Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

A Mental Health Crisis Among Our Adolescents

Some students may not have school work high on their priority list after two years of watching their normal adolescent world fall apart. Right now they may be focused on surviving, writes school psychologist Katelyn Oellerich. “We need to be focused on helping them do that.”

Rubrics: 5 Go-to Ways to Engage Students

The more students interact with the rubric, the more ownership they take over it, writes Megan Kelly. Once they feel empowered by the rubric, they can use it as a tool to accomplish their goals rather than a means of judgment, putting them on the same team as the teacher.

27 Tips to Boost Kids’ Reading This Summer

To help kids capture the benefits of summer reading, ELA educator Kasey Short shares what you can do before summer break begins: communicate with families, motivate readers, provide book choices, increase access to books, and link students to public library summer programs.

Inheritance Boxes Help Kids Share Knowledge

In Katie Durkin’s ELA classroom, seventh graders pass along what they’ve learned to future classes via this Inheritance Box project, part of a literacy plus history unit that also teaches collaboration and promotes student choice. Katie takes us through it step by step.

Independent Study for Middle Schoolers

Geraldine Woods led independent study at her school for more than 25 years. She’s convinced some version will work in most subjects and for most middle school students if three basic principles are present: student choice, adult guidance, and students teaching students.

A Quick, Easy Way to Create Class Tutorials

Middle grades teacher Kathleen Palmieri uses a time-saving digital tool to create quick and concise visual instructions. Show students how to share a document, use an add-on, find an online resource and much more. Kathie outlines the basics and recommends a good YouTube how-to video.

6 Stances That Promote True Writing Revision

The many Aha! moments in Chris Hall’s The Writer’s Mindset will lead the reader to reexamine classroom practices – from reimagining revision to building student self-awareness and much more. Literacy consultant Anne Anderson appreciates the activities that pack the book.