Adolescents have a strong attraction to parody, says media literacy expert Frank Baker. Luckily the Common Core includes parody as a genre worthy of study. Baker shares resources and ideas to involve middle graders in some fun as they learn important skills.
“We hate email,” says productivity expert and former principal Frank Buck, “because every time we check it, someone is adding to our already-crowded schedule.” In the 5th post in his Productivity Suite series, Buck shows educators how to keep your inbox empty.
Despite her strong commitment to 21st century collaborative learning, Amber Chandler admits she’d “always held back from allowing my students to work together on their writing.” Would everyone be engaged? Could it be graded? Then her kids showed her the way.
Can supportive feedback from a diverse internet audience help students grasp the benefits of a growth mindset? History teacher Tim Kramer believes the answer is yes, after weighing his 6th graders’ work during a project-driven, tech-infused Ancient Egypt unit.
To learn science deeply, students need the trifecta of instruction: experiments; exploration of a complex text; and teaching that’s both challenging and empowering. Deeper learning expert Libby Woodfin shares how this works in Peter Hill’s 8th grade classroom.
The last weeks of school are a time when a little hard work and lots of organization can pay big dividends in a learning experience that is smooth, structured, and fun for all, says middle grades educator Elyse Scott, who shares a dozen end-of-year activities.
Figuring out what’s going on with a child emotionally and behaviorally is the practice of counselors and therapists. But the classroom teacher often sees problems first. Psychotherapist Noah Kempler suggests things to consider when a student’s behavior shifts.
Thematic text sets that tap into the social worlds and narrative driven lives of adolescents can spark “unstoppable learning,” say literacy educators Katie and Chris Cunningham, who share several text-set examples and a 10-step process for building your own.
“Groupthink” can happen if team members are afraid of the consequences of sharing their real thoughts and feelings. When divergent thinking is left of of the school improvement discussion, writes leadership coach Elena Aguilar, positive and lasting change isn’t likely to occur.
Involving parents and families in a partnership with schools has a positive impact on students. What can principals do to ensure the partnership is sustained, vibrant and diverse? Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn suggest strategies to build connections.