Meaning well and teaching well are not the same – a painful truth that ELA teacher Dina Strasser’s exponential learning about race has helped her realize. She uses the story of her unit based on Gary Paulsen’s “Nightjohn” to underscore the difference between intent and impact.
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.
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.
Finding the rationale to bring news discussions into class can be tricky. Veteran teacher and current events advocate Dina Strasser shares her strategy – double dipping. Here’s how to have “productively messy” conversations in 5-10 minutes without losing curriculum focus.
Nurturing Informed Thinking is filled with practical and inspiring ideas to help students integrate multiple texts about a nonfiction topic. Both content area and ELA teachers will find this book a valuable resource, writes middle school educator Mary K. Marsh.
Reading “Not Light, But Fire” inspired Sarah Cooper to change the way she frames conversations about current events and history – which very often involve race, ethnicity, religion, politics and other incendiary topics – to build understanding, not emotion.
One of the most common concerns Sarah Tantillo hears from ELA teachers is “I want to teach grammar, but I’m not sure how to fit it in.” Her new MiddleWeb post explains a systematic approach that blends grammar into narrative reading and writing classes, day by day.
Can Halloween be fun when candy gives way to cogitation? Looks that way from the resource collection for ELA, math, history and science classes that we have conjured up for this All Hallow’s Eve holiday season.
If every elementary, English and history teacher did even one of the book’s activities each year, our understanding of our students would deepen immeasurably, as would their appreciation of their families and their communities, both local and global, writes Sarah Cooper.
Studying TV in the middle grades might seem frivolous, writes media literacy expert Frank Baker, but when teachers engage kids through popular culture, they meet them where they are. The Emmys is a perfect example. Baker has background and teaching ideas to get started.