At MiddleWeb central in North Carolina, late summer means fresh back-to-school ideas from our bloggers and guest writers. 2017 and 2018 have overflowed with teacher wisdom we want to highlight in one, easy-to-access post. We’ll add more posts as they arrive.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
In “The Art of Comprehension: Exploring Visual Texts to Foster Comprehension, Conversation and Confidence” Trevor Andrew Bryan shows how to help readers learn more about visual texts through a series of frameworks. This strategy sets the stage for students to learn more about how to approach complex stories, fiction and non-fiction, writes sixth grade teacher Kevin Hodgson.
Students can follow the trek of early humans toward global expansion through inquiry-based lessons and use resources to hypothesize responses to organizing questions. Ancient History teacher Joanne Bell says the book’s connections approach “is a phenomenal find for me.”
Efforts to improve your school will only be successful with widespread support and ownership. This means involving all stakeholders: teachers, staff, families, and community voices. Leadership consultants Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer some helpful guidelines.
Want to help middle school students improve their reading skills? Mark Weakland suggests providing direct and explicit spelling instruction. Emphasizing syllables – roots and affixes – offers lots of building blocks for students. Weakland includes differentiation tips and activity ideas.
Teaching and instructional coaching weren’t all the prep DeAnna Miller needed when she signed on as a new middle school assistant principal last fall. A year later she looks back at the challenges she faced and the solutions she discovered as she preps for another year.
Teaching coach and NBCT Elizabeth Stein shows how to create a space that will keep co-teachers learning together throughout the rest of summer, concentrating on what we can do to refresh ourselves AND continue improving and learning in preparation for a productive fall.
Teacher leader Laura Von Staden recommends all school administrators, district personnel and school board members read Abe Hege and Adam Dovico’s The Limitless School and use it as a guide to building a strong school culture for learning and growth.
Raised in rural Alberta, Canada, Brent Gilson set out to broaden his understanding of racial and cultural diversity, both to improve his teaching and to raise awareness among his mostly white middle grades students. Taking part in the #31DaysIBPOC Twitter project has been a revelation.
In the hope that we can help students become better critical thinkers in a world saturated by social media and unreliable sources, media literacy expert Frank Baker calls attention to techniques used by “media manipulators” to persuade consumers and shape public discourse.