Resource Roundups are among the new MiddleWeb’s most popular features. Co-editor Susan B. Curtis, who’s been both a middle grades teacher and a reference librarian, produces these theme-based, resource-laden essays several times each month. Here are dozen reader favorites from our first six months.
‘Tis the Season: Teaching about Faith-Based Holidays
When it comes to December holidays, public school teachers may wonder: what’s legal, what’s district policy, what’s fun? In this MiddleWeb Resource Roundup, we follow the lead of Edutopia blogger Anne O’Brien who considers First Amendment issues, suggests homing in on local policy and emphasizes educating over celebrating. Our post is also packed with lesson plans and activities to engage children of all backgrounds in public, private or parochial schools. Learn more.
Insights into Student Motivation
Student motivation has been an especially hot topic among educators in 2012, and she’s pulled together blog posts, interviews and studies centering on some of the year’s best commentary about intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation. You’ll find plenty of solid research and advice that will serve you well in 2013 and beyond. Learn more.
EdCamp: Do It Yourself PD
It can be face-to-face — school, district, even region-wide — and always free. Most of all, EdCamp is do-it-yourself PD, planned by volunteers and led by attendees. In this Resource Roundup, you’ll learn about the brief history of this grassroots “unconferencing” model and find a bevy of resources useful for getting your own EdCamp off the ground. Learn more.
Bullying and cyber-bullying are most prevalent in the middle grades. Federal agencies, anti-bullying nonprofits and multiple education organizations offer help with responding to and preventing peer aggression. In recognition of Bullying Prevention Month, this Resource Roundup links readers to many sites and resources you can use through the year. Learn more.
Better Parent-Teacher Conferences
Learn more about what teachers, principals and parents can do to make sure their conferences benefit middle grades students. In this Resource Roundup, you’ll find ideas about preparing students and their families for the conference, building cultural sensitivity to family structures and economic challenges, supporting student-led conferences for super outcomes, and encouraging parent engagement throughout the year. Learn more.
Transliteracy: Readers & Writers in a Connected World
Students learn in so many ways today — as paper and pencil makes room for digital devices, cloud-based textbooks and social media. Teachers and teacher librarians must help middle-grades students gain the skills and knowledge to integrate a multitude of 21st century literacy platforms into their learning. This Resource Roundup points to many resources that can help. Learn more.
Common Core: Take a Deep Breath
As the Common Core begins to dominate education news, it can feel like you’re drowning in information. This regularly updated Resource Roundup provides an overview with essential links, easily accessible PD opportunities, and a range of opinions on CCSS content, implementation and implications. Also included: resources to help inform parents as the standards roll out. And a quick look at standards development beyond math and language arts. Learn more.
New Teacher 911 – Great First Year Advice
Teachers can wake children up to learning and even change their lives. It’s getting over that first hurdle — Year One in the Classroom — that proves so daunting, when the endless hours and classroom challenges can diminish our enthusiasm. Middle-level survivors have suggestions that can make all those daunting demands more manageable. This Resource Roundup not only brings together strategies for the first few weeks, it addresses longer-term considerations to help new teachers grow strong. Read more.
Last-Minute Lesson Planning
When you suddenly discover a gap in a lesson plan, where do you look for well-aligned content and adaptable activities? You might turn to your Twitter network or online professional community — but that doesn’t always produce a quick or quality response. This Resource Roundup points to several 24/7 “super sites” that are always ready and waiting to help. Learn more.
Books Students Love to Read
MiddleWeb shares ways teachers can keep up with exciting books for YAs and tweens. A new app, a hashtag and advice from experts will speed your discovery of books to engage your students come fall. Learn more.
Make Twitter Work for You
Maybe you don’t believe it, but bits of information cordoned off into 140-character chunks really can advance your professional practice. It’s knowing how to find and use the best tweets — and how to build your own personal learning network — that makes the difference. This Resource Roundup helps novices get off to a good start and use Twitter efficiently. Learn more.
Algebra for the Middle Grades
How well students grasp algebraic concepts may have more to do with early preparation than age or grade level. Researchers have also found that students with weaker prep actually lose ground in general math performance when confronted with algebra. In this Resource Roundup, you can read about ways to teach pre-algebraic thinking to elementary students. You’ll also find many links to free online algebra and general math resources. Learn more