Before middle school students can become lovers of stories and savvy assessors of fake news and false claims, they must be creative readers who comprehend texts at high levels and empathize with characters and people, says literacy expert and advocate Laura Robb.
Some teaching practices help strengthen students’ self-efficacy, motivation and confidence, while others create learned helplessness. Author-consultant Sarah Tantillo identifies 17 common teaching actions that lead to student inertia and offers better alternatives.
As news organizations are increasingly folded into fewer and fewer media conglomerates, writes media literacy expert Frank Baker, their independence is left in doubt. He urges teachers to involve students in studies of “Big Media” as part of their civic education.
Christopher Danielson used to hate teaching geometry. Now he sees it as a playground of mathematical ideas for middle schoolers, with opportunities for exploration, wonder, and smart conversations. Here Danielson shares ideas and images teachers can use to begin the fun.
No school or district is immune from a future defined by declining resources. Leadership consultants Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn share four research-based strategies to help educators make the most of a challenging financial climate and serve all kids.
Middle schoolers are “notorious sponges” who soak up the emotional energy around them, says teacher Elyse Scott. In the wake of a divisive election, she recommends an activity that can help kids build collaborative skills, empathy and acceptance of other viewpoints.
Toy commercials, so pervasive on TV during the holidays, are a great way to jump-start media literacy discussions with students. Expert Frank Baker has lesson ideas.
Given social media’s popularity as a news source, consultant Frank Baker says students must gain both the knowledge and the analytical skills to distinguish fact from fiction. Baker highlights the pervasive rise of fake news and shares teaching resources.
We love to share writing about student writing! Here, in no particular order, are 10 of our readers’ favorite articles. You’ll find a range of posts by teachers, authors and writing coaches. And there’s a bonus for teachers who love to help students fuse words and images.
Using evidence to support arguments is challenging for many young writers. As Sarah Tantillo continues her search for ways to teach this critical skill, she shares a tool to help students distinguish between perfect and imperfect evidence and learn to use both.