Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Our 2022 Winter Book Review Festival

MiddleWeb has published about 1100 reviews of professional books for teachers and school leaders since 2012 – each written by a K-12 educator. In this article we’ve curated our 23 most-read reviews posted during 2021. Click on a headline to read our reviewer’s take on the book.

Black History Month All Year Long

African Americans faced severe repression when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926. In this updated MiddleWeb resource, we share links that trace the impact of African Americans in politics, arts and sciences, and take a look at the potential expansion of Black history throughout the school year.

Supporting Long-Term Understanding of Math

In Making Math Stick, David Costello offers advice to help teachers make the shift from “teach, test, move on” to “teach, connect, apply.” His detailed learning and instructional strategies will help you deepen student knowledge and improve retention, writes Lisa Hudson.

Combine Test Prep and Collaborative Thinking

This year Katie Durkin and her fellow ELA teachers will add a Question of the Day – built from state assessment stems – to their whole-class novel unit. As 7th graders discuss best answers they’ll learn to think collaboratively AND prep for mandated tests. See how it works!

Creating Rubrics That Foster Student Growth

Teacher and coach Stephanie Farley discovered through trial and refinement that a good rubric is “a tool to provide feedback to kids about their progress toward mastery of a learning target.” See her five backward planning steps and the resulting three-part writing rubric.

All You Need to Select and Use Mentor Texts

A Teacher’s Guide to Mentor Texts offers a winning combination – a structured lesson approach, a range of suggested mentor texts, and an overall message adaptable to specific students. Teachers at multiple levels of experience will find it invaluable, writes Sara Pennington.

Formative Assessment Fuels Literacy Learning

Using formative assessment effectively is key to becoming a reflective practitioner who can adjust literacy instruction to meet students’ needs and interests, write Lynne Dorfman and Brenda Krupp, who share their ideas for “breathing life into reading and writing lessons.”