Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Optimize ‘Wasted Time’ on Annual Testing Days

Every year, writes teacher leader Jennifer Smith, schools “muddle through” standardized testing days trying to design schedules that take less time away from productive learning. Her 5th grade team tried a fresh approach that both engaged and energized test-weary kids.

Tapping the Power of Daily Student Writing

Mary Tedrow makes a strong case for daily student writing that generates ideas and wonderings not only in English but all content areas. Sarah Cooper finds Tedrow’s detailed guide to using Daybooks and her recommendations on grading and indexing particularly helpful.

How to Get YA Authors Into Your Classrooms

Middle grade students crave role models and great stories. Author visits provide both in a very tangible way. Learn how media specialist & NBCT Christina Dorr arranges a steady stream of tween and young adult novelists through her school and read 10 tips for doing it yourself!

Teach Media Literacy with Super Bowl Ads

Many millions of people who tune in to the 2018 Super Bowl will be there to watch the pricey, high-engagement commercials. Media literacy consultant Frank Baker explains how to teach about these “super ads,” approaching them as informational text worthy of close scrutiny and analysis.