Kasey Short recommends offering middle schoolers YA novels with multiple narrators as a way to enrich opportunities for content instruction and SEL. They’re also really engaging and fun for kids to read. Included: sample questions and activities and lots of suggested titles.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Author and master teacher Debbie Silver begins her case for spirit-building humor and laughter in classrooms and schools with a personal story from her years as a middle level educator. “Pay attention to how much you laugh together. Teachers and school leaders who laugh, last.”
Never skip the math class debrief, writes teacher and math coach Mona Iehl. That’s when you can help students take what they’ve explored and worked through and make sense of it all. Using clear language and examples, she describes how to avoid common debriefing mistakes.
Grounded in research and real-world situations, The Social-Emotional Learning Playbook by Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher and Dominique Smith supports the social-emotional growth in you, your students and your community, writes Anne Anderson, calling the book “a great PD resource.”
While most middle schoolers can decode text, the crux of any worthwhile lesson is assuring they understand what they’re reading and how it might impact them or the world around them. Peg Grafwallner shares strategies to help embed these literacy skills across the content areas.
A just-crafted clay dino from seventh grader Gil reminds Dina Strasser that middle graders need unstructured time under the careful but non-interfering eye of a teacher who is trained to watch, listen and learn. Making room for such time is a challenge that’s seldom met.
Ready to leave Granny’s snooze-inducing grammar lessons behind? Three simple yet powerful changes in grammar instruction can make a big difference in how students use grammar as a creative tool to shape their writing, says literacy coach and teaching consultant Patty McGee.
Gholdy Muhammad’s Unearthing Joy offers ways to elevate meaning, reflection and joy so readers can offer cultural and historically responsive teaching most effectively. Sarah Cooper calls it “one of the most beautiful, inspiring, actionable books about pedagogy I’ve ever read.”
The authors of Welcome to Reading Workshop explain why student work in small groups is not just one of many teaching options but an essential everyday strategy to reduce teacher-student ratio, personalize learning, give students a voice, review, reteach, and apply new learning.
Native Americans’ thousands of years of history are filled with achievements and challenges. In recent years the United States has commemorated their history in November. MiddleWeb’s resource collection can help students understand this rich and complex heritage.