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Embed These 7 Skills to Assure Comprehension

While most middle schoolers can decode text, the crux of any worthwhile lesson is assuring they understand what they’re reading and how it might impact them or the world around them. Peg Grafwallner shares strategies to help embed these literacy skills across the content areas.

3 Shifts Can Invigorate Our Grammar Instruction

Ready to leave Granny’s snooze-inducing grammar lessons behind? Three simple yet powerful changes in grammar instruction can make a big difference in how students use grammar as a creative tool to shape their writing, says literacy coach and teaching consultant Patty McGee.

Engage and Motivate by Satisfying Student Needs

Kelly Owens suggests ways to promote more engagement and motivation in class by using a HEAD, HEART, HANDS lens. She includes her team’s strategies for creating a student-centric learning environment, increasing opportunities for self-reflection, and decluttering the classroom.

Teaching Stunts Offer Choice, Challenge, Play

Recounting her visit from a grandfatherly apparition grabbed the attention of Stephanie Farley’s students and launched a study of storytelling. Putting “stunt teaching” into action – sometimes with colleagues – builds engagement and opens the door to choice, challenge and play.

Use Podcasting to Teach Fluency, Explore Genre

Middle schoolers encounter and process information in ever-changing ways, writes teacher Jason DeHart, who uses podcasting opportunities in his ELA classroom to teach fluency, explore genre, and engage with authors and authentic audiences. Learn about his six-step strategy.