Creating opportunities for frank and healthy student conversations about social issues is especially significant as we face a global pandemic that affirms our humanity. Middle grades teacher Nancy Costanzo’s read alouds and writing ideas can help online and in class.
The pandemic has compelled Lauren Brown to draw on her answers to the core questions of teaching. The best she can offer her history students is clarity – to teach what she believes matters and why. “Because if it matters, my students will care. And if they care, they will learn.”
We now find ourselves in uncharted territory which requires we improve our remote teaching while we work to maintain calmness, clarity, consistency, and high standards for learning. Teacher educator Dr. Curtis Chandler offers educators a game plan to meet the challenge.
The global pandemic “will be in the history books, won’t it?” Absolutely, 8th grade teacher Lauren Brown told her students. She’s devised a simple home assignment – students create a ‘primary source’ for future historians by jotting down their questions, concerns and observations. See her suggested prompts to get kids started.
Now that her interaction with students is limited to a two-dimensional screen, Sarah Cooper is experiencing what many middle school teachers must feel each day of virtual learning – she misses the physicality of her kids’ messy, evolving, nonlinear growing-up process.
If co-teaching is a practice of sharing the classroom and students, what happens when our classroom is literally beyond the walls that usually hold us together? UDL coach Elizabeth Stein brings together current ideas about how to best serve students amid Covid-19, including those with special needs.
The strange new world we find ourselves a part of is perplexing to say the least. Principal Rita Platt expects, like her, you have experienced a wide range of emotions and concerns since schools closed. She offers practical advice and a virtual hug.
For teachers to help students not only survive but also thrive through this frightening pandemic, we need to underscore both their and our fundamental need for kindness and gratitude. Author-educator Dr. Debbie Silver shares the science of anxiety and lots of options to help.
Middle school teacher and dean Bill Ivey shares the story of his 7th graders, gathering online for the first time. “So much going on around us is frighteningly uncertain. How we go about schooling right now is far more important than the what. Familiarity. Flexibility. Agency. Community.”
Middle schools and their students are special. By design 6-8 grade schools are intended to be communities, organized in houses or teams as the kids are exploring themselves and their world. All this helps in the leap to online school, says teacher Laurie Lichtenstein.