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Teaching Faith-Based Winter 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.

Teaching YA Novels with Multiple Perspectives

Kasey Short recommends offering middle schoolers YA novels with multiple narrators as a way to enrich opportunities for content instruction and SEL. They’re also really engaging and fun for kids to read. Included: sample questions and activities and lots of suggested titles.

How Your Students Can Create TED-Style Talks

Lauren Buell’s 8th grade ELA team works with students on a comprehensive unit that helps all participants develop speaking, listening, writing, reading and life skills as they prepare end-of-year TED-style talks. She shares the unit’s impact once students enter high school.

Handling Tragedy and Crisis in the Classroom

Prior to 9/11, Barbara Blackburn’s first choice when crisis and tragedy impacted the classroom was to allow an open discussion. After an inappropriate statement by a student shut down communication, she began to develop more tractable writing strategies, which she shares here.

Seeing and Celebrating Each Learner’s Gifts

Once teachers see, value, and capitalize on a learner’s unique talents and strengths, it changes the student and it changes us, writes Regie Routman. “Possibilities override limitations. Pride of accomplishment replaces failure. Effort leads to excellence. Joy is present, the best gift of all.”

Barricade Yourself from Burnout Starting Now

Where there are challenges, there are also opportunities for creativity, novelty, and adventure to put a barricade between us and burnout. Stephanie Farley offers strategies to help teachers avoid or at least soften the sense of emotional exhaustion that leads to collapse.