Category: Articles

10 Ways to Build the Trust Kids Need to Learn

It’s difficult to learn from someone we don’t trust, writes literacy consultant Regie Routman. Bonding with individual students and their families builds that trust. Routman offers 10 ways to make sure that none of our students ever become “mostly silent and unseen.”

Media Literacy: Learning from the Oscars

It’s Oscar season and media literacy consultant Frank W. Baker has ideas about leveraging student interest in movies to teach visual literacy skills and learn about cool careers. Lots of resources, including teacher tools at the Oscars website.

Reduce Testing Stress With Daily Zen Activities

Testing time can ramp up the anxiety of already stressed-out middle schoolers. During week-long testing at her school, media specialist Paige Garrison designed fun, relaxing early morning activities to give their minds and bodies a break. She shares her Week of Zen.

Executive Function Is Key to Student Achievement

Executive function is the missing link to student achievement, author Nancy Sulla says. If students don’t develop the brain-based skills to focus, catch and correct errors, and identify cause-and-effect relationships, they can’t make sense of even the best lessons.

The Grammar Bachelor: A Team Learning Activity

For many students, grammar is mostly about memorizing rules and having teachers correct their mistakes. Author Sean Ruday’s Bachelor Grammar activity helps them see how authors use grammatical concepts purposefully to make a piece of writing as strong as possible.

Thank a Teacher – and Their Families Too!

Great educators don’t exist in a vacuum. More often than not they are supported by loved ones who also play a part in the accomplishment of a teacher’s daily miracles. Consultant Debbie Silver describes how spouses, children, and parents share in the teaching life.

Optimize ‘Wasted Time’ on Annual Testing Days

Every year, writes teacher leader Jennifer Smith, schools “muddle through” standardized testing days trying to design schedules that take less time away from productive learning. Her 5th grade team tried a fresh approach that both engaged and energized test-weary kids.

Quiz: What’s Your Most Natural Teaching Style?

Educator and author Roxanna Elden shares some practical advice from her Disillusionment Power Pack that can help novice teachers discover ways to channel their personal strengths and experience into classroom success. She also points out pitfalls to avoid along the way.

How to Get YA Authors Into Your Classrooms

Middle grade students crave role models and great stories. Author visits provide both in a very tangible way. Learn how media specialist & NBCT Christina Dorr arranges a steady stream of tween and young adult novelists through her school and read 10 tips for doing it yourself!