Although many of his colleagues disagree, middle school teacher Jeremy Hyler is convinced digital portfolios are the best way to measure student growth in writing skills over the whole school year. Learn why he thinks so, and how he does it, with plenty of useful tips.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Exposing students to broadcasts and other news of past Congressional hearings brings those events to life and can help kids relate to current hearings. Media literacy consultant Frank Baker traces 60 years of hearing coverage, underscoring the vital role of a free press.
School leaders have likely dealt with someone who didn’t support a proposed change. But principals need to assure that schools provide students with quality education, a process often requiring change. Ronald Williamson and Barbara Blackburn show how to build support.
Teacher educator Sean Ruday hopes students will take ownership of ELA concepts like “inference” or “sensory language” if they can make meaningful connections between “school talk” and aspects of their out-of-school lives. He shares examples from his own research.
If literacy coach Pam Hamilton had to choose one word to describe Word Study That Sticks, a book about words, she would select “fabulous”! Hamilton finds it is also practical, teacher-friendly, and colorful with lessons and activities across content areas.
With recent studies showing a marked increase in students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, teacher Joanne Bell finds Inclusion and Autism Spectrum Disorder a helpful resource for understanding ASD and for finding effective strategies to support students.
K-6 literacy coach and NBCT Paula Bourque brings an extra spark to quick-write activities, expanding the concept to include brief low-pressure assignments designed to ignite passion, creativity, and awareness in students and encourage them to become lifelong writers.
Memory research leads us to an important insight: not only do we have to help students store information, they also need to be able to retrieve it. Expert Marilee Sprenger shares 13 rehearsal and retrieval practices to make learning stick. Re-reading isn’t one of them.
Wanting to fit in is not a new phenomena in the middle grades, writes Valentina Gonzalez. Most adolescents experience the urge to be more like their peers. The sooner kids realize how valuable their identity is – how it’s their special power – the better off they will be.
Incorporating more service learning in your teaching can offer opportunities for students to experience empowered citizenship. Megan Kelly shares how her 6th graders connected learning about the science of water and world-wide challenges with related Kiva fundraising.