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Authentic Math Modeling in Middle School

Nancy Butler Wolf addresses how teachers can help middle schoolers solve authentic math problems, stressing rich tasks and converting textbook problems into challenging learning. Maia Fastabend recommends the book to newer teachers and those seeking clarity.

What We Can Do When Kids Don’t Write Clearly

The difficulty students have in writing clearly can be traced to many factors, says literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo, from muddled pre-CCSS standards to weak teaching practices. Here she offers concrete suggestions to correct persistent writing problems in the secondary grades.

Involving Math Students in Formative Assessment

Bringing Math Students into the Formative Assessment Equation is in a league of its own by focusing solely on the middle level math educator who wants to write effective learning targets. Educator Maia Fastabend already plans to employ some of the book’s tools.

How to Teach Memoir in the Middle Grades

Educators may be reluctant to try memoir writing with middle grades students, but the rewards are considerable, says 8th grade teacher-author Jake Wizner. He shares three insights that can help guide teachers as they enrich the student writing experience.

Tie TV Advertising to Media Literacy Lessons

Knowing how television programming is funded can help students understand what is available to view. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker links to sources of advertising data and suggests activities to build student savvy about the genres that fill their screens.

Ideas to Involve Parents in Boosting Literacy

Written from the experiences of two veteran teachers, Empowering Families is the most useful guide in promoting student literacy at home that 4th grade teacher Alex T. Valencic has ever come across. He plans to share its many suggestions with teachers and parents this fall.

5 Reader Activities That Invite Higher Thinking

You’ve taught students to read closely, to annotate, to discuss – now what? Teacher/writer Marilyn Pryle shares five reader-response activities she uses to help students interact with texts in creative ways, inviting higher levels of thinking & understanding.

Making Our Classrooms More Playful and Fun

School technology coach Josh Burker offers eight reasons why classroom making is not only playful and fun but also an effective strategy to build organizational, problem-solving and leadership skills. Included: A MaKey MaKey musical instruments project.

Understanding How Kids Think about Math

Math teachers wondering how their students came up with wrong answers will find lots to use in Children’s Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction. Videoed children explain their solutions and so reveal teaching insights, says reviewer Maia Fastabend.

STEM Programs Must Not Leave Math Behind!

Guest expert Dr. Susan Pruet stresses the need to stretch beyond simple arithmetic to incorporate more challenging math content in STEM lessons. Pruet also cites the supports middle grades math teachers will need to spark student engagement in STEM careers.