Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Narrative Writing Ideas Built on Mentor Texts

Sean Ruday’s practical ideas and teaching strategies for narrative writing should reduce the stress levels of writing teachers all across the country, writes consultant Anne Anderson. To speed things along, he has included excerpts from the mentor texts he features.

Called to the Middle: A Principal’s View

Called to the Middle is a primer for anyone considering the challenges of middle level teaching. Veteran MS educator Linda Mancia says Joey Eidson’s commitment to adolescent education comes through his relaxed writing style but notes some editorial shortcomings.

Bright Happy Children vs Failing Public Schools

Becoming Brilliant, written by two psych professors, is less about intelligence than about helping children become collaborative, creative, competent, and responsible. Reviewer Rita Platt notes with dismay the authors’ blanket view that public schools are failing.

Helping Students Develop Logical Reasoning

Consultant Tammy L. Jones proposes a three-prong approach to support students in their daily journey through content: effective questioning, authentic daily writing, and a bridging structure as they encounter new situations where critical thinking is required.

Black History Past & Present

Africans Americans faced severe repression when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926. In this updated MiddleWeb resource, we share links that trace the impact of African Americans in politics, the arts & science and take a look at the future of Black History Month.

Teaching Science with Engaging Picture Books

“Perfect Pairs” uses fiction and nonfiction life science books to promote inquiry learning in grades 3-5. The 20 richly detailed, standards-aligned lessons can help any teacher engage students in exploration, fact-gathering and deduction, says 4th grade veteran Linda Biondi.

Easy-to-Use Strategies to Develop Young Writers

In “The Writing Strategies Book” Jennifer Serravallo has pulled together 300 useful writing strategies and lessons, coordinated by grade, genre, and point in the writing process. Serravallo’s well-organized and easy-to-use resource is sure to come in handy right away, says reviewer Kevin Hodgson.