Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

Teaching Faith-Based Holidays

Facing the ‘December Dilemma’ of how to include winter holidays in the instructional day? This MiddleWeb resource offers a multi-faceted look at religious and non-religious aspects of the season, legal issues, and some ideas for seasonal lesson planning.

It’s Time for Districtwide Teaming and Dreaming

In Team Makers Laura Robb and Evan Robb examine the power of collaboration and the visioning that can empower educators to move away from tired practices and embrace new ideas that help transform schools into active learning centers, says principal and NBCT Rita Platt.

Five-Step, Never-Fail Character Sketching

Why is NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s “never-fail” Character Sketch activity so effective? Because it asks students to use the people in their own lives as inspiration – a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Pryle provides the teacher’s script, complete with student prompts.

Storytelling – The Heart of Teaching and Learning

Storytelling – speaking, writing, hearing, and appreciating our own and other’s stories – can be an equalizer for ensuring all students’ lives are respected, honored, and recorded, writes Literacy Essentials author Regie Routman. Learn about her new podcast series.

Making Annotations with Less Pain, More Meaning

At its best, annotation starts a dialogue between our English and History students and thoughtful writers past and present. But that doesn’t mean adolescents are eager to do it. Sarah Cooper shares ideas and online resources to make the process a true learning experience.

3 Ways We Can Offer Students More Choice

Having the ability to choose our own focus makes people, on average, five times more committed to the outcome. The classroom implications are clear, says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “If students are more invested in their work, they are more likely to learn.”