Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

5 Adaptable Activities to Really Engage Readers

In the new school year ELA teachers are looking for fresh ideas to encourage students to read closely and think deeply. Here are five adaptable activities from teacher-author and NBCT Marilyn Pryle to add to your toolbox and keep students creatively interacting with texts.

Helping Students with Mental Challenges

From the classroom to the whole school, Dr. Myles Cooley’s revised Practical Guide for Mental Health and Learning Disorders will help new and veteran educators understand specific student challenges and support kids affected by them, writes educator Elizabeth OBrien.

A Year of Literacy Lessons for Grades 3-5

Literacy Strong All Year Long: Powerful Lessons for Grades 3-5 is crammed with so many literacy ideas and resources that you will want to try each one, writes teacher educator Linda Biondi. She predicts that it will be a “go to” book for the rest of your teaching life.

Breaking Out of the White Teacher Bubble

Meaning well and teaching well are not the same – a painful truth that ELA teacher Dina Strasser’s exponential learning about race has helped her realize. She uses the story of her unit based on Gary Paulsen’s “Nightjohn” to underscore the difference between intent and impact.

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.