At home with her teens, ELA teacher Dina Strasser discovers how to create a compromise between parents who need (and ought to be) “captains of the quarantine ship,” and teens who need to be respected and loved as individuals. Their much-discussed home schedule is a start.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
With the increase of schools worldwide offering distance learning or virtual schools in response to the COVID19 outbreak, middle grades teacher Tan Huynh details how his Saigon international school has developed one-to-one online learning for students since February 3.
On the day after school was declared closed, ELA teacher Brent Gilson greeted students from behind a “desk wall” as they came by to pick up personal gear and borrow books from his class library. One girl’s wonderful note inspired him to write a hopeful message of his own.
Leading Learning for ELL Students is a helpful resource for all school and district leaders looking to evaluate and strengthen their EL services. ESOL educator Jordan Walker-Reyes explains how EL teachers can also use the book to improve their programs.
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.
Developing a schoolwide culture of reading, like any change initiative, takes commitment, leadership, collaboration, communication and consistency. Literacy leaders Laura and Evan Robb describe a model middle school that is “full of reading” and share 10 starter ideas.
An English learner’s developing language skills can easily be misdiagnosed as a learning disorder. As a first step, make sure Els are receiving high-quality instruction. Tan Huynh suggests ways to detect EL processing issues and strategies to support dually-identified ELs.
Can Dr. Suess’ 70-year-old allegory The Sneetches still have an impact on children’s social and emotional learning? Surprisingly, some star-bellied creatures made a lasting impression in Mary Tarashuk’s fourth grade class during her NON-fiction research unit this winter.
Mary Tedrow shows how to cultivate students’ individual relationships with writing using a low stakes approach called a Daybook – a safe, authentic space for students to write and think that can feed into other disciplines and writing genres. Ariel Sacks calls it her “new top resource.”
It’s amazing to think – with all the digital tools we have at our disposal – that genuine communication is more difficult today than ever before. Yet that’s our reality, says middle grades teacher Jeremy Hyler, at school and at home, with students, parents and colleagues.