Positive and constructive self-assessments are what Mary Tarashuk wants for her fourth graders. Recently they used reflective writing to consider their own progress (and the progress of their class) more realistically, and to learn to set personal goals for growth.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
It’s Oscar season and media literacy consultant Frank W. Baker has ideas about leveraging student interest in movies to teach visual literacy skills and learn about cool careers. Lots of resources, including teacher tools at the Oscars website.
Activating prior knowledge and building background knowledge are crucial steps in preparing students for whole class novels and other assigned readings. Cheryl Mizerny shares a dozen strategies she’s developed to promote enthusiastic reading among her students.
Rather than “covering” a curriculum with instruction that’s driven by the chapters in a textbook, Diana Fenton and Nancy Van Erp advocate student centered standards-based lesson planning, relying on frameworks like Understanding by Design and concept-based teaching.
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.
Middle School Motivators is a magnet for the teacher who wants to make lessons come alive, reinforce what is being taught, and have the students anxious to come back the next day. Reviewer Linda Biondi loves the book’s practical, at-your-fingertips organization.
Arguing that empathy is composed of teachable habits that can be practiced and developed, Michele Borba offers parents and teachers many tools to help children grow in their awareness of the needs of others. Mary Thompson finds the age-aligned ideas helpful.
The fully developed strategies and techniques Susan Edwards offers in Active Learning in the Middle Grades Classroom are simple to use and will have students engaged in active, purposeful learning across content areas, says teaching consultant Anne Anderson.
Jackie Walsh shares resources and strategies teachers can use to partner with students and create new roles and responsibilities in classroom questioning. Replace traditional “interrogation” with methods of inquiry that reveal understanding and strengthen learning.
Imagine an intentional, coordinated schoolwide work ethics program that’s consistent across subjects and grade levels. What a difference that could make now and in the future, says STEM expert Anne Jolly, who shares the key traits and how to begin to grow them.