Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Using QR Codes as a Public Speaking Activity

Looking for more ways to have your kids “speak” to real audiences beyond your classroom? NBCT Marilyn Pryle, the 2019-20 Pennsylvania TOY, describes how she added community displays and a Vocaroo/QR code strategy to one of her major ELA projects. Student handout included!

Using Photography to Enliven Student Writing

At the heart of Ralph Fletcher’s Focus Lessons, writes Jeny Randall, teachers will find lessons that can help students connect the photographic concepts of tension, point of view, and mood to the craft of writing – so that the idea of sensory details becomes concrete.

The CAFE Book Returns with Fresh Strategies

Based on the first edition’s core concepts for improving daily literacy learning and assessment, The CAFÉ Book has added teacher feedback, hands-on work with students and teachers, and research to strengthen the original practice, writes teacher educator Linda Biondi.

Students Learn Better When They’re Moving

Effective teaching means engaging kids intellectually, socially AND physically. Educators who work strategically to include elements of kinesthetic activity will have students who are attentive, making connections, and able to recall later on. Curtis Chandler shows how.

Our Students Need a New Definition of Writing

The narrow “alphabetic” definition of writing found in many school classrooms actively disengages youth, says literacy author Shawna Coppola. Students simply prefer to compose using forms that incorporate visual, aural, and multimodal texts as a way to make or enhance meaning.

How School Leaders Can Handle Decision Fatigue

We lead busy lives and even the best leaders and the most astute decision makers are subject to “decision fatigue.” Author-educators Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn believe it is imperative for school leaders to “adopt strategies to minimize its negative impact.”

Black History All Year Long

African Americans faced severe repression when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926. In this updated MiddleWeb resource, we share links that trace the impact of African Americans in politics, the arts and sciences, and take a look at the future of Black History Month.

The Next Step in Making Word Study a Breeze

The Next Step Forward in Word Study and Phonics offers resources that will convince even the most skeptical that word study can be done quickly if done intentionally. Teacher Michelle Voelker likes the lessons targeting multiple reading levels and the many how-to videos.