Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Invigorating Our Teaching of Writing and Revision

Ruth Culham’s Teach Writing Well is practical and goes step-by-step through incorporating writing traits into any classroom writing program while undergirding practice with a sense of exuberance and discovery. Reviewer Sarah Cooper can’t wait for fall to try Culham’s ideas.

A Look Inside Two Star Teachers’ Classrooms

In 180 Days Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle encourage teachers to meet “hidden standards” focusing on engagement in reading and writing via standards accessed through choice, relevance, and classroom culture. Educator Amy Estersohn finds some elements missing.

Literacy Activities That Students Do (Not You!)

Nancy Akhavan encourages teachers to push away from assigned passages with worksheets that require canned responses, and instead promote more freedom in student thinking, and more reflection about their connection to the reading and writing going on in their classroom.

STEAMy Thoughts on Blending STEM and Art

Blending in the arts is not predestined to create a failure of STEM goals, writes noted STEM author and educator Carolyn DeCristofano, who offers four reasons to consider adopting a well-designed STEAM program that protects the integrity of both STEM and arts education.

Engagement Strategies That Just Don’t Work

Although some teaching strategies have been around for a long time, not all the “classics” are actually effective at engaging students in authentic ways. Bryan Harris and Lisa Bradshaw, the authors of Battling Boredom, explain why some common practices just don’t work.

Effective Assessment for Improved Learning

Glen Pearsall’s Fast and Effective Assessment focuses on making life easier for teachers while improving students’ learning and understanding, writes consultant Anne Anderson. Pearsall includes lots of ideas and efficient tools to create feedback that benefits students.

Reading Comprehension One Step at a Time

Stambaugh and VanTassel-Baska focus on purposeful planning, finding stories to engage young readers, and discovering ways to use readings to get the most impactful writing from students while increasing their overall comprehension, says teacher Erin Corrigan-Smith.