Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Math Play with Patterns and Relationships

Math educator and consultant Jerry Burkhart is back with more playful ideas for the mathematics classroom! Diagrams that show relationships between operations and numbers create engaging and meaningful opportunities for students to have fun exploring mathematical concepts. He offers lots of examples to get you and your students started.

Weaving SEL Into Our Classroom Questioning

Traditional questioning routines can send unintended messages to some students that they are not “smart” enough to engage in classroom conversations, writes author and teaching expert Jackie Walsh. Learn how to weave SEL-friendly questioning into your daily practice.

Making Number Talks Matter Even More

In their sequel to “Making Number Talks Matter,” Ruth Parker and Cathy Humphreys go deeper and include videos of real students. They thoroughly explain the how and why of Number Talks and suggest updates to their method, writes math and algebra teacher Michael Hernandez.

Climate Change Studies: “What Have You Heard?”

If you are searching for a comprehensive way to explore the complexities of climate change, address student (and popular) misconceptions and involve students in the search for solutions, you’ll want “Understanding Climate Change,” says science teacher Virginia Brackett.

Guiding Risk-Taking to Build Creativity

A.J. Juliani discusses the way we learn, how brain connections are changing in our “connected” world, and how we can be intentional with our innovation to help students become risk takers and bring creativity to their learning, writes teacher leader Laura Von Staden.

Summer School Eighth Graders Actually Liked!

Teachers at Pioneer Middle School were weary of their traditional one-size-fits-all summer school requiring every student to take the same classes. Learn how they’ve redesigned the program for eighth graders around specific skills that better prepare them for high school.

5 Things Every New Teacher Needs to Know

Over a career of teaching, mentoring and networking with novices, Barbara Blackburn has learned five key lessons about being a new teacher. Here she takes the butterflies churning in newbies’ insides and suggests ways to line them up in formation for a strong first year.