Intentionally introducing humor, curiosity, enthusiasm, and optimism into each class is a low-tech, high-impact method to build resilience and attention. Stephanie Farley shares ways she’s engaged middle schoolers with elements like (live!) rolling mice and kid-made symbols.
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To make sure that kids, teachers, and families have what they need to be successful and joyful, Stephanie Farley details how assistant principals can show up, listen deeply, and chill out. To start, spend time with students during lunch and find ways to do some teaching.
Choice in reading is about student autonomy and motivation. It’s especially effective with kids who don’t like to read. Stephanie Farley’s well-honed system lets 8th graders read any text they choose AND meets standards – even though they never all read the same book.
When Stephanie Farley coaxes her students into a good frame of mind – happy, relaxed, confident – they learn more, just as positivity research predicts. Join her as she shares 10 joy-inducing methods – including dogs – and suggests ways to reach across content.
What’s waiting for you on the other side of the door? Lots of excitement, a few nervous moments, and faces filled with questions. Welcome back! We’ve rounded up lots of useful resources for your first days.
By putting strong relationships at the fore, you can cultivate an environment in which each of your students can grow. Through her many years in the classroom Stephanie Farley has hit upon keys to encourage kids to thrive. At the center – kindness and getting to know each one.
For much of her career, middle level teacher Stephanie Farley felt confounded when students “told me they didn’t understand where their grades came from.” Then her principal set her on a path of discovery that’s led to competency based learning and students eagerly self-grading.
Teacher and coach Stephanie Farley discovered through trial and refinement that a good rubric is “a tool to provide feedback to kids about their progress toward mastery of a learning target.” See her five backward planning steps and the resulting three-part writing rubric.