Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

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Annotation in History: Reviving the 5 W’s

Reading comprehension is a primary goal in Aaron Brock’s middle school history classroom. Building on last year’s annotation experiments, Brock has adapted the familiar 5 W’s strategy to help students pay closer attention to the meaning behind the words. It’s working.

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Meet Writing Challenges in All Content Areas

With Common Core discussions as a sturdy frame, Heather Wolpert-Gawron provides solid commentary about how writing and literacy relate to all curriculum areas, says reviewer Kathleen Pham. Central to the sample lessons: project based learning.

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Campaign Ads: Helping Students Find the Truth

If politicians have a “license to lie” in campaign advertising, how are our students going to know who and what to believe? Critical thinking skills are paramount, says media literacy consultant Frank Baker, who shares insights and resources tied to Common Core and social studies standards.

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A Halloween Teacher’s Self Evaluation

This Halloween, don’t miss 4th grade teacher Mary Tarashuk’s self-assessment of how she managed learning on a delightfully creepy day. First presented a year ago, still just as funny. “It’s not all about sugar, but sugar anticipation is in the air.”

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Videogames in the Classroom?

Bridging Literacies with Videogames asks if students’ playing videogames in school can yield literacy skill acquisition, and looks at invented worlds, 2nd language learners in multiplayer games, and more. Kevin Hodgson suggests students build games.

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Students & the Outdoors

Hands-on learning can spark students’ imagination when school moves outdoors. It can also increase engagement & improve academic performance.