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School Culture/Climate

Culture of the Robotics Class

Culture of the Robotics Class

How an early career teacher created a culture of mutual respect and learning

After teaching sixth grade math and science my first two years, I was extremely nervous and apprehensive to become a robotics teacher. I did not study robotics in college, and I had never, ever pictured myself in this...
Author: Ross Hartley
Number of views (2801)/Comments (1)/
Topics: Teaching
A Community Council Makes Everyone a Champion

A Community Council Makes Everyone a Champion

Empowering students to self-regulate and create a positive classroom community

Growing up in rural Nebraska there were three things I knew I would take away from my upbringing: a tenacious work ethic, a strong sense of community, and an obsessive passion for Nebraska football. Legendary football...
Author: Victoria S. Lentfer
Number of views (1545)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
How Where We're from Colors Our View of the World

How Where We're from Colors Our View of the World

Committing to our students' stories is an investment in their success

I'm a sucker for a good Taylor Swift song. As a 32-year-old middle grades educator I feel confident enough to put that in writing, especially in this venue. The weeks before I began teaching outside of Houston, Texas,...
Author: Matthew Moulton
Number of views (1830)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Authentic Audience, Wonderful Writing

Authentic Audience, Wonderful Writing

A teacher's guide to planning a high-interest, engaging writing project

Three years ago an eighth grade class of mine had a blog project called "Dear Terrorist" where students researched their topics and wrote letters to anyone considering (or participating in) a decision that could harm...
Author: Dominic Carrillo
Number of views (2640)/Comments (1)/
Be Radical: Reimagining the 8th Grade Literary Canon

Be Radical: Reimagining the 8th Grade Literary Canon

Offering diverse texts as well as justice-focused critiques of traditional literature

On the first day of school in Chicago, I encountered a room full of Iraqi, Nepalese, and West African refugee students. Timid, cautious, and nervous, they sat in Room 34 with visible trepidation. Someone with an equal...
Author: Alex Lacasse
Number of views (3136)/Comments (1)/

Get Real: Worthy Curriculum for Worldly Adolescents

Helping students make sense of issues that concern them

In September 2015, a haunting image of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi circulated the world, mostly via social media. His lifeless body on the shores of Turkey was a confronting and emotive image for the average adult. For...
Author: Rachael Williams
Number of views (1204)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Add a Little Spice

Add a Little Spice

Ideas that energize your lessons and fuel students' desire to learn

The best compliment a teacher can ever receive from a student is when they look at you and say, "Class is over?" These three words let you know loud and clear that they were engaged, focused, and enjoying the lesson...
Author: Kim Campbell
Number of views (4626)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching

Moving into Action: Middle Level Learners as Change Agents

Robust learning happens when students have choice and voice in curriculum.

"Students in the middle grades … have the ability to perceive deep truths and are making decisions that will affect the way they live the rest of their lives. This transitional time between childhood and...
Author: Maggie McHugh, Penny Reedy, Ann Yehle
Number of views (3457)/Comments (0)/

Google Can Do What? Five Activities to Engage Students

Google Apps, now called G Suite, is really catching on in classrooms around the United States and beyond. But the way we think about its tools, such as Docs, Sheets, or Slides, is stuck in first gear. It is easy for...
Author: Matt Miller
Number of views (5753)/Comments (1)/
Young Adolescent Voices

Young Adolescent Voices

Students share valuable insights when we take time to listen.

Middle level educators engage in a variety of professional development experiences in order to continue to learn about effective ways to work with young adolescents as they develop their identities, ideas, and...
Author: Ann K. Yehle, Connor Drevs, Kelly Garrity, McKenzie Larson
Number of views (3473)/Comments (0)/
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