Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Our Students Need a New Definition of Writing

The narrow “alphabetic” definition of writing found in many school classrooms actively disengages youth, says literacy author Shawna Coppola. Students simply prefer to compose using forms that incorporate visual, aural, and multimodal texts as a way to make or enhance meaning.

How School Leaders Can Handle Decision Fatigue

We lead busy lives and even the best leaders and the most astute decision makers are subject to “decision fatigue.” Author-educators Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn believe it is imperative for school leaders to “adopt strategies to minimize its negative impact.”

The Next Step in Making Word Study a Breeze

The Next Step Forward in Word Study and Phonics offers resources that will convince even the most skeptical that word study can be done quickly if done intentionally. Teacher Michelle Voelker likes the lessons targeting multiple reading levels and the many how-to videos.

Decolonizing My List of YA Speculative Fiction

Where were the authors of color in Dina Strasser’s recent recommended list of speculative fiction for YA readers? Dina revisits her December post and considers why she overlooked women of color. Her commitment to being more inclusive includes new titles and future reviews.

Effective School Leaders Are Guided By Values

To be the education leaders our society needs, operational expertise and pedagogical know-how are necessary but not enough, says author and mentor principal Toni Faddis. It’s by walking our ethical line and adhering to core values that we’ll achieve our school missions.

Conferring Moves That Help Readers Open Up

To better understand what readers are thinking, Gravity Goldberg and Renée Houser urge teachers to reflect on current conferring questions, collaborate with colleagues on deeper questions that align with goals, and allow their teacher curiosity to help guide the conference.

Black History All Year Long

African Americans faced severe repression when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926. In this updated MiddleWeb resource, we share links that trace the impact of African Americans in politics, the arts and sciences, and take a look at the future of Black History Month.