The winter doldrums that threaten many classrooms can be blown away with fresh teaching ideas, humor, movement and more. Middle level educator Cheryl Mizerny shares suggestions for enlivening the weeks that fill the calendar between the holidays and spring break.
Genius Hour gives students the opportunity to be autonomous in their learning. Sometimes, though, they need a little start-up help. Experts Gallit Zvi and Denise Krebs share lots of starter ideas for students and classrooms and urge readers to add their own.
Policastro, McTague, and Mazeski bring the collective expertise of university professors and veteran teachers to bear in this thoroughly researched and well-documented book to assist educators as they develop formative assessment practices, says Nancy Chodoroff.
Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s passion for PBL goes back to her elementary years. Nowadays she builds units for middle schoolers to encourage their journeys through learning. Here she shares a structure to support students while simplifying teachers’ preparation.
In The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun Josh Burker situates the Constructivist theories of active learning within the playful exploration and creation of the Maker’s Movement while also providing detailed guides for intriguing projects, says reviewer Kevin Hodgson.
Inner-city history teacher Aaron Brock has developed a childrens’ book project for eighth graders, many of whom struggle with academic literacy. He details how his step-by-step approach addresses important skills and serves as a synthesis and assessment tool.
History teacher Jody Passanisi pauses during the end-of-year whirlwind to reflect on classes that went well and teaching that will need more work. TodaysMeet and Ideapaint get a thumbs up. Student blogging will need adjustments. For now, summer PD beckons.
Will 2015 be the year when we decide what STEM programs should and shouldn’t be? STEM consultant Anne Jolly peruses the field of current middle school programs and compares the many permutations to STEM criteria defined by the initiative’s originators.
As Mary Tarashuk’s fourth graders took part in the Hour of Code this past December – assuming then switching roles as drivers and navigators in a code writing exercise – she considered how she might play the navigator more often in her own classroom.
When Sandy Wisneski engaged middle graders in a comic book project that combined writing, art and social studies, she wanted a whiz-bang culminating activity. She struck virtual gold when she found professional comics illustrator and author Alex Simmons.