Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

We Read and We Write – Wherever We Are.

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.

Students’ Journals Could Be ‘Primary Sources’

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.

How to Fill Our Schools with Eager Readers

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.

How to Add Daily Writing to Your Content Area

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.”