Seven Ways to Look at a Middle Grades Kid

There’s no better time than Thanksgiving to express our own affection for those great and goofy middle grades kids and the special community of educators who relish teaching them.

Here are seven of our favorite MiddleWeb posts highlighting the remarkable qualities of young adolescent students and ways we adults can best support them as they grow.


Jenn Gonzalez – Cult of Pedagogy

8 Things I Know for Sure about Middle School Kids
Middle school students are a unique breed, says educator and consultant Jennifer Gonzalez, and they need teachers who are tuned in to the intense dichotomies of adolescent life and learning. She offers teachers new to the middle level eight helpful tips.

5 Strategies for Teaching in the Tween Years
The developmental needs of tweens and young teens are unique, says popular professional development consultant Rick Wormeli, and flourishing as a middle grades teacher requires special skills. He offers five strategies tailored to young adolescent learners.

Here’s Why Middle School Rocks
After 20+ years of teaching, Cheryl Mizerny knows middle school is where she’s meant to be. In her first post at her MiddleWeb blog “It’s Not Easy Being Tween,” Mizerny shared six aspects of young adolescents that make middle-level teaching the toughest job she’s ever loved. (Also see her article “How to Become a Tween-Centered Teacher.”)


Student Voices: “5 Ways Teachers Can Help Us Do Our Best”
What do students in the middle grades most need from their teachers? The leaders of the non-profit What Kids Can Do have been listening to and gathering answers from middle schoolers nationwide. Here they share a collection of students’ comments highlighting five actions young adolescents wish teachers would take to help them.

How to Develop a Sense of Belonging in Students
When students feel they “belong” in school, they are more likely to thrive academically, socially and emotionally, says middle grades teacher educator Amanda Wall. In this in-depth article, Wall looks at the research around belonging and offers ideas and resources for schools and classrooms.

Crazy Love: 6 Reasons Why I Teach in the Middle
In her valentine “to those volatile adolescents and the educators who cherish them,” veteran middle level teacher Beth Morrow closes our collection with six good reasons to spend your days with “the wonderfully rough and resilient gems that are middle school students.”

5 Gleanings from My First Middle School Year
After a decade teaching third and fourth graders, Patti Grayson ventured into middle school this past year. She came away from her first year with fifth graders with several lessons in supporting her ever changing, super sensitive tweens.


MiddleWeb is all about the middle grades, with great 4-8 resources, book reviews, and guest posts by educators who support the success of young adolescents. And be sure to subscribe to MiddleWeb SmartBrief for the latest middle grades news & commentary from around the USA.

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