Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

25 of Our Best Posts for New MS Teachers

For well over a decade MiddleWeb has shared helpful ideas for new middle grades and MS teachers. In this post we’ve selected recent articles along with several classics and book reviews that might be MOST useful before and during your first months in the classroom.

Teaching Our Students How to Be Text-Savvy

When Marilyn Pryle wondered whether her students were reading critically in real life, outside of school, she developed five questions for them to answer, whether they were consuming a book, video, post, article, or show. Here she shares her first question: What am I reading?

Challenging Harmful Beliefs in Math Class

To move toward equitable mathematics education, Dr. Lidia Gonzalez shows how math teachers can help students see beyond harmful beliefs by answering 3 questions: “What is mathematics?”, “What does it mean to be good at math?” and “How do we see our math development over time?”

Differentiate with the Station Rotation Model

Rotation stations can help differentiate instruction as teachers prepare middle graders for an upcoming unit or topic or support re-teaching and enrichment after completing a unit of study. Dr. Laura Robb details one teacher’s strategies in an ELA classroom with 28 students.

9 Habit-Stacking Tips for Low-Key Summer Prep

You need your break! Don’t fill your summer ruminating endlessly about lessons and classes to come. Instead try the “habit stacking” strategy and prepare for the next school year without getting mired in the weeds. Teacher and coach Miriam Plotinsky shares nine possibilities.

Using Active Learning with Middle Schoolers

When asked to help implement health/biology curriculum, the authors decided to focus on active learning strategies that succeeded in exciting and engaging the adolescent girls in their classes. They conclude that well-designed hands-on learning is worth the extra time and effort.

Teaching Perspective with “Lord of the Flies”

Lord of the Flies by William Golding remains a riveting, relevant book for middle school because of its themes of survival, power, and leadership. Laurie Hornik’s PBL unit also teaches students to appreciate and practice multiple perspectives and be open to changing their minds.

Picture Books Support Summertime Learning

Summer offers time for middle schoolers to select books they’ll enjoy. Media literacy facilitator Jennifer Sniadecki sees a role for picture books to engage them. Diving into several genres, she describes books that will catch their attention. Spiders and memory jars, anyone?

“I Can’t Hear You with All of Your Talking”

Educators tend to fill every moment with our voices, writes teaching coach Patty McGee. Yet the most powerful learning can happen when we are silent, making room for student-to-student communication, customized feedback, and a trusted space for students to reveal what they know.