Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

7 Ways Our Data Buy-in Builds School Capacity

While the leaders of Algonquin Middle School do not claim to be “on the cutting edge of utilizing data in every aspect of our school’s program,” AMS teachers and staff are making headway with seven action steps that are benefiting students, says principal Rob Messia.

Exploring Visual Texts to Boost Comprehension

In “The Art of Comprehension: Exploring Visual Texts to Foster Comprehension, Conversation and Confidence” Trevor Andrew Bryan shows how to help readers learn more about visual texts through a series of frameworks. This strategy sets the stage for students to learn more about how to approach complex stories, fiction and non-fiction, writes sixth grade teacher Kevin Hodgson.

Inquiry-Based Lessons in Early World History

Students can follow the trek of early humans toward global expansion through inquiry-based lessons and use resources to hypothesize responses to organizing questions. Ancient History teacher Joanne Bell says the book’s connections approach “is a phenomenal find for me.”

How Leaders Develop Stakeholder Ownership

Efforts to improve your school will only be successful with widespread support and ownership. This means involving all stakeholders: teachers, staff, families, and community voices. Leadership consultants Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer some helpful guidelines.

Spelling Matters in Middle School, Too

Want to help middle school students improve their reading skills? Mark Weakland suggests providing direct and explicit spelling instruction. Emphasizing syllables – roots and affixes – offers lots of building blocks for students. Weakland includes differentiation tips and activity ideas.

Some Lessons I Learned as a First Year Admin

Teaching and instructional coaching weren’t all the prep DeAnna Miller needed when she signed on as a new middle school assistant principal last fall. A year later she looks back at the challenges she faced and the solutions she discovered as she preps for another year.