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Expert Advice for Working with Complex Texts

Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Diane Lapp want teachers to use the ideas and advice in Text Complexity “to support every student in becoming more skilled at reading complex texts.” Anne Anderson reports their book will “stretch” both teachers and students!

Using Global Feedback to Build Growth Mindset

Can supportive feedback from a diverse internet audience help students grasp the benefits of a growth mindset? History teacher Tim Kramer believes the answer is yes, after weighing his 6th graders’ work during a project-driven, tech-infused Ancient Egypt unit.

Help Students Read & Think Like Scientists

To learn science deeply, students need the trifecta of instruction: experiments; exploration of a complex text; and teaching that’s both challenging and empowering. Deeper learning expert Libby Woodfin shares how this works in Peter Hill’s 8th grade classroom.

End-of-Year Learning Can Be Meaningful & Fun

The last weeks of school are a time when a little hard work and lots of organization can pay big dividends in a learning experience that is smooth, structured, and fun for all, says middle grades educator Elyse Scott, who shares a dozen end-of-year activities.

Use Text Sets to Spark Unstoppable Learning

Thematic text sets that tap into the social worlds and narrative driven lives of adolescents can spark “unstoppable learning,” say literacy educators Katie and Chris Cunningham, who share several text-set examples and a 10-step process for building your own.

Nurture Innovative Thinking in Math Class

With plentiful humor Gerald Aungst shows how to address math problem solving in powerful and realistic ways, helping students become innovative mathematical thinkers. Middle school math resource teacher Maia Fastabend plans to revisit his book frequently.

Grow Purposeful Writers in the Middle Grades

Writing comes alive in Paula Bourque’s book “Close Writing: Developing Purposeful Writers.” Bourque supports her strategies for engaging youngsters in writing, revising and editing with classroom stories, study guides, and videos, says teacher Linda Biondi.

Involve Hesitant Writers in Co-creating Text

Recent research finds that hesitant adolescent writers seldom respond positively to mentor texts by “stellar” peers. Instead, poet and educator Sara Holbrook suggests a co-creation framework that scaffolds the student writing process in a collaborative poetry workshop setting.

Humor in the Classroom

Where does humor fit into the classroom? Just about anywhere! Check out these refreshed resources on why humor works, how to share it, and where to find it. Funny math, ELA, social studies, and science resources abound.