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Assessing Digital Stories in the Middle Grades

To help in assessing students’ digital stories, Katie Caprino and Alyssa Marzili share tips on ways to engage middle graders in thinking about their stories’ purpose, genre, tone and audience, how to structure peer feedback, and how to use digital tools for ongoing evaluation.

How Might We Teach a Graphic Novel Series?

In an earlier MiddleWeb post, professor and former middle grades ELA teacher Jason DeHart argued on behalf of teaching with graphic novels, with numerous examples. Here he delves deeper into a single text from the Kid Beowulf series, detailing his own instructional strategies.

25 Words That Trigger Student Understanding

Brain and learning expert Marilee Sprenger highlights the 25 most high-frequency words for learners in the English language to focus upon. “I call these words ‘essential’ because knowing and using them can boost academic success and lifelong learning.” Are they on your vocab list?

Realizing the Dream of an Empty Email Inbox

Does email steal your time? Your problem isn’t so much about having too many. It’s that they’re in the wrong places. Use these tips from educator and digital organization expert Frank Buck to unmask your email time bandits and make your inbox tidy and surprisingly sparse.

Try Jamboarding an Interactive Notebook

Middle grades teacher Kathleen Palmieri is taking advantage of her students’ growing comfort level with online apps to set up interactive notebooks in Google Jamboard and use Google Slides to simplify the process. She includes all her steps plus extra tips and resource links.

Develop Independent and Inter-Dependent Learners

Discover the why, what and how of collective student efficacy in this research-grounded book from John Hattie, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Shirley Clarke. Reviewer Sarah Cooper was inspired by the rich descriptions of “I” and “we” skills needed for higher-level learning.

Quirky Calendar Days Offer Fall Learning Fun

By linking bite-sized birthday bios and quirky facts to the daily calendar, Anne Anderson shows how we can engage minds, encourage dreams and capture curiosity. Have fun with your students while reinforcing skills and vocabulary and sharing a bit of learning they’ll love.

Prepping for My Next Google Classroom

Want to keep content from last year’s digital classes while at the same time close down your prior students’ access? Follow along as NBCT Kathleen Palmieri shows how she’s organizing her files and folders to prep a fresh Google Classroom space as the new school year begins.