Category: Articles

How Classroom Circles Help Us Build Community

The life skills students learn in our classes prepare them to thrive in the real world. Middle grades teacher Laleh Ghotbi shares some lessons from her effort to use weekly community-building circles in her classroom to help students learn to respect their differences and focus on common values.

What Kids Gain When We Don’t ‘Teach’ Books

Choice in reading is about student autonomy and motivation. It’s especially effective with kids who don’t like to read. Stephanie Farley’s well-honed system lets 8th graders read any text they choose AND meets standards – even though they never all read the same book.

What Changes Kids’ Minds about Poetry?

To guide middle grades students into paying more attention to poetry – and reconsidering their often negative attitudes about reading and writing poems – author and teacher Linda Rief suggests kids create heart books, do quickwrites and illustrate lines of their own work.

How We Pumped Up Our Math Vocabulary Study

While logic and skill are two important elements in advancing math knowledge, students also need to be immersed in the language of math to succeed. Kathleen Palmieri brainstormed with her fifth graders to develop fun strategies that help them understand and apply math terms.

A Fresh Look at First Aid for Teacher Burnout

While coping strategies can help those facing burnout, teaching careers are more sustainable when educators also slash workload and stress-inducers. Jenny Grant Rankin looks at the burnout pandemic and urges teachers to reduce grading and focus on planning quality lessons.

6 Ways to Help Students Master Media Fluency

As disinformation proliferates, schools need a better solution than perfunctory media literacy education, say these digital citizenship advocates. When students achieve full “media fluency,” they will not only understand disinformation exists but have the tools to outflank it.