Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Hard Conversations Can Lead to Positive Change

The framework Jennifer Abrams develops in Hard Conversations Unpacked focuses on professional growth, and ultimately on positive outcomes for student learning. Principal Mike Janatovich will never again attempt a challenging conversation without this guidance.

When Staying Nonpartisan Feels Just Too Difficult

Regardless of where educators land politically, it can sometimes feel like tiptoeing through a minefield to facilitate a balanced discussion of current events, writes teacher Sarah Cooper. Are there times when it’s appropriate for teachers to reveal their own views?

New Teachers: 3 Tools Help Manage Learning

As new teachers develop routines for their classrooms, Class Tech Tips founder Monica Burns says it’s important to plan how they will check for understanding each day to gather information and inform future instruction. She shares three simple class assessment tools.

A Refreshing Approach to Teaching Poetry

Shirley McPhillips’ non-traditional book about teaching poetry is both insightful and fun to read, says retired principal and former California senior poet laureate Mary Langer Thompson. She predicts teachers will not be able to read for long without writing poetry themselves.

Active Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms

In the 2nd edition of Joyful Learning, Alice Udvari-Solner and Paula Kluth provide a great resource to promote teacher collaboration and move inclusion classrooms beyond the superficial and toward more meaningful engagement of every student, says Erin Corrigan-Smith.

The Worst Teaching Mistake I Ever Made

Debbie Silver’s worst mistake? She managed to teach middle level science classes for too many years without ever fully embracing the practice of pre-assessment. See how her teaching changed and how yours might too with her simple go-to pre-assessment tools.