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School Culture/Climate

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 (2565)/Comments (0)/
Don't Pick Up the Rope

Don't Pick Up the Rope

Why it's not worth getting into a struggle with students

It was the summer of 1998. I lived in a two room apartment with my now husband. The shower was in the kitchen. We drove clunker cars, scrounged change for take-out, and let me tell you, we were living our best life....
Author: Amber Chandler
Number of views (1744)/Comments (0)/
Creating Safe Spaces—Four Lessons Learned

Creating Safe Spaces—Four Lessons Learned

Taking time to listen to and learn from students makes a difference

Emily, one of my former students, was in seventh-grade when a close friend leaned over to share a secret. "I'm bisexual," Alison* told her. "I like guys and girls" (from Emily's blog at...
Author: Phyllis L. Fagell
Number of views (650)/Comments (0)/
Embracing Dialects in Middle School English Class

Embracing Dialects in Middle School English Class

A variety of voices in literature helps students recognize themselves in text and connect with others

I will start with an understatement: Now seems as apt a time as any to begin conversations about multiculturalism and marginalized populations in the classroom. A stance of cultural respect opens opportunities for...
Author: Jason D. DeHart
Number of views (1362)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Motivating the Reluctant Learner

Motivating the Reluctant Learner

Changing student motivation from being disruptive to being successful

Working with students who typically haven't been very successful in the classroom can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a few simple approaches to take that will help you motivate those reluctant learners from day...
Author: Darren Barkett
Number of views (4178)/Comments (2)/
Four Ways to Ease Students' Transition to Middle School

Four Ways to Ease Students' Transition to Middle School

How to help students struggling with the move from elementary to middle school

Gena was failing most of her sixth grade classes when she decided to stop going to school. Her mother, Sheryl, called me in a panic. I hadn't talked to Sheryl in years, but we'd grown up together, and she knew I was a...
Author: Phyllis L. Fagell
Number of views (2537)/Comments (0)/
It's More Than Books

It's More Than Books

Making connections with sports in the middle school classroom

When I taught middle school language arts, one of my students, Matthew, would complain that he was not able to give an explanation about or summarize the poems we were reading in class. However, every Monday he would...
Author: Pamela H. Segal, Montana K. McCormick
Number of views (1667)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Laptops: A Tool to Improve Reading Comprehension

Laptops: A Tool to Improve Reading Comprehension

How one South Texas school district is taking middle school reading comprehension to another level

Nearly six million middle school students today are reading below grade level—a shocking number. The National Center for Education Statistics' 2017 report, The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics and Reading...
Author: Maridale Still, Cynthia Cummings, Tilisa Thibodeaux, L. Kay Abernathy
Number of views (1883)/Comments (0)/

Student Agency

Research Summary

A typical middle school classroom includes young adolescents with a range of skills, interests, abilities, and personalities. One student may relate any topic of study to a favorite sport or video game. Another...
Author: Amanda Wall, Dixie Massey, Margaret Vaughn
Number of views (3386)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Research
Let's Make a Video

Let's Make a Video

Developing communication and leadership skills through community engagement

During the middle school years young adolescents not only become aware of the changes associated with physical and emotional maturity, but they also adjust to new learning standards and expectations. The goals of...
Author: Paulina Rodgers
Number of views (5219)/Comments (0)/
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