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.
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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.
As a collection of primary sources, My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook 1941 is truly a treasure trove, ranging from telegrams to WW II images. Reviewer Jody Passanisi, while noting its dense design and limited personal narration, recommends the book for all ages.
If politicians have a “license to lie” in campaign advertising, how are our students going to know who and what to believe? Critical thinking skills are paramount, says media literacy consultant Frank Baker, who shares insights and resources tied to Common Core and social studies standards.
When bickering and bullying began to weaken her classroom culture, 6th grade teacher Mackenzie Grate tried a simple but powerful strategy involving pink and green sticky notes, 30 brown paper bags, and some brutal honesty. The results were impressive.
Can Pop Culture and Shakespeare Exist in the Same Classroom? The answer is “yes,” says reviewer Judi Holst. All that prior knowledge can help students understand and discuss complex text. The authors show how to make complex text pop.
Mary Tarashuk shares gems from her history curriculum treasure hunt, all discovered while surfing on the Web during her beach vacation. Her online pirate crew added to her store of resources for the year ahead and helped her strengthen her internet sea legs.
Shirley McPhillips’ Poem Central invites students to move through poetry that we might not know exactly how to teach and to live with those words on their own terms – not needing us to facilitate all meaning and experience for them, says Jenni Miller.
Movies and television are recognized in the Common Core standards as forms of “text” that deserve serious study. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker suggests ways that the Emmy Awards might serve as a way to engage students around familiar media.
When students are challenged to “close read” a movie, they must not only learn how to deconstruct the story, they must also understand the many techniques that are used by filmmakers to create the total effect, says expert Frank Baker.