Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

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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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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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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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Teaching Film Literacy Without the Film

Film literacy is an important skill in an increasingly visual world. It’s in the ELA standards for grades 7 & 8. But how do we teach it if we don’t have access to films in the classroom? Expert Frank Baker helps bring film alive without a DVD in sight.

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Helping Students Summarize Information

Summarizing may seem simple to adults, says teacher/author Heather Wolpert-Gawron, but it’s a cross content skill that many adolescents struggle with. TweenTeacher shares techniques from her classroom, including asking students to create ‘executive summaries’ of information & research.

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Fireside Reads: 20 Favorite MiddleWeb Posts

With the winter “read by the fire” season in full force, we offer a selection of 20 MiddleWeb posts that have garnered thousands of views apiece. They represent the wisdom & expertise of middle grades educators with a wide range of teaching experiences.