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The 5 Craziest Times of the School Year

You know those times where the kids are so spun up that you suspect nothing you say will be remembered tomorrow? You ask yourself, “Why am I even trying to teach today?!” Veteran educator Patti Grayson casts her votes for the most inattentive days of the year.

Involving Math Students in Formative Assessment

Bringing Math Students into the Formative Assessment Equation is in a league of its own by focusing solely on the middle level math educator who wants to write effective learning targets. Educator Maia Fastabend already plans to employ some of the book’s tools.

How to Teach Memoir in the Middle Grades

Educators may be reluctant to try memoir writing with middle grades students, but the rewards are considerable, says 8th grade teacher-author Jake Wizner. He shares three insights that can help guide teachers as they enrich the student writing experience.

Tie TV Advertising to Media Literacy Lessons

Knowing how television programming is funded can help students understand what is available to view. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker links to sources of advertising data and suggests activities to build student savvy about the genres that fill their screens.

Beyond Tech: Learning into the Future

“Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World” by David Perkins zeroes in on curriculum, pursuing “lifeworthy” learning pursuits, fresh approaches to content and less preoccupation with technology. Principal Matt Renwick likes Perkins’ flexible outlook on the “what” of teaching.

Bring Word Nerdiness to the Middle Level

A multitude of authentic classroom examples and strategies make “Vocabularians” a must-have book, says ELA teacher and word nerd Amber Chandler. Author Brenda Overturf also provides realistic ways to bring schoolwide vocabulary immersion to the middle grades.

Using Dystopian Fiction to Explore Citizenship

In his ELA classroom, David Sebek focuses on four aspects of what it means to be a “good citizen” – truthfulness, justice, equality and responsibility – and uses whistleblower stories and dystopian fiction to explore the elusive definition of citizenship.

The 5 Best Times to Use Technology in Class

Much of the ISTE discussion this year focused on the best ways to use technology effectively, says MS teacher and tech enthusiast Patti Grayson. To celebrate, Grayson offers 5 examples from her own classroom of the best times to bring out the digital tools.

Ideas to Involve Parents in Boosting Literacy

Written from the experiences of two veteran teachers, Empowering Families is the most useful guide in promoting student literacy at home that 4th grade teacher Alex T. Valencic has ever come across. He plans to share its many suggestions with teachers and parents this fall.