For much of her career, middle level teacher Stephanie Farley felt confounded when students “told me they didn’t understand where their grades came from.” Then her principal set her on a path of discovery that’s led to competency based learning and students eagerly self-grading.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Students with special needs face a particular challenge in middle school. Literacy is crucial to understanding academic content, and for many, literacy is a weakness. Blackburn and Witzel offer strategies to help them see patterns, read fluently, and comprehend information.
Filled with great tips and references in a concise easy-to-access format, Bryan Harris’s book “17 Things Resilient Teachers Do (And 4 Things They Hardly Ever Do)” provides an authentic, must-have resource to build teacher resilience, writes teacher Laura Von Staden.
Although the writing challenges Writing Workshop co-developer Shelley Harwayne designs aim to be rigorous, she tries to make sure there’s an element of joy attached. “When assignments are enticing and engaging, it becomes rather easy for students to do what they’re asked.”
Rather than fixating on immigrant parents’ economic conditions and languages as deficits and labeling them as unable to contribute to their children’s education, ML specialist Tan Huynh advocates for an assets-affirming narrative, sharing the instructive story of his own mother.
Using a variety of teaching strategies is a great way to ensure students are cognitively engaged, writes math teacher Kathie Palmieri. Their responses to strategic prompts start productive discussions, and this helps kids feel they have a voice in shaping their learning.
As Ukrainian children flee Russia’s attacks, many will come to the USA, writes EL/ML teacher Dina Strasser. What do we need to know to welcome them? Here is Dina’s suggested reading list, from understanding the war and Ukrainian culture to learning how to help traumatized students.
In The Comprehensive Intervention Model: Nurturing Self-Regulated Readers Through Responsive Teaching by Dorn, Soffos and Klein, educators will learn how other districts have used CIM with real success and find the detailed guidance to implement the model with fidelity.
Do rewards help kids learn better? Motivation expert Dr. Debbie Silver argues instead for the effective use of positive, constructive feedback as the best means for fostering creativity, active involvement and intrinsic motivation. Included: How to make feedback effective.
If we want multilinguals to develop their speaking skills while learning content (and we do!) then they need multiple opportunities to engage in academic conversation throughout the school day. ML/EL education leader Jenny Vo shares her favorite successful strategies.