Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Fill Your Class Library with Bargain Books

Helping students learn to read and love to read are two of the most important jobs of any teacher in the middle grades. You can’t do either without having robust libraries with books of all types, subjects, and levels. NBCT Rita Platt can help you build your collection.

Build STEAMy Music Instruments at Home

When stay-at-home kids (or students) need an engaging project to grab their interest, introduce them to creating STEAM-y musical instruments they can craft from household items. STEM educator Anne Jolly shares ways to help 4-8 graders try out ocean drums, panpipes and more.

How You Can Support Genius Hour At Home

What is Genius Hour? It’s a learning opportunity that gives students time to pursue their passions, explore interesting ideas and create something that they choose and will be proud of. Can we engage students during the pandemic via distance learning? Yes! Here’s how.

Talking Frankly with Our Middle Grades Kids

Creating opportunities for frank and healthy student conversations about social issues is especially significant as we face a global pandemic that affirms our humanity. Middle grades teacher Nancy Costanzo’s read alouds and writing ideas can help online and in class.

Book-in-a-Bag Talks Let Kids Shine Online

Add dimension to student book talks with Lynne Dorfman’s version of the Book-in-a-Bag project. And it works online, as students introduce their books by sharing a paper bag covered in images they recreate from fiction or nonfiction and by pulling out representative objects.

Covid-19 Is Showing Us the Cracks and Flaws

“Covid-19 is a red contrast dye,” writes Dina Strasser. “Dumped into the cauldron of schools, it shows us the cracks and flaws that were already there.” Even so, as her students slowly figure out their tech, “they are coming alive to me and for me in ways I never could have predicted.”