In Part 2 of a series on using picture books in middle school, Jennifer Sniadecki and Jason DeHart focus on “the simple power” of stories with minimal text to set the stage for lessons, provide background knowledge, and make efficient use of daily class time. Example: Eva Bunting’s Terrible Things.
We enjoy publishing MiddleWeb articles that team a school-based teacher and a school-focused author/consultant who share classroom strategies they’ve been developing together. We’ve chosen 10 examples from our trove of guest articles to showcase the power of these team-ups.
“I used to think clever lessons would show students how much I cared,” writes sixth grade teacher Kelly Owens. But she’s come to understand that “If you want to fully engage and motivate students to delve into your innovative instruction, get going first with a greeting!”
Students at ages 9-13 still want to hear their teachers read aloud, want to sit on the rug, want to engage in stories. Jennifer Sniadecki and Jason DeHart share evidence that picture books are also an effective way to teach figurative language and other ELA standards.
How can we keep a positive school climate and culture during remote learning? Chris Edwards, the 7th grade assistant principal at Kreps Middle School, created a grade-wide Google Classroom for students and teachers and staged weekly competitions best described as crazy and fun. It worked!
To support math students’ different levels of progress learning methods, talents, and interests, Bobson Wong and Larisa Bukalov fit tiered lessons into the familiar framework of whole-group introductory discussion, guided practice, and whole-group summary. See how it works!
Looking ahead to the new school year, it’s critical that school leaders have comprehensive plans ready for implementation if more large-scale remote learning is required. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn underscore the need to fully involve parents and teachers in the process.
The experience of students and teachers doing whole class and small group work online underscores the need to emphasize speaking and listening skills now and for the future, writes principal Matt Renwick. He shares his school’s low-key, standards-friendly teaching ideas.
The future may be uncertain but the mental health of our students shouldn’t be. Teacher, author and mentor Cathleen Beachboard describes how – through a focus on communication, consistency and control – educators can begin to help young people regain their sense of safety.
When your students read, view, and listen to multiple sources on a topic or issue, do they tackle each source in a silo? Martha Polley and Sunday Cummins share Martha’s dive into helping students think across history sources, synthesizing to deepen their understanding.