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School Culture/Climate

Valuing the Conversations

Valuing the Conversations

A principal's informal conversations helped guide a school's priorities

I began my tenure as principal at West Rowan Middle School in the Rowan-Salisbury School District in July 2015. As a newly hired principal, I maintain a keen focus on the school goals in our school improvement plan...
Author: Derek L. McCoy
Number of views (3369)/Comments (0)/
Working Up a (Brain) Sweat

Working Up a (Brain) Sweat

Physical activity improves students' cognitive performance.

If a pill could improve your child's self-esteem, memory, attention span, standardized test scores, and ability to problem solve, would you rush to the store and buy it? If it did not need a prescription, was free,...
It Takes a Village: Rethinking How We Engage Families

It Takes a Village: Rethinking How We Engage Families

A fall festival reaches out to involve parents and the community.

Middle school is a period of transition and a critical phase of growth and development; therefore, a welcoming, positive learning environment in which students enjoy school and make positive connections with others is...
Author: Selena Blankenship, Meagan Nix, Gayle Andrews, Kathy Thompson
Number of views (5344)/Comments (0)/
What are THOSE?! The Curriculum of Middle Grades Humor

What are THOSE?! The Curriculum of Middle Grades Humor

I am happy to report that middle school humor is alive and well. In fact, I think it has ticked up a couple of notches in the quality of verbal irony and social commentary since my days as a young adolescent. When I...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (6742)/Comments (1)/
Welcoming Students to Middle School

Welcoming Students to Middle School

Pup Camp is a fun way to get kids ready for the transition into middle school.

"What if my child doesn’t know anyone?" "What if he gets lost?" "Who will help her open her locker?" These comments are typical of anxious parents whose child is preparing to transition into middle school. At...
Author: Karla J. Wienhold, Blaire M. White
Number of views (12300)/Comments (3)/
Joining Forces for Good: Middle School/High School Collaboration

Joining Forces for Good: Middle School/High School Collaboration

Middle school and high school students collaborate on a hands-on service-learning project.

The transition to or from middle school can be smooth for some, but those of us who serve in a middle school know just how stressful these moves can be for a large percentage of our students. Students worry about...
Author: Vonda Beavers
Number of views (8184)/Comments (1)/
Five Must-Have Components of Active Learning Environments

Five Must-Have Components of Active Learning Environments

As educators, we are constantly battling the pressures to bolster test scores, give more time and resources, and stay up to speed with new technologies and teaching methods, all while providing a comprehensive...
Author: Pam Powers
Number of views (10067)/Comments (5)/
Building School Community by Empowering Students

Building School Community by Empowering Students

The disruptive behavior of some students can be a top concern of middle school teachers, administrators, and parents in many schools. While time is spent considering approaches to decreasing behavioral incidents,...
Author: Stanley Pollack
Number of views (12633)/Comments (8)/

Professional Learning and Professional Development in the Middle Grades

Research Summary

Practitioners, policymakers, and researchers have touted the importance of improving educator quality as fundamental to enhancing school and student outcomes (Darling-Hammond, Wei, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos,...
Author: Dana L. Bickmore
Number of views (17190)/Comments (0)/

Creating the Cougar Watch: Learning to be Proactive Against Bullying in Schools

Despite reticence from the central office, strong middle level teacher leaders worked together to develop an effective anti-bullying program that addresses a significant need for safety and inclusion for all middle school students.

This we believe: The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all. According to a nationally representative survey conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development...
Author: Robert W. Smith, Kayce Smith
Number of views (11236)/Comments (0)/
Tags: Safety
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