Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Add Comics and Graphic Novels to All Classes

Using engaging strategies and many examples, teacher Tim Smyth makes a convincing case for viewing comics and graphic novels as literacy tools, helping build reading and critical thinking skills. Kevin Hodgson is glad that Smyth also shows how kids can create their own comics.

Bring Language Patterns Alive for Young Writers

Patterns of Power for grades 6 – 8 is a teacher-friendly, easy-to-navigate book that uses the invitation process to help students move beyond the traditional study of grammar so they can appreciate the patterns of language and conventions, writes consultant Anne Anderson.

Deepen Student Learning with Flip’s Video Magic

Learn how middle grades teacher and NBCT Kathie Palmieri is using the upgraded and rebranded Flip video tool (formerly Flipgrid) on a daily basis to engage her students, show quick lesson reviews, and get them talking about what they did and didn’t understand. Helpful tips included.

Learning Spaces That Affirm Students’ Identities

In Identity Affirming Classrooms: Spaces that Center Humanity, Erica Buchanan-Rivera provides teachers with the background knowledge, reflection tools and actionable practices needed to create identity-aware, student-centered environments. For all educators, says Katie Durkin.

Making Sure Students Know We’re Listening

Do you invite student talk? If we want kids to engage in the lessons we’re teaching, they need to see us valuing what they have to say. Kelly Owens shares tips for creating a “two-way” classroom community and home connections that encourage authentic dialogue and build trust.

Effective School Leaders Are Prepared for Crisis

A safe and stable school is essential to a successful instructional program, write Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn. That’s why it’s so critical for school leaders to anticipate what may be needed in a crisis and develop plans with contingencies for anything that may occur.