We might think a new school year should start off with solemnity. But that’s not the message teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron has garnered from her survey of 6-12th graders across the country. Students learn more when teachers share their humanity and their humor ASAP.
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Building classroom community through fun and engaging activities is important at the beginning of school and throughout the year. Author/educator Walton Burns urges teachers to be sure you’re setting students up for success by communicating your expectations clearly.
Writers get better by writing, says author and ELA teacher Marilyn Pryle. “It’s our job to have students write regularly, genuinely, and with ownership.” She shares three fun writing tasks (including directions, a model and a prewrite activity) that get the job done!
Carla Tantillo Philibert’s Everyday SEL in Middle School gives SEL implementation guidelines and brief lessons to help educators in classrooms and schoolwide meet their students’ social and emotional needs, says former teacher/now principal Tonya Curt-Hoard.
The free education site CommonLit has created nearly 1000 document-based lesson plans and a growing collection of differentiated nonfiction text sets. Rob Fleisher, the non-profit’s director of school partnerships, shares some creative ways to tap these rich resources.
Michelle Russell anticipates her math students will arrive in a few weeks with predictable gaps in their understanding of operations involving fractions and equations. To be more proactive, she’ll offer some refresher activities during the first week of school.
What works to discourage adolescents from smoking? Media literacy expert Frank Baker suggests taking on Big Tobacco’s pervasive and persuasive marketing tactics, involving students in creating their own anti-tobacco ads. Baker provides the background and resources.
We may assume that by middle school children have developed social skills, but this is often the age when they need to work on grounding activities the most. Carla Tantillo Philibert and Peggy Collings offer 4 tips to make SEL part of everyday teaching and learning.
Young writers will blossom when teachers trade in their red pens for an appreciative approach to feedback, says consultant Patty McGee. As writing mentors, teachers help students achieve quality writing with originality, voice, and style. McGee includes more than a dozen teaching tools.
With its ready-made product menus and immediate applicability, Differentiating Instruction with Menus is one of those books that won’t gather dust, as teachers will turn to it for quick reference throughout the school year, says ELA and gifted facilitator Kim Rensch.