Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

A Good Introduction to Singapore Math

For teachers who have not used Singapore math strategies before but want to give them a go, Jana Hazecamp’s book Why Before How is a great place to start, says former 4th grade math teacher Jennifer Underwood, who adds some tech ideas of her own.

Using Drama Techniques to Deepen Comprehension

In the 2nd edition of Deepening Comprehension with Action Strategies, Jeff Wilhelm offers theory-based drama techniques that can be used before, during, and after reading to deepen comprehension of fiction and nonfiction content, says reviewer Allyn Hunt.

Teaching Literary Elements

Reviewer Mark Domeier finds that the authors do a fine job of mixing theory and practical applications of it. But he would recommend the book to high school literature teachers, not middle school ELA educators with packed curricula.

Skimming: The Overlooked Close Reading Skill

Although skimming might seem to be the opposite of close reading, it is a crucial Common Core skill for pulling information out of a text – and one that’s often overlooked by teachers, says consultant Sarah Tantillo, author of The Literacy Cookbook.

My State Gets Writing Support Right

MiddleWeb’s ELA blogger Kevin Hodgson is “almost loathe to admit it,” but offers kudos to his state education officials for creating a meaningful resource to help analyze student writing in the context of both classroom and high stakes assessments.

Updating Math Differentiation

William Bender’s 3rd edition of this classic on differentiating mathematics instruction combines thorough pedagogy with up-to-the-minute resources (including a Common Core focus) to create a definite winner, says teacher-reviewer Laura Von Staden.

Making Room for Poetry in the Common Core Era

How often do you share poetry with students? Reading interventionist and literacy coach Gwen Flaskamp shows how increasing students’ experience with poetry can build literacy, analytical and social-emotional skills and help meet Common Core standards.