Student Motivation

Welcome to the Genius Hour

Welcome to the Genius Hour

Dedicated time and passion bring out the best in students.

As I drove home one evening after hosting a showcase of student work, attended by the community, all I could think about was how a new project called Genius Hour had transformed my seventh graders over the course of...
Author: Cryslynn Billingsley
Number of views (48064)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
The Day a Seventh Grader Gave Me the Bird

The Day a Seventh Grader Gave Me the Bird

I'll never forget the time a seventh grader gave me the bird. When I caught him and the gesture, it changed me as a middle school teacher. And somehow it reminded me of the middle school characteristic that states,...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (24975)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Inspiration

Student Voice

A secret ingredient in improving student engagement and building a community of learners

Those of us in middle level education know the basics of adolescent psychology. Teens are naturally rebellious. Their state of mind isn’t in a "state" at all; they are out-of-sync, their bodies out of control....
Author: Elyse S. Scott
Number of views (20775)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Lights, Camera, Literacy!

Lights, Camera, Literacy!

A marriage of film and literacy education provides authentic learning opportunities.

As middle school teachers, we strive to inspire our students to achieve. We constantly seek ways to engage, motivate, and challenge every learner in our classrooms. We want to provide those special experiences that...
Nurturing Effective Middle Level Schools

Nurturing Effective Middle Level Schools

Support, passion, and positive relationships are ingredients of an effective middle level school.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” I often share this quote with students who tell me they are not good at this or that subject or...
Author: Ann Edwards
Number of views (27900)/Comments (0)/
Developing Relationships with Difficult Students

Developing Relationships with Difficult Students

Four simple strategies can help forge a positive teacher-student relationship.

As Mary watched Ashleigh get off the bus, she knew it was going to be “that kind” of day. Ashleigh was mad and yelling in the faces of the other children. Mary watched her push her way through the hallway,...
Author: Lori Rakes & Audra Parker
Number of views (65752)/Comments (4)/
Get Your Students Moving

Get Your Students Moving

Incorporating movement in the classroom keeps students and their brains engaged in learning.

As a 20-year veteran middle school teacher, I learned very early in my career that if you don’t physically move middle school students sometime during your lesson or class time, they will move you in ways you...
Author: Kim Campbell
Number of views (55198)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Excellence vs. Mediocrity: What’s Your Choice?

Excellence vs. Mediocrity: What’s Your Choice?

“If I demand excellence from my students, I must first demand excellence from myself.” I often meditate on these words. As classroom educators we always want our students to excel at what they put their...
Author: Kelsey Eursery
Number of views (29274)/Comments (0)/
Connecting with the Larger World

Connecting with the Larger World

You belong. We do this with you, not in spite of you. You can trust me not to humiliate you and to keep you from humiliating yourself.

These are the messages in action or in word that students want to hear daily from teachers. To promote these themes, we give students positions of responsibility and the know-how to do them: running the daily...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (22622)/Comments (0)/
Are You Helping or Hurting Your Students?

Are You Helping or Hurting Your Students?

When should you let students struggle?

What’s wrong with these kids? Do they really think we’ll hold their hand? This isn’t elementary school! I treat mine all the same. And you know what? It’s sink or swim. How are they going...
Author: Ruby K. Payne
Number of views (24213)/Comments (0)/
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