A just-crafted clay dino from seventh grader Gil reminds Dina Strasser that middle graders need unstructured time under the careful but non-interfering eye of a teacher who is trained to watch, listen and learn. Making room for such time is a challenge that’s seldom met.
Bringing the four types of writing from ELA to math class allows students to explain their thinking, opening a big window for teachers into their level of understanding. “Why Write in Math Class? K-5” by Linda Dacey shows how to make this happen, says Kathie Palmieri.
Jerry Burkhart’s explorations challenge accelerated students with Common Core based math study while engaging other students with creative, and differentiated, problems to solve. Kathleen Palmieri notes the fully developed resources that support the explorations.
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.
Photos, zipper baggie quilts, stick puppets, story time capsules and more – all add to the learning in Simmons and Guinn’s collection of hands-on activities for kids in K-5. Educator Elizabeth OBrien says activities can be easily adapted from one subject area to another.
Alexis Wiggins has taken a 1930s Socratic discussion strategy and enriched it to provide more detail about process, assessment and self-reflection. Teacher Joanne Bell finds Wiggins’ Spider Web technique a useful tool to develop learners ready for 21st century employment.
Research has given us a better understanding of fun, but educators still struggle to make it part of classroom learning. Curtis Chandler shares 10 questions he asks as he works to create challenge and playfulness in his lessons. Engaging apps and tools are part of the mix.
Do teachers always need to be the tour guide and plan every step of the learning journey? Consultant Gravity Goldberg believes teachers can also be co-explorers and create opportunities for students to make their own discoveries. Her sample reading unit shows how.
Remember AAA’s Triptiks – the travel resource kits put together for members? If so, you have some inkling of consultant Mike Fisher’s idea to rev up mid-grades curriculum across content areas by having students create their own project-specific learning journeys.