Annual resolutions to “get organized” usually fade quickly, despite ready access to smart devices and clever management apps. What we need, writes organizing expert Frank Buck, is some good advice. He begins his 5-part series with the digital calendar.
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Principals can use social media to improve communication, provide information during school safety situations, increase collaboration, and enhance professional development. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn argue, in fact, that social media is a leadership essential today.
Help middle graders take the next step in environmental studies & awareness. Using USDA resource materials, students can join the effort to uncover and eradicate the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle which threatens 70% of the tree canopy in the United States.
If demoralizing teachers worked, then our educational system would already have reached a state of perfection. Instead, says reviewer Jenni Miller, policymakers can find a true roadmap for change in Richard DuFour’s “In Praise of American Educators And How They Can Become Even Better.”
The difficulty students have in writing clearly can be traced to many factors, says literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo, from muddled pre-CCSS standards to weak teaching practices. Here she offers concrete suggestions to correct persistent writing problems in the secondary grades.
Educators may be reluctant to try memoir writing with middle grades students, but the rewards are considerable, says 8th grade teacher-author Jake Wizner. He shares three insights that can help guide teachers as they enrich the student writing experience.
Knowing how television programming is funded can help students understand what is available to view. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker links to sources of advertising data and suggests activities to build student savvy about the genres that fill their screens.
Guest expert Dr. Susan Pruet stresses the need to stretch beyond simple arithmetic to incorporate more challenging math content in STEM lessons. Pruet also cites the supports middle grades math teachers will need to spark student engagement in STEM careers.
In today’s budget-conscious and time-stressed schools, virtual field trips are a great way to excite students without leaving the classroom. Teaching expert Barbara Blackburn shares a sample lesson idea and some good places to hunt for relevant field trips.
Dialogue circles can facilitate brain function and help “increase generosity, trust, intrinsic motivation, social connection, and cooperation so students can work together for a common purpose,” writes inner-city middle school principal David Palank.