Author: MiddleWeb

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Numbers & Operations for Advanced Students

In Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Numbers & Operations, Jerry Burkhart offers advanced students challenging activities with increasing levels of difficulty. Math teacher Maia Fastabend finds it well suited to high level readers in grades 7-9.

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Keep Parents Connected in the Middle Grades

Middle schoolers push parents away with one hand, says 6th grade teacher Cheryl Mizerny, while wanting their other hand to be held. Mizerny shares a variety of strategies she uses to help keep parents and kids connected as they navigate adolescence, including the Million Words activity.

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Harness the Experts Inside the School

The authors make the case for the Peer Observation Process (POP) – teams of teachers observing one another – as an inexpensive PD alternative that builds supportive collegiality. Reviewer Dina Murphy highly recommends the research-based book, which offers many implementation resources.

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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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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.

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A Rich Colonial Times Resource Collection

Working to bring America’s Colonial Period to life in the classroom? Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis’ new toolkit will help history teachers engage students with primary sources, digital links and visual guides. “A gold mine!” says reviewer Linda Biondi.