Arguing that empathy is composed of teachable habits that can be practiced and developed, Michele Borba offers parents and teachers many tools to help children grow in their awareness of the needs of others. Mary Thompson finds the age-aligned ideas helpful.
Before middle school students can become lovers of stories and savvy assessors of fake news and false claims, they must be creative readers who comprehend texts at high levels and empathize with characters and people, says literacy expert and advocate Laura Robb.
Laura Robb believes play is essential to success. Her “Big 10 Student Motivators” can help encourage collaboration, playful learning, innovative thinking, and student engagement in reading, writing, researching, discussing, and analyzing across all subjects.
The social-emotional concerns addressed by Tom Conklin are long overdue for guided discussion by today’s adolescents. Mary Langer Thompson appreciates his inclusion of foundational thinkers and his instructional materials for middle schoolers.
Seventh grade teacher Kami Spampinato uses four kid-savvy strategies to get her students to “buy in” to reading complex texts. In this post, former MS educator Anne Vilen of Expeditionary Learning summarizes each technique and shares supporting EL videos.
Upstanders supports the complex challenge of cross-content literacy with excellent lesson plans, and authors Smokey Daniels and Sara Ahmed also describe a path to develop the most difficult skill for young middle schoolers, learning to be truly empathic.