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.
Guest posts by expert educators
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.
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.
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.
Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s passion for PBL goes back to her elementary years. Nowadays she builds units for middle schoolers to encourage their journeys through learning. Here she shares a structure to support students while simplifying teachers’ preparation.
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.
Our students are not successful oral communicators, says author-consultant Erik Palmer. Yet the rise of connected learning, podcasts, Face Time and Skype make speaking and listening skills essential. Read (and watch) Palmer’s compelling case for change.
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.
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.”
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.