Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

5 Adaptable Activities to Really Engage Readers

In the new school year ELA teachers are looking for fresh ideas to encourage students to read closely and think deeply. Here are five adaptable activities from teacher-author and NBCT Marilyn Pryle to add to your toolbox and keep students creatively interacting with texts.

Math Play with Patterns and Relationships

Math educator and consultant Jerry Burkhart is back with more playful ideas for the mathematics classroom! Diagrams that show relationships between operations and numbers create engaging and meaningful opportunities for students to have fun exploring mathematical concepts. He offers lots of examples to get you and your students started.

Weaving SEL Into Our Classroom Questioning

Traditional questioning routines can send unintended messages to some students that they are not “smart” enough to engage in classroom conversations, writes author and teaching expert Jackie Walsh. Learn how to weave SEL-friendly questioning into your daily practice.

Summer School Eighth Graders Actually Liked!

Teachers at Pioneer Middle School were weary of their traditional one-size-fits-all summer school requiring every student to take the same classes. Learn how they’ve redesigned the program for eighth graders around specific skills that better prepare them for high school.

5 Things Every New Teacher Needs to Know

Over a career of teaching, mentoring and networking with novices, Barbara Blackburn has learned five key lessons about being a new teacher. Here she takes the butterflies churning in newbies’ insides and suggests ways to line them up in formation for a strong first year.

How a Spoonful of Sugar Helped Our Book Study

6th grade teacher Amanda Xavier was skeptical when colleague Rose Reissman suggested a Mary Poppins book study, but their multimedia approach was a hit. “If a very old fashioned nanny can bring smiles and make modern kids sit up in class and take note, I say, ‘Cheerio’!”

Why Teachers Need to Write with Students

Being a teacher who writes is the secret to being a successful teacher of writers! To help up your game, consultant and author Stacey Shubitz suggests ways to share your own writing in class with students and offers hints on how to develop and stimulate a personal writing habit.

All in One Place: Helping Kids Get Organized

In a few weeks, new middle schoolers will encounter challenges unlike any they’ve seen before: a half-dozen teachers making daily assignments, new afterschool choices, more homework. How’s a kid to keep track of it all? Always-organized Frank Buck suggests consolidation.

The 3 Things Our Middle Schoolers Need Most

With the start of a new school year approaching, how can we make sure our middle school students are getting the support they need for an academically and personally successful school year? School leader Rhonda Neal Waltman offers three effective strategies.