Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

All the Vocabulary Help You’re Likely to Need

Under the canopy of state standards, student knowledge of academic vocabulary matters more than ever, across all the content areas. As assessment season approaches, MiddleWeb has gathered together our most popular and helpful articles about word study that sticks to your long-term memory.

Engaging Students in Middle School Theater

At Kasey Short’s middle school, drama teacher Aaron Mize brings students together to experience the creation and the performance of theater. See step-by-step how the middle graders put together shadow puppetry, monologues, workshop-improv scenes, song in a box, and plays.

Kids Need Us to Keep These 25 Promises

What promises do we need to make (and keep) so that our students will truly believe they belong in our classrooms and will be safe and cared for there? Middle grades leaders Laurie Barron and Patti Kinney break down the 25 promises they feel have the most impact.

7 Fun, Idea-Filled Posts about Teaching Poetry

National Poetry Month is here! If you’re once again rushing to pull together some poetry lessons – or perhaps feeling a bit guilty because you’ve put poetry aside in favor of more high-stakes ELA topics – take a look at these easy-to-use resources.

An Inspiring Quote for Every Day of the Year

365 Quotes for Teachers: Inspiration and Motivation for Every Day of the Year does what author and principal Danny Steele intends – motivates, challenges, and helps keep the job in perspective. Reviewer Anne Anderson suggests ways to use the book and offers some samples.

Helping Middle Level Students Self-Regulate

When kids struggle to stay on task, reach goals, and take ownership of their learning, they lack self-regulation. Using clear text and video explanations, Amy Gaumer Erickson and Pattie Noonan break down the four components of self-regulation that will help students succeed.

A Teacher’s Journey: ‘Student, Grade Thyself’

For much of her career, middle level teacher Stephanie Farley felt confounded when students “told me they didn’t understand where their grades came from.” Then her principal set her on a path of discovery that’s led to competency based learning and students eagerly self-grading.

17 Ways Teachers Can Build Resilience

Filled with great tips and references in a concise easy-to-access format, Bryan Harris’s book “17 Things Resilient Teachers Do (And 4 Things They Hardly Ever Do)” provides an authentic, must-have resource to build teacher resilience, writes teacher Laura Von Staden.

Enticing Students with New Writing Challenges

Although the writing challenges Writing Workshop co-developer Shelley Harwayne designs aim to be rigorous, she tries to make sure there’s an element of joy attached. “When assignments are enticing and engaging, it becomes rather easy for students to do what they’re asked.”