Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

MiddleWeb’s Most-Read Posts of 2019 (So Far)

Browse our top 10 posts since January 1. Topics include fair grading, dyslexia, teaching ELLs academic vocabulary, connecting with students, teacher buy-in, and SEL for MS’ers. Plus, practical tips on quick-writes, class starters, and “helping students remember stuff.”

7 Ways Our Data Buy-in Builds School Capacity

While the leaders of Algonquin Middle School do not claim to be “on the cutting edge of utilizing data in every aspect of our school’s program,” AMS teachers and staff are making headway with seven action steps that are benefiting students, says principal Rob Messia.

How Leaders Develop Stakeholder Ownership

Efforts to improve your school will only be successful with widespread support and ownership. This means involving all stakeholders: teachers, staff, families, and community voices. Leadership consultants Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer some helpful guidelines.

Spelling Matters in Middle School, Too

Want to help middle school students improve their reading skills? Mark Weakland suggests providing direct and explicit spelling instruction. Emphasizing syllables – roots and affixes – offers lots of building blocks for students. Weakland includes differentiation tips and activity ideas.

Some Lessons I Learned as a First Year Admin

Teaching and instructional coaching weren’t all the prep DeAnna Miller needed when she signed on as a new middle school assistant principal last fall. A year later she looks back at the challenges she faced and the solutions she discovered as she preps for another year.

How 31 Blog Posts Are Changing My Practice

Raised in rural Alberta, Canada, Brent Gilson set out to broaden his understanding of racial and cultural diversity, both to improve his teaching and to raise awareness among his mostly white middle grades students. Taking part in the #31DaysIBPOC Twitter project has been a revelation.

Writing Teachers Are Coaches, Not Umpires

Umpires focus on the correctness of the game. Coaches concentrate on the growth of their players. Teacher Courtney Rejent and consultant Patty McGee show how to shift the focus from correcting writing to helping students develop good writing strategies through coaching.

7 Time-Saving Ways to Balance Teaching Tasks

Is it ever possible to do everything needed to be a consistently effective teacher? Look over Barbara Blackburn’s strategies to develop circumstances where you can thrive: avoid perfectionism, try incremental change, peruse helpful time management resources, and more.