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.
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.
After five years, 6th grade teacher and NWP activist Kevin Hodgson is retiring his popular Working Draft column for MiddleWeb. In entry 72 he shares links to favorite posts and highlights three central principles about writing that have guided his blogging and teaching.
GIFs are great teaching tools. The brief videos can bring out the ideas and creativity of students too. Megan Kelly shares how kids can make GIFs with a helpful tutorial and where in the curriculum they belong: ELA, science, social studies math, PE – everywhere!
Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Sypnieski provide ELL students the chance to read high-interest books independently. Literary conversations help ELLs interact with the texts, creating a classroom culture of shared literacy. The co-authors share six creative activities.