Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

First Aid for Burnout: Avoid Toxic Traps

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.

Texts and Lessons for Content Area Writing

Content area teachers can access easy-to-use lessons and mentor texts to strengthen students’ writing in Nancy Steineke and Harvey “Smokey” Daniels’ resource book. Teacher Linda Biondi describes the detailed, teacher-friendly format for lessons lasting 10 to 40 minutes.

24 Big Ideas to Help Kids Grow & Learn

In “The Writing on the Classroom Wall” teacher Steve Wyborney shows us how to increase student ownership and motivation and help kids become life-long learners by a process of sharing and considering 24 Big Ideas. Laura Von Staden recommends the book highly.

5 Ideas to Make Writing More Fun to Teach

Consultant Jen Serravallo often hears teachers say they’re uncomfortable teaching writing. Her solution: promote student engagement and independence. As kids become more excited, she says, “that enthusiasm will spill over to you.” Here are five ideas to get started.

Helping Students Track Their Own Progress

Tracking progress toward a larger goal helps us build a sense of achievement and the courage to keep going. “That’s the same cycle you want to build in your students,” says Barbara Blackburn, who shares ways to help kids see their growth and recall their victories.

A Guide to Creating an Inquiry Classroom

The second edition of John F. Barell’s “Why Are School Buses Always Yellow?” shows teachers how they can inspire young minds to think beyond the text, to ask questions and to wonder, achieving inquiry learning while meeting standards, says reviewer Linda Biondi.