Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

The Long & Winding Road to Women’s Rights

Women’s history is no longer in hiding, thanks to scholars who are documenting women’s impact on society. Middle grades teachers can help their students trace that history with these resources, just updated and expanded, for Women’s History Month and beyond.

The Reading Strategies Book Gets an Update

The Reading Strategies Book 2.0 takes a great first edition and makes it even better, says literacy coach Pam Hamilton, noting Jennifer Serravallo’s contention that reading strategies are important across K-12. “This book should be in the hands of every teacher of reading.”

Why Reader Response Is So Important for Students

Responding to text can take many forms, write literacy experts Brenda Krupp, Lynne Dorfman and Aileen Hower. Teachers want to encourage sincere, honest responses where students share their thoughts, feelings, opinions, and insights about the fiction and nonfiction they read.

Teaching with a Wide Range of Digital Texts

In his fourth post in a series exploring ways that digital literacy impacts teaching and learning in the middle grades, Jason DeHart considers a wide range of digital texts (including music, visuals, film, video) and notes changing trends in engagement among his students.

Opportunities for Swift Achievement Gains

Educator Mike Schmoker paints a disturbing picture using “brutal facts” to explain why so many students are not learning at high levels. Cathy Gassenheimer says that reading Results Now 2.0 is disturbing but notes Schmoker includes a way out of “the current education quagmire.”

Using Ambient Sound to Reduce Student Stress

Social media can disrupt concentration and healthy social development in adolescents. To counter its effects, principal Mike Gaskell looks at causes and suggests one helpful strategy to reduce stress and anxiety – ambient sound. Build the focus and flow students need to thrive.

Add Imaginative Writing to Your ELA Classroom

While integrating imaginative writing into ELA classrooms may seem fanciful in a school culture that prioritizes the expository and analytical, teacher/coach Ariel Sacks shows how regular story creation can become a powerful developmental force in the lives of adolescents.

Brain Breaks Relieve Stress & Boost Learning

Brain breaks are simple transitional physical and mental exercises to prevent learning fatigue, refocus the attention of the class, and keep students energized and receptive to learning. Curtis Chandler shares 24 break ideas to ease stress and help kids connect with each other.

Black History Month All Year Long

African Americans faced severe repression when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926. In this updated MiddleWeb resource, we share links that trace the impact of African Americans in politics, arts and sciences, and report on the call to teach Black history throughout the school year.