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Grow Purposeful Writers in the Middle Grades

Writing comes alive in Paula Bourque’s book “Close Writing: Developing Purposeful Writers.” Bourque supports her strategies for engaging youngsters in writing, revising and editing with classroom stories, study guides, and videos, says teacher Linda Biondi.

Involve Hesitant Writers in Co-creating Text

Recent research finds that hesitant adolescent writers seldom respond positively to mentor texts by “stellar” peers. Instead, poet and educator Sara Holbrook suggests a co-creation framework that scaffolds the student writing process in a collaborative poetry workshop setting.

10 Cool Ways to Teach with Word Clouds

Wordles are everywhere, in every color and size. Middle grades teacher and Scholastic author Marilyn Pryle shows 10 ways word clouds made with Wordle and Tagxedo can be crafted into powerful literacy teaching tools, using the right prompts and directions.

Get Students Working Effectively in Groups

Effective group work sparks student engagement and builds communication skills for the future. But how do teachers structure teamwork activities so kids are cooperative and everyone learns? Instructional expert Barbara Blackburn offers a step-by-step blueprint.

Mastering Test Anxiety: Student & Teacher Tips

Spring’s promise of renewal is just ahead. But for many educators, spring is also the season of testing anxiety. Curtis Chandler shares research and wisdom from fellow educators that can help turn angst into achievement for students and for their teachers.

5 Trends Impacting Middle Grades Leaders

Being a school leader is incredibly demanding, requiring principals to stay current on education trends while managing day to day operations. Williamson and Blackburn share five actionable trends they’ve observed in their work with middle grades leaders.

Connected Resources to Empower New Teachers

In “Standing in the Gap” Lisa Dabbs and Nicol R. Howard encourage all educators, especially new teachers, to find support by connecting on social media, using internet resources in class, and facilitating e-communication with parents. A must read, says educator/writer Mary Langer Thompson.

How to Become an Organized School Leader

Annual resolutions to “get organized” usually fade quickly, despite ready access to smart devices and clever management apps. What we need, writes organizing expert Frank Buck, is some good advice. He begins his 5-part series with the digital calendar.

Four Social Media Strategies for Principals

Principals can use social media to improve communication, provide information during school safety situations, increase collaboration, and enhance professional development. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn argue, in fact, that social media is a leadership essential today.

Students Can Battle the Longhorned Beetle

Help middle graders take the next step in environmental studies & awareness. Using USDA resource materials, students can join the effort to uncover and eradicate the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle which threatens 70% of the tree canopy in the United States.