CommonLit.Org is a nonprofit organization building a growing collection of supplemental texts, curated by teachers, for teachers, writes founder Michelle Brown. The free and open resource is cross-curricular, organized around themes and essential questions.
Guest posts by expert educators
When Cheryl Mizerny invited her 6th graders to pursue a “passion project” of their own choosing, she included the option to help someone in need. The results surprised her. “I greatly underestimated my students’ capacity for wanting to make a difference.”
For years Amber Chandler has marched her middle school students through Grammar Bootcamp, believing that grammatically correct language is essential to be college and career ready. Now this year’s 7th graders have convinced her there might be a better way.
In her valentine “to those volatile adolescents and the educators who cherish them,” veteran middle level teacher Beth Morrow highlights six good reasons to spend your days with “the wonderfully rough and resilient gems that are middle school students.”
Media literacy expert Frank Baker offers a fresh idea for Black History Month – exploring the life, career and creativity of photographer, writer and director Gordon Parks, whose powerful images from the Segregation Era serve as iconic primary sources.
Florida teacher David Finkle chronicles middle school life in a daily comic strip for the Daytona Beach News. Here he shares the 15-year story of “Mr. Fitz,” including four sample strips guaranteed to draw chuckles and knowing nods from teachers everywhere.
It’s Oscar season and media literacy consultant Frank W. Baker has ideas about leveraging student interest in movies to teach visual literacy skills and learn about cool careers. Lots of resources, including teacher tools at the Oscars website.
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.
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.
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.”