Too much close reading is boring, say Mike Fisher & Danielle Hardt, as students comb through fiction, constantly analyzing lots of text. Ask them to read and write digital microstories. They’ll build evaluation & synthesis skills and have some fun.
Guest posts by expert educators
Blending fiction, mystery and scientific investigation can be an effective way to excite tweens and young teens about science topics, says former teacher and NSTA trade book award winner Gail Hedrick, who shares her own writing & publishing story.
If persistent inequalities in urban and rural classrooms continue across the public system, reading expert Laura Robb says, it will be impossible for many children in poverty to achieve the deeper levels of learning anticipated by the Common Core.
An essay without a thesis might have great ideas in it, but absent an organizing principle it doesn’t hold together. Literacy expert Sarah Tantillo shares tools for thesis brainstorming & organizing that can save students and teachers time and pain.
Teachers who fail to actively involve students in learning experiences are mired in mediocrity, says educator Barbara Blackburn. The author of Rigor Is Not a 4-Letter Word shares five rules for student engagement she’s discovered, with examples from her own teaching and consulting.
Numerous historical adaptions have been nominated for Academy Awards in recent years. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker offers ideas and resources to help students examine their historical accuracy and address a middle-level Common Core standard.
Former principal Sue Stephenson describes how she and a team of teachers recently helped seventh graders prepare and perform standup comedy routines, all the while learning serious writing, speaking and personal living skills. Video link included!
By debunking four myths about parent involvement at the middle level, educators can increase engagement and spark student motivation and performance, says middle school teacher & doctoral student Katie Wester-Neal, who shares some helpful strategies.
Middle grades educator Jeremy Hyler & college professor Troy Hicks introduce some key ideas from their new book about reading, writing and student-driven digital learning – including several ways to use Schoology in the classroom.
Education consultant Mike Fisher invites readers to be active participants in a Curriculum Brainstorm, using popular music and a song’s associated music video as a way to engage close reading of text, comparative analysis & use of digital tools.