Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Use Elevator Pitches to Explore Critical Issues

Students need to explore critical questions about topics relevant to their lives, writes Kasey Short. In the past she’s organized debates, but hybrid teaching prompted her to try ‘elevator pitches.’ Kids enjoyed researching issues, doing bias checks and creating short videos.

Key Insights for New and Aspiring School Leaders

Navigating the Principalship offers real insight into a principal’s work, spending equal time on the rewards and challenges of the job. Teacher leader and aspiring principal Michael DiClemente says new and soon-to-be school leaders will benefit from the book’s many profiles.

Student Trauma in 2020 and How We Can Help

2020 has been traumatic for students. A global pandemic, social unrest, and economic hardship have all impacted their well-being. For adolescents, writes school counselor Stephanie Filio, there is also no reprieve from the emotional clutter of growing up. Here’s her advice.

Quick Surveys Can Help Us Teach and Lead

Using homemade surveys can help you become a better teacher and leader. They can boost our understanding of student, parent and staff perspectives on issues that impact teaching and learning. Principal and NBCT Rita Platt shares ways she uses them – with tips and resources.

Mentor Texts Can Help Kids Grasp Grammar

In The Elementary School Grammar Toolkit Sean Ruday shows how to use mentor texts as a tool to help kids connect with engaging material as they learn proper writing conventions. Teacher Kathie Palmieri says the book will enrich writing in the intermediate grades and beyond.

Teaching Faith-Based Holidays

Facing the ‘December Dilemma’ of how to include winter holidays in the instructional day? This MiddleWeb resource offers a multi-faceted look at religious and non-religious aspects of the season, legal issues, and some ideas for seasonal lesson planning.

Teach Your Students to ‘Explode’ Complex Text

Literacy specialist Sunday Cummins shares her “explode to explain” technique, using a Newsela story about shark-spotting aerial drones along the beaches of Australia. It’s one more tool to help students develop a skill set for understanding and retaining informational text.