What does instructional rigor look like in the middle school classroom? Teaching consultant and bestselling author Barbara Blackburn offers examples of lessons that reach for the top of Bloom’s and DoK – in social studies, math, electives, the arts, English/ELA, and science.
Barbara R. Blackburn and Melissa Miles show how a re-interpretation of “rigor” can boost ELA and social studies engagement and learning in grades K-5. Teacher educator Linda Biondi notes the authors offer easily implemented solutions along with thought provoking questions.
The Civically Engaged Classroom can be read on multiple levels: with tips and ideas that can be incorporated into class tomorrow, but also big picture thinking about rebooting the whole system of civic education, writes ELA and social studies teacher Megan Kelly.
Examining the human impact of climate change through texts allows students to connect climate science to the human cost of climate change, develop empathy for communities impacted by climate change, and discover more about climate justice, writes ELA teacher Kasey Short.
Simulations involve tactile or kinesthetic participation and offer a way for students to be actively engaged in lessons and experience another dimension of learning. Barbara Blackburn and two colleagues share online and in-class SS, ELA, and STEM ideas.
The experience of students and teachers doing whole class and small group work online underscores the need to emphasize speaking and listening skills now and for the future, writes principal Matt Renwick. He shares his school’s low-key, standards-friendly teaching ideas.
The global pandemic “will be in the history books, won’t it?” Absolutely, 8th grade teacher Lauren Brown told her students. She’s devised a simple home assignment – students create a ‘primary source’ for future historians by jotting down their questions, concerns and observations. See her suggested prompts to get kids started.
A recent study found drawing can improve our memory more than re-writing or visualizing because it activates more areas of the brain. With this in mind, Megan Kelly set out to incorporate sketchnotes into her English class without it becoming “Language Arts and Crafts.”
Why is NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s “never-fail” Character Sketch activity so effective? Because it asks students to use the people in their own lives as inspiration – a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Pryle provides the teacher’s script, complete with student prompts.
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.