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.
Christy Rush-Levine and some struggling eighth-grade readers consider misogyny in a popular children’s book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Christy Rush-Levine breaks her routine of responding to student writing, and instead calls on students to guide and support peers. She shares some surprising results.
Christy Rush-Levine piques the interest of her eighth graders in When We Broke Up by Daniel Handler.
Christy Rush-Levine explains her formula for successful book talks in middle school that grab students' attention. We've also included a sample book talk.
Carly Ullmer describes the activity she's developed for getting her middle school readers out of reading ruts by sampling different authors and genres.
Christy Rush-Levine shows the power of using picture books with young adolescents to model close reading and deepen comprehension of sophisticated texts.
Christy Rush-Levine takes an oddly shaped unused nook in her classroom and turns it into a charming space where students can choose to take a quiet break with a “Self-Imposed Time-Out” (SITO).
Carly Ullmer finds herself wasting a lot of time because of interruptions during student conferences, so she makes building stamina in her middle school students a priority.
Kim Campbell suggests activities and prompts to energize narrative writing with teens.
Carly Ulmer uses visual literacy to build writing skills with her seventh graders through two powerful minilessons.
Christy Rush-Levine finds the best way to help her middle school students learn to read closely for literary analysis is through student writing. They begin with analyzing student exemplars from the Common Core, and then move to shared texts as they hone their skills.
Christy Rush-Levine makes links between standards, video clips, and close reading.
What information is gathered by a teacher sitting in a rocking chair quietly watching her students? Christy Rush-Levine discover it is plenty.
Carly Ullmer presents a fun activity for introducing teens to new books and each other as readers, capitalizing on their interests.
Christy Rush-Levine challenges the notion that there is anything easy or natural about getting young teens to select and read books independently in classrooms.
What do you do on day one? Christy Rush-Levine describes the routines in her middle school classroom.
Carly Ullmer learns a powerful lesson about teaching her middle school students to respond to peer writing.
Jillian Heise’s middle school students design text sets late in the school year. It’s a great activity for discovering how they have grown as readers, as well as a gift to next year’s class.
Jillian Heise shares a marvelous poetry writing activity for students who are transitioning from elementary to middle school, or middle to high school.
Christy Rush-Levine finds she has to rethink learning targets for her middle school students if she wants students to pursue complex and lifelong reading goals.
Jillian Heise uses the quirky genre of book blurbs in her middle school classroom to model summaries and glean information about students’ comprehension, reading interests, and writing skills.
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