Category: Articles


The 5 Craziest Times of the School Year

You know those times where the kids are so spun up that you suspect nothing you say will be remembered tomorrow? You ask yourself, “Why am I even trying to teach today?!” Veteran educator Patti Grayson casts her votes for the most inattentive days of the year.


How to Teach Memoir in the Middle Grades

Educators may be reluctant to try memoir writing with middle grades students, but the rewards are considerable, says 8th grade teacher-author Jake Wizner. He shares three insights that can help guide teachers as they enrich the student writing experience.


Middle Grades Kids Need Field Trips

Field trips don’t have to be elaborate, says middle grades leader Mike Janatovich, but they are important for young adolescents who are still making connections between academic content and the real world. He shares ideas and tips to plan an outing this fall.

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The Gr-2 ELA Standard You May Need to Teach

For literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo, Reading Informational Text (RIT) Standard 2.1 is both essential and easy to learn. Yet she suspects many students well beyond Grade 2 haven’t mastered it. She shares a quick technique to teach this high-leverage skill in middle grades.

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Tie TV Advertising to Media Literacy Lessons

Knowing how television programming is funded can help students understand what is available to view. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker links to sources of advertising data and suggests activities to build student savvy about the genres that fill their screens.


School Leaders: Gain from the ‘October Oasis’

As a school leader, consultant Frank Buck’s experience was that “if I wanted to launch something new, re-tool something old, or do some course correction, October was my best shot.” Here, Buck suggests several organizational ideas to pursue during the October Oasis.


Can We Talk About Sustained Silent Reading?

ELA teacher Amber Chandler is in a quandary. She wants to give her students time each week to “read for enjoyment” but knows the research on Sustained Silent Reading reveals little impact on fluency. Can she bridge these muddied waters? All ideas welcomed!

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4 Steps to Put School Data to Good Use

School and student data can be confusing and challenging to collect and use effectively. Ronald Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer a four-step process to help educators and administrators collect and analyze data and support better teaching and student learning.


Propaganda Isn’t History – It’s Current Events

Most educators who teach propaganda use examples from the World Wars, says media literacy expert Frank Baker. “But propaganda is happening today—all around us.” Baker introduces a new resource that can help teachers and students exert their “minds over media.”