Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Middle Grades Writer

Middle graders are unique, often unpredictable writers who are thirsty to refine their own personal voice. To help them succeed, literacy consultant Patty McGee recommends offering adolescent writers individual feedback that is present, empathetic, and choice-filled.

Picture Book Biographies for the Middle Grades

What’s one of the most fun ways to introduce students to a new science concept, a historical era, or a math idea? A picture book biography! NBCT and media specialist Christina Dorr suggests tying them to standards, using them as read alouds, or for individual student motivation.

Newbies: Don’t Forget 7 Grading Essentials

Some aspects of grading, such as whether to grade homework, are individual choices for a teacher. But never lose sight, says expert Barbara Blackburn, of seven essential practices that determine whether grading will be fair and meaningful – or ultimately pointless.

Diverse Books Help Kids Discover Social Justice

When teachers choose literature that widens the lens on life, students discover how to reach beyond their experiences, reading between the lines, walking in others’ shoes, breaking down walls, and realizing they can act to affect the world, says teacher Bridget Suvansri.

A Helpful Guide to Coaching in Schools

John Campbell and Christian van Nieuwerburgh look at four broad areas of formal and informal coaching: student success and well-being, educational leadership, professional practice, and community engagement. A helpful, quick read, says teacher and mentor Alex Valencic.

12 Great Reads for the National Day of Writing

NCTE’s National Day on Writing (#WhyIWrite) is Friday, October 20. To help celebrate, we’ve pulled together a dozen of the many great posts about teaching writing that are freely available at MiddleWeb. You’ll find ideas, inspiration, and ready-to-use activities here.

Why Media Literacy Week Matters So Much

With slanted news, social media and “reality” TV ceaselessly attracting the attention of young people, literacy consultant Frank W. Baker underscores the importance of Media Literacy Week, urging all educators to teach students how to analyze media “as text.”

When Staying Nonpartisan Feels Just Too Difficult

Regardless of where educators land politically, it can sometimes feel like tiptoeing through a minefield to facilitate a balanced discussion of current events, writes teacher Sarah Cooper. Are there times when it’s appropriate for teachers to reveal their own views?

New Teachers: 3 Tools Help Manage Learning

As new teachers develop routines for their classrooms, Class Tech Tips founder Monica Burns says it’s important to plan how they will check for understanding each day to gather information and inform future instruction. She shares three simple class assessment tools.