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Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Continuing a long tradition, Mary Tarashuk reads a novel aloud to her fourth graders after lunch. But this year, in pursuit of “close reading,” she tries out several graphic organizers to help them probe deeper into the dramatic novel Red Kayak.
In history class, experiential lessons have great potential to transport students to another time and place, says teacher Aaron Brock, but they are difficult to orchestrate and can present ethical dilemmas. Brock shares a hands-on lesson from his Civil War unit.
Former principal Sue Stephenson describes how she and a team of teachers recently helped seventh graders prepare and perform standup comedy routines, all the while learning serious writing, speaking and personal living skills. Video link included!
In Mindsets in the Classroom, says reviewer Katie Gordon, author Mary Cay Ricci provides a thorough foundation in what growth mindset is, why it matters, and how to foster it in key stakeholders, namely teachers, students, and parents.
In To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World, Laurie Rubin draws you into her students’ excitement as they explore sun-lit spaces outside their classroom and participate in scientific observation, journaling, poetry and discussion.
In her book about the social life of networked teens, Internet scholar danah boyd “issues a call to all of us who are adults to take more time to understand the shifts now taking place,” 6th grade teacher Kevin Hodgson writes. The guidance role of teachers & parents “has never been more important, nor more complicated.”
Beyond the rapport that teachers work to develop in all classes, co-teachers must take extra measures to connect to students with learning disabilities. Elizabeth Stein suggests ways to build rapport with kids who have a special learning history.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all STEM curriculum design for middle school, says expert Anne Jolly, the best programs she has seen have eight things in common. “Over the course of their middle school journey, students should be thoroughly immersed in all of these components.”
By debunking four myths about parent involvement at the middle level, educators can increase engagement and spark student motivation and performance, says middle school teacher & doctoral student Katie Wester-Neal, who shares some helpful strategies.
Middle grades educator Jeremy Hyler & college professor Troy Hicks introduce some key ideas from their new book about reading, writing and student-driven digital learning – including several ways to use Schoology in the classroom.