Author: MiddleWeb

A Guide to Creating an Inquiry Classroom

The second edition of John F. Barell’s “Why Are School Buses Always Yellow?” shows teachers how they can inspire young minds to think beyond the text, to ask questions and to wonder, achieving inquiry learning while meeting standards, says reviewer Linda Biondi.

A 90-Day Plan for Coaching New Teachers

Bambrick-Santoyo’s Get Better Faster offers a convincing argument and a comprehensive program for developing new teachers. Retired principal and teacher educator Mary Langer Thompson finds the 90-day plan sensible, fast paced, demanding, and dense with resources.

A Sentence-Composing Approach to Nonfiction

Those eager to share “pristine” nonfiction text with students may appreciate the Kilgallon’s mentor sentence choices, which cross genres, topics, and cultures. But ELA teacher Amy Estersohn finds their workbook approach at odds with her workshop vision of teaching.

Problem-based Science for the Common Good

Problem-based Science encourages students to develop a love of scientific thinking, math, and the creative use of technology as they learn through invention, design thinking, fixing and tinkering. Teacher-author Christa Flores demonstrates her hands-on PbS model.

Energizing Ideas for a Flexible ELA Classroom

Ariel Sacks says teachers who read The Flexible ELA Classroom will get to know “an enthusiastic, skilled teacher” effectively applying “many of the best current teaching trends.” Amber Chandler’s practical, student centered ideas include flexible differentiation, PBL infusion, family involvement and more.

Learning Life Science with Picture Books

Bring exploration, fact-gathering and deduction to grades 3-5 life science classes with Stewart and Chesley’s “Perfect Pairs.” Full of standards-based lessons aligned to fiction/nonfiction picture books. Literacy coach Pam Hamilton eager to share it with teachers.

Media Literacy: Learning from the Oscars

It’s Oscar season and media literacy consultant Frank W. Baker has ideas about leveraging student interest in movies to teach visual literacy skills and learn about cool careers. Lots of resources, including teacher tools at the Oscars website.

Are We Covering or Are Students Discovering?

Rather than “covering” a curriculum with instruction that’s driven by the chapters in a textbook, Diana Fenton and Nancy Van Erp advocate student centered standards-based lesson planning, relying on frameworks like Understanding by Design and concept-based teaching.