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.
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Dr. Lindsay Portnoy’s sound research, detailed checklists, and illustrative classroom stories in “Designed to Learn” will inspire you to fine-tune or jump-start your design thinking approach to instruction, writes teacher, author and curriculum leader Sarah Cooper.
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.
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.
For teachers to help students not only survive but also thrive through this frightening pandemic, we need to underscore both their and our fundamental need for kindness and gratitude. Author-educator Dr. Debbie Silver shares the science of anxiety and lots of options to help.
Middle schools and their students are special. By design 6-8 grade schools are intended to be communities, organized in houses or teams as the kids are exploring themselves and their world. All this helps in the leap to online school, says teacher Laurie Lichtenstein.
Science teachers know that some students believe in often-ridiculous theories (the Earth is flat; climate change is a hoax) that are propagated on YouTube and social media. Frank Baker provides a wealth of resources to fight science ignorance with media literacy skills.
Math teacher Robert Kaplinsky wanted his students debating about the best way to solve a problem, using strategic thinking and not just the formula. He also wanted to know when students had misconceptions so he could reshape his lessons. His solution? Open Middle Math.
Understanding concept words like ‘innovative’ can help students to make sense of complex sources. Britany Harris and Sunday Cummins share a four-step process to introduce a few new vocabulary words before reading an information text and then focus on them as kids read, talk and write.
Teacher Social Media has had a powerful positive effect on Brent Gilson’s professional growth. That’s the plus, he says, but there are also the minuses, including too-safe and comfortable conversations, edu-celebrity, and frequent failure to give credit where it is due.