Author: MiddleWeb

Want Kids to Read More? Give Them Time!

Kids in the middle need independent reading time too, writes author Lynne Dorfman. Time to read a book they have chosen, time to practice skills and strategies, time to talk about books and reading with their teacher and friends. Time to be immersed in the joy of reading.

Is “Engagement” Enough in the New Normal?

The 2016 Gallup Poll of Students asked nearly a million tweens and teens in grades 5-12 about engagement in learning. The results were not encouraging, writes author Patti Drapeau. Teachers need to move beyond the “what” of engagement to focus on the “why.”

Use Elevator Pitches to Explore Critical Issues

Students need to explore critical questions about topics relevant to their lives, writes Kasey Short. In the past she’s organized debates, but hybrid teaching prompted her to try ‘elevator pitches.’ Kids enjoyed researching issues, doing bias checks and creating short videos.

Key Insights for New and Aspiring School Leaders

Navigating the Principalship offers real insight into a principal’s work, spending equal time on the rewards and challenges of the job. Teacher leader and aspiring principal Michael DiClemente says new and soon-to-be school leaders will benefit from the book’s many profiles.

Student Trauma in 2020 and How We Can Help

2020 has been traumatic for students. A global pandemic, social unrest, and economic hardship have all impacted their well-being. For adolescents, writes school counselor Stephanie Filio, there is also no reprieve from the emotional clutter of growing up. Here’s her advice.

Mentor Texts Can Help Kids Grasp Grammar

In The Elementary School Grammar Toolkit Sean Ruday shows how to use mentor texts as a tool to help kids connect with engaging material as they learn proper writing conventions. Teacher Kathie Palmieri says the book will enrich writing in the intermediate grades and beyond.

Teach Your Students to ‘Explode’ Complex Text

Literacy specialist Sunday Cummins shares her “explode to explain” technique, using a Newsela story about shark-spotting aerial drones along the beaches of Australia. It’s one more tool to help students develop a skill set for understanding and retaining informational text.

Helping Kids Design Personal Reading Goals

This fall Katie Durkin’s middle schoolers developed a voluntary reading plan using a design thinking process. After modeling her own reading goals, she had students generate and pursue ‘prototype’ goals that helped them expand choice and voice in their reading practices.

Using Gradual Release in Remote Learning

For years teachers have used the gradual release model to shift ownership and responsibility by degrees from themselves to students. In a remote setting, gradual release is often even more important, as students need structure to learn. Barbara R. Blackburn shows how.