Middle school teachers Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller focus on journeys and quests as the theme of their January Literacy Contracts in the latest installment of their year-long series.
Gretchen Taylor finds the three little words “tell me more” provide breakthroughs in helping her middle school students respond to reading.
Katie Doherty explains how reading gutters, an inexpensive design feature, dress up her middle school classroom and build community at the same time.
Jeff Anderson continues his Explanatory Grammar Series with a feature on the power of right-branching sentences.
Max Brand developed Spelling Cycles as an alternative to weekly spelling tests. He explains how they work with an example from a third-grade class.
Middle school teachers Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller focus on winter in short texts as the theme of their December Literacy Contracts in the latest installment of their year-long series.
Ruth Ayres explains how deciding the purpose of conferring in advance can lead to more powerful conferences.
The November installment of Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller’s yearlong literacy contract series has a theme of family and memoir.
Shari Frost celebrates a tomboy who finally finds a female character she wants to emulate with a booklist highlighting courageous girls.
Jeff Anderson explores the difference between informational and explanatory writing, and what that might mean for teaching craft moves to students.
Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller continue their monthly series on using literacy contracts in middle school. The October literacy contracts have a theme of fear and conflict.
Julie Johnson provides helpful tips and a letter for parents to help keep students safe on the Internet.
Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller are Emphasizing Empathy in their September literacy contracts for middle school students.
Maggie Beattie Roberts and Kate Roberts present a step-by-step process for close reading in the middle and high school grades involving multiple passes through the same text.
Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller present Reading Contracts, a system for middle and high school teachers that involves students contracting to complete specific texts and tasks each month.
Gretchen Taylor goes through the stages of "value-added grief" when her sixth-grade team receives disappointing test scores from the state. Teacher research helps her find joy again in her classroom, as well as some useful strategies for helping a group of struggling readers.
Franki Sibberson finds Pinterest is a useful tool for professional development.
Even if your district is blocking web video now, it's not going anywhere. As time goes on, schools will rely more and more on video available from the Internet for research and learning. Bill Bass has practical advice for helping middle and high school students assess everything from suspect sources to appalling comments on the Wild Wild Web.
Choice Literacy contributors share their picks for the first read aloud of the year.
Katherine Sokolowski has tips for a "book club" summer reading camp for middle school students.
How do you guide students to select books for independent summer reading? Aimee Buckner challenges teachers who are requiring middle students to pick books based solely on Lexile scores.
Books can help children deal with the toughest challenges in life. In a new booklist, Andie Cunningham shares her top picks for stories about characters grappling with the death of a loved one.
Shari Frost explains why shared reading is valuable for older students, with examples of the practice in the intermediate grades.
When middle school students have choice and independence in book clubs they lead themselves, how do you assess their learning and thinking? Katie Doherty provides a variety of question prompts she uses with groups to spark reflection on learning.
Sheiks, harems, and terrorists — the stereotypes of the middle east from popular culture may not be realistic, but they sure are pervasive. Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham find authentic alternative views to present to children in their new booklist.
Shari Frost describes how a sixth-grade teacher provides a range of poetry options to meet the needs of all students.
Franki Sibberson considers how the demands of the Common Core and the complex mix of online and offline nonfiction texts are changing the skills she teaches students.
Gretchen Taylor explains her role in observing Maria’s fifth-grade classroom, and then building a relationship with students and their families.
Gretchen Taylor explains how she uses that old chestnut The Outsiders with her sixth graders for shared reading and to build skills in annotating text. The article includes a video example of a small group.
Katie Doherty shares many ways to make vocabulary learning fun in middle school, beginning with students working together to select words to study each week.
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