Teacher Mary Tarashuk has reasserted her “Irish Zen” following the full frontal assault on PARCC testing in her last post. She describes how her fourth graders had fun learning about Chinese New Year while also practicing for the high stakes test in prescribed ways.
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Thomas Newkirk makes a convincing argument in Minds Made for Stories that narrative is the framework for all good learning experiences, says teacher-reviewer Jenni Miller. This insight about storytelling can be used by teachers to help students learn and retain more in any subject.
For years Amber Chandler has marched her middle school students through Grammar Bootcamp, believing that grammatically correct language is essential to be college and career ready. Now this year’s 7th graders have convinced her there might be a better way.
Upstanders supports the complex challenge of cross-content literacy with excellent lesson plans, and authors Smokey Daniels and Sara Ahmed also describe a path to develop the most difficult skill for young middle schoolers, learning to be truly empathic.
In Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Numbers & Operations, Jerry Burkhart offers advanced students challenging activities with increasing levels of difficulty. Math teacher Maia Fastabend finds it well suited to high level readers in grades 7-9.
Even if you think you know all there is to know about middle schoolers, says teacher-reviewer Beth Morrow, you are bound to understand their thinking and behavior differently after you finish reading What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know.
Students can learn difficult vocabulary when they are immersed in a rich array of words, says reading expert Janet Allen. In this excerpt from her new book of vocabulary teaching tools, Allen describes ways to create a word-rich environment. Includes reproducibles.
Stressing the need to provide wide fiction and informational text choices, the authors consider the needs of all readers while offering extensive activities for all classrooms. Reviewer Jenni Miller found the book “wonderful” – both informative and encouraging.
Film literacy is an important skill in an increasingly visual world. It’s in the ELA standards for grades 7 & 8. But how do we teach it if we don’t have access to films in the classroom? Expert Frank Baker helps bring film alive without a DVD in sight.
When middle grades teacher Mackenzie Grate introduced a “kindness chain mail” project into her classroom, she was pleased to see that the secret letter exchanges helped students realize their ownership role in assuring a positive learning environment.