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Blackout Poems and Paint-Chip Haiku: Two Fun Ways into Poetry with Adolescents

Jillian Heise uses the lowly paint-chip board to inspire poetry in her middle school students.

Teaching Search Skill Basics to Students

Bill Bass has advice for teaching web-based search skills to students.

10 Ways to Publish Student Work

Erin Ocon compiles a list of the ways she publishes writing of her teen students.

How to Get a Book to Catch Fire

If your goal is to get teens more excited about independent reading, Gretchen Schroeder has suggestions to help.

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: Teaching Book Choice Strategies to Middle Schoolers

Katie Doherty helps students make choices for independent reading.

Philanthropy and Literacy in Eighth Grade

Beth Honeycutt and Rita Schaeffer introduce a reading and writing activity to their eighth-grade students designed to help them understand philanthropy, using a video to enhance the lesson.

Supporting Introverts in Literacy Workshops

Kim Campbell has suggestions for ways teachers can help introverts have more say in literacy workshops.

Inform, Inspire, Instruct: Essays as Mentor Texts in High School

Kim Campbell shares her favorite nonfiction short texts to use with adolescents.

The Weight of Stories

Some of our students lead such hard lives. Christy Rush-Levine explores how teachers can keep from being dragged into the undertow of the most difficult situations children face.

My Middle Schoolers Still Can’t Spell!: Focusing on Individual Students

Gretchen Taylor concludes her two-part series on spelling instruction in middle school.  In this installment, Gretchen visits a colleague in the primary grades to get advice and practical insight.

The Power of Reading Habits

Gretchen Taylor’s overscheduled middle school students have almost no time for reading outside the classroom. She finds that some reflective inquiry helps them build reading habits at home.

My Middle Schoolers Can’t Spell!

Gretchen Taylor has a common teacher's lament about spelling, so she decides to do something about it. This is the first installment in a two-part series.

Close Reading and Multiple Layers in Middle School

Christy Rush-Levine uses striking texts that inspire multiple readings by her middle school students.

What Kenny Taught Me

Jennifer Schwanke has a student who just won't sit still and behave appropriately in her middle school classroom. She finally gives up. That's where the learning begins.

Can Books Harm Children? Support and Censorship

Shari Frost asks a provocative question: Can books harm children? She explores practical ways for teachers to walk the fine line between support and censorship in matching books to students.

Effective Organization

 Ruth Ayres has tips for organizing desks, tables, chairs, and materials to support literacy learning.

Giving Audio Feedback to Student Writing

If you find yourself buried in student work that needs a response, you’ll enjoy suggestions from Bill Bass for using a nifty new online tool.

First Shared Text: Fishing for Many Meanings with Adolescents

Christy Rush-Levine introduces her middle school students to the complexity of reading on the first day of school.

Giving Up Television

Gretchen Taylor finds giving up television enables her to reconsider many habitual behaviors.

Final Literacy Contracts: Student-Generated Themes

Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller close out the year with their final literacy contracts. It’s time for students to take ownership of their learning, so they select the themes.

Home and School, Fiction and Nonfiction: Eighth-Grade Conference

Katie Baydo-Reed confers with an eighth-grade student moving between fiction and nonfiction texts, and gives advice about which books are appropriate for home reading.

The Data Wall Debacle

Shari Frost has a suggestion for what shouldn’t be on classroom walls: student assessment scores. She explains why this practice can be harmful to students.

April Literacy Contracts: Discovery

Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller choose a theme of discovery for their April literacy contracts.

Creating Video with Students: Tools and Tips

Bill Bass gives advice and provides resources for creating video with high school students.

March Literacy Contracts: Nonfiction Curiosities

This month’s literacy contract for middle school students focuses on nonfiction texts and growing independence in the classroom.

Writing Fiction: More Than Just a Walk in the Park

Is there room for fiction writing in middle schools in the age of the Common Core? Katie Baydo-Reed shares eight compelling reasons why fiction writing is still essential in her eighth-grade classroom.

Sentence Combining in Workshops

Heather Rader has strategies for using sentence combining in literacy workshops.

The Power of Mystery Series for Teens and Tweens

Ruth Shagoury shares her top picks of mystery series for teens and tweens.

A Tool Worth Exploring: Sentence Combining

Heather Rader begins a new series on sentence combining, an alternative to traditional drill and kill grammar instruction.

Deeper Writing: The Story Behind the Selfie

Gretchen Taylor taps into a cultural phenomenon with her seventh-grade writers to help them deepen their writing and reflection.

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