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The Truth About Building a Writing Community in Middle School

Building a sense of community is complicated in middle school classrooms. Katie Baydo-Reed considers her eighth graders, and is surprised at what endures most with these young teens.

On Compassion

You’re a sucky teacher!”¬† How would you respond if a student hurled those words at you? Katie Baydo-Reed¬† shares a deeply honest and personal account of the year early in her career when she developed a corrosive relationship with her students, and what she learned from the experience about compassion.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall from the Tree: Nurturing Critical Thinking and Choice with Middle School Writers

Katie Baydo-Reed has to try, try, and try again to get high quality writing and thinking from her eighth graders, but the effort builds independence and reflection.

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Introducing Annotation in Eighth Grade

Katie Baydo-Reed introduces the concept of annotating text to her eighth-grade students.

Fantasy Reading in Eighth Grade

Katie Baydo-Reed confers with an eighth-grade student who is reading The Hobbit.

Middle School Conferring About a Series

In this video from Katie Doherty’s sixth-grade classroom, Katie confers with a student who has returned to a series book she had previously rejected. Katie weaves in talk about strategies, particularly inferring (a focus of whole-class minilessons).

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