Help your middle graders grow academically and behaviorally with these monthly SEL themes and activities developed by middle school teacher leader Kasey Short and her counseling colleague Janani Buford. Just right for busy teachers to incorporate into their advisories!
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
While logic and skill are two important elements in advancing math knowledge, students also need to be immersed in the language of math to succeed. Kathleen Palmieri brainstormed with her fifth graders to develop fun strategies that help them understand and apply math terms.
This entry in Corwin’s Five to Thrive series offers a valuable ELA resource with accessible, crucial advice and information for real teachers – written by real teachers. Veteran middle school teacher Kelli Stuhr finds the book succinct, meaty and refreshingly optimistic.
In Start Here Start Now, Liz Kleinrock explores the challenges educators face in bringing Antibias and Antiracist work into the classroom. Kleinrock writes with humor and empathy, says teacher leader Jeny Randall, offering simple-to-implement strategies for every subject and school setting.
While coping strategies can help those facing burnout, teaching careers are more sustainable when educators also slash workload and stress-inducers. Jenny Grant Rankin looks at the burnout pandemic and urges teachers to reduce grading and focus on planning quality lessons.
Katie Caprino offers three ideas for using Zillah Bethell’s YA novel The Shark Caller to engage your middle grades ELA students in social emotional learning. Caprino’s activities build on how the young characters interact as they face the impact of deaths in their families.
Literacy champions Lynne Dorfman and Aileen Hower join children’s author Frank Murphy in a frank, well-informed review of the book banning controversy. Students need books that help them see themselves and understand others. “The opposite of censorship is intellectual freedom.”
As disinformation proliferates, schools need a better solution than perfunctory media literacy education, say these digital citizenship advocates. When students achieve full “media fluency,” they will not only understand disinformation exists but have the tools to outflank it, write McCusker, Irvan and Driscoll.
In The Power of Teaching Vulnerably David Rockower explains how personal, relational, and dialogic vulnerability can help educators build healthy classroom dialogue. Amy Estersohn would have liked more guidance for teachers facing job loss if they discuss sensitive topics.
Culturally Responsive Teaching in Gifted Education is an essay collection addressing a variety of populations and will benefit all students, says History and ELA teacher Megan Kelly. She highlights three, including “Promoting Racism: Through the Eyes of a Black Mother.”