Taking time to refresh your classroom space, renew positive relationships and reinforce routines you established in the fall is time well-spent the first week back in January. Consultant Stacey Shubitz also recommends getting a head start on 2020 with some December prep.
Guest posts by expert educators
It’s hard to strike a balance between nurturing a middle schooler and fostering independence, but they need both from adults in their lives as they toggle between childhood and adolescence. Author and middle school counselor Phyllis Fagell shares 10 ways we can help.
Why is NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s “never-fail” Character Sketch activity so effective? Because it asks students to use the people in their own lives as inspiration – a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Pryle provides the teacher’s script, complete with student prompts.
Storytelling – speaking, writing, hearing, and appreciating our own and other’s stories – can be an equalizer for ensuring all students’ lives are respected, honored, and recorded, writes Literacy Essentials author Regie Routman. Learn about her new podcast series.
Having the ability to choose our own focus makes people, on average, five times more committed to the outcome. The classroom implications are clear, says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “If students are more invested in their work, they are more likely to learn.”
Writing for authentic audiences motivates students to do their best work, says English department chair Kasey Short. Public audiences offer a practical reason to revise and edit and allow students’ ideas to have real impact. See her tips to transform routine assignments.
There is an incredible amount of inspirational “stuff” going on in the world of middle school, and it’s ours for the taking, writes teacher Laurie Lichtenstein, after her first experience participating in an AMLE national conference. Now, if they just had fast passes!
Unlike quick teacher check-ins, teaching conferences allow for a deep conversation with a student in just 5 or 6 minutes. And they’re not just for ELA teachers and balanced literacy. Katie McGrath shares step by step conferring tips to target learning in any content area.
When MA principal Liz Garden brought together girls experiencing fifth grade girl drama, her students were excited to have time to share their thoughts and feelings. That first session grew into a book group centering on girls building confidence. Girls want to be heard!
Frequent high-quality class conversations make a huge difference in how far middle grades students advance academically, socially and emotionally, writes author and teaching coach Jeff Zwiers. Learn about five skills that can help students build ideas through dialogue.