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.
Category: It’s Not Easy Being Tween
For Cheryl Mizerny, detecting plagiarism and determining consequences require more energy than proactively planning assignments that don’t lend themselves to copying. She shares strategies to support learning while making plagiarism less attractive to students.
First day routines evolve over the years, says veteran teacher Cheryl Mizerny, but she has found that addressing 7 questions most students bring to class will help them feel welcome and excited about learning. A student advisory panel supports her observations.
Each school year Cheryl Mizerny’s 6th graders explore three whole novels as a class. In this post, she shares the 10 techniques she’s developed to maximize the experience, including “reading like writers” and applying fiction’s life lessons to their own world.
Cheryl Mizerny is excited about the maker movement and all that it implies for education, but she hopes educators will take school-based makerspaces in the direction of incorporating 21st century learning goals, avoiding rote projects, and promoting innovation.
Whole-class novel study is one curricular tradition that’s taken a huge beating in the last several years, writes ELA teacher Cheryl Mizerny. But not in her classroom, where Cheryl works to balance indepth novel study with student book choice and read-alouds.
During March Madness we have to ask: what can teachers learn from great coaches? Cheryl Mizerny reflects on the words of basketball coaching legends and considers how their insights carry over into classrooms and the work teachers do with their own learners.
The winter doldrums that threaten many classrooms can be blown away with fresh teaching ideas, humor, movement and more. Middle level educator Cheryl Mizerny shares suggestions for enlivening the weeks that fill the calendar between the holidays and spring break.
Cheryl Mizerny considers the “soft” skills of social interaction to be as essential to success as the ELA skills she teaches. To help fill students’ wide social skill gaps, she’s identified problem behaviors and resources she’ll use to build a mini-curriculum.
An NCTE workshop convinced Cheryl Mizerny that if she’s going to expect her students to set challenging goals, reflect, and try again, then she needs to practice what she preaches. Her resulting resolutions may ring true for many middle grades teachers.