Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Teaching YA Novels with Multiple Perspectives

Kasey Short recommends offering middle schoolers YA novels with multiple narrators as a way to enrich opportunities for content instruction and SEL. They’re also really engaging and fun for kids to read. Included: sample questions and activities and lots of suggested titles.

Humor in Our Schools Heals and Engages Us

Author and master teacher Debbie Silver begins her case for spirit-building humor and laughter in classrooms and schools with a personal story from her years as a middle level educator. “Pay attention to how much you laugh together. Teachers and school leaders who laugh, last.”

Avoid These 3 Mistakes During Math Debriefs

Never skip the math class debrief, writes teacher and math coach Mona Iehl. That’s when you can help students take what they’ve explored and worked through and make sense of it all. Using clear language and examples, she describes how to avoid common debriefing mistakes.

Embed These 7 Skills to Assure Comprehension

While most middle schoolers can decode text, the crux of any worthwhile lesson is assuring they understand what they’re reading and how it might impact them or the world around them. Peg Grafwallner shares strategies to help embed these literacy skills across the content areas.

3 Shifts Can Invigorate Our Grammar Instruction

Ready to leave Granny’s snooze-inducing grammar lessons behind? Three simple yet powerful changes in grammar instruction can make a big difference in how students use grammar as a creative tool to shape their writing, says literacy coach and teaching consultant Patty McGee.

Small Group Strategies That Build Literacy Skills

The authors of Welcome to Reading Workshop explain why student work in small groups is not just one of many teaching options but an essential everyday strategy to reduce teacher-student ratio, personalize learning, give students a voice, review, reteach, and apply new learning.