Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

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Teach Media Literacy with Super Bowl Ads

Many millions of people who tune in to the 2015 Super Bowl will be there to watch the pricey, high-engagement commercials. Media literacy consultant Frank Baker explains how to teach about these “super ads,” approaching them as informational text worthy of close scrutiny and analysis.

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Black History Past & Present

Africans Americans faced severe repression when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926. In February we remember through teaching resources and trace the impact of African Americans in politics, the arts, and science. Then we take a look at the future of Black History Month.

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Tools for Schools with Instructional Coaching

Jim Knight’s Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction focuses on school leaders working with an instructional coach in a partnership model, says principal Matt Renwick. But he finds value in the book for other leaders who lack a coaching model.

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A Book to Enliven Family Reading Night

Family Reading Night gives schools everything they need to present enjoyable monthly reading and literacy activities for young students and their families. Reviewer Mara Southorn notes this 2nd edition includes Spanish translations of activities. Middle schools may need to adapt.

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The Eight Essentials of Good Student Feedback

Quality feedback – written and oral – is crucial for students to continuously improve their work. Author-consultant Barbara Blackburn summarizes eight characteristics of good feedback that she believes “are essential practices for effective teaching.”

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Teaching Vocabulary in Word-Rich Classrooms

Students can learn difficult vocabulary when they are immersed in a rich array of words, says reading expert Janet Allen. In this excerpt from her new book of vocabulary teaching tools, Allen describes ways to create a word-rich environment. Includes reproducibles.