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Expert Advice for Working with Complex Texts

Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Diane Lapp want teachers to use the ideas and advice in Text Complexity “to support every student in becoming more skilled at reading complex texts.” Anne Anderson reports their book will “stretch” both teachers and students!

Nurture Innovative Thinking in Math Class

With plentiful humor Gerald Aungst shows how to address math problem solving in powerful and realistic ways, helping students become innovative mathematical thinkers. Middle school math resource teacher Maia Fastabend plans to revisit his book frequently.

Grow Purposeful Writers in the Middle Grades

Writing comes alive in Paula Bourque’s book “Close Writing: Developing Purposeful Writers.” Bourque supports her strategies for engaging youngsters in writing, revising and editing with classroom stories, study guides, and videos, says teacher Linda Biondi.

Involve Hesitant Writers in Co-creating Text

Recent research finds that hesitant adolescent writers seldom respond positively to mentor texts by “stellar” peers. Instead, poet and educator Sara Holbrook suggests a co-creation framework that scaffolds the student writing process in a collaborative poetry workshop setting.

10 Cool Ways to Teach with Word Clouds

Wordles are everywhere, in every color and size. Middle grades teacher and Scholastic author Marilyn Pryle shows 10 ways word clouds made with Wordle and Tagxedo can be crafted into powerful literacy teaching tools, using the right prompts and directions.

Get Students Working Effectively in Groups

Effective group work sparks student engagement and builds communication skills for the future. But how do teachers structure teamwork activities so kids are cooperative and everyone learns? Instructional expert Barbara Blackburn offers a step-by-step blueprint.

Mastering Test Anxiety: Student & Teacher Tips

Spring’s promise of renewal is just ahead. But for many educators, spring is also the season of testing anxiety. Curtis Chandler shares research and wisdom from fellow educators that can help turn angst into achievement for students and for their teachers.

5 Trends Impacting Middle Grades Leaders

Being a school leader is incredibly demanding, requiring principals to stay current on education trends while managing day to day operations. Williamson and Blackburn share five actionable trends they’ve observed in their work with middle grades leaders.

Connected Resources to Empower New Teachers

In “Standing in the Gap” Lisa Dabbs and Nicol R. Howard encourage all educators, especially new teachers, to find support by connecting on social media, using internet resources in class, and facilitating e-communication with parents. A must read, says educator/writer Mary Langer Thompson.

How to Become an Organized School Leader

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.