Here’s how Sarah Cooper taught her 8th grade social studies class today, as the nation went about determining a presidential winner. Unlike the day after the 2016 election, “I’m feeling not so much shock as the need to shore up my teaching and once again dig into difficult topics.”
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In social studies we want students to visualize the relationships between historical events and be able to think chronologically. Megan Kelly has 6th graders begin with personal timelines. Other teaching tools include videos, a history card game, memes and manipulatives.
Effective questioning during remote learning doesn’t require new strategies. Consultant Barbara Blackburn suggests building questions with higher order thinking models; including questioning stems; adding cubing for student choice; and having students source their answers.
As you work with your students on grammar instruction, Sean Ruday recommends emphasizing that grammatical concepts are key parts of writer’s craft toolkit. An understanding of the precise purpose of each tool will help them become thoughtful and artful communicators.
Writing workshop can be an exciting part of the day for students in the middle, writes author and workshop expert Lynne Dorfman. Even when middle level schedules aren’t a great fit for extended workshop writing, teachers can nurture “writerly” attitudes with daily quickwrites.
It took the pandemic to convince Lauren Brown to finally check out Edpuzzle as a teaching tool. She’s quickly become a fan. Whether you are teaching live, online or in a hybrid model, Edpuzzle can be a helpful way to engage students in video content that you select or create.
When we find time in our busy school day to introduce a current event text, like a magazine cover, we’re actually helping students understand how images are used to communicate and even manipulate. Frank Baker shares a resource-rich pandemic media literacy lesson.
Focusing on the elements of the epic hero, this activity from author and 2019 PA TOY Marilyn Pryle helps students learn about literary elements while reflecting on their own lives, goals, and obstacles as they consider the hero’s backstory, good qualities, flaw, and quest.
For those with positive stories, social-emotional learning helps reinforce the skills they need to succeed. For those with stories of trauma, SEL can help balance negative experiences with positive ones. Author-educator Marilee Sprenger shows how brain research can help.
Dina Strasser shares ‘a small bit’ about why she changed her blog title to I Will Screw This Up, has some news about a big celebration in the world of awards, and offers some reflection on a book by a Canadian SF/fantasy author you might not yet have in your YA collection.