We might think a new school year should start off with solemnity. But that’s not the message teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron has garnered from her survey of 6-12th graders across the country. Students learn more when teachers share their humanity and their humor ASAP.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
As the new school year approaches, explore a selection of digital tools recommended by teacher educator Curtis Chandler that can help you streamline lesson planning, create secure class websites, connect with families, and gather information on how your new students like to learn.
Tracy Zager’s professor told students it would take five years to become a skillful math teacher. In this message to beginning educators, Zager shares insights that can help push the process. Most important: “Become addicted to listening to students’ mathematical ideas.”
School Culture Recharged is a good mix of philosophy, research, and practical strategy. Rita Platt recommends that “school and district leaders read it to get a handle on the what’s, how’s, and why’s of developing school cultures that help bring about success for all.”
In the 2nd edition of Mentor Texts, Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli help put a gradual-release focus on purposeful planning, finding stories to engage young readers, and using the book’s readings to support strong writing by students, says Erin Corrigan-Smith.
After building a theoretical groundwork for social justice education, Caldwell and Frame organize their book around the constructs of gender, race, and class. Each section includes a bank of relevant lesson plans, activities, and videos, says teacher Amy Estersohn.
Teachers are always looking for more engaging ways to help students demonstrate their understanding of a concept. Author and engagement expert Barbara Blackburn looks at five cool ways that students can “show you what they know” without giving them a test.
Building classroom community through fun and engaging activities is important at the beginning of school and throughout the year. Author/educator Walton Burns urges teachers to be sure you’re setting students up for success by communicating your expectations clearly.
Amid a near-universal celebration of collaborative, interactive work as a 21st century reality and ideal, teacher Sarah Cooper investigates something we so often forget in our classrooms and our schools: the need for quiet space and the challenges of achieving it.
Writers get better by writing, says author and ELA teacher Marilyn Pryle. “It’s our job to have students write regularly, genuinely, and with ownership.” She shares three fun writing tasks (including directions, a model and a prewrite activity) that get the job done!