents Connected in the Middle Grades

Middle schoolers push parents away with one hand, says 6th grade teacher Cheryl Mizerny, while wanting their other hand to be held. Mizerny shares a variety of strategies she uses to help keep parents and kids connected as they navigate adolescence, including the Million Words activity.

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Harness the Experts Inside the School

The authors make the case for the Peer Observation Process (POP) – teams of teachers observing one another – as an inexpensive PD alternative that builds supportive collegiality. Reviewer Dina Murphy highly recommends the research-based book, which offers many implementation resources.

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Teach Media Literacy with Super Bowl Ads

Many millions of people who tune in to the 2015 Super Bowl will be there to watch the pricey, high-engagement commercials. Media literacy consultant Frank Baker explains how to teach about these “super ads,” approaching them as informational text worthy of close scrutiny and analysis.

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Black History Past & Present

Africans Americans faced severe repression when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926. In February we remember through teaching resources and trace the impact of African Americans in politics, the arts, and science. Then we take a look at the future of Black History Month.

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Tools for Schools with Instructional Coaching

Jim Knight’s Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction focuses on school leaders working with an instructional coach in a partnership model, says principal Matt Renwick. But he finds value in the book for other leaders who lack a coaching model.

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A Book to Enliven Family Reading Night

Family Reading Night gives schools everything they need to present enjoyable monthly reading and literacy activities for young students and their families. Reviewer Mara Southorn notes this 2nd edition includes Spanish translations of activities. Middle schools may need to adapt.