Using observer-centered Instructional Rounds, teachers at Mrachek Middle School in Aurora CO are focused on finding the personalized methods to engage every student equitably and effectively. After two years, the effort is producing solid results and some epiphanies.
If bibliotherapy is an effective way to ease the growing pains of adolescents, writes 7th grade teacher Laurie Lichtenstein, The Outsiders is “the gold standard of therapy in middle grades literature.” It’s the only whole class novel she teaches each year.
Students’ teaching and learning recently came together in Allison Fink’s health classes. Working in groups to decide lesson goal, content and presentation, her students also helped develop rubrics and reflected on their work. A project for your classroom?
What’s one of the best things a school day can offer? Exposure to newly learned words – provided that exposure is in context, well-timed, multisensory, and question-based. Literacy expert Amy Benjamin suggests five ways to achieve these “durable learning” goals.
Frank Buck remembers the joy of playing the Tonette with 4th grade classmates. Today, any teacher with access to a set of iPads and a free app can introduce all students to elements of music, enjoy the kids’ hands-on sound experiments, and build engagement and a more vibrant classroom culture.
Explaining that middle school is “the unspoken linchpin in establishing a positive trajectory for career and college success,” Principal Robert Messia shares eight tested strategies for helping students understand and begin to prepare for the possibilities ahead.
MS librarian Rachel Grover’s favorite role is instructional partner, working with teachers across disciplines to extend and enhance the curriculum. Using examples from her practice, Grover describes how skilled librarians can boost student (and teacher) learning.
Teachers have lots of justifiable reasons to complain about their jobs, says author-educator Jenny Rankin. But “loving your work and experiencing peace and success on a daily basis are certainly within your reach.” Attitude isn’t everything, she says, but it helps to avoid toxic thinking.
Consultant Jen Serravallo often hears teachers say they’re uncomfortable teaching writing. Her solution: promote student engagement and independence. As kids become more excited, she says, “that enthusiasm will spill over to you.” Here are five ideas to get started.
Tracking progress toward a larger goal helps us build a sense of achievement and the courage to keep going. “That’s the same cycle you want to build in your students,” says Barbara Blackburn, who shares ways to help kids see their growth and recall their victories.