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Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Thanksgiving is a good time to express our affection for those great and goofy middle grades kids and the special breed of educators who relish teaching them. Here are six MiddleWeb posts pinpointing their unique qualities and ways we can support them as they grow.
This week Elizabeth Stein is giving thanks for research she’s discovered showing the power of gratitude. No surprise, she has ideas about using the research to strengthen co-teaching. Further, she invites readers to join her in being thankful for IDEA on its 40th Anniversary.
Do your students know that when they watch docudramas, they’re not watching history as it actually happened? Do they understand movie makers’ “artistic license” for condensing history into 2-hour films? Frank W. Baker suggests media-oriented films and teaching strategies.
If demoralizing teachers worked, then our educational system would already have reached a state of perfection. Instead, says reviewer Jenni Miller, policymakers can find a true roadmap for change in Richard DuFour’s “In Praise of American Educators And How They Can Become Even Better.”
Especially to build awareness of the SEL needs of gifted students, but also to enrich the education provided to ALL students, I’m Not Just Gifted is a welcome resource to any teacher determined to make education socially and emotionally relevant, says principal Deb Hubble.
In Teaching Outside the Lines, Doug Johnson addresses the need to start helping students to be creative and innovative rather than conformist. He includes strategies and tools to help teachers overcome reluctance to make the shift, says teacher leader Laura Von Staden.
Mary Tarashuk has been so involved in deadlines and paperwork she’s barely had time to reconnect with the reasons she loves teaching. But here in November she finds a way to recapture the classroom magic and “Do Something Meaningful” with her fourth graders.
Teacher Kevin Hodgson believes Digital Writing Month is a great time to engage his students in multi modal forms of writing. Listen to the results of their experiments writing a variety of sound stories, using tools like GarageBand and SoundCloud.
Genius Hour is an inquiry-driven, passion-based strategy designed to excite and engage students around the unrestrained joy of learning. Teachers Denise Krebs and Gallit Zvi make a case for the weekly time investment and share tips for getting started.
“I’m just like my country, I’m young scrappy and hungry, and I’m not throwing away my shot,” sings Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway show on his part in American history. Jody Passanisi & Shara Peters are enthusiastically sharing “Hamilton” with their 8th graders.