Co-editors John Norton and Susan Curtis highlight 15 of MiddleWeb’s most popular posts for middle level educators during the past 12 months. You’ll find articles that were new in 2021 or rediscovered and shared widely in this second “weirdest year ever.”
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MiddleWeb is filled to the brim with resources and helpful ideas that new middle grades teachers will find valuable. We’ve selected 25+ articles that might be especially useful to newbies before (and after) they greet their students at the classroom door for the first time.
Even if we don’t yet teach in a grade-less utopia, there are steps teachers can take to become more accurate and equitable in our grading policies. Cheryl Mizerny shares steps toward fairer grading: eliminate zeroes, avoid extra points, don’t grade homework, and more.
There’s lots to know about the art of assessment, writes master teacher Cheryl Mizerny, but the main goal is to provide opportunities for all kids to show their understanding to the best of their ability. Her before, during, and after assessment tips can make things fair.
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.
Formative assessment can be fun. Yes, FUN, writes teacher Cheryl Mizerny. How to turn all those frequent checks for understanding into activities students can enjoy? Cheryl shares her go-to’s, both tech enhanced and tech free. Why not give Incredible Shrinking Text a try?
Like many faculties, teachers at Jeremy Hyler’s middle school have struggled to find a workable grading policy that addresses late work and takes into account grade levels, content areas, and differing philosophies. Hyler wants to encourage learners, but what about rigor?
Rubrics should clarify both teacher and student thinking, writes classroom assessment expert Rick Wormeli. They can help mentor students as they analyze and reflect on their work, but there are cautions in their use that effective teachers will take time to investigate.
Each year Cheryl Mizerny looks forward to exploring her options for summertime learning. As you relax, reflect and look ahead to a new school year, try out some of her ideas for do-it-yourself professional development. They run the gamut from PJ’s to PD with Friends.
In the 2nd edition of Fair Isn’t Always Equal Rick Wormeli employs patience and innovation along with multiple examples across disciplines and grade levels to explain how assessment works in differentiated classrooms, writes teacher Jennifer Randall. Essential reading!