This fall, with some tweaks and fresh online tools and resources, Halloween can still be fun and packed with learning whether your classes are online, in-person or both. Check out MiddleWeb’s updated resource collection for ideas across the content areas.
The Science Teacher’s Toolbox is written in a practical format with easy-to-follow directions for grades 4-12, says middle level science educator Tracy Albers. She suggests you “have your page marker tabs ready when you read through this treasure trove of valuable strategies!”
Hands-On Physical Science challenges 6th-8th graders to develop ways to solve tasks and answer questions using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach, taking abstract physics and chemistry concepts and make them more concrete and real-world, writes teacher Tracy Albers.
Simulations involve tactile or kinesthetic participation and offer a way for students to be actively engaged in lessons and experience another dimension of learning. Barbara Blackburn and two colleagues share online and in-class SS, ELA, and STEM ideas.
Using reading comprehension strategies in the content area helps students build background knowledge and academic skills. Tara Dale and Mandi White, authors of The Science Teacher’s Toolbox, share four techniques they use to help middle schoolers grasp informational text.
Help middle graders connect past and present using the easy-to-understand lessons in Hands-On Archaeology. Teacher educator Linda Biondi says the authors show us how giving kids opportunities to ‘dig’ in and out of class can build team skills and cross-curricular learning.
Differentiating Instruction with Menus is great for encouraging middle level students’ voice and choice and allows teachers without a strong science background to feel more comfortable with the content (especially chemistry), writes science teacher-coach Emily Lane.
Science classrooms, with all their teamwork, are great places to help students learn to “choose kindness,” says teacher and NGSS consultant Kathy Renfrew. At the same time, we must ensure equity, “where all learners have access to the tools they need to find success.”
Inquiry Illuminated shows teachers how to blend personalized learning, content area instruction, and literacy instruction into a cohesive, manageable block of time where students are self-directed and the teacher is free to work with small groups, writes Paul Solarz.
The workshop model moves beyond literacy in Inquiry Illuminated. The authors present science and social studies in a workshop framework, engaging students from research to presentation. Literacy specialist Andrea Doyon recommends the detailed book to teachers and districts.