Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Brain-Friendly Strategies for Your Vocab Toolbox

How can teachers use brain-friendly strategies to help students encode, store and retrieve vocabulary words? Educator and author Marilee Sprenger shares some high-interest activities designed for each stage of learning academic words. Some just require a few minutes!

Quality Questioning Transforms Classrooms

Quality Questioning Can Help Us Transform Our Classrooms provides a detailed guide for fashioning quality questions and asking them in ways to encourage student learning. Instructional Partner Debby Smith says new and veteran teachers will want to keep it at hand.

Mock Trials Enliven Social Studies and ELA

Mock trials can bring project-based learning alive in English and social studies classes. In Judging for Themselves, David Sherrin provides everything teachers will need to put Galileo, Tom Robinson and others on trial, says social studies teacher Joanne Bell.

Use Leveled Books in Student Led Discussions

By differentiating reading choices and inviting students to discuss diverse texts using student-led conversations, you can heighten their ability to analyze texts and hone their critical thinking skill. Reading expert Laura Robb discusses set-up and assessment.

Help Kids Read with Skill and Passion

Reading Nancie Atwell and Anne Atwell Merkel’s The Reading Zone, 2nd edition, is like getting a letter from a good friend and mentor, says ELA teacher Amy Matthes. Find reading workshop case studies to help readers become passionate, skilled, and habitual.

First Aid for Teacher Burnout: A Must-Read

Jenny Grant Rankin’s First Aid for Teacher Burnout: How You Can Find Peace and Success is the perfect salve for the tired teacher’s soul. This short book is packed full of great ideas to relieve, rejuvenate, and energize, says teacher-librarian Rita Platt.