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Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
When kids head home for the winter holidays, you can send along some super websites to help keep them in touch with their STEM mindset and have some fun, too. STEM educator Anne Jolly shares a collection of her favorite resources for teachers and parents.
Educators need to move beyond the dream of an idealized co-teaching experience, says instructional coach Elizabeth Stein. We need to make co-teaching work inside the reality of today’s schools. Stein believes the answer lies in Specially Designed Instruction.
Even with all the usual basics in place, the small things novice teachers do could be wreaking havoc on your whole classroom management system. Middle school veteran Jennifer Gonzalez identifies unproductive habits, along with more effective alternatives.
With the fall marathon of parent-teacher conferences finally done, Mary Tarashuk logs onto the district portal to input student grades for the first marking period. And then she finds herself pausing to wonder what authentic assessment truly means – when we’re talking to the people who care most.
Stretching Beyond the Textbook develops a MINDful reading unit, from an initial focus question to students’ culminating dialogue. Although the post-literature-circle techniques suit in most content areas, the book relies on social studies examples, says reviewer Abbey Graham.
Expert Frank W. Baker wants to convince teachers that toy advertisements are a great media literacy teaching tool. Video clips and colorful ‘print’ ads abound on the Internet and are sure to engage students. Baker provides some good discussion questions & lesson ideas to get started.
Students at Kevin Hodgson’s K-6 school recite the PeaceBuilder pledge each morning. But do they take it to heart? He describes an engrossing literacy project, dubbed the Imaginary Lands Brochure, that helps kids uncover the meaning behind their pledge.
Last year Jody Passanisi concluded that her go-to lesson on types of government no longer gripped students’ attention. Here she evaluates the successes and challenges of a redesign: lots more student ownership, but is there enough understanding at the end?
When teachers ask all the questions and then rush to supply the answers, “the result is a cognitive disconnect,” says author Nanci Werner-Burke. Stop usurping the “right to wonder” by teaching students to ask deep, Bloom’s-friendly questions of their own.
When bickering and bullying began to weaken her classroom culture, 6th grade teacher Mackenzie Grate tried a simple but powerful strategy involving pink and green sticky notes, 30 brown paper bags, and some brutal honesty. The results were impressive.