Taylor Swift is back on stage with her 2023 New Eras tour, rekindling the fervor of her school-aged fans. You can bring Tay Tay to ELA class with ideas from Patty McGee: selecting TS songs to understand a fictional character, analyzing her lyrics in several formats, and more.
In Jay Wamsted’s 8th grade math class he chooses to go right for the conversation on race and culture when the opportunity arises. “After all, why not try to know each other a little better?” Learning happens, he says, when students and teacher can be authentic with each other.
If educators are serious about teaching critical skills and serving the whole child, they need to get serious about SEL education and “make it a core and central organizing principle for middle school programs,” writes teacher, principal and leadership mentor Jason Ablin.
Kasey Short shows how nontraditional fantasy books can be used to address difficult topics, provide real world commentary, counter stereotypes, allow students to see kids that look like them as heroes, and inspire new ways of thinking and imagining. Lots of titles included!
The flash fiction format is engaging, appealing, and motivating to students and to teachers, precisely because of its brevity, accessibility, and manageability, writes teacher/author Linda Rief. “For the first time I am finding joy in hearing and reading my students’ fiction.”
Leadership consultants Ronald Williamson and Barbara R. Blackburn identify the essentials in shaping a school’s reputation and suggest ways the principal, teachers and staff can assure their school has a positive image among students and families and in the community at large.
“Ultimately book talk videos recorded by peers are beneficial if we want to inspire middle grades reluctant readers. They need to witness peers having fun with books. It nurtures the idea that reading is worth a try.” School librarian Kristen Day shares how her “EGGs” are doing it.
Incorporating the odd and unusual into everyday instruction can capture students’ attention. And middle graders do enjoy knowing something bizarre! Anne Anderson shares calendar celebrations (Artichoke Day?) from March, April and May to surprise them. Teaching ideas included.
5th grade teacher Kathie Palmieri has been exploring ways to better infuse mathematics in other subject areas and help students gain a more positive attitude about math’s central place in their lives. She shares some ideas about SEL and two examples from her science lessons.
“In my classroom, sticky notes earn top honors for Best Multipurpose Teaching Tool,” writes literacy teacher Kelly Owens. She displays 15 ways to use the tacky squares to chunk large tasks into manageable clusters and empower students to contemplate, coordinate, and connect.