Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators


Six Ways to Look at a Middle Grades Kid

Thanksgiving is a good time to express our affection for those great and goofy middle grades kids and the special breed of educators who relish teaching them. Here are six MiddleWeb posts pinpointing their unique qualities and ways we can support them as they grow.

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Analyzing the Media Through Docudramas

Do your students know that when they watch docudramas, they’re not watching history as it actually happened? Do they understand movie makers’ “artistic license” for condensing history into 2-hour films? Frank W. Baker suggests media-oriented films and teaching strategies.


Are You Ready for a Genius Hour Classroom?

Genius Hour is an inquiry-driven, passion-based strategy designed to excite and engage students around the unrestrained joy of learning. Teachers Denise Krebs and Gallit Zvi make a case for the weekly time investment and share tips for getting started.

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How Leaders Grow a Positive School Culture

Because of the powerful way school culture shapes the activity of students, teachers, and administrators, it’s worth investing the effort to assure it sends a positive message. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn suggest leadership actions to build values.

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What We Can Do When Kids Don’t Write Clearly

The difficulty students have in writing clearly can be traced to many factors, says literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo, from muddled pre-CCSS standards to weak teaching practices. Here she offers concrete suggestions to correct persistent writing problems in the secondary grades.

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3 Strategies for Building Tween Resilience

Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” Education author and consultant Barbara Blackburn looks at ways teachers can help young adolescents follow Churchill’s advice and become resilient.


Why Media Literacy Week Matters So Much

With slanted news, social media and “reality” TV ceaselessly attracting the attention of young people, literacy consultant Frank W. Baker underscores the importance of Media Literacy Week, urging all educators to teach students how to analyze media “as text.”


Interpreting Six Common Teacher Nightmares

Teacher-author Roxanna Elden has prepared “a completely unscientific, non-research-based guide” to six common teacher nightmares. They may sound all too familiar to fellow educators. See if she’s analyzed a dream you recognize and share another of your own.