Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

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Expanding Our Approach to Reading Strategies

A reading strategy should include actionable steps that students can follow as they learn to master and apply a skill. Beginning with tying shoes, literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo offers several examples as learners move from novelty to automaticity.

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Closer Reading Units For (or By) You

In Lessons and Units for Closer Reading, Nancy Boyles dives into curriculum design, explaining the creation of units starting with a theme, an author, a genre, and more. Reviewer Jennifer Wirtz appreciates the book’s usefulness to middle grades teachers.

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School Reform in Your Own Classroom

In What Schools Don’t Teach, the authors provide strategies to make reasonable changes within our own classrooms that will help students grow the skills, attitudes and characteristics they need to be successful in a changing world, says Laura Von Staden.

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Beyond “Unpacking” the Math Common Core

Common Core Sense: Tapping the Power of the Mathematical Practices supports the incorporation & implementation of the Mathematical Practices into daily teaching. It features real teachers, real examples, and real student reflections, says reviewer Linda Biondi.

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Four Tools to Help Gamify Your Classroom

The first step toward gamifying your classroom can be as simple as taking the “ew” out of “review” with these helpful game-oriented apps, selected and described by tech integration expert Curtis Chandler. Included: Quizizz, Kahoot, Classcraft and Class Dojo.

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Nurturing a Culture of Teacher Inquiry

Kevin Hodgson joins two middle level colleagues to share a cross-school collaboration supported by the National Writing Project that engaged teachers in investigating how to use writing strategies and inquiry learning with students in all content areas.

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3 Organizing Tips for a Great School Year

Author and former middle level school leader Frank Buck spends his professional life helping fellow educators manage themselves and their work in ways that maximize performance and benefit students. Buck shares three practical ideas to organize the new school year.

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Exploding the Reading to Increase Comprehension

Teachers in K-12 will find lots to use among David W. Booth’s strategies for increasing comprehension. Based in his research, Booth’s focus is on 10 modes for understanding texts. His lessons incorporating the arts are particularly helpful, says ELA teacher Julia K. Colombo.