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School Culture/Climate

Key to Motivation: Student Agency

Key to Motivation: Student Agency

Keeping learning relevant and engaging by putting middle school students in charge

Note: Student Agency is a HUGE part of middle school identity and success. For this issue’s column, I’ve asked education expert, LeAnn Nickelsen, to join me in presenting the case for elevating its...
Author: Rick Wormeli, LeAnn Nickelsen
Number of views (2367)/Comments (0)/
Helping Girls Thrive in Uncertain Times

Helping Girls Thrive in Uncertain Times

The impact of COVID-19 on teen girls and timely, responsive ideas for supporting them

Without a doubt, COVID-19 has upended our country, our economy, and our educational system in a way that none of us have ever experienced or could have imagined. From the immediate impact of stay-at-home orders...
Student Success Redefined

Student Success Redefined

It’s not about a test score, it’s about taking ownership of the learning journey

Imagine all the people Living life in peace You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope some day you'll join us And the world will be as one. --John...
Author: Jennifer Ingold
Number of views (2890)/Comments (0)/
How Do You Spell Student Success? G-r-o-w-t-h

How Do You Spell Student Success? G-r-o-w-t-h

A teacher team shares ideas for tapping into student engagement to promote growth

In room E8, at Northside Middle School in Roanoke County, Virginia, we view student success as a significant growth over previous math achievement scores. What does significant growth entail, you might ask? We...
Author: Ruby Voss, Amber Benson
Number of views (1296)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Not Just Tweens: Educators Need to Model Risk-Taking, Too

Not Just Tweens: Educators Need to Model Risk-Taking, Too

Four ways educators can lean into discomfort

To get from Reno to Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village, Nevada, a school official had to drive me up 6,500 feet of steep, narrow roads lined with snow banks. The air thinned as we ascended above the clouds, so...
Author: Phyllis Fagell
Number of views (4231)/Comments (1)/
A Haiku Master and Dreams on Display

A Haiku Master and Dreams on Display

Enriching the curriculum and boosting middle school student engagement with the arts

We don’t need statistics to know that a curriculum lacking in arts is boring, but too often when budgets are cut, the fun parts of being in school for children are the first to be eliminated. The notion that...
Author: Leila Kubesch
Number of views (1942)/Comments (0)/
Cultivating a Culture of Belonging in Our School

Cultivating a Culture of Belonging in Our School

Focusing on opportunities for students and staff to shape a positive school environment

Oftentimes the terms culture and climate are bandied about as an inseparable pair in school settings. Rarely in my experience are they broken down into their respective domains to parse out their specific purpose and...
Author: Perry A. Finch. Ed.D.
Number of views (2135)/Comments (0)/
Activate the Motivation Molecule

Activate the Motivation Molecule

Using art to boost student motivation and build community

Dopamine is known as the "feel good" neurotransmitter, and we crave it because it lets us know that predicted rewards are coming. That first sip of coffee that signals caffeine will improve your mood and energy level,...
Author: Amber Chandler
Number of views (1973)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Who Am I

Who Am I

Using young adult literature to explore adolescent identity

Everybody has a story. These stories comprise the events in our lives that intersect in complicated and uniquely beautiful ways to shape our perceptions and general outlook of the world. They demonstrate our strengths...
Author: Vanessa E. Vega
Number of views (5724)/Comments (1)/
Middle Schoolers Must Play

Middle Schoolers Must Play

Students share about their engagement in and ownership of their own play time

"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play." —Heraclitus (554 – 483 BC) As middle school educators, we see a growing population of adolescents who struggle with...
Author: Jody Marberry, Mead Ploszay
Number of views (8499)/Comments (0)/
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