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Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Jason DeHart knows the unique characteristics of visual literature can grab kids’ attention. He shares ideas from his research and middle school teaching experience about using comics and graphic novels in the classroom – and includes lots of winning titles for grades 4-8.
English learners achieve more when we let them use all of their languages to understand and retain what they’re taught in subject-area classes. Teacher Tan Huynh shares Dr. Gini Rojas’s insights about the power of translanguaging and how mono-linguistic teachers put it to use.
Differentiating Instruction with Menus: Literature (3-5) provides a variety of excellent activities to involve students in thoughtful and purposeful engagement with and response to texts. Some teachers may wish to substitute more diverse texts, writes Sarah Pennington.
For five years Marilyn Pryle has begun every class with 10 minutes of choice reading, inside a Book Club model. Would in work in a hybrid classroom? Yes! Her experience this year “reinforces the truths I already know.” Students want to read. Escaping into a story feels good.
Many media literacy initiatives start with skills – teaching kids to fact-check and dig for information. Instead, Angela Kohnen and Wendy Saul urge us to guide students as they assume the identity of Generalist – “sifters” who are curious, skeptical, accurate and persistent.
On her first day back Michelle Russell surveyed her students, looking for ways to improve her online teaching and – most of all – to find out how they’re doing in these difficult times. Some of their answers surprised her, and she’ll be more aware and proactive going forward.
Borrowing books from class and school libraries is less common during the pandemic. Kathie Palmieri encourages her students to read using a Bitmoji Virtual Classroom Library, Virtual Book Tasting Rooms, Flipgrid, and Mentimeter. How-to tips and book sources included!
This year the complex and demanding job of a school principal has become even more difficult and challenging. In her book Principal Reboot Jen Schwanke shares ways you can “relax, rediscover, and revive” your success as a principal, writes retired principal Frank Hagen.
Purposeful gaming is a natural complement to learning, writes award-winning middle school history teacher Jennifer Ingold. She shares one of her creations – American Modernization Monopoly – in this fully illustrated “why and how” post, complete with SEL and assessment notes.
For teacher Tan Huynh, nothing is more powerful than having students fall in love with reading. He shares ways to nurture readers, garnered from his podcast chat with Book Love author Penny Kittle. Start with self-selected books and in-class reading, guided by conferencing.