Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Creating a Schoolwide Climate of Excellence

The School Climate Solution serves as a blueprint for increasing positive climate from the classroom to the staff room, says reviewer Rita Platt. Jonathan Erwin provides practical guidelines for building a safe environment where relationships and SEL foster learning.

Can Teacher Generations Learn to Collaborate?

How can school leaders help Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials in the same building work side by side collaboratively? Jennifer Abrams and Valeria A. von Frank define the challenges and offer suggestions Linda Biondi finds essential.

ELA & SS: Differentiating Formative Assessment

Sheryn Spencer Waterman shows the way to make the evaluation as well as the curriculum fit the learner. Middle school teacher Joanne Bell finds the author’s fully developed discussion of differentiated formative assessments helpful for social studies and English.

Rethink First-Day Writing to Better Engage Kids

Literacy coach Shawna Coppola urges us to rethink the familiar start-of-year writing activity – the personal narrative. In its place she suggests a framework of ideas to free students to write about what interests them. As we try new approaches, we also renew ourselves.

30 Modules to Promote Algebraic Reasoning

Accessible Algebra provides teachers a better understanding of where students might struggle, methods that can meet individual student needs, and fresh ways to teach a concept. The 30 modules can be adapted for any algebra class, says math teacher Trever Reeh.

Use Reading to Teach a World Language

Donna Spangler and John Alex Mazzante have “a keen understanding of a language student’s need for frequent changes, movement, playfulness, collaboration, and gentle competition,” says Spanish teacher Jane Swisher, noting this “gem of a book” is easily adaptable.

Two Books to Support New Teacher Mentoring

Carol Pelletier Radford’s 2017 books can help beginning teachers by giving their mentors detailed guidelines, a clearly defined schedule, and routines that allow flexibility for both mentor and mentee, says school district new-teacher liaison Michael DiClemente.