Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

A Guide to Becoming a Master Teacher

Teacher Kathleen Palmieri strongly recommends the 2nd edition of Robyn Jackson’s book on the principles of mastery teaching, noting updated information, new tools and fresh topics that reflect Jackson’s own decade of learning. Included: a mastery self-assessment.

Helping Students Who Do Poorly on Purpose

Doing Poorly on Purpose by G&T specialist Dr. James Delisle explores how to help smart students who do poorly in school. Many of the ideas can be effective with any student, says teacher Elizabeth OBrien. Strategies include reaching underachievers and “selective customers.”

Four MTSS Strategies for the Middle Grades

An effective Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) throughout a school serves every student while it helps identify and support those with learning disabilities. To demonstrate, teacher educators Barbara Blackburn and Bradley Witzel share four instructional strategies.

Help Students Explain Their Ideas in Writing

Recently Sarah Tantillo worked with 8th grade teacher Bianca Licata to analyze students’ difficulty in effectively explaining how evidence supports arguments in their writing. After they identified causes and potential solutions, Licata tested their ideas in class.

Reciprocal Teaching for Improving Reading

Implement the elements of reciprocal teaching – predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing – using Lori Oczkus’s revised book on reading comprehension. ELA teacher Erin Corrigan-Smith likes the guidance in starting the scaffolded discussion method and more.