Gretchen Schroeder taps into the connections between characters by creating sociograms with her high school students.
Christy Rush-Levine confers with Carson about his connections to sports in his reading.
Leigh Anne Eck provides a guide to developing an End-of-Year Reflection for students to consider their own growth, as well as offer advice regarding curriculum and instruction.
Gretchen Schroeder makes the leap to digital notebooks and finds new life in a tried-and-true practice.
Christy Rush-Levine offers a close look into the needs of readers by considering engagement, enrichment and nourishment. She offers three examples of reading conferences with students.
Shari Frost shares her favorite graphic novel adaptations for the middle grades.
Christy Rush-Levine faces the challenge of helping her students see summary writing not as drudgery, but as a way to build more sophisticated thinking around texts.
Melissa Quimby shares online routines to strengthen the class reading community.
Christy Rush-Levine confers with Adriana over her response to Pretty Little Liars, considering differences between the television show and book.
Kate Mills and Tara Barnett pinpoint common difficulties in sixth-grade memoir. They share teaching points and student writing samples before and after revision.
Christy Rush-Levine considers how to communicate to all students that their presence and their identities are valued and appreciated.
Mark Levine finds humor is the “secret sauce” in engaging middle school students and including introverts in the classroom community.
Mark Levine explains the many ways read alouds can enhance and deepen learning for middle school students in content areas like social studies and science.
Christy Rush-Levine confers with Brendan about his literary analysis and how to match evidence and claims. She has him talk through his understanding of the text, using the oral rehearsal to plan his writing.
What makes choice authentic in literacy workshops? Christy Rush-Levine grapples with this tough question that leads to changes in her instruction.
Christy Rush-Levine discovers that a move to digital feedback reveals many important truths about her middle school students, including insights about the effect of grades on how learners view response to their work.
Christy Rush-Levine lowers the tension level in her class over management issues by moving from irritation to curiosity, using her “inner chimpanzee” voice.
What’s the difference between a lesson and a minilesson? Christy Rush-Levine finds that flexibility is just as important as length in making minilessons work well.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills explain how they use examples from YA authors of how to mine everyday life for powerful ideas. They then help students move from ideas to blurbs as they start their realistic fiction drafts.
Christy Rush-Levine confers with Griffin over his reading responses. They consider the differences between dystopian literature and realistic fiction, as well as what motivates characters.
Mark Levine has many students who haven’t traveled much more than 100 miles from home. He makes history come to life for them by bringing artifacts into his middle school classroom.
Christy Rush-Levine helps Alyssa draft her literary analysis essay.
Tammy Mulligan shares how she introduces students to the process of interpreting literature at different grade and developmental levels.
Christy Rush-Levine shares the strategies she uses to help her middle school students take ownership of their literary analysis essays.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share the power of teaching writer’s craft in bite-sized chunks, through careful study of mentor sentences in read alouds.
In this conference in Christy Rush-Levine’s eighth-grade classroom, Jaden is reading a book that mixes math with basketball, an activity he enjoys at home.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find that they have to change the way they think about connecting with families once students reach middle school.
Mark Levine wonders why his most some of his most skilled readers take the most time to get through texts. So he asks them, and gets some fascinating answers he uses to assist struggling students.
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