Assigning The Hate U Give as a summer read for history and English eighth graders seemed like a slam dunk to Sarah Cooper and her colleague. Looking back, she weighs the experience to better understand how she can prepare to teach, and then lean into, difficult topics.
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Grownups get to go to conferences. Why not kids? Rita Platt’s school offers an all-day gathering featuring a professional author as keynoter, concurrent sessions, and time to network with peer writers and authors from the community. See Rita’s how-to’s and budget tips.
The Notice and Note reading strategies “changed my life as an educator,” writes Brent Gilson in a post he unabashedly describes as a “love letter” to Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. You’ll understand his passion when you learn how he integrates the 6 Signposts into lessons.
ELs are capable of doing the same kind of thinking that non-ELs can do. They might just have to temporarily show their understanding differently than their peers do. EL teacher Tan Huyhn shows how teachers can focus on the ELs’ thinking and differentiate everything else.
We can no longer avoid teaching about climate change because it’s not in our content area or curriculum guide, writes teacher leader Dina Strasser. Educators can’t shield children from “eco-anxiety,” but they can give them hope and the knowledge and skills to take action.
To foster social studies students who are more curious, collaborative and invested, Katie McGrath worked with a district team to hone essential questions and develop a process of “micro-progression” that leads each student to understanding. Steps and examples included!
Students love to talk! And that’s mostly a good thing, if teachers can harness the natural social drive of tweens and teens “and use it to pull the wagon of content learning through whole-class discussions.” Try Rita Platt’s proven step-by-step map to discussion success.
Middle graders, especially ELs and newcomers eager to blend in, may not want to involve families at school. Yet partnering with families leads to greater achievement, lower absenteeism, and better behavior. EL expert Valentina Gonzalez shares her favorite strategies.
Brent Gilson teaches grades 7-9 in rural Alberta. “I’m a believer in balanced literacy, voice and choice, and the need to use literacy studies to help students explore what it means to be human.” In a new blog, Brent details how these ideas shape his yearly reading plan.
Traditional questioning routines can send unintended messages to some students that they are not “smart” enough to engage in classroom conversations, writes author and teaching expert Jackie Walsh. Learn how to weave SEL-friendly questioning into your daily practice.