Veteran educator Cheryl Mizerny is surrounded by committed teachers, but she knows that even the most well-intentioned can fall into bad habits that may make some students dread coming to their class. She shares the warning signs of five problem behaviors.
Guest posts by expert educators
Dialogue circles can facilitate brain function and help “increase generosity, trust, intrinsic motivation, social connection, and cooperation so students can work together for a common purpose,” writes inner-city middle school principal David Palank.
Expeditionary Learning’s free open-source curriculum is framed by Topics, Targets, Texts & Tasks. Co-designer Cheryl Dobbertin shares insights gained during the crowd-sourced development phase, arguing that inquiry learning begins with compelling curriculum.
Students in a state of “flow” learn faster, are more focused, enjoy learning, and often increase the level of challenge. Teacher-author Larry Ferlazzo distills the research and has ideas for teachers that can help students achieve flow regularly in class.
Urban ELA teacher Mackenzie Grate found mock trials to be the perfect vehicle to encourage reading, teach speaking & listening, and prepare her 6th graders for their first argumentative writing essay. How-to tips, downloads and lessons learned included.
Culture building is a powerful method for shaping the behavior of those who work in a school because it helps establish important values and underlying assumptions about learning. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer 3 tips for middle grades leaders.
Initial failures can produce big breakthroughs, as ELA consultant Sarah Tantillo found when students she was supporting failed to translate PARCC practice prompts into viable essays. Check out the tools Tantillo, teachers & tutors used to solve the problem.
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.
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.