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Language Arts and Literacy

20 Literacy Strategies for Engaging the Middle Level Brain

20 Literacy Strategies for Engaging the Middle Level Brain

Effective ways to enhance reading and writing experiences.

Recently, I was teaching a language arts class in Logan, West Virginia. The objective of the lesson was to analyze the impact of tradition on human behavior using narrative text. Sounds really dull, doesn't it? It...
Author: Marcia L. Tate
Number of views (29575)/Comments (2)/
Making Meaning with Films

Making Meaning with Films

Films can—and should—be more than time-killers in your classroom.

We all know the stereotypical image of the teacher who, tired of direct instruction, dims the lights, turns on the DVD player, and sits quietly while students stare at the screen. The problem here is not that students...
Author: Jason D. DeHart
Number of views (9887)/Comments (0)/
Skimming and Scanning for Understanding

Skimming and Scanning for Understanding

Teaching students to skim and scan can hone their skills for college and beyond.

Regardless of their achievement level, students sometimes reach the end of a difficult reading passage with no recollection or understanding of what they have read. Even highly proficient readers may find themselves...
Author: Kaitlyn Hartling
Number of views (9463)/Comments (1)/
The Love Bubble

The Love Bubble

Using writing as opportunities for students to grieve and grow.

Teachers are perpetual students. Each day we learn some new piece of information from a book, an article, or a podcast, but we often learn a great deal more from our students. This following story is inspired by an...
Author: Sandy Cameli
Number of views (8646)/Comments (0)/
Getting Students Excited about Analytical Writing

Getting Students Excited about Analytical Writing

Imagine students wanting to improve their writing—just because!

What if students improved their writing because they wanted to, not just to get a good grade? What if their motivation to do better was fueled by teacher conferences and quick feedback? That fantasy could be closer...
Author: Joy Mushacke Smith
Number of views (8872)/Comments (0)/
Selecting Complex Texts with Intention

Selecting Complex Texts with Intention

Exploring the five plagues of complex text.

One of the most important aspects of teaching literacy in the classroom is text selection, the process by which teachers choose what their students will read. For many teachers, text selection boils down to choosing...
Author: Doug Lemov, Colleen Driggs, Erica Woolway
Number of views (8441)/Comments (0)/
Bridging the Literacy Gap in Science

Bridging the Literacy Gap in Science

Meeting new science standards can be hard for students who struggle with reading and writing.

How do you teach the new science standards to students who struggle with reading and writing? Many middle school science teachers face this dilemma, which is especially challenging for science educators at my school....
Author: Theressa Varner
Number of views (8625)/Comments (0)/
One Text—Many Perspectives

One Text—Many Perspectives

Writing and reading "I Am" poetry through different lenses.

"Read this article about The Great Pandemic of 1918–1919 and then answer the questions on the board," the teacher directed as she handed out the printed pages. Where did the pandemic start?...
Author: Lesley Roessing
Number of views (10559)/Comments (0)/
Literature Circles: Student-Driven Instruction

Literature Circles: Student-Driven Instruction

Literature circles bring reading to life for these sixth graders.

What did we just read? I am so bored! Why are we reading this? What's the point? Sound familiar? These were some of the responses to reading that I received during my first year teaching bright and talented sixth...
Author: Samantha Schnoor
Number of views (10852)/Comments (0)/
Making a Middle School Magazine

Making a Middle School Magazine

A student-produced magazine celebrates middle level student voice.

In October 2015, a team of seven editors—all eighth grade boys at St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Virginia—met during lunch to compare two digital publishing platforms. They judged entries for the...
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