“Since many students are in my class multiple times,” writes ELL teacher Wendi Pillars, “I’m always seeking new topics to tie literacy skills together.” This year one theme was “Zero Hunger” through sustainable agriculture. A perfect hook for a unit on eating insects.
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Educator James Alan Sturtevant is ready with quick, low cost or free hacks for those days when teachers need to generate curiosity and enthusiasm. His 50 tips and tools are clearly laid out and further explained through individual podcasts, says teacher Linda Biondi.
After using Page-to-Stage Writing Workshop for Students with her 7th graders, ELA teacher Nicole Waychol is convinced that once you read the book, author Kwame Alexander is going to have you saying “yes.” Yes to jazz. Yes to writing. Yes to poetry. Yes to publishing.
Middle school behavior has more to do with neurotransmitters than hormones, says veteran teacher and consultant Thomas Armstrong. His strategies will help educators reach adolescents through both their “emotional brain’’ and the still undeveloped ‘’rational brain.’’
Malke Rosenfeld’s Math on the Move is about changing student mindsets about mathematics through whole body movement. Linda Biondi finds it packed with K-8 classroom tested activities, coaching tips, video clips and more to have students “dancing in the aisles”!
Integrating performance-boosting Social Emotional Learning requires educators to broaden school goals beyond pure academics. Debbie Silver shares four tips for teaching “Thrive” skills that lay the foundation for healthy, centered, and successful young adults.
Over the years Cheryl Mizerny has crafted poetry experiences that her students really enjoy. Her reading and writing ideas enable kids to understand poems without dreading the annual “poetry unit” she herself disliked as a tween. She shares 10 of her favorites.
Frank Buck remembers the joy of playing the Tonette with 4th grade classmates. Today, any teacher with access to a set of iPads and a free app can introduce all students to elements of music, enjoy the kids’ hands-on sound experiments, and build engagement and a more vibrant classroom culture.
How students feel about what is being taught and what they’re being asked to do works either as a catalyst or a deterrent to learning. Curtis Chandler shares activities and digital resources to help boost engagement and achievement by ’emotionalizing’ learning.
Teachers have lots of justifiable reasons to complain about their jobs, says author-educator Jenny Rankin. But “loving your work and experiencing peace and success on a daily basis are certainly within your reach.” Attitude isn’t everything, she says, but it helps to avoid toxic thinking.