Category: Articles

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As #Ferguson Fades from Our Twitter Feeds

Even though the tragedy in Ferguson is fading from the headlines and our twitter feeds, the issues and social dynamics that led to it remain firmly in place and schools need to address them, says middle school dean Bill Ivey. He suggests an “incredible resource.”

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Have You Tried Making Common Core Lemonade?

The Common Core experience may leave a sour taste on some educators’ palates, middle school ELA teacher Amber Chandler concedes. But she and her colleagues are coping with new challenges and limited resources by making their own brand of CCSS lemonade.

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Use Writing Activities to Bond with New Students

“One of the most important factors in student achievement is a positive connection with the teacher,” says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “An easy way to bond with kids is through writing.” She suggests two activities students will enjoy and you will learn from.

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10 Steps to Closer Student Reading

What do your students need to succeed in close reading? Literacy consultant Nancy Boyles outlines 10 steps in this article, drawn from her recent Corwin book “Closer Reading.” She also includes five questions to consider before students get started.

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Smart Homework: How to Manage & Assess It

In his final article on smart homework, middle grades teaching expert Rick Wormeli suggests ways to assess take-home assignments and manage the steady flow of “product” that homework requirements generate. Bonus idea: Homework extension certificates.

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Teaching Media as Text: The Emmy Awards

Movies and television are recognized in the Common Core standards as forms of “text” that deserve serious study. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker suggests ways that the Emmy Awards might serve as a way to engage students around familiar media.

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How to Create an Effective Teaching Plan

The most effective teachers know that if you want to have a great lesson, you need to plan a great lesson, say experts Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux. Novice teachers will appreciate their handy planning checklist. Bonus download: How to overplan!