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The Rise and Fall of Grammar Bootcamp

For years Amber Chandler has marched her middle school students through Grammar Bootcamp, believing that grammatically correct language is essential to be college and career ready. Now this year’s 7th graders have convinced her there might be a better way.

Use Inquiry to Engage Hearts and Minds

Upstanders supports the complex challenge of cross-content literacy with excellent lesson plans, and authors Smokey Daniels and Sara Ahmed also describe a path to develop the most difficult skill for young middle schoolers, learning to be truly empathic.

Numbers & Operations for Advanced Students

In Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Numbers & Operations, Jerry Burkhart offers advanced students challenging activities with increasing levels of difficulty. Math teacher Maia Fastabend finds it well suited to high level readers in grades 7-9.

Teaching Vocabulary in Word-Rich Classrooms

Students can learn difficult vocabulary when they are immersed in a rich array of words, says reading expert Janet Allen. In this excerpt from her new book of vocabulary teaching tools, Allen describes ways to create a word-rich environment. Includes reproducibles.

Good Tools for Analyzing Fiction and Nonfiction

Stressing the need to provide wide fiction and informational text choices, the authors consider the needs of all readers while offering extensive activities for all classrooms. Reviewer Jenni Miller found the book “wonderful” – both informative and encouraging.

Teaching Film Literacy Without the Film

Film literacy is an important skill in an increasingly visual world. It’s in the ELA standards for grades 7 & 8. But how do we teach it if we don’t have access to films in the classroom? Expert Frank Baker helps bring film alive without a DVD in sight.

Fireside Reads: 20 Favorite MiddleWeb Posts

With the winter “read by the fire” season in full force, we offer a selection of 20 MiddleWeb posts that have garnered thousands of views apiece. They represent the wisdom & expertise of middle grades educators with a wide range of teaching experiences.

Students Often Prefer Low Tech Learning

Today’s students have never known a time when computers didn’t exist. Many are surrounded by digital options in school as well as at home. But teacher Cheryl Mizerny has noticed her 6th graders are often drawn to low-tech learning experiences. She looks at why that might be.