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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

6-8 Middle School

Explore and share tips, strategies, and resources for helping students develop in grades 6-8.

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A female teacher in glasses is sitting at a desk with a tablet in front of her looking up towards a young boy. The young boy is wearing a green shirt and is standing to her left.

Resources for Using iPads in Grades 6-8

Looking for advice on integrating iPads in middle school classrooms? In this curated guide, we’ve compiled resources to help you find apps, learn about best practices, and explore ideas for engaging activities.

Still Can't Remember All Their Names?

How using multiple modalities to teach can help you remember student names -- and the activities are Common Core aligned.

The Art of Managing Middle School Students

Administrator Ben Johnson offers up tricks of the trade for working with middle school kids.

Projects to Engage Middle School Readers

Beth Holland turns to apps that can engage middle school readers in a deeper understanding of narrative elements, character study, and author intent.

Common Core ELA Resources for Middle School Educators

Implementing Common Core English in middle school is going to be a challenge. Matt Davis curates some of the best resources online that can help update existing content.

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Two teenage girls are sitting outside at a glass table, eating lunch and laughing.
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Building Students' Cognitive Flexibility

As caretakers of adolescents' developing brainpower, teachers can help their students recognize inattentional blindness, embrace divergent thinking, and harness the potential of transferring their learning.

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Tablets and lamented information sheets next to boxes filled with marine life span across nine classroom tables. Seven students are sitting at one table, two students are standing together, and two others wearing headphones are working individually.
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100+ Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media

Social media can enhance differentiated instruction if the tools are selected with a careful eye on individual students' readiness, interests, and learning profiles.

25 10,969 64,949 views
An adult's hands are guiding a student's hand to use an upscale hole punch. They're holding it on top of a desk. There's an opened binder, papers, scissors, and a pencil strewn across the desk.
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Upcycling and the Low-Tech Makerspace

Upcycling happens in a makerspace when design thinking meets hard-to-recycle junk. Inspire students to design and create cool, useful products from trash otherwise destined for landfill.

1 195 3,544 views
An aerial shot of a table covered with paint, two paintings, a tissue box, paint brushes, and two arms painting from opposite ends of the table.
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Online Archives: Fun and Fascinating Classroom Resources

From an online collection of visual archetypes to royalty free music, these resources are great for the classroom or for just taking a fun trip down the rabbit hole of history.

1 39 1,818 views
photo of two kids playing a video game
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Action Video Gameplay: Benefits and Dangers

While evidence suggests that action video games enhance higher-order brain functions, the violence built into most commercial titles is far from beneficial.

1 110 1,033 views
A librarian is peering over the shoulder of a student who is sitting next to two other female students, all working on desktop computers in a library.
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Critical Analysis and Information Literacy

Teach students to evaluate what data needs to be gathered, what characterizes fact versus opinion, and where to find the most current and useful information.

13 1,091 7,911 views
Three young teens are standing, hovering over a long, brown desk with folders, a red bin filled with notebooks, a pair of scissors, and opened folders with papers strewn across it. The girl is leaning towards a laptop, typing.
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Middle School Maker Journey: Recapping the Capstones

In the conclusion of his 11-part series, Kevin Jarrett reviews the capstone projects that illustrate both the triumphs and flaws of his middle-school makerspace program's launch year.

5 69 2,290 views

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Four kids around a desk as one points to something
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Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement

Blogger and English teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron asked her eighth grade students what they find most engaging in the classroom.

60 25,363 349,932 views
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8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language

Edutopia blogger Todd Finley explains how academic language differs from social language and offers eight specific strategies for teaching the vocabulary that students require to succeed in the Common Core and on the SAT.

36 9,315 259,795 views
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Bell Ringer Exercises

Edutopia blogger Todd Finley presents an overview of bell work - short, focused exercises to help students make the most of valuable classroom time.

26 1,550 259,170 views
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5 Tips for Teaching the Tough Kids

Guest blogger Josh Work shares five techniques for dealing with middle school students who present ongoing discipline issues. His underlying theme is recognizing these kids as adolescents seeking ways to cope with stress or complicated lives.

71 17,376 198,177 views
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Motivating the Unmotivated

A simple, no-cost video chat program motivates unruly, disengaged elementary and middle school students through relationships with high school students who demonstrate the value of education.

31 28,964 187,768 views
photo of teacher in front of an engaged classroom
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6 Engaging End-of-Year Projects

Consider one of these six engaging and creative student projects to wrap of the school year.

20 5,874 187,768 views
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Don’t Listen to Music While Studying

Guest blogger David Cutler, a history, government and journalism teacher, asks us to face the music about whether or not listening our favorite tunes while studying actually helps our concentration.

26 12,469 165,911 views

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