When Brent Gilson began teacher training he vowed to one day give his students more choice and voice than he ever had in school. Follow his journey from early experiments to his growing success, thanks to insights gained from mentors like Kylene Beers, Kelly Gallagher and Marisa Thompson.
Guest posts by expert educators
School in Spring. Freedom so close you can taste the poolside popsicles. Teachers open windows for a waft of fresh air. Sunny dispositions abound. Students squirm but they learn. Except, writes teacher Laurie Lichtenstein with weary humor, this is MIDDLE school. In Spring.
Good questioning helps students build understanding, but poor questioning can deter students from learning. How can you create great questions? Teaching expert and author Barbara Blackburn shares four strategies to involve students daily in effective class discussions.
Low expectations and inequitable classrooms persist in many of America’s public schools, writes Regie Routman, author of Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellence and Equity for All Learners. Here’s what Routman believes educators must do to address this moral dilemma.
If you are a beginning teacher, wondering about time, survival guide author Julia Thompson has created a collection of quick tips that can help you maximize every minute at school, minimize the time you spend working at home, and keep from sabotaging your own strategies.
Math students who prefer competition do a good job of creating it for themselves, writes author-educator Jerry Burkhart. On the other hand, kids who prefer collaboration and reflection need teachers to create an environment that supports their mathematical learning.
What if students could find a way to overcome their fear of speaking, learn storytelling, and become more confident public speakers? Teaching these skills to middle graders using stand up comedy can lay the groundwork for greater success, writes actor-educator Kevin Flynn.
Novels about school are rare and often feature a lone heroic teacher defying the odds. Instead, NBCT Roxanna Elden’s fictional account of life at a struggling urban Texas school – “Adequate Yearly Progress” – is funny, often moving, and always authentic. Read Chapter 2.
Rather than approaching differentiation as “making it easier” for some, Barbara Blackburn suggests a strategy that assures lessons will be rigorous while also giving struggling students the supports they need. Her example involves an informational reading lesson.
Marilee Sprenger shares the “break-up letter” she read to her middle school students to help them become aware of their emotions and find strategies that will work for them and their individual experiences. She includes follow-up activities to build SEL skills for all.