Students in a state of “flow” learn faster, are more focused, enjoy learning, and often increase the level of challenge. Teacher-author Larry Ferlazzo distills the research and has ideas for teachers that can help students achieve flow regularly in class.
Urban ELA teacher Mackenzie Grate found mock trials to be the perfect vehicle to encourage reading, teach speaking & listening, and prepare her 6th graders for their first argumentative writing essay. How-to tips, downloads and lessons learned included.
Culture building is a powerful method for shaping the behavior of those who work in a school because it helps establish important values and underlying assumptions about learning. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer 3 tips for middle grades leaders.
Initial failures can produce big breakthroughs, as ELA consultant Sarah Tantillo found when students she was supporting failed to translate PARCC practice prompts into viable essays. Check out the tools Tantillo, teachers & tutors used to solve the problem.
CommonLit.Org is a nonprofit organization building a growing collection of supplemental texts, curated by teachers, for teachers, writes founder Michelle Brown. The free and open resource is cross-curricular, organized around themes and essential questions.
When Cheryl Mizerny invited her 6th graders to pursue a “passion project” of their own choosing, she included the option to help someone in need. The results surprised her. “I greatly underestimated my students’ capacity for wanting to make a difference.”
For years Amber Chandler has marched her middle school students through Grammar Bootcamp, believing that grammatically correct language is essential to be college and career ready. Now this year’s 7th graders have convinced her there might be a better way.
In her valentine “to those volatile adolescents and the educators who cherish them,” veteran middle level teacher Beth Morrow highlights six good reasons to spend your days with “the wonderfully rough and resilient gems that are middle school students.”
Media literacy expert Frank Baker offers a fresh idea for Black History Month – exploring the life, career and creativity of photographer, writer and director Gordon Parks, whose powerful images from the Segregation Era serve as iconic primary sources.
Florida teacher David Finkle chronicles middle school life in a daily comic strip for the Daytona Beach News. Here he shares the 15-year story of “Mr. Fitz,” including four sample strips guaranteed to draw chuckles and knowing nods from teachers everywhere.