Category: Articles

Anchoring Readers in the Tides of Change

As teachers and students are tossed by the currents of Covid-19, Katie Durkin plans to anchor and then expand her 7th graders’ views of themselves as readers by puzzling out a reading identity, reflecting and planning for the horizon, and charting a path forward.

7 Skills Students Need for Distance Learning

Middle grades kids are returning to school from many different developmental places. Distance learning this fall will demand skills students will need to learn effectively but mostly don’t have yet. School leader Jody Passanisi shares strategies to build 7 essential skills.

Bring Geography to Life by Tracking Hurricanes

Nearly 20 years ago Jennifer Smith began having her fifth grade social studies students track hurricanes as part of their geography unit. Middle grades kids are excited to learn material that impacts their daily lives and spurs a sense of service and empathy for victims.

Launching a School Year in Uncertain Times

Amid the uncertainty facing teachers and principals this fall, Ronald Williamson and Barbara R. Blackburn offer strategies to keep the safety of students and staff uppermost, to communicate often with your school community, and to sustain your school’s culture.

Our Vulnerable Learners Need Our Best Supports

Every child wants to be successful, but school can be a tough place for vulnerable students. To pull them into the success loop requires both an understanding of their plight and a willingness to fully support them with targeted strategies, writes Suzy Pepper Rollins.

Our 21 Most Popular Pandemic Posts

We’ve collected our 16 most-read posts with pandemic themes, from March 15 through today. Each has thousands of visits, retweets and shares. Check out our summaries and explore – there’s plenty here to help with fall planning and teaching. And keep watching for more!

10 Actions That Put Student Writers First

How do we put our young writers first? We seek to develop a mindset and actions that provide opportunity, dignity, and encouragement, says literacy expert Regie Routman. Then we carefully tailor feedback that celebrates strengths and boosts each and every writer’s confidence.

When Should We Skip the Graphic Organizer?

When it’s time to analyze a fiction or nonfiction text, don’t let students coast through the lesson by simply filling in a graphic organizer. Author and teaching coach Sunday Cummins has ideas that will help learners think about text structures conceptually and flexibly.

A Graphic Tale: Remote Teaching with Mr. Fitz

David Lee Finkle teaches English and creative writing in a Florida public school. For 20 years in local newspapers and online, his comic strip Mr. Fitz has shared the realities of teaching and school life with humor, empathy and irony – as you’ll see in this selection of recent ‘pandemic strips’.