The second edition of John F. Barell’s “Why Are School Buses Always Yellow?” shows teachers how they can inspire young minds to think beyond the text, to ask questions and to wonder, achieving inquiry learning while meeting standards, says reviewer Linda Biondi.
Jackie Walsh shares resources and strategies teachers can use to partner with students and create new roles and responsibilities in classroom questioning. Replace traditional “interrogation” with methods of inquiry that reveal understanding and strengthen learning.
On each page of History Class Revisited, teacher Jody Passanisi reveals a deep knowledge of middle school minds and hearts and offers many engaging strategies to help students on the way from literal to critical thinking about history, says reviewer Sarah Cooper.
The Genius Hour Guidebook by Denise Krebs & Gallit Zvi provides a practical guide for teachers who want to encourage students to pursue their passionate interests and expand their 21st century skill set. Reviewer Laura Von Staden also recommends the companion website.
We always hear about the “real world” vs. the world in school. Project Based Learning helps to break down that barrier and better merges the two. It’s also undeniably engaging and lures kids into rigorous learning, as in Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s “Invention Unit.”
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.
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.
Standards-driven reading lessons often force students to “take” rather than “make” meaning from complex texts, says educator Dorothy Barnhouse. To deepen understanding, she recommends letting students first “notice” and think about the textual layers.
National teacher leader and NBCT Nancy Flanagan reveals the essence of excellent teaching in the middle grades by answering four questions that a new middle grades educator might ask. Question #1: How can I build trusting relationships with these students?
The teaching landscape has changed since Marsha Ratzel put students in charge of learning. They are stronger, more confident and willing to do the hard stuff.