Blogs on Middle (6-8)

Blogs on Middle (6-8)RSS
Beth HollandOctober 2, 2013

I vividly remember how I first learned to take notes. My sixth grade geography teacher lectured in outline style: "Roman Numeral one - China. A - Qin Dynasty. 1 - Rulers . . . " We wrote down precisely what he said, and to this day, I still take notes in outline form. However, consider Sunni Brown's TED Talk, "Doodlers Unite." She argues that engaging in sketching while listening to complex ideas further supports learning.

Read More
Philip McIntoshOctober 1, 2013

The quality and skill of the teacher is one of the most important factors (if not the most important) influencing the success of any learning environment. But you can stand at the front of a classroom and teach until you are blue in the face, and it doesn't guarantee that any learning actually happens. So what separates successful teachers from less successful ones? Anyone will tell you that it's relationships. That's why it is critical to establish and maintain positive relationships with students throughout the school year. It's also not a bad idea to get some learning to happen while you're at it.

Read More
Ben JohnsonSeptember 25, 2013

Squirrels. That is what they remind me of. We were all that age once and we were all just like squirrels! Have you ever watched a squirrel? Zoom, freeze for two seconds, flick tail, and repeat. The trick for being a successful middle school teacher is holding their attention for more than just those few seconds. Believing that that is possible requires a huge leap of faith and trust.

Read More
Maurice EliasSeptember 19, 2013

As the new school year starts, there is value in asking all of our middle and high school students (at least) to think about something most will have heard of, but not thought about very deeply. Why? Because ultimately, education is about looking more deeply at the world around us, asking the critical questions, not simply accepting what is being presented, and creating new knowledge.

Read More
Elena AguilarSeptember 10, 2013

If you haven't yet seen Fruitvale Station, go see it now. This film will rip your heart open and leave you feeling raw, and you would be wise to let it do so. It will most likely change the way you see your students, in a way that will make you a better teacher. This film now tops my list of movies that teachers should see.

Read More
Todd FinleySeptember 6, 2013

Because of pressure to teach bell-to-bell -- the pedagogical equivalent of force-feeding geese to make foie gras -- many classrooms now start with bell work, short exercises that students complete while the instructor attends to attendance and other administrative chores. Journal prompts and concept questions can focus students on nutritious academic content and initiate a positive tempo for the next 90 minutes of class.

Read More
Monica BurnsSeptember 6, 2013

The Common Core Learning Standards describe the importance of teaching students how to comprehend informational text. They are asked to read closely, make inferences, cite evidence, analyze arguments and interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text. Primary source documents are artifacts created by individuals during a particular period in history. This could be a letter, speech, photograph or journal entry. If you're looking to integrate social studies into your literacy block, try out one of these resources for primary source documents.

Read More
Monica BurnsSeptember 4, 2013

Aligning instruction to meet the Common Core State Standards is the new norm for educators across most of the United States. In the middle school math classroom, technology can be used to help students reach mastery of these Common Core skills. Let's take a look at a sixth grade geometry standard and how, using technology, teachers can promote engagement through student-centered exploration of this skill.

Read More
Rebecca AlberAugust 30, 2013

Ah, listening, the neglected literacy skill. I know when I was a high school English teacher this was not necessarily a primary focus; I was too busy honing the more measurable literacy skills -- reading, writing, and speaking. But when we think about career and college readiness, listening skills are just as important.

Read More
Matt LevinsonAugust 28, 2013

The old saying "Do as I say, not as I do" could not apply more to adults when dealing with kids and technology. Modeling is so important, and when it comes to digital life, adults set the bar pretty low for their kids.

Read More