Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

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Do We Really Have High Expectations for All?

When it comes to high expectations, learning consultant Barbara Blackburn says actions speak louder than beliefs. Using her own classroom mistakes as a backdrop, she points out the teacher behaviors that signal struggling learners whether we mean what we say.

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Expanding Our Approach to Reading Strategies

When reading strategies include a series of actionable steps, students can follow them as they learn to master skills. Using the teaching of tying shoes as an analogy, literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo offers examples of the kinds of supports teachers can offer learners as they travel the path to automaticity.

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Four Tools to Help Gamify Your Classroom

The first step toward gamifying your classroom can be as simple as taking the “ew” out of “review” with these helpful game-oriented apps, selected and described by tech integration expert Curtis Chandler. Included: Quizizz, Kahoot, Classcraft and Class Dojo.

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Nurturing a Culture of Teacher Inquiry

Kevin Hodgson joins two middle level colleagues to share a cross-school collaboration supported by the National Writing Project that engaged teachers in investigating how to use writing strategies and inquiry learning with students in all content areas.

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3 Organizing Tips for a Great School Year

Author and former middle level school leader Frank Buck spends his professional life helping fellow educators manage themselves and their work in ways that maximize performance and benefit students. Buck shares three practical ideas to organize the new school year.

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How to Excel as a New Middle Level Principal

New principals can fall prey to “task overload.” What’s more, the transition from working with teachers as peers to working as a supervisor can be disorienting. Experts Ron Williamson & Barbara Blackburn share advice in six critical areas of the new job.

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5 Reader Activities to Invite Higher Thinking

You’ve taught students to read closely, to annotate, to discuss – now what? Teacher/writer Marilyn Pryle shares five reader-response activities she uses to help students interact with texts in creative ways, inviting higher levels of thinking & understanding.

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Powerful Iconic Images Can Educate & Inform

Iconic images from popular culture can raise consciousness about issues, many of them tied to health and gender awareness, writes media literacy consultant Frank W. Baker. He offers memorable examples and ties this phenomenon to teaching visual literacy.