Category: Articles

Reading Strategies in the Science Classroom

Using reading comprehension strategies in the content area helps students build background knowledge and academic skills. Tara Dale and Mandi White, authors of The Science Teacher’s Toolbox, share four techniques they use to help middle schoolers grasp informational text.

How You Can Support Genius Hour At Home

What is Genius Hour? It’s a learning opportunity that gives students time to pursue their passions, explore interesting ideas and create something that they choose and will be proud of. Can we engage students during the pandemic via distance learning? Yes! Here’s how.

Talking Frankly with Our Middle Grades Kids

Creating opportunities for frank and healthy student conversations about social issues is especially significant as we face a global pandemic that affirms our humanity. Middle grades teacher Nancy Costanzo’s read alouds and writing ideas can help online and in class.

Book-in-a-Bag Talks Let Kids Shine Online

Add dimension to student book talks with Lynne Dorfman’s version of the Book-in-a-Bag project. And it works online, as students introduce their books by sharing a paper bag covered in images they recreate from fiction or nonfiction and by pulling out representative objects.

Fresh Learning Designs for Uncertain Times

Design thinking allows students to own the knowledge they’re acquiring by connecting content in meaningful ways to their homes, the activities they engage in, their reasons for learning, their transformative life experiences, and their special attributes. Dr. Lindsay Portnoy explains.

Students’ Journals Could Be ‘Primary Sources’ (Updated)

The global pandemic “will be in the history books, won’t it?” Absolutely, 8th grade teacher Lauren Brown told her students. She’s devised a simple home assignment – students create a ‘primary source’ for future historians by jotting down their questions, concerns and observations. See her suggested prompts to get kids started.

Ensure Deep Learning as Virtual School Expands

Adjusting instruction to virtual learning can be a challenge, and it’s tempting to create easier lessons, says teaching expert Dr. Barbara Blackburn. But educators “need to ensure we hold students to standards that promote deeper learning, no matter the delivery system.”

How to Nurture a Passion for Reading Nonfiction

What can we do to encourage kids to choose nonfiction more frequently for personal enjoyment? Cate Gerard and Sunday Cummins share what Cate discovered when interviewing middle graders about their reading habits and recommend class and virtual strategies and resources.

Using Flipgrid & Edmodo with Google Classroom

As many of us find ourselves thrust into the realm of distance learning, PA TOY Marilyn Pryle details how she uses two online platforms, Edmodo and Flipgrid, for intellectual and social/emotional learning. “Any tool is only as effective as how it is put to use,” she reminds us.