Category: Articles

Novels in Verse! The Why, Which and How

Novels in verse offer quicker reads with instant character connections, vivid imagery, pathways to complex issues, strong narratives, and much more. ELA teacher Kasey Short shares how to use them in class and introduces lots of titles for your middle graders.

Using Google Sheets to Track Student Data

Using Google Sheets is an efficient way to keep track of student data and meet other progress monitoring needs, writes NBCT Kathleen Palmieri. Once the initial set up is completed, you’ll find many uses for this quick data check that justify your time investment. Here’s how!

Learning Portraits Help Differentiate Teaching

Want to differentiate instruction while assuring rigor? Create a 3-D portrait of each of your students using a mix of formal and informal strategies. Teaching expert Barbara Blackburn has tips for gathering insights about background knowledge, culture, and growth mindset.

Combine Test Prep and Collaborative Thinking

This year Katie Durkin and her fellow ELA teachers will add a Question of the Day – built from state assessment stems – to their whole-class novel unit. As 7th graders discuss best answers they’ll learn to think collaboratively AND prep for mandated tests. See how it works!

Creating Rubrics That Foster Student Growth

Teacher and coach Stephanie Farley discovered through trial and refinement that a good rubric is “a tool to provide feedback to kids about their progress toward mastery of a learning target.” See her five backward planning steps and the resulting three-part writing rubric.

Formative Assessment Fuels Literacy Learning

Using formative assessment effectively is key to becoming a reflective practitioner who can adjust literacy instruction to meet students’ needs and interests, write Lynne Dorfman and Brenda Krupp, who share their ideas for “breathing life into reading and writing lessons.”

Leadership: Listening to Others in Volatile Times

Active listening is a key skill for school leaders, especially when faced with the need to mediate complex or volatile issues. Consultants Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn describe 5 barriers to effective listening and 10 tips to help every leader become more successful.

Black History Figures Inspire Math Classes

Middle grades teacher Mona Iehl wants students to be able to “see themselves in math “and be represented in the work they do together. Learn how she uses the images and words of Black Mathematicians to empower and inspire her classes to welcome and master math challenges.

15 of Our Most-Read Articles During 2021

Co-editors John Norton and Susan Curtis highlight 15 of MiddleWeb’s most popular posts for middle level educators during the past 12 months. You’ll find articles that were new in 2021 or rediscovered and shared widely in this second “weirdest year ever.”