The authors of Shifting the Balance (Grades 3-5) invite literacy educators in the upper elementary and early middle grades to “engage in both the headwork and the heartwork required to ensure our practices are science-aligned and student-centered.” And do it in a safe space.
While most middle schoolers can decode text, the crux of any worthwhile lesson is assuring they understand what they’re reading and how it might impact them or the world around them. Peg Grafwallner shares strategies to help embed these literacy skills across the content areas.
Lauren Buell’s 8th grade ELA team works with students on a comprehensive unit that helps all participants develop speaking, listening, writing, reading and life skills as they prepare end-of-year TED-style talks. She shares the unit’s impact once students enter high school.
The Heart-Centered Teacher lives up to its promise of renewal, writes educator Sarah Cooper. Routman’s newest book “strives to be a mosaic of sorts: a combination of sometimes searing, sometimes poignant personal stories with on-the-ground insights from decades of experience.”
This year Katie Durkin’s 7th grade ELA students are involved in a weekly routine of G.R.O.W. work (Grammar, Reading, Open Write, and Word Work). Each 15-minute lesson aims to ‘grow’ stamina and literacy skills they can apply in her class and across the academic disciplines.
When we give students time to read a book they’ve chosen, time to practice skills and strategies they’ve been taught, time to read for pleasure and intellectual growth, time to talk about what they’ve read, they build reading stamina and endurance, write Dorfman and Krupp.
To help long-term English learners meet reading comprehension challenges, language specialist Tan Huynh shares strategies to use before reading, during reading, and after reading so that multilinguals have the scaffolding they need to read grade-level texts with understanding.
“I want to recognize that my students are, in fact, highly literate human beings whose understanding of literacy has been shaped by an age of screens and digital interactions,” writes ELA teacher Jason DeHart. The question becomes, how do we change to meet them where they are?
To teach students to master standards while also cultivating a love of reading, Laura Robb offers new ideas and resources and a new outlook on old practices in Increase Reading Volume. It is exactly what teachers need for their reading blocks, says literacy leader Sarah Valter.
Need fresh titles for your classroom library? ELA teacher Kasey Short shares 13 new books that are sure to resonate with middle graders. These relatable stories offer diverse perspectives and themes that authentically capture the experiences and challenges of today’s students.