MiddleWeb is all about middle school & the middle grades — with a sharp focus on teaching and learning in grades 4-8. Join us, learn about our 5 streams of content, and find out how to get involved.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
In 2018-19 Jeremy Hyler taught 6th grade for the 1st time in 15 years. A classful of 11-year olds “felt very new.” What’s more, after a decade-plus teaching 7th graders, this year’s group “ranked high on the all-time challenge scale.” Fortunately there were bright spots!
History is not just the causes of the Civil War, reasons for industrial growth, or dates associated with “big events” and major characters. Lauren Brown works to help her middle schoolers understand it’s about ordinary, often archetypal lives of human beings much like us.
Umpires focus on the correctness of the game. Coaches concentrate on the growth of their players. Teacher Courtney Rejent and consultant Patty McGee show how to shift the focus from correcting writing to helping students develop good writing strategies through coaching.
Is it ever possible to do everything needed to be a consistently effective teacher? Look over Barbara Blackburn’s strategies to develop circumstances where you can thrive: avoid perfectionism, try incremental change, peruse helpful time management resources, and more.
Educator Joanne Bell was attracted to The ADHD Empowerment Guide because the authors focus on students’ strengths and potential – not just problems and comorbidities. The resource-filled book details how an analysis of strengths can be used to help kids facing ADHD challenges.
Thanks to Literacy and Learning Centers for the Big Kids, secondary teachers across the content areas won’t need to tweak elementary guides and hope things work with older kids. Instructional coach Janice Rustico finds the start-to-finish help just what her teachers need.
Teaching the “NGSS Way” is challenging, admits science specialist Kathy Renfrew, but unlike 2013 when the New Generation Science Standards were first released, teachers can now find plenty of high quality lessons and video demos to help achieve 3-D science classrooms.
How can history students use resource books more effectively in their research papers? Taking a cue from a staff meeting, Sarah Cooper devised a handout to help 8th graders quickly scope out a nonfiction book and find stories and quotes to enliven their papers. It worked!
Even if we don’t yet teach in a grade-less utopia, there are steps teachers can take to become more accurate and equitable in our grading policies. Cheryl Mizerny shares steps toward fairer grading: eliminate zeroes, avoid extra points, don’t grade homework, and more.
As much as we love teaching, summer break presents valuable time and opportunity to reflect and rejuvenate – and also retool and sharpen our skills through self-directed professional learning. To help, Curtis Chandler presents an awesome collection of free PD options.