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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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Collaborative Planning: Integrating Curriculum Across Subjects

Last comment 5 days 1 hour ago
15 2,885 6,497 views

5 Reasons to Read for Reluctant Readers

Last comment 3 weeks 5 days ago
3 2,013 10,215 views

Why Revise? Because You Have an Authentic Audience

Last comment 3 days 6 hours ago
8 4,898 views

Simulations Can Change the Course of History . . . Classes

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 09:52
6 1,545 16,537 views

Collaborative Team Teaching: Challenges and Rewards

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:56
9 197 58,666 views

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A young teenage boy and girl, in middle school or ninth grade, are working at a classroom table. The boy is working on a HP laptop, and the girl is putting super glue on a piece of paper that's on top of a red lunch tray.
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Middle School Maker Journey: The Making of a Mantra

In part eight of his year-long series, Kevin Jarrett reveals the power of a four-word design thinking mantra dominating the wall of his middle-school makerspace.

8 701 8,859 views
Four female students are standing in a hallway beside their lockers, talking to each other in pairs.
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OMG, I Can't Even: Drama, Social Skills, and the Teenage Brain

Teen drama is the natural disconnect in socially and emotionally developing brains. Help them by honoring (not judging) their experience, teaching social skills, and encouraging reflection.

4 2,229 17,324 views
A young teenage boy in a teal t-shirt and brown pants is in the air on a skateboard. Both of his arms are extended out to his sides and his knees are up to his chest. He's hovering over a yellow beam against an off-white brick wall.
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The Teenage Brain: Stress, Coping, and Natural Highs

To help young people cope with stress and a rapidly developing brain, educate them about the "natural highs" of beneficial brain chemistry triggered by exercise and passion.

9 2,527 14,765 views
An illustration of a dark gray cat with a pink Pop-Tart as its body and a rainbow as its tail against a black background.
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Student Choice and Viral Videos

By creating and self-producing viral videos about their PBL topic, thinking like filmmakers will enhance students' ownership and deepen their learning.

6 698 5,709 views
Four young girls are sitting, writing at their desks. Five young students are standing by a projector at the front of the class, pointing at the screen, which is projecting four different sentences marked with blue marker.
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Tools for Differentiating Instruction in PBL

Differentiate the content, process, and product of your PBL lessons with tools and practices like Learning Profile Cards, narrative feedback, and design thinking.

1 1,869 20,671 views
Two young students are outside, bending over planks of wood, hammering them together.
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Empowering Students With Design Thinking

During a two-week design thinking project, middle-school students drew on their empathy for homeless people to design and build a prototype interim housing unit from shipping pallets.  

1,225 5,512 views
Three upper elementary girls are squatting next to a table, blowing on the wings of a toy car they've made, propelling it to move.
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Middle School Maker Journey: Assessment in an Ungraded Classroom

In part seven of his year-long series, Kevin Jarrett examines the role of student reflection and the challenges of assessment in his (ungraded) middle school makerspace.

3 170 7,875 views

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photo of a girl blowing a bubble out of chewing gum
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Back to School: Rules and Routines in the Classroom

As the school year begins, it's important for teachers to remember the difference between rules and routines in the classroom.

21 2,562 82,487 views
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Homework, Sleep, and the Student Brain

Guest blogger Glenn Whitman, Director of the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, suggests a scientific approach to manageable homework: students should do it without interruption, and schools shouldn't assign too much of it.

18 7,188 80,518 views
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Critical Thinking: A Necessary Skill in the Age of Spin

Attorney and author G. Randy Kasten suggests that educators have an obligation to prepare young minds for the thickening information cloud they're already being forced to navigate.

17 15,291 77,171 views
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Teaching Grammar: There Has to Be a Better Way (And There Is!)

When teaching grammar, guest blogger Steve Peha gets rid of the jargon and focuses on patterns.

14 398 76,974 views
Boy squinting, holding and looking through a cutout in a cardboard frame
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How the Arts Unlock the Door to Learning

Thanks to a bold strategy -- integrating the arts into curricula -- the faculty, staff, and students of Maryland's Bates Middle School are crafting a whole new vision of school transformation.

18 2,528 75,006 views
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Teaching Literary Analysis

Guide students through the five steps of understanding and writing literary analysis: choosing and focusing a topic, gathering, presenting and analyzing textual evidence, and concluding.

15 10,094 73,628 views
Two girls smiling, sitting at a desk
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Resources and Downloads to Improve Student Performance

Educators from Cochrane Collegiate Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, have provided these samples and resources for you to use in your school.

1 766 72,840 views

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