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Writing and Reading with 50 Mentor Texts

In “Text Structures From the Masters,” educators Gretchen Bernabei and Jennifer Koppe did the hard work for English and social studies teachers of grades 6–10 when they collected 50 quality, nonfiction mentor texts and created an easy-to-follow lesson structure for each one.

Media Literacy: Middle School Kids Love Parody

Adolescents have a strong attraction to parody, says media literacy expert Frank Baker. Luckily the Common Core includes parody as a genre worthy of study. Baker shares resources and ideas to involve middle graders in some fun as they learn important skills.

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.