As many of us find ourselves thrust into the realm of distance learning, PA TOY Marilyn Pryle outlines how she uses two online platforms, Edmodo and Flipgrid, for intellectual and social/emotional learning, since any tool is only as effective as how it is put to use.
For teachers to help students not only survive but also thrive through this frightening pandemic, we need to underscore both their and our fundamental need for kindness and gratitude. Author-educator Dr. Debbie Silver shares the science of anxiety and lots of options to help.
Middle school teacher and dean Bill Ivey shares the story of his 7th graders, gathering online for the first time. “So much going on around us is frighteningly uncertain. How we go about schooling right now is far more important than the what. Familiarity. Flexibility. Agency. Community.”
Middle schools and their students are special. By design 6-8 grade schools are intended to be communities, organized in houses or teams as the kids are exploring themselves and their world. All this helps in the leap to online school, says teacher Laurie Lichtenstein.
Leading Learning for ELL Students is a helpful resource for all school and district leaders looking to evaluate and strengthen their EL services. ESOL educator Jordan Walker-Reyes explains how EL teachers can also use the book to improve their programs.
Developing a schoolwide culture of reading, like any change initiative, takes commitment, leadership, collaboration, communication and consistency. Literacy leaders Laura and Evan Robb describe a model middle school that is “full of reading” and share 10 starter ideas.
Mary Tedrow shows how to cultivate students’ individual relationships with writing using a low stakes approach called a Daybook – a safe, authentic space for students to write and think that can feed into other disciplines and writing genres. Ariel Sacks calls it her “new top resource.”
Math teacher Robert Kaplinsky wanted his students debating about the best way to solve a problem, using strategic thinking and not just the formula. He also wanted to know when students had misconceptions so he could reshape his lessons. His solution? Open Middle Math.
In Between the Commas 6th grade teacher Jeny Randall is delighted to have found a new mentor in writing instruction who emphasizes a sentence construction framework. She looks forward to growing even more as a writing teacher thanks to Martin Brandt’s “irreverent wisdom.”
The Drama Book a great resource for introducing drama into the ELA classroom, especially for inexperienced teachers who are unsure how to best tackle it. It offers practical teaching advice and amazing lesson plans, writes middle school teacher Erin Corrigan-Smith.