As summer approaches, finding a balance between post-testing fluff and demanding, multi-week projects can be a challenge. Middle school teacher Cheryl Mizerny shares a bevy of her own classroom-tested activities that are brief, enjoyable and likely to spur learning.
Tagged: It’s Not Easy Being Tween
Over the years Cheryl Mizerny has crafted poetry experiences that her students really enjoy. Her reading and writing ideas enable kids to understand poems without dreading the annual “poetry unit” she herself disliked as a tween. She shares 10 of her favorites.
Noting the barrage of criticism educators face from beyond the classroom, Cheryl Mizerny recommends that teachers across the generations unite to build the profession through full collaboration, rejecting the current widespread stereotyping of rookies and veterans.
Activating prior knowledge and building background knowledge are crucial steps in preparing students for whole class novels and other assigned readings. Cheryl Mizerny shares a dozen strategies she’s developed to promote enthusiastic reading among her students.
Middle grades teacher Cheryl Mizerny’s favorite way to introduce new concepts in her ELA classroom engages students in “sticky” inductive reasoning and group investigations. Based on Bruner’s Concept Attainment research, the technique can work in any subject.
In Cheryl Mizerny’s view, authentic “personalized education” would have skilled teachers navigating as students powered their own learning. It would be a practice and not the product being sold by digital LMS companies as an acceptable substitute for teacher talent.
Few things are more important to Cheryl Mizerny than creating a classroom environment that honors all of her multicultural students. She looks at beliefs, the visual environment, instructional materials, and teaching choices for ways to support everyone’s learning.
First day routines evolve over the years, says veteran teacher Cheryl Mizerny, but she has found that addressing 7 questions most students bring to class will help them feel welcome and excited about learning. A student advisory panel supports her observations.
Each school year Cheryl Mizerny’s 6th graders explore three whole novels as a class. In this post, she shares the 10 techniques she’s developed to maximize the experience, including “reading like writers” and applying fiction’s life lessons to their own world.
Cheryl Mizerny is excited about the maker movement and all that it implies for education, but she hopes educators will take school-based makerspaces in the direction of incorporating 21st century learning goals, avoiding rote projects, and promoting innovation.