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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.

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.

PBL: Jumping in Headfirst

Join two middle school teachers in their first post of a year-long series about implementing a PBL pilot program in their fifth grade classroom.

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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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.

51 1,828 71,572 views
Building Formative Assessment into Game-Based Learning
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How a Classroom Game Becomes an Embedded Assessment

Guest blogger Ross Flatt, a sixth grade teacher at Quest to Learn, demonstrates how studying geography with Galactic Mappers can be a viable strategy for embedding assessment in a classroom game.

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The Key to Preparing Difficult Students for the Real World

Guest blogger Allen Mendler compares what's expected of students in school to what will be expected of them in the real world, and suggests more realistic goals for giving them a more satisfying academic life.

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Author Commentary That's Simply App Smashing

Guest blogger Ross Cooper, a fourth grade teacher with a creative approach to literature study, gets his students into the authors' heads by having them imagine an interview and then construct it via app smashing.

278 2,816 views
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Frictionless Formative Assessment with Social Media

Reference librarian and guest blogger Paige Alfonzo cites EMS (experience sampling study) as a foundation for using social media as a formative assessment tool for students who already live in that world.

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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 2,730 64,180 views
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6 iPad Apps for Creative Writing

Edutopia blogger Monica Burns, recognizing that written storytelling doesn't come easily to every child, has hunted down six iPad apps that will bring fun and creative challenge to learning this essential real-world skill.

10 1,143 34,730 views

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Three Steps for Improving Teacher Questions

Blogger Ben Johnson offers three steps for creating richer classroom discussions.

8 608 29,301 views
Keeping Assessment Relevant and "Authentic"
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Keeping It Relevant and "Authentic"

Mistakes become learning opportunities in Ben Mook's 7th grade Algebra class. To assess his students, Mook challenges them to solve real life problems, and emphasizes their thought processes over getting the right answers.

9 111 29,184 views
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Practical PBL: The Ongoing Challenges of Assessment

Katherine Piper offers three standards of assessment for individual student participation in PBL teams.

13 592 29,067 views
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Visual Art as Critical Thinking

Blogger Andrew Miller celebrates teachers who engage their students' cognitive abilities through creative methods.

12 789 28,950 views
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Helping Students Develop the Skills to Focus

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias shares a classroom activity that helps K-8 students develop their ability to focus and pay better attention.

23 463 28,715 views
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4 Steps to Better Writers

Guest blogger Brian Sztabnik isolates four steps to becoming a better writer - Purpose, Organization, Evidence and Thesis (POET) - and, with this prewriting exercise, encourages his students to 'be POETs' before writing their essays.

12 848 28,598 views
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Beyond the Book Report: Ten Alternatives

Blogger Elena Aguilar shares some creative ideas to make book reports more fun and meaningful for all types of learners (and teachers!).

11 730 28,364 views

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