The dark days of winter may be the best time to plan for spring step-up events to introduce students to next year's teachers. Christy Rush-Levine has a new goal of using the day to promote summer reading.
Mark Levine details a podcast assignment he used with his middle school students to explore civil rights topics, including software options, a template to help students get organized, and a realistic timeframe.
Christy Rush-Levine finds her middle school students are adept at planning for writing with notes and visuals, but rarely revise their drafts. She develops a minilesson sequence to help them hone their revision skills.
Christy Rush-Levine considers how her rubrics do not acknowledge different levels of support some students need to accomplish tasks. She rethinks her rubric design to include support, and in the process fosters more independence and reflection in students.
Mark Levine always has a few students each year in his middle school classroom who are stunned by their poor grades, even when they clearly aren't meeting expectations. He develops a rubric to enable students to monitor and reflect on their learning behaviors daily.
Mark Levine wonders if his middle school students are spending enough time reflecting on the L in K-W-L, so he creates a form to help.
Christy Rush-Levine discovers it’s important to “push pause” to deal with failure in the midst of teaching.
Mark Levine finds that the best way to deal with controversial topics like slavery in his middle school classroom is with open and focused whole-class discussions.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how they use the first days and weeks of school to celebrate summer reading and build a classroom community.
Christy Rush-Levine finds a community of new teachers bonds over a text highlighting addiction struggles. The experience leads her to think through what elements are essential for whole-class texts in her middle school classroom.
Jillian Heise shares advice for teachers who want to try a #bookaday challenge of sharing at least one picture book each day with older students. She gives criteria for book selection, as well as examples of books to read at the start of the school year.
Jillian Heise rises to the challenge of reading a new picture book to her seventh and eighth graders each day all year long.
Kate Mills and Tara Barnett provide some practical tips for connecting students and goals.
Carly Ullmer assesses how she can give consistent and meaningful feedback to every one of her many middle school students at least once a week.
Christy Rush-Levine uses a quick assessment during writing workshop conferences to connect expert students with peers who might need assistance. She includes a video example of the practice.
Christy Rush-Levine shares how to help student writers understand and develop a scholarly tone. The feature includes a video example of small-group instruction.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills use Monday Headlines to energize students after the weekend, and get a peek into what’s going on at home.
Christy Rush-Levine shares how to present counterclaims, as well as a video example of a small group exploring counterclaims.
Mark Levine finds that the secret to engaging students in what might be perceived as dry historical topics is to create curiosity with story.
Carly Ullmer transfers a messy goal-setting protocol to her seventh graders, and in the process finds they take on more accountability for individual success.
Carly Ullmer ponders what it means to take risks in her middle school classroom as she and her students experiment with different response options.
Christy Rush-Levine explains why she stocks some books in her middle school classroom library that can provoke concerns from families, and how she deals with conflicts.
Mark Levine finds his middle school students are appalled by some of the cultural differences from times gone by, and shares how he fosters more understanding.
Mark Levine uses quick-writes with his middle school students to set the expectation at the start of the week for work together that is independent, thoughtful, and conversational.
Ruth Ayres shares some of her favorite mentors and mentor texts for developing good writing processes and habits.
Christy Rush-Levine explains how she gradually stocked her middle school classroom library, as well as how she uses student librarians to ensure books aren’t lost.
Mark Levine helps his seventh-grade students transition to the learning of the day with a "compelling question" posted on the board before each class session.
Gretchen Taylor considers how she handles hard transitions as an adult, and questions how she can make transitions more efficient and valuable for her middle school students.
Christy Rush-Levine helps her eighth-grade students launch the work period with a reflective question that sets a tone for productivity, and then returns to it throughout the morning during transition times.
Carly Ullmer shares how much her seventh-grade students learn from examining their own growth as writers with baseline, midpoint, and final assessments throughout the year.
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