Author: MiddleWeb


Class Podcasts: Listening to Student Writers

Last year 8th grade teacher Brian Kelley began podcasting conversations with his student writers. Through conferring, he says, teachers let adolescents know that their voices matter “and their explanations can make us better teachers.” Kelley shares three samples.


Your Students’ Eyeballs Are Worth A Bundle

We know students love to watch television, even if that “watching” is not in front of an actual TV. As the new TV season starts, Frank W. Baker shares media literacy ideas than can help students understand their role in shaping ad prices & entertainment choices.


Why Media Literacy Week Matters So Much

With slanted news, social media and “reality” TV ceaselessly attracting the attention of young people, literacy consultant Frank W. Baker underscores the importance of Media Literacy Week, urging all educators to teach students how to analyze media “as text.”

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A Smart Guide to Art Lessons and Projects

Helen Hume’s survival guide for grades 7-12 art teachers, coordinators, content teachers and homeschoolers proves to be a rich resource for lessons, project ideas, and art history touching on all the arts. Retired principal Mary Langer Thompson recommends it.


With Flexible Grouping We Can Reach Every Kid

When students are busy learning, staying in a single group is stifling. The solution for teacher-author Amber Chandler is a “flexible classroom” where students rotate through strategic groupings to meet differentiated needs at various stages of the learning process.


A Rich Literacy Plan for Well-Resourced Parents

Margaret Mary Policastro provides solid background on best practices for home literacy, says reading specialist Judy Harris. But Harris finds the book short on good advice for families that lack the resources and services more typical of upscale neighborhoods.


How to Mentor Students More Effectively

Russ Olwell’s book Mentoring is a Verb is a useful resource for educators involved in mentor/mentee roles, says Nicolette Lesniak, who mentors at-risk students. She finds the WOOP framework and other strategies recommended by Olwell easy to implement and adapt.


Help Kids Thrive in a Screen-Filled World

Screenwise by Devorah Heitner is a book for both educators and parents that adopts “a gloriously positive attitude” about adults’ ability to learn and model wise use of the digital tools that engage people of all ages today. Teacher-author Heather Wolpert-Gawron finds lots of wisdom and lots to use.

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Writing Personal Memoir with Tweens & Teens

In his guide to writing memoir with adolescents, Jack Wizner shares what he has learned as a writer teaching writers: how to balance honesty and discretion in student writing and how to reach writers of all levels. Fellow 8th grade teacher Brian Kelley loves it.