MiddleWeb is all about middle school & the middle grades — with a sharp focus on teaching and learning in grades 4-8. Join us, learn about our 5 streams of content, and find out how to get involved.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Why is NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s “never-fail” Character Sketch activity so effective? Because it asks students to use the people in their own lives as inspiration – a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Pryle provides the teacher’s script, complete with student prompts.
Storytelling – speaking, writing, hearing, and appreciating our own and other’s stories – can be an equalizer for ensuring all students’ lives are respected, honored, and recorded, writes Literacy Essentials author Regie Routman. Learn about her new podcast series.
At its best, annotation starts a dialogue between our English and History students and thoughtful writers past and present. But that doesn’t mean adolescents are eager to do it. Sarah Cooper shares ideas and online resources to make the process a true learning experience.
Having the ability to choose our own focus makes people, on average, five times more committed to the outcome. The classroom implications are clear, says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “If students are more invested in their work, they are more likely to learn.”
In The Right Tools Towanda Harris has created a system to review the literacy materials at a teacher’s disposal to decide which are strongest and weakest. She also includes strategies for finding fresh resources that better match student needs, says Erin Corrigan-Smith.
Not only is Mindfulness in the PreK-5 Classroom packed with research-based activities and anecdotes any educator will relate to, it will leave you inspired to bring mindfulness into your own life and your students’ lives, writes a calmer and more focused Linda Biondi.
Writing for authentic audiences motivates students to do their best work, says English department chair Kasey Short. Public audiences offer a practical reason to revise and edit and allow students’ ideas to have real impact. See her tips to transform routine assignments.
There is an incredible amount of inspirational “stuff” going on in the world of middle school, and it’s ours for the taking, writes teacher Laurie Lichtenstein, after her first experience participating in an AMLE national conference. Now, if they just had fast passes!
This year Mary Tarashuk is adding standards-based report cards to her self-contained class of 4th graders. Holding on to John Dewey’s insight about the goal of education, she’ll meet the new challenge with cross-curricular units, student work archives, and pragmatism.
Unlike quick teacher check-ins, teaching conferences allow for a deep conversation with a student in just 5 or 6 minutes. And they’re not just for ELA teachers and balanced literacy. Katie McGrath shares step by step conferring tips to target learning in any content area.