Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

How to Be Sure You Are a Caring Teacher

The Caring Teacher asks educators to reexamine how and why they teach the way they do, to record reflections, questions and thoughts toward the goal of reducing bias and increasing student success. Linda Biondi believes every moment spent in reflection will be worth it.

The Awesome Power of Simple Questions

How can we stretch younger students’ excitement for inquiry into the middle school years? After tutoring a 9-year old this summer, MS teacher Mary Beth Nicklaus hopes the power of pursuing their simple questions will energize the quiet kids among her 6th graders this fall.

Teach Math by Diving Deep Into Real Data

Rather than approach math using only a curriculum that follows textbook lessons, we can boost learning by teaching math as a science. Middle grades educator and NBCT Kathleen Palmieri is learning how to incorporate data studies to help students relate math to the real world.

Jen Serravallo: Let Go and Gain Engagement!

The more we try to exert control in the online classroom, the more stressful it can be for us and for students, writes author and literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo. Six shifts will give learners more ownership and flexibility, increase engagement, and boost learning.

Conveying Your High Expectations Remotely

How do teachers’ behaviors reflect our expectations in a remote classroom? For example, teachers tend to probe students more if they have high expectations of the students, writes Barbara Blackburn. She suggests strategies to challenge all students, even at a distance.

Tools to Grow Students’ Science Understanding

The Science Teacher’s Toolbox is written in a practical format with easy-to-follow directions for grades 4-12, says middle level science educator Tracy Albers. She suggests you “have your page marker tabs ready when you read through this treasure trove of valuable strategies!”

Find the Bright Spots: A Virtual STEAM Story

Science consultant Kathy Renfrew hopes we can shift our attention away from “remediation” by building on the bright spots we’ve experienced during pandemic teaching. She shares the story of a STEAM engineering design project and how it was adapted for distance learning.

Helpful Teaching Tips for a Hybrid Model

In her 2nd month of hybrid teaching, Kasey Short is still adapting day by day through trial and error. She’s learned a lot, as you’ll see in this detailed look at her virtual/in-person blending, digital organization, communication, collaboration and feedback – with tips for each!

Personal Connections. Essential Standards.

In a school year when frustration, fatigue and uncertainty make teaching and learning an unprecedented challenge, principal Rita Platt is leading her staff to focus on two top priorities: (1) limit instruction to essential standards, and (2) build personal connections with EVERY student.