Cheryl Mizerny resolves to spend this school year cultivating a culture of kindness among her middle level students as she joins with them to create The Kind Classroom. Summer reading and listening have helped lay the groundwork for her comprehensive SEL approach.
Category: It’s Not Easy Being Tween
With so much focus on high stakes testing, teachers recognize their students are at risk of not gaining the “soft skills” they need to succeed in school and life. Cheryl Mizerny shares her do-it-yourself solution: easy to use activities she blends into her curriculum.
As summer approaches, finding a balance between post-testing fluff and demanding, multi-week projects can be a challenge. Middle school teacher Cheryl Mizerny shares a bevy of her own classroom-tested activities that are brief, enjoyable and likely to spur learning.
Over the years Cheryl Mizerny has crafted poetry experiences that her students really enjoy. Her reading and writing ideas enable kids to understand poems without dreading the annual “poetry unit” she herself disliked as a tween. She shares 10 of her favorites.
Noting the barrage of criticism educators face from beyond the classroom, Cheryl Mizerny recommends that teachers across the generations unite to build the profession through full collaboration, rejecting the current widespread stereotyping of rookies and veterans.
Activating prior knowledge and building background knowledge are crucial steps in preparing students for whole class novels and other assigned readings. Cheryl Mizerny shares a dozen strategies she’s developed to promote enthusiastic reading among her students.
Middle grades teacher Cheryl Mizerny’s favorite way to introduce new concepts in her ELA classroom engages students in “sticky” inductive reasoning and group investigations. Based on Bruner’s Concept Attainment research, the technique can work in any subject.
In Cheryl Mizerny’s view, authentic “personalized education” would have skilled teachers navigating as students powered their own learning. It would be a practice and not the product being sold by digital LMS companies as an acceptable substitute for teacher talent.
Few things are more important to Cheryl Mizerny than creating a classroom environment that honors all of her multicultural students. She looks at beliefs, the visual environment, instructional materials, and teaching choices for ways to support everyone’s learning.
Inspired by Donalyn Miller’s game-changing work The Book Whisperer, middle school teacher Cheryl Mizerny has transformed her traditional ELA classroom into a reading community where everyone learns to love books. See if some of her ideas might work for you.