Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Mentor Texts Can Help Kids Grasp Grammar

In The Elementary School Grammar Toolkit Sean Ruday shows how to use mentor texts as a tool to help kids connect with engaging material as they learn proper writing conventions. Teacher Kathie Palmieri says the book will enrich writing in the intermediate grades and beyond.

Teaching Faith-Based Holidays

Facing the ‘December Dilemma’ of how to include winter holidays in the instructional day? This MiddleWeb resource offers a multi-faceted look at religious and non-religious aspects of the season, legal issues, and some ideas for seasonal lesson planning.

Teach Your Students to ‘Explode’ Complex Text

Literacy specialist Sunday Cummins shares her “explode to explain” technique, using a Newsela story about shark-spotting aerial drones along the beaches of Australia. It’s one more tool to help students develop a skill set for understanding and retaining informational text.

Helping Kids Design Personal Reading Goals

This fall Katie Durkin’s middle schoolers developed a voluntary reading plan using a design thinking process. After modeling her own reading goals, she had students generate and pursue ‘prototype’ goals that helped them expand choice and voice in their reading practices.

Using Gradual Release in Remote Learning

For years teachers have used the gradual release model to shift ownership and responsibility by degrees from themselves to students. In a remote setting, gradual release is often even more important, as students need structure to learn. Barbara R. Blackburn shows how.

Keep Remote Learning Robust and Rigorous

Rigor in the Remote Learning Classroom is a valuable guide that will help teachers and schools reframe the conversation about remote teaching. The book’s tips and strategies can make a remote approach both robust and rigorous, writes middle school head Michael McLaughlin.