Regardless of where educators land politically, it can sometimes feel like tiptoeing through a minefield to facilitate a balanced discussion of current events, writes teacher Sarah Cooper. Are there times when it’s appropriate for teachers to reveal their own views?
In her first post at a new MiddleWeb blog, “Heart of the School,” teacher-librarian Rita Platt responds to a weekend of civil strife and a deepening discussion about race and diversity in America with eight steps she believes can promote social justice through education.
After building a theoretical groundwork for social justice education, Caldwell and Frame organize their book around the constructs of gender, race, and class. Each section includes a bank of relevant lesson plans, activities, and videos, says teacher Amy Estersohn.
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.
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.
Mock trials can bring project-based learning alive in English and social studies classes. In Judging for Themselves, David Sherrin provides everything teachers will need to put Galileo, Tom Robinson and others on trial, says social studies teacher Joanne Bell.
How much pre-teaching and context-building should teachers do when they teach novels from other cultural eras? How much is too much in a discovery-based classroom? Amber Chandler’s students helped her find the right balance as they experienced The Outsiders.
Fresh from her middle school’s Falcon Pride Day, Amber Chandler celebrates the joy of a pre-Spring Break event that’s one part competition, one part team building, and one part controlled chaos, noting that kids’ SEL needs are at least as important as curriculum.
Anna Roseboro’s Teaching Writing in the Middle School can serve as a practical handbook to support the work of beginning English Language Arts teachers. Literacy coach Cynthia McKenzie says those new teachers will find many helpful ideas in the year-long guide.
Without turning his classroom into “test prep central,” teacher Kevin Hodgson is working to anticipate what his state’s evolving standardized tests will contain and how best to help his sixth graders prepare themselves with plenty of reading and writing strategies.