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Creating a Safe Space for Difficult Conversations

In his powerful book “Not Light, But Fire” teacher Matthew Kay shares three rules of discussion – each centered around listening – that he teaches his students. His goal is to transform the classroom into a true “safe space” for difficult conversations about race and life.

Teaching Poetry for Social Justice

If every elementary, English and history teacher did even one of the book’s activities each year, our understanding of our students would deepen immeasurably, as would their appreciation of their families and their communities, both local and global, writes Sarah Cooper.

3 Collaboration Tools for Middle Level Classrooms

Collaboration doesn’t always come naturally (or calmly) for middle level students. Teacher Michael McClenaghan shares his success with three edtech tools (Soundtrap, WeVideo and the free G Suite) in facilitating meaningful teamwork and higher levels of student engagement.

Microprocessing Fun in Middle School Science

Museum educator Christa Flores shares a summer STEM partnership that introduced middle schoolers to programmable microprocessors that can perform a variety of lab-oriented tasks. Flores, a former MS teacher, says it’s time to include computer skills in science classrooms.

This Strategy Promotes Real Reading Discussions

Using the Reading Response strategy, Marilyn Pryle writes, class time becomes a time of meaningful discovery. Students do not passively ingest information but actively create ideas through their own thinking, writing and discussion. Teachers facilitate, clarify and celebrate.

Summer Me’s Joys Make Way for September

As summer flirts with Labor Day, Laurie Lichtenstein recalls the joys of being her “Summer Me” – a time for long walks and paddling trips, reading books and ignoring lists. As school dreams begin again, she relishes her last August days and plans for another great year.

Creating an Inviting Classroom Environment

New school year? Time for a fresh classroom environment! Consultant and author Barbara Blackburn shares ideas and resources we can use to create a learning space that will be positive for all students, build strong relationships, and offer a pleasing place to gather.