NCTE’s National Day on Writing (#WhyIWrite) is Friday, October 20. To help celebrate, we’ve pulled together a dozen of the many great posts about teaching writing that are freely available at MiddleWeb. You’ll find ideas, inspiration, and ready-to-use activities here.
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Amid the mix of emotions and preoccupations that crowd end-of-year school days, Amber Chandler takes time to discover how her 8th graders ranked her five major ELA units this year. What they think will help her prepare for next fall. Once she returns from the lake!
How much pre-teaching and context-building should teachers do when they teach novels from other cultural eras? How much is too much in a discovery-based classroom? Amber Chandler’s students helped her find the right balance as they experienced The Outsiders.
Fresh from her middle school’s Falcon Pride Day, Amber Chandler celebrates the joy of a pre-Spring Break event that’s one part competition, one part team building, and one part controlled chaos, noting that kids’ SEL needs are at least as important as curriculum.
As spring temperatures rise (and testing begins), students and teachers start to get antsy. What can we do to make end-of-year more productive and enjoyable while also saving our sanity? After 17 springs in the classroom, Amber Chandler has three ideas that may help relieve the jitters.
Traditional conferencing isn’t a good fit for Amber Chandler’s project-based classroom. She uses a version of “unconferencing” that provides flexible student support, with help available from both teacher and classmates. A detailed example explains the process.
Ariel Sacks says teachers who read The Flexible ELA Classroom will get to know “an enthusiastic, skilled teacher” effectively applying “many of the best current teaching trends.” Amber Chandler’s practical, student centered ideas include flexible differentiation, PBL infusion, family involvement and more.
Opening your classroom door to families for student presentations can be intimidating. Think gas leaks, mumbled swear words and flop sweat, says Amber Chandler. But it can also be the ultimate learning and bonding experience among families, students, and teachers.
Amber Chandler is pondering testing. Not big league, high stakes exams but the run of the mill end-of-unit kind. When 20 percent of her students stumble over literary terms on The Giver unit test, she opts for a flexible (but controversial) “point buy-back” offer.
During 2016, each of these featured MiddleWeb posts enjoyed at least 10,000 reads by middle grades educators. Some were visited by as many as 60,000. We’re sure you’ll find something useful here as you “learn forward” and prepare yourself for the new year.